View Full Version : Posting a poll and search

09-21-2006, 02:25 AM
I can type, add the smiley faces and insert links. I don't know how to post pics, add useful charts and graphs or use the fancy multitude of options GM has to offer.

I really wanted to make a poll about repitching but couldn't figure out how.
So I did a search with just poll as the search and got a bunch of hits. 90% of the hits were just a section of a post with the word pollen and the letters p.o.l.l. highlighted.

More than a few times I have done searches, as it is my duty to do a search first before posting a question and I have ended up a little frustrated. I have had some ideas in the past, but forgot them now so I can't really make any suggestions at the moment. But the search doesn't always seem to work as well as I think it should. I think this is part of the reason we get so many questions on the board for topics that have been beaten to death. Thankfully Oskaar speaks up and says SEARCH. So either people aren't doing a search, which I feel is probably most of the reason or search is not working well.
Wait one of my past ideas has comback. Some of my most successful searches has shown me a post with something relevant to my search. But when I click on it, it takes me to the top of the thread and then I have to diligently search the thread, which is sometimes pages long to find the one post that starts the relevant information I am looking for.

If I remeber correctly (I don't do searchs often) the advanced search only brings up a list of boards to search. I would like to see an option of in the title or in the body of text or something like that. But then again some of the titles of threads are not as well articulated as they should be (IMHO) to make the search function work as well as it should. Threads with titles like "uh oh" and "what should I do" or "need help" doesn't help the search engine do its job for others with similar questions.

I am not trying to complain, but add to this powerful resource to make it more useful. Vicky in the last few years has added a lot of cool stuff to this forum, stuff you don't see on other boards. But I think that a basic function like a search tool should be more effective.

I think we are all responsible for the effectivness of the site and to help others find what they need. So I ask the next time you post a new thread put some thought in the title of it and get to the point. This will help the next person find the answer they are looking for.

Just my 2 cents,

09-21-2006, 02:51 AM

I've used the search tool quite often and never had a problem with it. Sometimes you just have to be a little inventive. If for example you do a search for poll and you see that the word pollen comes up a lot, you might want to try to search for poll -pollen.

You wrote: "But when I click on it, it takes me to the top of the thread and then I have to diligently search the thread, which is sometimes pages long to find the one post that starts the relevant information I am looking for."

You have to click on the right link! In the search results you see a box with text from the post. Click the link just above this box and it will take you directly to the post in question.

Hope this helps,


09-21-2006, 06:52 AM
Hey Kace,

Just to expand a bit on what Sander wrote.

Search tools are imperfect by nature. They are only as good as the memory of the person who is entering the criteria (keywords) for the actual search. So why have search tools at all? Bottom line is that you'll have to learn how to do a bit of linguistic legerdemain to back into the result you want.

Here are a couple of things that I do.

When I'm searching for something in many cases there are many other articles out there that will be returned if I don't find a very specific term to nail the post that I want. So what I do is think of other combinations of words that I used in the post, or someone else used in responding to the post and use those as the search critera.

For example, there was a recent post on rehydrating yeast that I really liked. So if I just do a search on "yeast" I come up with 73 pages of references. Not really helpful. But if I want to know about pitching yeast, and enter "pitching yeast" that narrows it down a bit to 9 pages better but not ideal.

Finally, if I remember the author was Dan McFeeley, and he mentioned "osmotic pressure", I can go to the advanced search function and enter "osmotic pressure" as the keyphrase (double quotes included) and "Dan McFeeley" as the Author (no double quotes) that narrows it down to one page with 7 results.

If I want to be even more specific I remember that Dan used "scuba diver" so I do the same advanced search and replace "osmotic pressure" with "scuba diver" and viola, fait accompli, one result.

In many cases the search keyword will be common, so try to remember something that was unique in your post, or someone else's post, or someone who posted a response to your question and that will help narrow it down. You can also embed keywords in an important post at the bottom, and change the color to something neutral like yellow or white so they don't show up, and note them somewhere so you can always find that post. I've seen people on other boards in the old days do that. That practice is not so common now since search engines are a bit better with their heuristics.

Anyhow, try those out and I think you'll have a lot better idea of how to seach.

Also there are other toggles such as "+" and "-" that can be used in the search criteria. the plus sign is used for inclusion/combination in the search for example if you want to search for one of your old posts where you are talking about honey gates you could search for honey +gate as your search criteria. But remember that gate is a frequently used ending in words (propagate, mitigate, investigate, etc.) so you can use the minus sign to filter those out.
Your final search would look something like this:

honey +gate -investi -miti -propa -dele

As a final filter you can add your name (kace069) as the author and narrow it down to just a couple of posts.

Also you can filter the plural form of a word, suffix or prefix to filter that out of a search as well.

Give those techniques a try and see if they don't help.



09-21-2006, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the tips. I generally don't have a paricular post I search for just some general information. If I do know of a post I am looking for that ususally comes right up for me.

I have tried lots of word combinations in the past without finding anything relevant. So I guess its just me.

09-22-2006, 09:20 AM

You're not alone, I do find that the sites search engine picks up a lot of unwanted posts especially if any one of your search terms makes up parts of numerous other words. More than you'd want to track down and filter out. The worst was once I tried to track down one of Oskaar's posts, and I could only remember a few words of what he said... so I tried searching for them in Quotation marks, should bring it right up... right? Wrong, he had accidently misspelled one of the words that I was looking for, took me checking back through three or four months of his posts to find it. Also I don't think The subject line is part of the search, I could never find Oskaar in a Nutshell until I put that in the Body of the text as well.


09-22-2006, 11:27 AM
Yeah I think a search of the itles of threads would be really helpful. If I manually search through the forum in specific sections I look at titles and then look through the threads for what I need.
Picking a few letters out of a word is a little to refined of a search.

09-22-2006, 01:31 PM
Well, the search engine is what it is, and unfortunately it's part of the SMF forum package. Misspellings are pretty common on this site, so it's something you have to take into account and use when searching. No really easy answers here other than we hope the the SMF folks will beef up the search engine in future releases. Maybe in the future there will be a plug-in for the SMF forums that will work better, but until such a time we're stuck with what we got.