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Old 03-07-2007   #1 (permalink)
añejo
 
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Location: Playa del Carmen
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Search Function 101

You hear it often
You are sick of hearing it (especially from me )
But, trust me
...the search function works - mostly

First...the legal mumbo jumbo that we all read when we signed up for this puppy.

Quote:
Terms of Use

If you have a common question like:
  • Should I use pesos or dollars?
  • Are my old pesos worth anything?
  • Can you help with car rental info?
  • Best options on airport ground transportation?
  • Any advice on Hotel so and so?
  • What's the weather like?
  • Can I get internet access in Playa?
  • Advice on snorkel equipment...?
  • Do I need a passport?
  • Can I drink the water?

try a search first. If you don't find a related thread that is helpful, by all means start a new post! If the related thread is a bit old, you might also want to start a new post if you have follow-up questions. The link to make a search is on the top right. Make sure and read the options for the search function. You can search for multiple words and specific phrases.

There are good ways and bad ways to perform a search.
Most of us have probably used the bad way and have become frustrated with the whole process and many have become equally frustrated with those of us who suggest using the search function.

Well, we do tell people to search because it can be a great tool if used properly. It doesn’t always get the results we want but it’s worth trying - if tried correctly.

Okay, for starters...
I want to know about pesos. Should I use pesos or US dollars in Playa? Or can I use my old pesos? We’ll just narrow the question down to “pesos” and go from there.

First. Know where to begin:




Now if we click the Search “button” and type in “pesos”...





...the frustration can begin. This will give us hundreds of hits (it tops out at 500) and the hits appear to be of little use to us:




So...we won’t do it that way.

Click on Advanced Search:



...and we are on the Advanced Search screen:



...go to to the upper left and under Key Word(s), type in “pesos”:




...below this will be a drop-down menu - choose Search Titles Only:



From this point you are good to go, but there is one last step that is open to discussion.
In the lower left is the option to choose Show Results as Posts or Threads
.







Try both. This is the kind of result you can expect:




In this case, choosing Threads returned 72 hits while choosing Posts returned 97 hits. Both are much better than the 500+ from the general search.


Now, a few words about thread subjects which is nothing more than the title of the first post of a thread. This title is a key to creating a good search database. If the subject of your thread is “Questions” or “Help Me”, and your questions relate to pesos...well...this thread or post will not be returned in future searches (about pesos) - and there might just be great answers in that thread. So...be descriptive when naming your threads.
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Old 03-07-2007   #2 (permalink)
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thanks BTW I am guilting of not using the search function. Now I can do it with confidence
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Old 03-07-2007   #3 (permalink)
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We're coming to Playa tomorrow, and you had mentioned it being "cool" in the morning - should I pack a pair of jeans just in case? Thanks in advance...
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Old 03-07-2007   #4 (permalink)
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Great job Rick ......now can you help these people
Quote:
looks like they are calling for rain everyday of my vacation......
because I checked the forecast and think may be I should reschedule my trip
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Old 03-07-2007   #5 (permalink)
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Geesh Rick, things must be a little slow in Playa today, huh??

Here's the thing, I think MOST people know how to use the search function on a message board. They just CHOOSE not to use it.
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Old 03-07-2007   #6 (permalink)
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And don't forget to tell them to go to the Read More tab right under "playa.info" at the top of the page!

(fwiw, I was on here for a very long time before I ever realized there was an "advanced search" option! )
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Old 03-07-2007   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercy
Here's the thing, I think MOST people know how to use the search function on a message board. They just CHOOSE not to use it.
Actually, I think a LOT of people don't know how to properly use the search function, which is why they mention having to scroll endlessly through page after page of posts. This little tutorial is a great asset, except now we'll have to be telling people to use the search function to search for the search function 101 thread.
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Old 03-07-2007   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercy
Geesh Rick, things must be a little slow in Playa today, huh??

Here's the thing, I think MOST people know how to use the search function on a message board. They just CHOOSE not to use it.
yeah..slow...just the way i like it

...and those people will continue to hear from me or from the legions of search believers

Now..you commit to a date and hush
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Old 03-07-2007   #9 (permalink)
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Babs, this rocks. I will:
1. sticky this (and close this... just deleted 21 banter posts on this thread)
2. move it to the FAQ forum (to be created)
3. request that you make more of these
__________________
Get your own signature countdown image!

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Old 03-07-2007   #10 (permalink)
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I know this thread is closed, but since I'm an administrator I can post anyway. I just wanted to tell you, Rick, that your tutorial got me a little teary-eyed. Awesome.
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