Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: MOA forums need a better search tool

  1. #1
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    108

    MOA forums need a better search tool

    MOA forum search works poorly, generally finding boatloads of stuff only mildly related to what I am looking for. I have to wade through a lot of not useful topics to find anything specifically of use on a particular subject. Takes a lot of time.

    Google advanced search works much better. Just specify the site or domain as https://forums.bmwmoa.org/ and then enter your search terms. For example, try searching for "sirius" on both search engines. Google results are much more useful and to the point.

    Just a suggestion but the Google tab on the MOA search bar would be more useful if it was pointed at the MOA site and not the internet. I can get the latter functionality just typing in my browsers address bar.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    11,886
    I noticed you added to the "tag cloud" in your post. A quick look shows a number of threads when you enter "Sirius".
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Use google:

    Term1 Term 2 site:forums.bmwmoa.org

  4. #4
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Lakeland,FL
    Posts
    1,356
    Kurt covered this all pretty well in a sticky some time ago.
    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-the-MOA-Forum

  5. #5
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    108
    Quote Originally Posted by mikegalbicka View Post
    Kurt covered this all pretty well in a sticky some time ago.
    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-the-MOA-Forum
    I did not know that. Perhaps because I used the MOA search on this subject. I didn't find anything...

    I searched for "Google search MOA forums" using the MOA search first and the Google search second. Only the latter finds it.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  6. #6
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    108

    Google Custom Search engine

    I did a little more research and found you can create your own Google custom search engine for whatever domain or particulars you want. Here is one that searches the MOA forums and you don't have to enter that information every time you run it:

    https://cse.google.com/cse/publicurl...77:5gpupofxp4k

    And here is one that searches the Marketplace:

    https://cse.google.com/cse/publicurl?cx=003589320968225325477hm1v10qo-m

    OK, you have to put up with some ad's at the top but that's how Google makes its money. Still better than the forum search.

    Here is the tool that can be used to create a CSE. It's easy. https://cse.google.com/cse/manage/create

    You probably need to be logged in to a Google account to make and keep these though.
    Last edited by ajaxthegreater; 08-26-2017 at 03:29 PM.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  7. #7
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    18,208
    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    I searched for "Google search MOA forums" using the MOA search first and the Google search second. Only the latter finds it.
    It's a fairly well known issue among vBulletin users, certainly as we've seen on our forum, that the MOA search tool doesn't work very well. You can't use quotes, you can't use any of the other modifiers like you can on google. It also depends on how the vBulletin software indexes the information. Searching wasn't one of the key priorities (my thoughts) when vBulletin was building their website software. But google's main purpose is for searching, so one can expect better results. The MOA search tool can theoretically limit searches to specific forum areas...google can't do that, so when you do a google search, you'll have to weed through the results yourself to find what you want.

    All of that prompted me to try and summarize the various ways that something can be found. The tag cloud approach could be quite useful...it takes input from members and but it requires someone to tag something with key words that makes sense to all other users. Of course that's not going to work well, but if the tags are kept succinct and focused, it could work pretty well.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  8. #8
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Ga
    Posts
    1,780

    Beating a dead horse.........

    Kurt and I have discussed this topic MANY times on here in public and private. ONCE UPON A TIME there was an excellent.......AN EXCELLENT....search engine. Then the powers that be decided to switch the software for the forum and that capability vanished. It was tied to the now defunct marketing, sales, and "want ads" for members sales of stuff...........When the "want ads" disappeared from the BMWMOA news the big hype was one didn't need that because one could find it on the forum. NOW THAT LITTLE MEMBER BENEFIT HAS PRETTY WELL DISSAPEARED and one goes to IBMWRR to buy or sell stuff.

    I don't understand to this day how to search and Kurt has explained it several times quite in depth. I still don't understand and just don't search anymore. Again, once, one could search a topic and MANY threads would come up for and in depth review of the subject. Just like most member forums of various types do.........

    With the need to make THIS FORUM MORE USER FRIENDLY AND DRAW NEW AND OLD MEMBERS, I SUGGEST THAT WE GO BACK TO THE OLD SOFTWARE OR A TYPE THAT ALLOWS A PROPER SEARCH ENGINe.................I don't understand why this hasn't been done. This could easily make the BMWMOA Forum THE TOOL FOR FINDING OUT HOW TO DO THINGS, WHERE TO GO, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT PROBLEMS. Go there and search. Draw folks. Membership benefit for sure.........Oh well....We try..........

  9. #9
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    18,208
    Dennis -

    Thanks for the input. I'm not exactly sure which "software" you speak of...we've been using vBulletin software for as long as I've been on the forum...maybe there was something early on, but I only remember vBulletin. We have changed from the 3.x version to the 4.x version of vBulletin since April 2013. You point to an issue with that upgrade...I believe that the database had to be redeveloped when going to 4.x but I'm pretty sure that was done as well as it could be.

    vBulletin has never had a very robust search engine, so we've had to live with that for a while. It's not practical to go back to say 3.x as vBulletin doesn't support it anymore and there are no more upgrades and/or security patches being developed. In a real sense, the same issues exist with version 4.x, but it's been pretty stable and we do have people in the background performing updates when/if they come up for use.

