Forum Searching: An Illustrated Guide
As a new member, you have the unique opportunity to start your web wheeling career off right - by using the SEARCH feature to find answers to your questions. You see, as much as you may like to think that your issue, situation, or need is unique unto the world of Jeeps, I'm here to tell you it's not. The issue and your question has probably already been covered about 50-100 times, and the answers, opinions, and knowledge you seek has been cleverly stored, merged, and cataloged for YOUR convenience.
How do I access this information and feast from the trough of knowledge? It's simple.. use the Search features. And here's a very basic lesson on how:
Where Have We Hidden the Search Feature?
You must resist the temptation to press the Start a New Thread button for every squeak and rattle and instead use the Search Button to unlock the mysteries within your Jeep and you!
It is conveniently located to the right of your Forum page. I have put a big red box around it for easier identification. See Image Below:
How Does It Work?
By simply "clicking" on the Search This Forum
button, you unlock a text box. See Image Below:
There are nearly unlimited things you can type in that magical little box; however, it's probably best if you use either an "Issue" or an "Item" for your searches. Typing a single word, or an item name will usually net the best results. Too many words confuses the hell out of the programming and may result in a less than useful search results. Lets take a closer look at how to Search these two ways:
In the example below, We use the issue of Overheating as our keyword search. A Keyword is just that; The Key Word in the issue you are having. If you were experiencing a chirping sound coming from your front end, simply type "Chirping sound" and get results.
"Issue Search" Keyword: Overheating
"Issue Search" Keyword: Overheating - RESULTS
Miracle of All Miracles, someone has actually already had an issue with Overheating and started a thread on that subject. Imagine all that space you save on the internet by not posting Overheating again. Read up on the threads, see if your issue is similar (or exactly the same) and then go fix your issues! Take pictures, make notes while you work, and then do something useful like write up a "Thread on How to Install a Water pump on a 2.5l"!
But wait! There's MORE!!
That search took 0.13 Seconds.. Less than a second. (go ahead, look at the image above) Time is Money and at this rate, you can take all that money you saved and buy new Jeep parts. Win-Win!
In the example below, We use the ITEM of a Ford 8.8 Install
as our keyword Item search. A Keyword is just that; The Key Word in the ITEM you are interested in learning more about. If you were interested in Lift Shackles, simply type "Lift Shackles" and get results.
"ITEM Search" Keyword: Ford 8.8
"ITEM Search" Keyword: Ford 8.8 Install - RESULTS
Once again, someone has actually already started a thread on that subject.
TIME IS MONEY: That search took 0.17 Seconds.. Become a Paid Supporter with all the money we are saving you!
Want More? GO ADVANCED!!
The Advanced Search feature has been there the whole time. While the basic searches we did above are nice, sometimes you gotta Go Advanced to get the results you need. Lets explore Advanced Searches....
Where is the Advanced Search Button?
As you can see in the image below, The Advanced Search feature has been hiding in plain sight this whole time.
Clicking on the Advanced Search hypertext brings you to the Advanced Search page seen below.
I have divided the page up into 3 sections for this tutorial
This is JeepForum so lets start with the last section first, in the great tradition of the YJ.
Section 3: Search Options
This section isn't really about options, its about MODIFIERS to your search. That's right, you can add modifiers to your search to narrow down the results. These modifiers are:
- Number of Replies (because sometimes longer threads have more info)
- Date (you want current information, or you know the thread was recent)
- Last Posting Date (recent activity is good M'kay)
- Show as Threads or Posts (usually want the whole enchilada, but posts for quotes or schematics maybe)
- By Tags (ok.. um.. ya)
- By Forum (Yes. very important.)
While section 3 is helpful, you must remember it is usually only helpful if you are using a Keyword as well. For Example: searching for any post from April 2012 until now would net results, but there would be no unifying theme. Searching for Keyword: Shocks for every post from April 2012 until now will net only results from that time frame regarding or including Shocks. I'm sure searching by Tags works as well, Just never had to actually search by tags, so, whatever.
Section 1: Keyword Search
Advanced Search Page Keyword Bix acts just like the Search This Forum keyword box in the Basic searches we covered above.
The ONLY difference, is that with Advanced Search, you can use Section 3 to add modifiers to your Keyword searches. Woot! Yay..
OK now on to the GOOD STUFF!!
Section 2: User Name Search
As with anything, the technically superior, highly skilled, knowledgeable, and ultra helpful will rise to the top of any field. JeepForum YJ Technical Forums are no different. You are new, but I bet you that within a month or so, you will get to know who the real-deal knowledge-based helpful Users are and who is helpful, but not exactly a pro. (BTW, I'm in the latter section)
Once you find those people, memorize their names, and when you have an issue... BOOM! You Section 2 User Name Advanced Search
Examples you say...
I am a big fan of Que89YJ on these YJ tech forums. He knows his stuff and is very helpful. So, when I have an issue, I sometimes Advance Search User Name QUE. (see below)
Please Note: You don't need their full User Name to find them!! The Advanced Search User Name Field will Auto-Fill names for you to choose from. I think the Auto Fill choices are based upon the %match of what you typed, but I like to pretend it lists the most popular guy first.
So, Now we have Que89YJ selected as Our User Name Advanced Search, let's see the results:
As the arrows indicate, the results are showing the POSTS that Que POSTED IN. The Threads were started by other Users, but Que has chimed in somewhere in that thread. Again, there is no Keyword focus for these results because we didn't put one in our Advanced Search.
If we Advance Search Keyword: Overheating
User Name: QUE89YJ
we get this list below:
These are threads that Que has posted in and that are dealing with or at least have the Keyword Overheating
ADVANCED SEARCH BY USER NAME: THREADS
Some of you may have noticed that you can search by Threads or Posts in just about every search. In my humble opinion, Threads is the way to go - you just get more information.
A point I NEED to make here is that many of these super helpful and uber-knowledgeable people on here actually take time to create Super-Useful and Uber-Helpful Threads. That's right, they do that for you.
How do I find such Pearls of Wisdom and Knowledge? Advanced Search> User Name>THREADS
. (see below)
This will give you every Thread Que has Started. A lot of great Information in there. Take note of the second Thread "How to Check Fault Codes" - more people have been sent to read that post than will ever read this. And NOW
, you know how to find it on your own!
This works for any User Name. Another great help to me has been Joe Dillard. Here's his Thread Search Results:
Please Note: QUE's Threads came back in exactly .58 seconds and Joe's in .69 seconds. (Joe's a'lil slow at times) That much experience, help, and expertise at your fingertips in just over a second. Use the Search Feature, it's a great time saver and resource.
One LAST thing:
When you do post up a weird issue that you searched and couldn't find, or you comment on another thread, use the My Replies and My Threads features at the top edge of your forums screen. (see below)
It makes keeping up with Threads you start and reading other peoples stuff you comment on or help out a lot easier than trying to sift through the pages. That, and we all hate an unsolved mystery... update your issue threads etc. please.