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Ryan Dunne
(donryanocero)

Locale: Humboldt
Searching? on 02/02/2009 19:22:56 MST Print View

for some reason i have a horrible time searching the forums.

Boolean strings don't work, and I seem to get every single post that has my word in it rather than having any relevency.

Just wondering if I'm missing something or if not, will it ever be fixed?

I'm sure there is a wealth of knowledge in these forums, but I can't seem to find much.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Searching? on 02/02/2009 19:32:39 MST Print View

Ryan, the best way to search IMO is to use a site-specific google search.

Try putting "site:backpackinglight.com" into your searches. This restricts google to searching on just this site, and in general it returns better matches than the site's own search engine (this is the case for almost all websites).

For example, "double rainbow site:backpackinglight.com". Using this method I can always find lots of old forum posts quickly and easily.

Edited by ashleyb on 02/02/2009 19:33:53 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Searching? on 02/02/2009 19:38:04 MST Print View

ps. To search only the forums (not the rest of the site) you can use: "site:www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums"

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Searching? on 02/02/2009 19:57:07 MST Print View

Ryan,
Just curious, are you using Advanced search and 'all words'?

And Ashley's suggestion is a good one. It works.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
forum info retrieval service on 02/02/2009 21:34:02 MST Print View

Along with streamlining the format of the forums for user-friendliness, I wonder whether BPL would ever consider offering an information retrieval service. For a per-use fee, a live person takes your search criteria and goes to town with it, finding everything on the forums that's potentially relevant to your specific query and then digesting it into something truly useful, to be sent to the specific user via private message.

BPL's current position: the forums are not a specific source of revenue.
Forum users' position: the forums contain a wealth of information, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to mine.

Just a thought.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: forum info retrieval service on 02/02/2009 21:43:07 MST Print View

BPL should probably just do a customized search engine (CSE) powered by google.

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: forum info retrieval service on 02/02/2009 22:01:47 MST Print View

As an early user of Amazon's Kindle reading device, I thought their NowNow service was quite a wonder. You asked NowNow a question in plain English, and received up to 3 responses from live people, usually within 10 minutes. Unfortunately NowNow never made it past beta, but not because it wasn't extremely useful, rather Amazon's costs for the service were bankrolled into the unit cost of the device. Other comparable services charge a use fee. The strength of such a service lies in the weakness of using search engines: culling all that's irrelevant and making quick sense of what's useful.

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Searching? on 02/04/2009 15:53:54 MST Print View

Hi Ryan,

I'm curious what strings you tried, and in what way were the results not relevant? You can also use an exclusion pattern (ex. "tent -bivy" will find results with tent, but not bivy).

The search engine results are based off of many factors in terms of relevancy, including but not limited to number of times the term is on the page, where is on the page, density of words on the page, page depth (length of url).

Ryan Dunne
(donryanocero)

Locale: Humboldt
searching on 02/05/2009 19:40:57 MST Print View

Hum. Well it looks like it has been updated in the past few months. I remember it used to be horribly painful to find anything. If i typed JMT "trip report" I would get everything that had JMT OR "trip report" in it. It is no longer like this.

That's what i get for opening my mouth before trying it again. hehe.

I actually found all kinds of stuff pretty fast-like. woo!

thanks for the tip with google. works much better...

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
user search on 03/06/2009 14:15:37 MST Print View

Can we institute the functionality to be able to search for individual users on the forums? Sometimes I remember who posted a response/thread that I was interested in, but don't have all the keywords remembered.

It's also good to see what some of the more power-users on the boards are up to (like on Gear Swap or MYO Gear).

Ben Klocek
(benklocek) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: user search on 03/08/2009 16:00:34 MDT Print View

Joe,

Interesting idea, I'll keep it in my notes for now. You can always go to the user's profile page, and look through their posts.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Re: user search on 03/08/2009 16:06:31 MDT Print View

But finding the user first is the objective of the serach.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: user search on 03/08/2009 16:17:54 MDT Print View

Search for the name -

Pick it out of the result - you show up in #1, #2, #3, ...

Click on any of them -

Then click on Joe Geib's Name - you'll see your profile, and what you have posted.

search2

Edited by greg23 on 03/08/2009 16:29:16 MDT.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Re: user search on 03/08/2009 17:23:36 MDT Print View

Ah, I now know why it never worked for me. I used to do the name search in the "search forums" engine, not on the "general BPL search" engine. Thanks for the clarification.

Still, my initial comment stands. You cannot search for members in the "Search Forums" engine. (Maybe that's why it's called "search forums" and not "search members".)

Edited by joegeib on 03/08/2009 17:25:28 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Searching a specific forum? on 05/03/2009 10:45:44 MDT Print View

Any tips on how to restrict a search a specific forum?

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Searching a specific forum? on 05/03/2009 11:11:37 MDT Print View

You can always eliminate words in the search criteria by using the "-" (minus) before the word. This works well in ebay as well.

Try doing a traditional google search for things. use "site:backpackinglight.com" followed by the serach keywords or eliminated words.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Searching a specific forum? on 05/03/2009 11:27:06 MDT Print View

Use Advanced Search
Place the Forum Name in quotes e.g. "Make Your Own Gear"
Select the All Words button

or

At the right under Forums
>Search Forums

Edited by greg23 on 05/03/2009 11:29:55 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
searching specific forum... on 05/03/2009 11:46:01 MDT Print View

Thanks! Exactly what I wanted, and right in front of me the whole time.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
forgot all these great ideas...aagh! on 05/03/2009 18:15:41 MDT Print View

Now that these helpful (and especially effective) tips are here, bookmark the page so that you can come directly here for a refresher if you ever forget anything!

or not...just a thought!

Ryan Harvey
(kulboy) - F

Locale: Meridian, ID
Search in thread titles only on 07/06/2009 22:08:00 MDT Print View

If there was a search in thread titles only feature for the forums it would make this site perfect.