POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

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Does the forum need a FAQ???

Yes
14
58%
No
8
33%
Yes but not as you suggested (I've replied with my better idea).
2
8%
 
Total votes: 24

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:05 am

christos wrote:What I am suggesting is to use the quick faq a a template on which to build. Plus I said the parts that are out of date. For example the links...


yeap Great idea :thumbs:
That would jumpstart the project.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby bid » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:31 am

christos wrote:What I am suggesting is to use the quick faq a a template on which to build. Plus I said the parts that are out of date. For example the links...


Yes. And to WongCK, 1999 is not in date. But its a great document, and template to start with. Simples :lol:
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:50 am

bid wrote:And to WongCK, 1999 is not in date.


Not sure what you mean by that....
And we are in 2011, and it was said that the FAQ from 1999 still works and a great source of information.
It means that the information content is valid and is not out of date.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:45 am

wongck wrote:First thing is to move this discussion over to the Wiki section of the forum :lol:


Nooooo lol if they do that then nobody will see the topic!!! :lol:

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:55 am

RetroGamerUK wrote:
wongck wrote:First thing is to move this discussion over to the Wiki section of the forum :lol:


Nooooo lol if they do that then nobody will see the topic!!! :lol:

:lol: :lol: wait till the banner is up, yeah?
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:32 pm

wongck wrote::lol: :lol: wait till the banner is up, yeah?



hehe yeah actually is the Wiki the place for discussions?
I thought Wikis were encyclopaedias.. a place to put info...
Best not upset the applecart the otherway lol

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:27 pm

RetroGamerUK wrote:
wongck wrote::lol: :lol: wait till the banner is up, yeah?



hehe yeah actually is the Wiki the place for discussions?
I thought Wikis were encyclopaedias.. a place to put info...
Best not upset the applecart the otherway lol



Sorry... what I mean is the Wiki discussion sections of the forum.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:27 pm

wongck wrote:Sorry... what I mean is the Wiki discussion sections of the forum.


Ahh well see I started this topic to discuss someone else's idea of a FAQ for the forum :wink:
If this idea is taken on board then going off the general response here the Wiki would be a major part of this of course, I still stand by my original position of trying to make the most commonly looked for things easier for people to find.
I'm under no illusions that this place is any sort of Democracy by the way :lol:

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:43 pm

I can put a nice banner directing to the Wiki at the top of the page - no problem.
We can collectively put some real effort into pulling the Wiki into shape with some FAQ's etc.

However, how do we really drive members (both new and old) to use it as their first port of call?

Maybe 'Newbies' may only post into a 'Newbies' forum (contains "Before you post" and "Rules" Stickies)? This puts extra work on moderators as posts will need to be moved to their correct location if they are of value.
Then at what point do we promote a newbie to a full member - 10 posts?

Too complex? A good solution? Any better ideas?!?
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby bid » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:39 pm

Dal wrote:I can put a nice banner directing to the Wiki at the top of the page - no problem.
We can collectively put some real effort into pulling the Wiki into shape with some FAQ's etc.

However, how do we really drive members (both new and old) to use it as their first port of call?


Hi. I am sorry for repeating myself. But you are making two very pertinent points here. My thoughts:-
1. The banner is required, but only when the wiki/faq is restructured a little (address why is not used)
2. The excellent "Atari ST Quick Faq" last updated in 1999 seems to still be the "De-facto" method to get info on the ST, but its out-of-date http://www.atari.org/hosted/quickfaq/ surely this is a basis? And add in new bits.
3. Use the wiki to collate answers and guides from (a) the forum (b) the net (c) HYP docs http://phoenix.inf.upol.cz/~opichals/jay/ (d) requesting that thread posters when finished, cut and paste to the wiki (e) refering to these answers
4. Add anchor text to SEO the wiki
5. Profit

We need to then post links to the Wiki/Faq, when people ask questions. Also start uploading more useful info. What are sections needed, what is popular in the forum. Discuss :cheers:
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:13 pm

bid wrote:2. The excellent "Atari ST Quick Faq" last updated in 1999 seems to still be the "De-facto" method to get info on the ST, but its out-of-date http://www.atari.org/hosted/quickfaq/ surely this is a basis? And add in new bits.


Couldn't agree more, in fact the format if this FAQ would fit into the wiki very nicely. There's a bit of work though:

Extrapolate the active links to harvest more information.
Rewrite all the irrelevant stuff (like how to connect to the Internet with a modem etc)
Handle dead links (find another source for the information or rewrite supporting notes)

That would be a good start. Anyone fancy starting it off?

