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Possibilities for Newbies.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Paul Warburton, Jun 22, 2004.


  1. I have a point to make about TBDB....I thought i'd check with everybody on this and if i'm not alone on it, i'll get it to Paul.
    There are so many new posters i'm wondering if we can get the amount of posts (like it was before) up on each posters page or some way to know if they're new. Not only to welcome them, but mainly to get a handle on new people. If this doesn't bother anyone else.....then forget it. We've all preached to newbies about possibly filling in their profiles, but guess that's a lost cause.
    This would also give a quicker shot for us to yell: Use the search feature and click on the Newbie Links!!!
     
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I've been working on Computer Usability for the past six years and it was my major topic for my Masters, so lemme bite. :)

    I think there's also a problem with organizing the links in the newbie section as well. We seem to have simply aggregated all of the threads into certain topics, but nowhere do we really sift through all the information and put it in a spot where it's easier to access them. For instance, many threads contain tidbits of information, but at the same time readers have to sift through all the tangential shifts of topic.

    I've seen other sites where they've built FAQ sections and copied 'n pasted certain Q/A parts and provide readers with different viewpoints. For instance, it would be something like...

    Q: What size bass should I get?

    A #1: Paul Warburton says....
    A #2: Ed Fuqua says....
    A #3: ...

    etc.

    What's kinda tough about the newbie links as they are today is that it is still difficult to find the exact answer you need. Many times, even users that are familiar with TBDB still have problems finding answers to questions that already exist as a topic somewhere. I had this last week about trying to match Amp's and Cab's only to find that I looked under the wrong topic altogehter. I remember my first beef with TBDB was that the Newbie links weren't placed in a prominent place. You didn't know you could go there!

    If typical information that newbies need was readily available/readable, then I think it would seriously cut down on the amount of redundant questions one would get. But to organize all this info into pages instead of a collection of threads takes work. And we're too busy practicing, right?

    Anyways, maybe there should be an entire top level topic category dedicated to newbie links that stays locked... maybe then it'll be more visible.
     
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Huy, your points are well taken. It would be fairly straightfoward for us to ask Paul to set up a "Newbie Links" topic which we could use to gather the material in place.

    But as for yet-greater detail in the existing Newbie Link headings, I can't really see it practically. It took Chris dozens of hours to make the NL we've got, and I put a little time in, too. Chris and I both have jobs and families -- oh yeah, we like to play the bass sometimes, too! Our only compensation is seeing people benefit from the information here. (And, of course, the substantial prestige which accrues to moderators at TB/DB.)

    If you've got concrete ideas about how to accomplish the very worthwhile goal you've set, within those parameters, I'm happy to consider it and I have no doubt Chris is, too.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah Sam, I tried to acknowledge that it is a MOUNTAIN of work or extract actual information from the threads. I don't think it would be fair for you moderators to do it either, since it is ongoing work (sorta :p) to moderate all the pages and make sure everything is hunkydory.

    Maybe if we divided an conquered: divide up each thread to several volunteers. It wouldn't take that long to do some more important pages. I wouldn't mind do a couple of these myself.

    But yeah, the big thing with websites is managing content. It's what makes or breaks a site and it's quite a beast to tame.

    I tell you what... lemme try and come up with a URB Buyer's guide based on what has already been posted. It'll take a bit of time but I think it'll be worthwhile, since NOOBs are always looking for 'what should I buy?' If anyone has particular threads other than what's already on the Newbie Links in the Basses section that should be included... Lemme know. I will then send my summary to you or Chris for posting. Howzzat?

    Would be a good experiment for me too - since this is what I do for a living, sorta. :)
     
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Agreed. However, I think we've gotten to a point where info for a FAQ on buying a DB has become rather static. I think FAQs are appropriate in this situation, but maybe not for something say... Amps & Pickups since that stuff seems to be changing often.

    EDIT: I'd like to also add that the relational model that TB has is very interesting as well. I think it's kinda cool to be able to relate to another thread going on. It has it cons but I think for the gains we get from being able to post links to other threads, it's a bonus. I guess what I'm sorta suggesting is a little bit of both, linear info (like FAQ's and basic readme's) along with the 'relational' discussions. I see nothing wrong with keeping it going like we've been doing.

    I'll disagree on the mailing list thing. What is also unfortunate is that those who came up with these initial concepts (that you mention) have also reinforced WEB-ONLY habits and they're here to stay. They range from changing reading patterns (people scan alot more now than read line by line) and looking for FAQ's for basic information.

    Having lived on the internet once a day for most of my life now (scary thought), each medium if different and I am willing to say that the UI for TBDB may have lead to this boom in discussion exchanges. Something that a mailing list won't. I was on Yahoo's JustJazz for a while and I got tired of getting mail when I didn't want it. The big differences also are that TBDB gives you almost IMMEDIATE feedback. But more importantly, the ability to revisit an old topic and bring it back to life is INCREDIBLE. Opinions become alot more lasting and time becomes kinda transparent. It's weird!

    However on a mailing list, a thread comes that back up comes back again anew. IMHO, discussion sites like TBDB blow other mailing lists away.
     
  6. I think that with the amount of traffic at TB, a mailing list would be much less convenient than a web-based forum. It would be more like a morning paper, which is a heck of a lot of information to sift through, than a place that sorts discussions into "rooms" which are all indexed, can be reached quickly, and allow you to pick and choose which ones you want to "enter".
     
  7. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Opinions become, shall we say, embarassingly long-lasting. Ralph Spoilsport voice on: "Why, it's tantamount to making people responsible for their own words."

    It is funny to see my musical thinking change over a period of several years. Hanging around here has affected my playing. I use amps a lot less than I used to. I am more aware of aspects of my playing which are broad-brush and less conscious and intentional.
     
  8. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, it was interesting trying to figure out what gear Chizzle Fitzgizzle was using over a span of 3 years. After thorough Amp & Pickup thread reading, I kinda had a feel of how he was migrating over to all the EA gear now. But it was kinda confusing at first ... AI... EA.. cabs... doubling.. WHAT?!? Which one?!? :confused: Reading newer threads helped, but only if you read everything with the right order in mind.

    Relational databases gets weird in a search for TBDB since the dates when they're first posted are less relevant when the results come in. You have a hard time trying to pinpoint someone's opinion if it's changed in the near recent and isn't reflected in your search results. It's a strange type of complexity.

    And here's another bit to chew on... normally a well maintained DB gets normalized after a while to try to simply data structures and info. But how do you normalize a discussion database?!? Which then makes me think that coming up with a faq for common info becomes more important. That's normalization in a way though not really. Or is it? :confused: :D
     
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    FUSHNIZZLE just scored a PUB, so all has changed. Film at 11:00.
     
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Aw geez... not again! :rollno: