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31. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 9y

I do get your annoyance, bentivogli, but what bothers me more is when I'm asked for travel help about Iceland and it's obvious that the people haven't done any reserch about what they would like to do.. I have received countless messages that say: "Hi, my name is Xxx and I will be in Iceland for a week. What should I do?"
I'm happy to answer the same question over and over again so long as there is some sense in the question. Not just, as someone said, doing all the legwork for someone.

32. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

On a related note, I visit an advertising forum sometimes that's chock-full of "hey newbie - do it yourself!". The tone is bitter and biting.

I've experienced this on quite a few forums too, and it's really a turn off for new posters. What Sander mentioned is a good point, when you've been on a forum for a while, you will have seen a lot of the same questions come by and although you might have answered them in the beginning, you might slow down on that later on (or let it depend on your workload/mood like I do). I think this is why the off topic forum is so active; it gives regulars a spot to still interact but without the repetitiveness. As Sander mentioned though, it is somewhat of a repetitive cycle and new members will join that will become more active and some active members will start posting less etc. etc.

As someone else mentioned, even this question has been posted before :) It really doesn't matter how good the search function is (and believe me, after a major recent reworking, it's pretty darn good considering the million + records it has to go through), people will not always want to use it. Those that do, might not post at all, so we wouldn't even be aware they had a question which has been answered here

33. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

Quoting Hien

You won't believe how many of the 4,000 and 9,000 were posted in the off-topic.

Yeah that doesn't count. I can get 10.000 posts by only doing word games....

That is why Off-topic forum posts do not carry any weight in your ranking. :)

34. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 9y

Quoting tway

On a related note, I visit an advertising forum sometimes that's chock-full of "hey newbie - do it yourself!". The tone is bitter and biting. TP is TP because everyone goes out of their way to help. Can't beat that! ;)

I agree with Tway here. I gave up trying to use Thorntree because of this. I was genuinely concerned about being a woman travelling alone in India, and all I got, was rather snooty rolled eyes and advice to "look under the frequently asked questions" from people who gave the impression that they had no time for newbies, and were a bit snobbish about people who were following the usual backpacker routes rather than going to really remote weird places. The responses and unhelpful attitudes nearly put me off going to India at all, but thankfully, people on TP are much more friendly.

When you have a genuine query about something, often it feels as though your question, and your situation is a bit different from everyone elses, so the reason you ask questions on a forum rather than looking at earlier posts or a FAQ site, is that you want a tailor-made, specific answer, first hand. And of course, a bit of two-way communication than others.

When people are new to the travelling thing, and maybe doing the usual stuff like a working holiday in Australia with the boyfriend, their questions are just as valid as that of the "expert" who's cycling across the world or going to live with some unheard of tribe in Papua New Guinea.

35. Posted by mostrim (Inactive 80 posts) 9y

As someone who has their own forum I would love to have even a small percentage of the activity that this one has. Re-answering old topics can be a pain but like the uniqueness of inviduals questions can often be just a shade different, to the questioner if not the one who answers. I too would hate to see this degenerate into the 'read the FAQ' type of forum that I have seen. Indeed I am not sure this could become such a site. There will always be variations in travel, experiences, hazards, arrangements etc. I would also be 100% sure that if ten people(or more) visited the exact same place, on the exact same day and time they would have variations in their experience.
The other problem, from a relative newbies point of view is that joining up a well established forum can seem like joining a club where the 'old hands' are a kind of clique and their in jokes and comments are meant to keep the riff-raff away. I have had that experience too. Not with TP though, at least not so far. If re-answering old queries is the price to pay for having new members join and bring their viewpoint to the proceedings then I'd be willing to pay it, who knows the next member to join may be a travel helper for your(or my) next trip!

36. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting mostrim

As someone who has their own forum I would love to have even a small percentage of the activity that this one has. Re-answering old topics can be a pain but like the uniqueness of inviduals questions can often be just a shade different, to the questioner if not the one who answers. I too would hate to see this degenerate into the 'read the FAQ' type of forum that I have seen. Indeed I am not sure this could become such a site. There will always be variations in travel, experiences, hazards, arrangements etc. I would also be 100% sure that if ten people(or more) visited the exact same place, on the exact same day and time they would have variations in their experience.
The other problem, from a relative newbies point of view is that joining up a well established forum can seem like joining a club where the 'old hands' are a kind of clique and their in jokes and comments are meant to keep the riff-raff away. I have had that experience too. Not with TP though, at least not so far. If re-answering old queries is the price to pay for having new members join and bring their viewpoint to the proceedings then I'd be willing to pay it, who knows the next member to join may be a travel helper for your(or my) next trip!

Thank you mostrim, and very well put. Now why didn't I manage to write it that nicely!? :) By the way, you should have seen this forums activity back in 2003 when it launched. I think it was just Peter and me for a long time

ps. and welcome to TP!

37. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

In my mind, it's perfectly fine to ask a question that has been asked previously; it doesn't matter if it's a travellers forum, an IT forum, an accounting forum, or whatever.

More recent answers give more recent experiences and different perspectives. Plus, destinations and attractions constantly change and evolve, so what was relevant at one point in time might not be so relevant today.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 25, 2007, at 1:16 AM by james ]

38. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello Mostrim

I think u are right.
I love hearing peoples personal opinions, and would be greatly disappointed, if chat became too restricted.

What is the subject, of your website? U are probably not allowed to post the link here, but I think u can tell us, what it is about.

And, I think James is spot on too. Things change. One reason we are here at TP, is to keep up to date on everything. It helps us get the most out of travelling.

Mel

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 25, 2007, at 1:26 AM by Mel. ]

39. Posted by mostrim (Inactive 80 posts) 9y

Mel my forum is about my hometown, a search for my username under Google lists many links to my sites

40. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Mostrim

Just looked in your profile.
Longford is your hometown?
I come from near there. But I have not lived there for almost 2 decades. Westmeath is where I spent most of my childhood and teenage years.

Mel