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Redundancy
Old 03-09-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
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Redundancy

Hmm...
Question for "regulars"...
What to do when a new member signs on, and asks a question that you know has been talked about, rehashed, and "decided" some time ago.

The new question or comment is legitimate and germaine to those who haven't been around for any length of time. In some cases, our great moderators have either merged threads or referred the new member to an older thread.

What to do?
- Refer to the older thread?... This may discourage new blood. No one wants to read through thousands of posts, but if the subject is treated as "new", then those who have the best info, get bored with saying the same thing over and over...
- Link to the old thread, with a brief synopsis of the content, but not redo what has already been done?
- Ignore the question, and let those who haven't put in their 2 cents worth discuss the issue to explore new and different ideas?

Am not trying to start a controversy, but know it must be hard for anyone who has been around for more than a few years to choke back (OMG, not again!).

Personally, I believe the appeal of the forum is the great variety of subjects, and the continuous change of the "current topics". Some of the other forums that I visit become stagnant and dull because the "oldtimers" become blase and snobbish about their knowledge. I don't think anything should change at all, but sometimes worry that I can't remember my own lies when I've made previous comment.

Sheesh... imagine:
Threads: 54,323, Posts: 1,151,924, Members: 25,043

gotta be doin' somethin' right!
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:04 PM   #2
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Even though it can get repetitive at times for those answering, it's a very welcoming thing for a new poster to get responses.

Also, I find myself paying more attention to different topics as I get older, so I don't mind the review and I appreciate the people who take the time to share info.

Kindest regards.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Talk about redundancy...you understand this question has been asked at least a dozen times over the years, right?

<just kidding>

You are correct, some topics have been hashed and rehashed over the years but may be entirely new to recent members. Maintaining a welcoming balance and learning to suppress the gag reflex is an important skill for us more seasoned members to cultivate.

What often happens in the case of yet another thread asking "Should I pay off the mortgage early/when should I take SS/should I buy individual bonds or a bond fund?" is one of us 'moldy oldies' will post links to a few previous threads on the subject, leaving the door open for new/additional discussion on the topic.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:12 PM   #4
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I would like to see a collection of links to these common topic threads in the FAQ section. That could be very useful, I think.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I would like to see a collection of links to these common topic threads in the FAQ section. That could be very useful, I think.
Like this? Early Retirement FAQs - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Agreed very common. I frequent a few forums for motorcycles, Jeeps, Gardening, RVing and here! All have the newb factor, often the newer forum folks answer the basic questions with enthusiasm and the regulars chime in on other topics.
I hate the curt "have you done a search of topics" reply - definately will turn off the new reader. The Jeep forum I go to is notorious for this. But the info you can get there is incredible.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Even though it can get repetitive at times for those answering, it's a very welcoming thing for a new poster to get responses.

Also, I find myself paying more attention to different topics as I get older, so I don't mind the review and I appreciate the people who take the time to share info. My emphasis

Kindest regards.
+1
Someone very wise once advised to always look at information you think you already know as if it's the first time you're hearing/reading it. That way, the subject is always fresh and you minimize the danger of overlooking something new or that you might have missed before.
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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Um, yeah.

What I was thinking (if I can compliment myself unduly with that verb) is that when I click on FAQ at the top of the page, it just give me a search box.
I would prefer that it give me the search box plus the page you referenced.

OK, so maybe I'm just too dumb for this digital stuff.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:30 PM   #9
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I didn't even ask if I should pay off the mortgage I just said I had not decided and I got slammed by surfer guy. You have to allow some repetition of themes.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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I was just thinking this morning that we ought to have our own ebook that summarizes the FAQs or Stickies.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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I know that I have problems trying to find things using the Search and I know that I have read about that thing. Maybe I put in too many words or not enough words or whatever.

I have also noticed that at times when a new poll is used, someone will chime in that that poll has already been done. However, I think it is nice to see certain polls again, to include newer people and newer ways of thinking about things.

I think that most people here are very understanding and are very patient!
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:04 PM   #12
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There are a few things that I do....

One, just do not even read the first post.... if the subject line sounds like something I do not want to get into, I just ignore the whole post..

Second, if I read the first post and think.... 'Not again'.... I just ignore it...


Say that I did one of the first two and go back into the thread because I am bored, forgot I was ignoring it, see that there are a lot of post and want to see what is going on.... AND I read some posts and see that there are not any new ideas..... I just ignore the post (again)....



However, there have been times where I had ignored a post and did go back into it and did find a nice discussion going on and did enjoy reading it all the way through.... without having to wait the hour/days/weeks that it might have taken to get all of the posts...


Sooooo, just ignore it is my suggestion.....
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:04 PM   #13
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There is nothing wrong with asking a question that has already been answered. Sometimes the answers change. Other times, the new answer may contain new information that was not known or was not readily available before. And new posters who were not here before get to see the information.

This thread reminds me of a formerly active poster who seems to have gone passive. He didn't seem to understand how a newbie might come along and just ask for help with a topic without having previously read the whole website and about 2 dozen books. Some people just don't have the wherewithal or the time to fully research a topic. It's easier to just ask. I don't think that is such a big sin.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:27 PM   #14
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It does get a little tedious to explain, or read, the answer to a simple, frequently asked question over and over again, and it is one reason why longstanding members sometimes leave. There comes a point at which the "noise" level detracts from the enjoyment of the forum. The FAQ section is very helpful. It might also be helpful to have a guide to using the forum for new members, posted prominently in the FAQ thread, emphasizing the use of the search function. It is great when a new member (or an old one) posts a question having read the relevant information and adds a new twist that has not previously been considered, building on what has been discussed before and generating a lively discussion.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:41 PM   #15
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Given the endemic thread-jacking that occurs here, a thread that by its title might suggest merely a rehash of old issues can often offer something new and interesting.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:00 PM   #16
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One of the problems with directing someone to the search function is that a search typically involves very common words, there is a fairly limited vocabulary related to FIRE. So they get hundreds of hits - now what?

The FAQs are somewhat helpful, but many of those threads are long and winding, and it can be a lot of work to get to the end point (if there even is one).

I think the bogleheads-style wiki, with a summary and pros/cons/considerations is more useful. You don't really need to come to any conclusion if the points are covered - let the reader decide.

I made the suggestion years ago that didn't seem to get any traction, but that was to start a thread on a common topic, let people post pros, cons, considerations, and edit that list down in following posts until there is some reasonable consensus that the issues are covered (not come to agreement on the end-points). Once a list has 'matured', add that to the FAQ and lock it. Discussion for changes can still occur in the original thread, and the FAQ post could be unlocked for changes if deemed necessary.

Just a thought.

-ERD50
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