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Looking for Suggestions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Eric Johnson, Feb 16, 2008.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'd like to have a better way of preserving some of our prize threads, instead of seeing them slide down the page into oblivion. An FAQ with links is one possibility. I don't want to clutter up the forum with stickies, but some of our more interesting and useful threads, such as nofossil's recent how-to on adapting a Grundfos 3-speed pump to automatic switching, is something I'd like to be readily accessible.

    I know that most people have about as much enthusiasm for FAQs as most consumers have for owners' manuals or assembly instructions for Christmas gifts. So I'm looking for suggestions.

    One idea would be to have a common sticky thread where people could post suggested links, and then have them reviewed by the mods or a committee of members for possible inclusion into a dynamic FAQ. So, in the case of the aforementioned thread on modifying the pump, the FAQ question would be "How do I Modify a Multi-Speed Circulator for Automatic Switching Control." The "answer" would be a link to that thread. Or, "How do I Determine the Heat Loss for My House?" Or, "Should I Pipe My Wood Boiler and Gas Boiler in Parallel or Series." We already have good threads on all that stuff.

    Let me know what you think.

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  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I think that perhaps the simplest solution would work fine - just have a sticky thread with a single posting that's a list of links to interesting threads along with brief descriptions, perhaps broken down into broad categories.

    Other forums have ways for members to vote on the usefulness of a thread. Without that, I guess we'd have to cede some power and discretion to the moderator ;-)

    For my part, I find myself answering questions that have been thoroughly discussed in earlier threads. Search is good, but often it's hard to find the good signal in the noise.
  3. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I have found that in other forums if a particular post or "must read" sticky post is too long, then it gets skipped. So IMO if you do one sticky it has to have well defined descriptions to the other links. I guess I am seconding Nofo, but putting extra emphasis on the categories and their descriptions being done properly.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The problem with Search is that it can be hard to think of a unique word or phrase that won't bring up a whole page full of threads.

    I like the Directory idea vs. an FAQ, though it requires a bit more knowledge to use than an FAQ, but that's probably OK in this case. We could work on a rough framework.

    As far as determining which threads get included:

    a.) One idea would be to post potential candidates on the board with a yes or no voting option, and then include only those that reach a set number of yes votes. Plus, then you can see if anyone opposes including it, which would be useful information, even if you don't know why.

    b.) Or, we could have a committee periodically review the candidates and decide.

    c.) Or, if the moderator appears to be a trustworthy fellow, let him make the call.
  5. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I vote that we entrust the moderator, as long as we have one with good writing / organizing skills. Anything else would be cumbersome.

    All in favor say 'aye'....
  6. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    I'm sure the moderator can select a number of threads which would be of interest. If someone feels that a thread of interest was left out, it's not exactly difficult to PM the moderator and ask that the thread be added.

    Joe
  7. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    He does edit a magazine for a living so when it comes to wood I'd say he's got the chops.
  8. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I wood suggest we stick with the moderator we have. He seems to stack up well. If he splits, we'll have to round up someone else.
  9. hkobus

    hkobus Member

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    Second that, great job.

    For sure would be great even when we want to go back to revisit a topic. I would like to see it based on topic, like OWB, gasifiers, storage, controls etc. Hope this won't be a full time job than...

    Henk.
  10. mtfallsmikey

    mtfallsmikey New Member

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    Third that as well...lotsa people come here seeking basic knowledge, a directory with various topics would be a great asset.
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would say a "keep it simple" approach might be the best. Have a sticky for "Best of" threads, with a link and one or two line description of what made it great. I think Eric can make the call of what threads get in and add them as needed, possibly with "nominations" from the rest of us.

    It should also be possible to categorize the threads based on the descriptions.

    I would also include "off-list" links to pages of interest, such as NoFo's entire site, a section of manufacturer links and possibly good hardware sources (Who are those great bargain E-bay vendors? as an example)

    A little bit borderline might also be to have a section where those regular posters here that are "in the biz" like Joe, Heaterman, etc. could get a brief listing with their locations / service areas, and the type of stuff they did as a benefit for those that might want some professsional "meatspace" consulting help... I would want to have such a listing be an "earned" thing however, as it could be problematic to have it be automatic and get folks joining just to be on the list...

    Gooserider
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