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Questions from other sites [ON HOLD - NEED TO HIRE CODER]

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
Has anyone actually done the math on this activity?

Removing all non-math forums there are 4171 math post.

If we say MHB Lounge doesn't count in total post (since it doesn't count per user), we have 4832 math post.

There are 408 other site posts.

That is 9.78% and 8.44% respectively of all math related post. How many of these post brought in new members?

I ask becuase we have 261 unanswered post but some of these aren't math related so I conservatively removed 60 making it 201 unanswered math post.

I haven't asked a question in a while so it doesn't affect me but it affects other members. We have brought in double the amount of post that aren't answered. We know some people may come look at the answer and never join, others may join and never ask a question after that, some will be occasionally active, and others will be active members. So let's say we get 50 occassionally and active members from this activity (this is being generous I think) but disenfranchising the people we ignore. Is that mentality we want to show here. I understand some questions are ridicuously hard and others people aren't interested in but that is no excuse to pass up members who may have put a lot of in time here (and came from MHF) for some simple question that may amount to nothing. What if these new members figure out this trait and there questions aren't answered?

Wouldn't this be called bait and switch?

For those not familiar with this term:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait-and-switch
 
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MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
Re: Questions from other sites

Speaking for myself only, I can honestly say that my bringing questions here from other sites does not cause me to neglect other topics for which I can offer help. I suspect with a great deal of certainty that this is true for others who bring questions here from other sites. I don't think one affects the other.

I also don't think we are guilty of bait and switch. Any person who posts a question, regardless of how they found us, has a small chance that their question may go unanswered. But this is by no means because we as a group are making an effort to answer questions from other sites while choosing to ignore posts made here.

I try to follow our forum rule #13:

Please help only with questions that you are quite certain you know how to do. Before posting help, please ask yourself: Is what I posted clear and reasonably easy to understand? Does it help the poster? Is it useful?

If a question falls outside of what I know how to do reasonably well, I refrain from posting so that someone who can offer solid and insightful help will have the chance to do so. If we post half-baked suggestions, this does more harm in my opinion than simply not answering.

I also feel that our questions from other sites along with the challenge questions contributes to our knowledge base here. We are building a good database of worked problems that can show up in search engines, and are a potential source of new members.

I wouldn't bring questions here from Yahoo if I didn't think it is a good way to draw traffic here. We have gotten new members doing this, so I think it is paying off. How many new members I don't know, but every little bit of exposure MHB gets elsewhere is a good thing.
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
Re: Questions from other sites

I don't think I will ever be comfortable with outside questions until we shore up the ones here.

Here are some examples I can think of:

Say you are building a house. You are't done building but you then go help your neighbors (10 of them) build their houses. This makes no sense since we never completed ours.

Or say your wife or significant other/partner ask to help with the yard but you decide to help the entire community landscape and only get 70% of your yard done. This partner of yours would kill you for that.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,043
Re: Questions from other sites

Can you give us an example of a thread or question you think has been ignored due to members focusing on questions from other sites?
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
Re: Questions from other sites

Can you give us an example of a thread or question you think has been ignored due to members focusing on questions from other sites?
Any math question that has gone un-answered.

Here is something they do on SE. Well (1) I have never heard of them importing question but that is beside the point. (2) Every few weeks there is a remainder that comes up to answer the unanswered.

They focus on answering, marking a question as duplicate, or closing it for being off-topic or some other reason. But they are always striving to make sure every question is answered.

Here we seem to be striving to answering outside questions. It just makes no sense.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,043
Re: Questions from other sites

Any math question that has gone un-answered.
I disagree with this completely and I just don't think this is happening in this way. Every question that is posted here is read by many members and as of now there are only two members bringing questions from other sites, and only 1 per day. The reason that questions go unanswered is because when they are posted no one is able to help with them and then they get buried in the forums after some time, so someone who could answer them probably isn't aware of the problem.

Here is something they do on SE. Well (1) I have never heard of them importing question but that is beside the point. (2) Every few weeks there is a remainder that comes up to answer the unanswered.

They focus on answering, marking a question as duplicate, or closing it for being off-topic or some other reason. But they are always striving to make sure every question is answered.

Here we seem to be striving to answering outside questions. It just makes no sense.
I think you've brought up a great point and good suggestion which doesn't pertain to questions from other sites. We could think of and try implement a similar system where unanswered questions aren't buried forever. We could try to highlight them as the toughest and biggest problems of our site which have yet to be answered, thus someone who could answer one would be noticed and really appreciated.
 

ZaidAlyafey

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 17, 2013
1,667
Re: Questions from other sites

About unanswered threads , we could do the following :

[1] Upgrade the latest threads with one unanswered question everyday

[2] Add a button so members can manually add the threads to the latest thread bar

[3] Open a new sub forum to host unanswered questions
Just a suggestion ,though I don't particularly like the idea .

[4] Upgrade the search for unanswered threads
I feel that it shouldn't contain ([solved] problems ,P.O.T.Ws ,MHB awards , tutorials , ... ).

[5] Add one unanswered question to the Challenge sub-forum everyday .
 

agentmulder

Active member
Feb 9, 2012
33
Re: Questions from other sites

At another site i participate (My Math Forum) there is an option 'view unread posts'. It is helpfull to me as it shows every post submitted to the forum that i have not clicked on. Usually i go to 'view new posts' immediately but if i can't help there i go to 'view unread posts' next.

:)
 

MarkFL

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 24, 2012
13,775
Re: Questions from other sites

At another site i participate (My Math Forum) there is an option 'view unread posts'. It is helpfull to me as it shows every post submitted to the forum that i have not clicked on. Usually i go to 'view new posts' immediately but if i can't help there i go to 'view unread posts' next.

:)
I think the "view unread posts" search is intrinsic to phpBB software, but not to VBulletin. I have noticed phpBB boards seem to indefinitely keep track of topics a user has read, whereas VBulletin boards do so only temporarily.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,043
Re: Questions from other sites

If you click on "New Posts" or "Today's Posts" it should show you posts that you haven't read by highlighting them in bold. We also have an unanswered threads function, which as Zaid pointed out needs some tweaking. However, I think both of these things are sufficient although I realize it might be different than what you are used to. :)
 

dwsmith

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2012
1,673
Re: Questions from other sites

About unanswered threads , we could do the following :

[1] Upgrade the latest threads with one unanswered question everyday

[2] Add a button so members can manually add the threads to the latest thread bar

[3] Open a new sub forum to host unanswered questions
Just a suggestion ,though I don't particularly like the idea .

[4] Upgrade the search for unanswered threads
I feel that it shouldn't contain ([solved] problems ,P.O.T.Ws ,MHB awards , tutorials , ... ).

[5] Add one unanswered question to the Challenge sub-forum everyday .

I think point 3 would work if the criteria was it has been unanswered for 3 months or any other specified amount of time. This will keep new question out of it and only bring questions that have been pushed aside for a period of time.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,043
Re: Questions from other sites

I've posted about this issue at vbulletin.org to see if it's possible to do using the vB main software and existing modifications on that site. If not, it will require hiring a custom coder (or jakncoke to help us out!) so I will update again in a few days after I've seen what vb.org has to say.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,043
Re: Questions from other sites

I didn't get any responses to my thread unfortunately so I'm going to mark this thread as a project [ON HOLD] for now. At some point I will ask a coder to do this, assuming it's fairly quick. It costs quite a bit of money to hire a good coder so it's important to use resources wisely. As dwsmith pointed out, this could be a very useful feature for MHB so I will try to make it happen.