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Moderators...how about a newbie board? Please?

Discussion in 'BYC Website & Forum Feedback & Announcements' started by 4H kids and mom, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    How about a board at the VERY TOP of the forum that says "If you are new to poultry, PLEASE READ THIS FIRST!" And then how about also saying something like "When you have a question, please check here to see that it hasn't already been asked and answered. Mulitiple posts on the same topic clutter the boards and are often overlooked." or something like that.

    Too many times I see posts about pasty butt, temp questions, brooder questions, food questions.....and most are often overlooked because many of us longer-time members just dont have the time (or patience) to answer them time and time and time again as new members join and continually have the same questions over and over. [​IMG] I myself am guilty of passing by posts that I've answered before thinking "someone else will answer them". [​IMG]

    Wouldn't it be alot easier if there were a board full of all the common "what to do"s that newbies would ask? I know the posts are here, but they require searching, and not many new members know to look, or they think the problem they are having hasnt happened to anyone else, or they just dont take the time to look, or whatever. Maybe putting them all in one place thats right at the top and jumps right at your face would help alot of them get the answers they seek, and we wouldnt have so many posts about the simple things go unanswered when there are tiny little lives at stake. I know the rest of us wouldnt mind scrolling down a line or two.

    Its just a suggestion, but I think it might be a helpful one. Well, thats my soapbox for the day. [​IMG] Just thought it might make things a little easier on all of us.

    Thanks! You all do a wonderful job here! [​IMG]

    ~4H Mom
     
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not a bad idea. I know there's the chickens 101 area, but it doesn't address all the most common questions that I, too, pass over until I start feeling guilty and go back to them if not already answered. If this gets the go ahead-maybe at the top top top of the thread, suggest the search feature with instructions?

    But then, for all I know, maybe this has been done and I just haven't looked to find it. [​IMG]

    I'd be glad to help out with suggested questions and answers.

    Btw- love the new look around here.
     
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to say I agree, I try to answer questions for newbies but sometimes I see several on the same page asking the same thing. Many times the answer is right there. It is frustrating. I know when you are new to chickens and new to a forum such as this, it sometimes is not obvious.

    The thing that worries me about the situation is that sometimes the answers to some basic questions are being answered by other newbies and I find there is some pretty questionable advise being given.

    I try to answer what thing I am sure are accepted procedures for feeding, hatching and share experience regarding behavior. I don't try to guess breeds or sex. I am never sure myself.

    I actually quit reading the old General Discussion because it got way to cumbersome. It sounds grumpy, I know but I feel that when you get chickens and want to know how to care for them properly, you should invest a bit of time reading up. If people come here and don't bother to read what is being asked and what has been answered or using the Learning Pages, I just get way to worried about the poor chickens. Fortunately, these precious creatures are amazingly resilient and usually manage to survive our best and worst efforts.

    I too would be willing to help compile a list of FAQs and maybe a group of us can review the list and agree on the appropriate answer. Good suggestion 4H!
     
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    That is a good idea, and we have talked about something like that when this came up before. The thing is....no one seems to read the sticked topics that say "read here first".
    The only way I have thought to get people to read something is to post, lock it and have the subject line read "DON'T READ THIS!!!" [​IMG] Everyone runs to see a locked forbidden thread. LOL

    I spend a lot of time moving topics to a forum that will help to answer those questions and give them other answers in the same stage of their chicken journey.

    But remember, we were all new once and I am sure our questions were ones that were already answered and we all had nice patient people who willingly answered us. [​IMG] I know I did! And they were at BYC![​IMG]
     
  5. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found the search to be quite helpful. I guess it's just getting new members to use it. It comes up with quite a few results when I have a question. I always look there first before I post a new question. Sometimes the search is not giving me the answer I feel I was looking for. Mabey another solution is to have web address posted on the home page of BYC that takes you to other sites with helpful information on cures, or feeds, or chicken info in general. BYC is awsome to get one on one expierence....but not always is someone avaible to answer right away, or sometimes you get conflicting answers and not know which to take. Each person has their own opinion on a situations and it's nice to have alot of opinions, but sometimes it gets confusing too. So posting chicken information sites might be another good idea.
     
