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  • FAQ Topic Categories - Volunteer FAQ Project

    FAQ Topic Categories - Volunteer FAQ Project

    As you hop around vB Forums, help compile listings of the most commonly asked questions (and answers) related to these 14 topic groupings. Goal is to provide a Browse by Topic method of locating frequently requested information, as a companion to Search Mode. An FAQ will be produced from these results. Thanks for your help! Mods: feel free to edit any thread or post for accuracy.

    1. FORMATTING. LAYOUT. THREAD DISPLAY ISSUES
    2. REPLYING. START THREAD. COMPOSE, EDIT MESSAGE
    3. IMAGES. ATTACHMENTS. SIGS. AVATARS
    4. USER STATUS. PRIVILEGES. DISPLAYS. PROFILE. PREFS
    5. REGISTRATION. NOTIFICATION ISSUES
    6. LOGIN. COOKIES. SESSIONS. TRACKING. STATS
    7. RATINGS. RANKINGS. KARMA. FILTRATION
    8. ADMIN CONTROL PANEL. TEMPLATE EDITS.
    9. MODERATOR TOOLS
    10. PRIVATE FORUMS
    11. PMs (PRIVATE MSGS). ICQ. CHATS. CALENDAR
    12. NON-vB PAGES. TOP 10. MOST RECENT POSTS
    13. SEARCH. mySQL. QUERIES. DATABASE. BACKUPS
    14. MISCELLANEOUS. CROSSOVER TOPICS. UPGRADES. INSTALLS
    Last edited by theflow; Wed 5th Sep '01, 5:15pm.
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  • #2
    Scott, these are all great ideas. And the key is tying this stuff to ratings. I see your concept and path to achieving the outcome of reliable FAQ and it's good. I also think that witha more robust ratings system (to the post-level of granularity), this stuff could come pre-filtered to a Mod for review. I think it's okay to include other people's ratings in addition to the person's who asked the question. Often one question leads to adjacent solves and information. Thus, how others view the effectiveness of the soltuion matters, I think.

    I also believe that a great FAQ is truncated into the essence. And though this manual effort I am trying to do, sloooowly, is only the tip of an iceberg, it helps to have editorial wraparound which excerpts the essence. Thus, sometimes compliations of excerpts result in a great FAQ answer-set for a problem-area.

    tubedogg had a great tool proposed, off of Joe's suggestion of "Notepad": http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...&threadid=6927 . tubedogg adds: what about a "quote to notepad" link, like Reply with Quote, except you're copying a post to your notepad instead of replying to it.

    I realize 99% of people have no time to help assemble such an FAQ, but would happy to use a good one -- just as I cannot write a hack but am always happy to use one -- but having this notepad feature could enable one to select the "cherry-picked" stuff from a thread and copy to notepad. It's then perhaps possible to "dump notepad contents (or entry) to new "post").

    Just a few more thoughts on automation... But I believe the best "automation" with highest probability of accuracy would be via an enhanced post-rating system -- and that could tie into your great suggestion.

    Oh yeah -- go program that when you've got a few spare minutes

    (p.s. - Kier obliquely referred to a great FAQ system capability that would be part of 2.1 - but he, expectedly, would reveal no further details )
    Last edited by theflow; Sat 8th Sep '01, 1:50pm.
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    • #3
      Scott, collaborative filtering is definitely the way to go. (did you ever get a chance to use 1994-95-96's firefly.com? One of the first web ratings & collaborative filtering systems, from MIT Media Lab and Pattie Maes. It did a phenomenal job rating music and movies... then they sold the tech to companies like Amazon and firefly.com itself buzzed away inot the vast horizon. But the idea of ratings leading to filtration, i.e., "show me threads re Registration problems that are rated 4 or higher" would be the output side of the system. The input side, which you describe above, sounds like a good place to start.

      Agreed re need for data integrity. Another vB user, samtha25, suggested building a true knowledge base. I'm sure vB wants to do all that eventually.

      I do think that in a software support community like this, ratings could become muc more effectively employed, not only in FAQ verification type ratings you suggest, but also user ratings based on the total calibre of their participation. As with all ratings systems, criteria and thresholds are extremely impt. Skewed ratings data is worthless data and actually creates more noise than clarity. User "title" could be made much more useful and relevant. It could be based on post-ratings as well as the "did this post/thread answer your question?" FAQ usefulness ratings.
      It means much more to me to see "4-stars" and "78 posts" under a user's name than to see "1378 posts" and "2 stars".