First thing out of courtesy is to see if Nicolas Bales can be contacted for approval. Worst case is we make sure he is credited along with others involved in his work.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:32 am

To find information on Atari, normally I will Google first and that will lead me to the FAQ, guides by peoples, various Atari wiki and even old posting on this forum.
If that fails, then this forum by asking.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:34 am

bid wrote:1. The banner is required, but only when the wiki/faq is restructured a little (address why is not used)


I agree.
The wiki is not at it's best now. Some pages are gone, some pages displays the markup text :(
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby SofiST » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:40 am

How I imagine FAQ section here:

1 new 'folder', just named FAQ - will take minimal space on screen.
Inside it concrete FAQ sections. How to group them is to figure out. Likely, for start no grouping, just put FAQ threads on - with some possible limitations.

So, those who voted against will be not harmed with too much space occupied on screen. They may never look into it :D
Reading FAQ, composing FAQ is on personal will. But some control is necessary, I say. We need to filter out useless postings, inaccurate and shallow claims and comments, etc. If it appears as inefficient, may be removed at time.
That's all what I can say ...

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:55 am

SofiST wrote:How I imagine FAQ section here:

1 new 'folder', just named FAQ - will take minimal space on screen.
Inside it concrete FAQ sections. How to group them is to figure out. Likely, for start no grouping, just put FAQ threads on - with some possible limitations.

So, those who voted against will be not harmed with too much space occupied on screen. They may never look into it :D
Reading FAQ, composing FAQ is on personal will. But some control is necessary, I say. We need to filter out useless postings, inaccurate and shallow claims and comments, etc. If it appears as inefficient, may be removed at time.
That's all what I can say ...


I disagree - I don't think the forum is the right place for FAQ's.

FAQ's need to be developed over time and information may change requiring the FAQ's to be altered. Editing posts in the forum is not a task everybody can do.

With the Wiki format, any registered user can develop the information over time.

Only thing to do is ensure the Wiki is in good shape (everybody's responsibility) and that people are aware of it's existence and gets used to using it.

I think we are looking into making the Wiki more visible in the forum but the information held within it has to be maintained and developed by all of us.

As I said above, maybe a very 'obvious' newbie area could be created so newly registered users can see the rules and a 'before you post guide' <----- this will of course reference the Wiki as a means of finding information before making a post etc.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby SofiST » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:03 pm

Well, now the question is: what matters ? Opinion of majority or opinion of admins here :D

Some my opinions about Wiki (and I wrote there some stuff too) : it is idealistic concepcion, based on premisse that experts, and only experts will write there regulary, up to date and accurate infos. But in reality it is not so in most of cases. And I can give here examples. I'm not generally against Wiki, but think that it is overestimated. I can always find better information sources around. What assures that Wiki is or will be better than some FAQ, any WEB site around ? Nothing in fact.
And it leads us to real problem related to all this: who can judge what is correct and useful info, and what not ? Usually, forum admins are not experts, and it is case here too.
Other thing is that it is not enough to just write FAQ, guides. Need to write here efficient, with some levels for different knowledge.
I thought that forum, as such may help to at least partially override mentioned real problems. Feedback may assure that useless info will be cleaned out fast. That forgotten issues, stuff will be added fast. Of course, nothing is free, so it means some extra work of moderators.
Here is a lot of threads turned into mess because of useless posts, misinformations and similar. And instead helping people, just increasing confusion. Many people will hardly come back after such experience.

I will not 'lobbying' more for FAQ here. Can make FAQ on my own forum.
Last edited by SofiST on Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:26 pm

SofiST wrote:Well, now the question is: what matters ? Opinion of majority or opinion of admins here :D
I will not 'lobbying' more for FAQ here. I can make FAQ on my own forum.


Opinion of the majority is what matters most. However I am entitled to my opinion like anyone else.

Whatever people feel is best will prevail, I was merely stating that trying to maintain a FAQ in a forum is a bit of a fudge as it cannot be maintained by anyone. It seems daft not to use the wiki platform we already have in my opinion.

I am more than happy to implement whatever people want, recently I implemented an RSS feed and support for TapaTalk - this was a direct response to what members wanted.

