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  • Message board newbies

    I have just started using vB for a youth soccer club site that I am in charge of this year. I have forums for each of the teams in the club to do whatever with. However, a lot of the people using the forums are complete newbies to message boards (and a lot to computers in general I think). I am getting lots of "How do I do this?" with lots of obvious questions (at least I think are rather obvious, i.e. how to login!)

    So, for those people who have had boards for a while and dealt with a lot of newbies, how do you handle it? It gets pretty frustrating when you think it is pretty clear as to how to do something and then someone tells you they are completely confused by the whole process.

    I am a cognitive science major, and one of the major topics of the major is "Human Computer Interaction". So, things like how people interact with technology is pretty interesting to me. I love vB because it is such an easy board to understand and use. Are these people truly morons, or is vB and message boards in general something that does require a little experience to totally understand? I don't remember ever having any problems with it. It may be because I am pretty computer savvy and can pick up new things computer related easier.

    I don't know, but I am starting to get annoyed with the stupid people (even though they probably aren't stupid, I just want to think they are).

  • #2
    Newbies will be newbies, there will always be something to ask until they learn how to do it themselves, after all, everyone has to start somewhere at sometime. I do agree very much so with the fact that it does get very anoying when they ask questions that seem to be very obvious (such as how to login, when there is a login box at the bottom of the page...). I have had people ask me how to post (they e-mailed me). I found it kinda funny they could open up their e-mail client, click a button to send me an e-mail, but not click a button in the forums.

    Most of the time you just have to bear with it, if they get really anoying or you think they are aware of what they are asking but, they are asking for the sake of anoying you, ignore them .

    I like to help people as much as I can with most things in reason, but something that is right in front of their eyes I probably would just let them find out for themselves.

    SaintDog

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    • #3
      You can take steps to make your forums more useable, I recommend picking up a book called "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug, an excellent book about web usability. Steve Krug is a great writer, funny yet informative -- and never boring!

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      • #4
        create a new members forum for them to post and ask questions
        MCSE, MVP, CCIE
        Microsoft Beta Team

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        • #5
          This link was posted at vbulletin.org and I think it is a great idea on how to teach someone about the fourms:

          http://www.gamingforce.com/forums/guide/

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          • #6
            One thing I find that confuses new people is "threads". Change the instances from "thread", to "Topic". Or something more general. Try to make things obvious. Remember, someone new to the internet, and forums won't know what a thread is. I sure didn't.

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