Help Feature Forums and "Exotic" topics

Discussion in 'Message Board Help & Notices' started by Tom McIntyre, Apr 22, 2019.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    We frequently have request for a new Forum or even Forum category where the discussion revolves around "how many people are interested."

    Forums have quite a bit of overhead and take up a lot of space on the screen. Those who are not interested in the forum content may begrudge the space and the need to visually scan past it.

    There is a feature of this forum software called "tags" that is similar to hashtags in social media contexts where anyone can make one up anytime they like. If others start to use it, it is described as "trending" which seems to be the major driving force behind ideas on social media.

    upload_2019-4-22_19-11-2.png When you read a thread here on the Message Board there is a place just below the title of the thread where it may be "tagged" by anyone who wants to do so. In a recent discussion on having a Forum for Barometers, the discussion spanned off into clockwork toys and scientific instruments in general. I decided to use it as an example of what tags can do.

    Tags are general classifiers and the software treats them independently from the structures on the Message Board. If 7 threads in 4 different forums share the same tag, clicking on it in any of those threads will show the list of threads with that tag. This works essentially instantly since there is no need to search the database full text.

    Tags are "owned" by the person who put them on the particular thread. They do not own the tag wherever it appears, only where they have used it. The owner always has the ability to edit their own tags but not those left by others. Moderators and Admins do have the ability to remove tags used mischievously as part of the normal moderation activity.

    If you have an idea for a subject area or topic that you think would be of general interest like barometers, you may try tagging a thread with it. The software does dynamic searching as you enter your tag and may find that it has already been used elsewhere. Generally you should use whatever form of the term is already a tag to include more content.

    If you want to "prime the pump" for your tag, you might do a search for a phrase of even a word that represents the tag. If you then scan the search results you may have more threads that are appropriate for use of the tag. You can, of course, search for other related words or expressions that might appear in a thread instead of your tag even though they are on the same idea.

    I really would like to encourage people to think about this. If you come up with a great tag, you might even create a thread about it and why you created it just to make sure anyone who might be interested would be aware.
     
  2. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    #2 Jerry Treiman, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    Excellent idea, Tom. I have long felt that a forum for ladies' watches was needed, but they cross existing boundaries between wristwatch, American and Foreign watch categories. I am creating the following tags to address this need: "pendant watches" (includes lapel watches), "ladies' wristwatches" and "purse watch".

    [I found that there was one thread I wanted to tag, but it has been locked and there is no option for tags. Can this restriction be relaxed so that tags can be added even if no further posts are allowed?]
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #3 Tom McIntyre, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    The admins and moderators can tag it. You can use the reporting function for help requests as well as problem reporting. Just report the thread and mention the tag(s) it needs and one of us will edit it.

    One can use the advanced search facility to generate tag references and the search results (which are the same as you get when clicking on a tag can be used as a reference. small wonder | NAWCC Message Board . You might even get adventurous and just make one up that you think must be there like ladies | NAWCC Message Board
     
  4. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    That last one came out pretty weird, with tags for misspelled words in the title. Are all of those tags now in the board memory to be suggested when typing a new tag? The misspelled tags can then be accidentally repeated for other threads when they are suggested before the new tag is completely typed.
     
  5. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    It is possible to edit tags to correct spellings and to add others, if desired.
     
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    #6 Tom McIntyre, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    A little more background on the feature may help. On vBulletin, I foolishly tried an experiment of "discovering" tags by searching the title of threads and assigning anything that the software (not really intelligent) thought was a tag.

    As Steve pointed out, in the administrative back end, all the tags are listed and the tool has the ability to merge and delete them or create new tags that have not yet been generated in the front end. If you search for a tag and find errors, they may be edited to remove the ones in error on a specific thread by an admin or moderator.

    Since none of those threads that showed up with a search for "ladies" was especially good, I will delete that tag in the back end and see what the result is for the link in my prior post. (that reference now returns empty as expected.)

    The tag that Jerry created ladies' wristwatches | NAWCC Message Board is still there.
     

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