You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. Neither of us are obliged to agree with each other. :D
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby SofiST » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:38 pm

I edited my previous post with some + arguments .
Maintance of FAQ is for sure the problem ... A challenge ? :D

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby wongck » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:01 pm

Look again at the Disney forum I mentioned several post before.
They have FAQ in the threads.... and it is messy, real messy.
The first few posts are the FAQ, and ppl post new updates etc on the thread itself.
Someone, OP, probably then maintains the first few post of FAQ.

Thread goes over 100s posting... but no need to read all but the 1st few post as those are the FAQ.

It seems to be workable but the maintenance is a nightmare. OP seems to have endless updating of the FAQ.
But at least it is current.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:53 pm

SofiST wrote:I edited my previous post with some + arguments .
Maintance of FAQ is for sure the problem ... A challenge ? :D


Not really. By using the wiki platform the way it was intended, any registered user may edit any article. If I create an article that isn't technically correct, you may edit it. That is the point of it. As Wong rightly states, trying to maintain an FAQ in a forum thread will lead to mammoth threads that may never be maintained - there is a reliance on the OP or an admin to constantly clean up and update information based on his own interpretation (which may not be correct).

It seems daft to have the wiki application installed and not exploit it for something it is clearly designed to handle.

I think all our efforts are best placed in giving the wiki a good old kick up the rectum and making it more accessible.

It's clear we need an FAQ.

@SofiST: please create a post with a vote on whether the FAQ should be forum based or Wiki based and we'll see what other members decide.
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:04 pm

Has this Poll served its purpose now then?

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby Dal » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:34 pm

Yes I believe so - I actually voted for no FAQ, but it appears people want one.

Question is whether to host it on the forum or the wiki. I had asked SofiST to create a poll for this (purely so I can remain as unbiased as possible). If no post appears in the next day or so, maybe you'd do it RG? I'd rather keep my involvement in this down to getting the job done. ;)
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby 1024MAK » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:44 pm

What is a FAQ? :?: :?: :?:
:arrow: No, don't tell me, I know what the letters FAQ means. I mean, who decides what is a frequently asked question? :?: :?: :?:
In my job, plus many other areas that I have come across (web sites, books, manuals, instruction pages / books, and other technical documents), you often get a FAQ section. For me, over 50% of the FAQ are as much use as a chocolate fireguard - that is to say, the text just wastes space as the question and answer do not help most users.
So, rather than call it a FAQ (and BTW I hate the term FAQ) and then go ahead and create it, we need to separate the issues and decide what we really want.
:arrow: I think that for a start, the FAQ dead link at the top right of each forum page needs some attention. Either remove it, or rename it and have it point to something useful. Maybe this could link to a static web page giving a very brief introduction to our forum, with a small number of links. One link would take you to the forum rules, another to a how to use the forum, a third to say a basic introduction to Atari computers which is actually a section on the wiki. Maybe also a link to one of the sub-forums, say a welcome to A-F sub-forum (which would include the introduce yourself sub-forum).
:arrow: Second, yes there should be a much bigger, better click-able link to the wiki. I am not so sure that we should wait with this. The sooner that more members become aware of the wiki, the sooner we may have some interested people ready to help update the wiki. It would however be wise to add a suitable comment on the wiki home page letting members know that we would like their help with updating it.
:arrow: Third, (just a mo, brain just gone off-line... right, back online!) I agree that the forum itself would not be a very good place for a FAQ section as a long term thing. However, is it possible (and do we want) a sub-forum available for newbies to ask simple questions. They could then be answered. If it is a subject where there is no suitable answer on the wiki, this could be then be pointed out and hopefully a member would then update the wiki. In any event the topic in the sub-forum would be deleted say 28 days later. Thereby keeping the sub-forum "clean"...

Of course feel free to :megaphone: me :!:
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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby christos » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:01 am

I can easily tell you what's the most popular question:

How can I get ROMS on real disks?

And the second most popular:

How to transfer files from the PC to the ST? Which in many cases falls down to the first question.

Luckily we haven't had an ST vs Amiga question for quite some time, though I have enjoyed quite a few of them at times :D . OTOH the "HELP, which to buy STFM or STE?" comes around often enough.

Other questions I can think of are: the differences between variousTOS versions, how to get video to a tv from an STF (mostly our american friends have this issue) and the differences between various monitor times and hardware add ons.

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Re: POLL: Does the forum need a FAQ?

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:05 am

This is an image from a saved copy of a page (2009-04-14). As you can see there was a link (working by the looks of the hyperlink address) direct to the wiki. Can this be put back please?
How it used to look in 2009.jpg
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