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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  7. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm guilty. [​IMG]
     
  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

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    First off, I totally get the frustration but appreciate everyone's efforts and ideas to come up with some helpful suggestions.

    Unfortunately this is a problem on almost every popular forum: People will need some answers to a question, search the internet, and start emailing / posting wherever they can to get an answer. If you guys only knew how often I get emails from people who say, "HELP! I have a chicken that is <insert anything here>! What should I do!?!?" My standard reply is, "Check out our awesome chicken forum here: www.backyardchickens.com/forum "

    This is one reason why I don't have an email address all over BYC... too often people are looking for a quick answer and don't have the patience or aptitude to search for the answer.

    It is definitely a balance. There are sometimes benefits to having the same question asked a few times in different ways to different people. It is a way that we open dialog with one another and become a community... with that said, we are all VERY aware that it goes on more than it needs to... especially for the most basic questions.

    We won't be able to eliminate this, but here is my draft game plan (based on ideas I've used and the suggestions above) for mitigating it:

    1) Let's really build out the FAQ section with the true TOP Frequently Asked Questions! https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1198

    2)
    Once we've got lots of good info in the FAQ thread I'll post a link to it in the signup email that every member gets (the one with your password) when they sign up. I'll have it say, "BEFORE YOU POST... READ THROUGH THESE FAQs!!" NOTE: We'll need to be careful, because if there is too much in the FAQ section people will become impatient and just skip it.

    3) Once the FAQ gets really big we may want to break it up into chunks related to each forum on the site. For example, all disease FAQ's could go in a sticky FAQ for that section.

    4) Teach people to search! One of the reasons I chose this forum software is that it has great search features and tools. If someone asks a question that you know has an answer then don't be afraid to simply type, "This is a great question that has been asked lots of times before, I suggest you use the search tool to find many excellent answers."

    5) We need to encourage new members to stick around and return the favor. Like Terrie said, "We were all new once" (well all of us besides ChickChair... she was born with the grand knowledge!) Most of the members do a great job turning around after they have been lifted up to lift up those below them.

    So, what do you think? Any comments / suggestions on the draft plan above? I'm glad a few of you volunteered to help. The first thing we need to do is determine which items really are FAQ and then compile links to threads where these topics are already discussed.

    Start posting your FAQ suggestions and answers here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=1198
     
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Like Terrie said, "We were all new once" (well all of us besides ChickChair... she was born with the grand knowledge!)

    Well, I think CC was hatched with the knowledge. With her track record she is lucky she is not a rooster in a duck egg.[​IMG] (Ask CC)

    Now I am running away before she catches me.[​IMG]
     
  10. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    I for one am all for helping out. I like the draft plan and I think having a FAQ section would be great. And it would help out alot of new members, and older ones who just cant answer one more question about proper brooder temps. [​IMG] I, too, am SO guilty of this. (hangs head shamefully) [​IMG]

    I am still a newbie! I only started chickens back in February! Then I acquired the goats, more chicks, meat chicks, ducks, guineas, turkeys, MORE chicks (cuz they were FANCY), and geese! (Someone please stop me! lol) And now I am on to trying my hands at incubating! O Lord! I am unstopable! lol [​IMG]

    I think if we take a poll on the most commonly asked questions, and have those members with experience (as someone stated above, it also bothers me when a new members question is answered by another new member and their answer is sometimes wrong, or just not complete.) answer them in a matter-of-fact and to-the-point kind of way that requires little reading on the part of the new member, that would do the trick. No one likes to read long drawn out posts (suddenly realizing how long MY post is getting...sorry!) to find the answers they seek, and most especially not the new person who is thinking that dust bathing is a sick or possibly dieing chick. (That was ME just a few months ago! lol) [​IMG] They just dont want to take the time. No one does.

    I would LOVE to be called on to help organize or answer common questions or help out in whatever why you can use me (Ok, that sounded a little wrong...lol) just let me know and I am here to serve my forum! [​IMG] BYC ROCKS! [​IMG]
     

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