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Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Ontario
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Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Here’s a non-travel related topic that will likely get deleted before the end of the day, but here goes…

I’ve noticed that it’s getting very quiet here on this forum and the amount of questions seem to have declined over the last few months. Is this because the number of people travelling to Barbados is down, or are more people using the advise often given here and are “typing their question into the search box”?

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england
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1. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

I agree with you, it is not how it was a few years ago. Instead of just advising posters to use the search box all the time a short friendly reply giving useful information if more beneficial to them and interesting for 'browsers' to read.

If you can take the time to type 'use the search box' then you can take the time to give a brief response, and then may be point out a wealth of further information can be found via the search box.

Some replies do appear to a new user to be a little curt, and so may put them off using this excellent site.

London, United...
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2. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Interesting question Acton...

I think maybe some people are afraid to post in case they get referred to the search box, as I have seen a fair few posts that start with "I've done a search but..." so it seems they feel they have to justify themselves.

There are many questions that get asked time and time again - cash, mossie's, weather etc that I think it's sensible to refer to the search box, but there are many many other questions that can be posted. I really hope people feel that they can still ask questions - that's what the forum is for!

On the other hand, maybe it's a sign of the recession, there may just be less people travelling.

Or it could even be that Barbados has such a high number of return visitors that most people have a pretty good idea about what they're doing so don't need to ask as many questions!

Would be interested to hear what others have to say on this...

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Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

I think it is likely recession related. However it is very off putting to find the same people referring posters to the search box. It's like reaching those automated answering machines at large corporations, very annoying.

Iroquois, Canada
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4. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

I have been saying that all along, if don't want give an answer do not read the thread, there is a couple on here that do that all the time, I guess it gets their post counts up

Edited: 09 December 2009, 16:19
Sheffield, England
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5. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

It is an interesting question Acton. I too had noticed how quiet this forum seems to be these days. I think LMR may well be right about the recession as a factor and also about the number of repeat visitors to Barbados who don't feel the need to ask as many questions as somebody visiting for the first time.

However, I think that Ginger has also hit the nail on the head by comparing the search box to an automated answering machine!! If you are new to TA then you may not know that there is a search facility. I think it's fine to point to it but it seems more friendly to signpost to a specific link as well and/or make some helpful comment.

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London, United...
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6. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

I hold my hands up and admit, I am one of those people that will refer posters to the search box, but I do it to help them, not because I can't be bothered to answer, it's generally one of three things...

They may not know that the facility is there.

I don't know the answer, but know it has been discussed, so it means they can get the info quicker than waiting for others to respond.

There are varying opinions on a topic (eg money) and I can't remember all the details so suggest they look for a thread with all the responses - again they can get the info quicker that way.

I don't think that is unacceptable???

Derbyshire, United...
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7. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Acton I totally agree, it does seem very quiet. I must say when I first started using TA, I would immediately have been put off if someone had said to me 'this has been asked 100's of times before, go search' . I think it is fine if you can think of another thread to put a link in to said thread, but I wonder why bother answering if your response is merely look at the search box. Some questions may seem silly to other people but to the person asking them they are relevant. I personally wouldn't be back if I had the response that some posters get, only my opinion but I would imagine I am not alone.

It seems to have taken a lot of the light hearted fun element from the site IMHO.

Derbyshire, United...
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8. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Another point is that quite a lot has changed in the last 12 months due to the economy, restaurants closing etc etc...so the search box often wouldn't be current.

LMR...I think you strike a good balance when referring people to the search function, you often put other info in your post too.

It will be interesting to get more opinions on this....

england
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9. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

LMR, there are ways and ways of ansering questions and although you may refer others to use the search box, you always do it in a friendly and positive way. It is people like you that kept me coming back on to this forum. Others however have become a litle rude of late and it can be very off-putting,.

The first time I decided to visit Barbados I asked all sorts of stupid questions on here - because I didn't know. Through this site I found all sorts of tips and interesting things to do/see, but I don't think I would have perservered if I had been repeatedly told to 'use the search box'. I have also gleaned a lot of useful information by reading others posts and answers. I have also tried to help others where I can.

Don't forger if you have never visited before the difference in the coasts, how to use the banking system, is it safe, even whats the weather usually like that time of year are all important to you, as you really do not have a clue!

Edited: 09 December 2009, 18:08
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Ontario
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10. Re: Is the “Search Box” making the forum dull and boring?

Thanks everyone who has responded.

A suggestion: Perhaps it might be more helpful to say, “I put your question in the search box and here is a link to the results” and cut and paste the link. That would not only answer the question but still make people aware of the search option?

It appears to me that more and more questions are being answered with a bit of a condescending tone. While it’s good that people take the time to respond, some the responses are sounding a bit jaded. I’ve been hanging around this forum for two years and I know some of the questions are very repetitive, but to someone visiting Barbados for the first time and perhaps new to TA, these are important questions. Like BillyDove, my first questions here were pretty basic, but the responses I had were very friendly and helpful. That seems to be missing now.

The forum just seems to be less welcoming these days and I’ve noticed the decline in people asking questions and was wondering if they are related.

I’d love to hear from some of the people that read everyday but never post?

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