      But that's a more complex system than what you are correctly focused on -- rating the level of agreement on the usefulness and completeness of answers provided in threads nominated for FAQ status.
      How about this idea to go with it. When users get a rating on their answer/s (there are sometimes more than one in a thread) then that user would get "points" for the answer/s

      Rating Points
      0=====0
      1=====1
      2=====3
      3=====5
      4=====7
      5=====10
      I see; so point totals for each individual item/author that is rated get aggregated into total points. Do you envision a "weighing" system of any kind? What do Overgrow's karma system or slashdot's filtration system do re point accumulation?
      If a user says yes to the FAQ search ratings question, then the user that gave the answer would get bonus points. Let's say 5. Or if a another user rates the answer in the FAQ forum as suggested above, then that too would cause bonus points 1 for a 1, 5 for a 5 or something like that.
      Yes, rewarding the authors of great information, for sure. But I would want to be careful in distinguishing points for quality & completeness vs points for "being a good sport and participiating by submitting a rating".
      One which I would be glad to program when I get the time.
      To quote the illustrious ToraTora!, "lol" ... Like the day hell freezes over or Kier answers my question re vB future plans for FAQ -- whichever comes first
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by s.molinari
        boils down to human interaction, and with it falability. So how do we avoid crappy data? Your guess is as good as mine!
        A weighing system which considers factors about the RATER -- how many posts, how many threads started, in what timeframe, were they ever rated, etc.

        Again, very very imperfect, but goal is to prevent stuffing the ballot box. So there are checks against voting for self and multiple voting. Stuff like that... Better than just raw votes aggregated.

        I understand better what you said above. Sounds good. I shall pass through Germany tomorrow and shall expect it done by then before I'm off to do a bit of midday shopping . Then off to Paris for the Opera, returning via New Zealand to see a reunion concert from Crowded House with guest stars U2, then I will get home and suddenly realize why did I fly to Germany to get your hack when I have absoluetly no knowledge of how to install it or make it work? It is at that point that I will realize: It got me out the house and gave me a little exercise too.
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        • #5
          theflow,

          I see your message is stuck, which is nice, and while you two are working out the perfect FAQ (), I would add things to the threads you've already set up, but I can't because you've added all the blank messages to show how it's supposed to work. If you delete those, people could add items then you could fill in the index in the first message from what's posted.

          I have two I could have added today. But, if you no longer have any interest in this project, maybe the thread should be unstuck, because it just looks like a failed effort the way it is now.

          BTW, there are already FAQ scripts out there that already do pretty much what you want.

          Comment


          • #6
            samtha25,

            Thanks for the feedback.... Here are my replies

            I don't have any further interest in this project; over time it never created enough inertia to be satisfying; I did my best as just one person. It's definitely something better handled by the folks selling this software; I think I remember Kier saying in some post way back that 2.1 vB will have a great FAQ...

            I'm not sure the best next step. Should I send PM to one of the mods and request they unstick it? If it is of some minimal interest to anyone else,what is it you recommed I do - delete all blank messages on each of the 14 "data collection" threads?

            What are the FAQ scripts you are talking about? I would like to see one in action some place, as I would like to employ such a script on the site I am creating. Can you cite a few URLs?

            (I will also PM you with same message here since not sure you are subscribed to this thread or not.)

            Thanks much,
            Richard
            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by theflow
              I'm not sure the best next step. Should I send PM to one of the mods and request they unstick it? If it is of some minimal interest to anyone else,what is it you recommed I do - delete all blank messages on each of the 14 "data collection" threads?
              I'd suggest you have them unstick it, since even if you deleted the blank messages, so that people could add, someone would still have to keep the TOC current.

              What are the FAQ scripts you are talking about? I would like to see one in action some place, as I would like to employ such a script on the site I am creating. Can you cite a few URLs?
              Sorry, I can't offhand, as we decided to build our FAQ on our links program, so that we only have to deal with one program, but I did spend quite a bit of time looking at a some of the available FAQ scripts. Try a couple of the scripts sites, like:

              http://php.resourceindex.com/

              or a google search will probably spit up a few.

              Comment

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