    We have what we have! There are 3 or 4 different ways to find things. One good feature that we do have are the numerous people who have steel trap memories and can find things when questions come up. Hopefully, those people weigh in and provide the links to past topics. That's where the tagging feature stands out...it takes user input to at least put some context on a thread which can readily be found.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    108

    I am new at this forum

    OK, I understand there is a lot of history and I don't mean to disrespect anyone's prior work or efforts. However, being somewhat new to BMWMOA and this forum I have to say it is difficult to find specific information about a particular topic or item by searching with the forum tool. After I can't find what I am looking for then and then post something I get people coming back saying "So and so posted that to death here XXXXX years ago." just like you guys are saying here! Makes me feel pretty dumb and not so anxious to participate anymore. Probably not what BMWMOA wants its newer members to feel.

    Tribal knowledge is OK sometimes but often I just want to get an answer immediately as to some topic I am sure has already been discussed. It would seem to be simple enough for the MOA webmaster to add a button with those Google custom searches I described. Heck, Google even creates the HTML code for you if you need that! This is low hanging fruit that MOA could easily fix and make its members happier. They already added the Google button on the navigation bar, just make it a little more useful with this simple tweak.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  11. #11
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    18,208
    Bill -

    I can take it under advisement...I was the one who added google to the nav bar...I thought I was pretty good just doing that!! On the other hand, sometimes when I hit the google link at the top, I may or may not want an MOA-specific search...sometimes I just want to get to google. And even then, once I get there, I type "site" and up pops the last site search I executed. I then just have to replace my old search terms with new ones. For the want of not having to type 3-4 letters, I'm wondering what the trade-off really is.

    Oh, and the retort that "that was posted to death"...that will never go away!! Every forum I participate in I can see when a newbie comes along and asks the same questions over and over...just the "benefits" of belonging, I guess. Not every person is willing to take a step or two to see what a search might reveal. And for the one newbie that asks another question again, there are probably 4-5 other lurking newbies that WERE going to ask the question that now don't have to. So maybe win-win??
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  12. #12
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    11,886
    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    OK, I understand there is a lot of history and I don't mean to disrespect anyone's prior work or efforts. However, being somewhat new to BMWMOA and this forum I have to say it is difficult to find specific information about a particular topic or item by searching with the forum tool. After I can't find what I am looking for then and then post something I get people coming back saying "So and so posted that to death here XXXXX years ago." just like you guys are saying here! Makes me feel pretty dumb and not so anxious to participate anymore. Probably not what BMWMOA wants its newer members to feel.

    Tribal knowledge is OK sometimes but often I just want to get an answer immediately as to some topic I am sure has already been discussed. It would seem to be simple enough for the MOA webmaster to add a button with those Google custom searches I described. Heck, Google even creates the HTML code for you if you need that! This is low hanging fruit that MOA could easily fix and make its members happier. They already added the Google button on the navigation bar, just make it a little more useful with this simple tweak.
    Easy there, everyone is trying to help. When your searches come up empty, it could be the info is just not there.......or not responsive to the way the question was phrased. There are many Members that haven't gone to the bottom of the page to see if any of the "similar threads" could help
    There is-
    The Tag Cloud.....Forum search.....Advanced search and the Google options.
    If you need help, just ask.
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  13. #13
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    108
    Most of the time I just want to enter a search term or two and get an answer as quickly as possible. Actually I'd say that is true for me 95% of the time. But I guess if everyone is happy with the status quo I'll just move along. Thank you anyway.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  14. #14
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Lakeland,FL
    Posts
    1,356
    Thanks for taking the time to make some good suggestions on how to help improve the search function. I thought they were worth consideration.

  15. #15
    #4869 DennisDarrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sugar Valley, Ga
    Posts
    1,780
    Gary and Kurt............YOU BOTH DO AND EXCELLENT JOB AT MODERATING.........PLEASE LISTEN.....Again, once....ONCE, we had a search engine like MOST forums do. One goes to the "search " box, perhaps enter some limiting criteria, like in the category, name search, exact words, etc and then plug in whatever topic you are looking for. NOT A BUNCH OF CODEWORDS AND TECHNIQUES that one will never remember. Just plug in a topic and one gets back perhaps a page of threads about what you are looking for. Yes, one then has to sort through all that stuff; but it works and that is WHAT WE ONCE HAD. I think, that is what folks are asking for, myself included. It's not a big deal, and as for myself, I have given up beating this dead horse. It isn't gonna change so get on with life........for me though, what I see:

    We are loosing members that come to the forums looking for answers and finding instead one having to follow procedures that are unknown to the typical user of forums: go to the bottom of the page to look for stuff, enter unknown codes and procedures and on and on...........WE COULD BE AN ANSWER ENGINE instead of a know the right handshake to get the answer..........But I quit beating this dead horse......it is what it is

Similar Threads

  1. tool- Spark Plug Coil Removal Tool
    By galaxie in forum Hexheads/Camheads
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-02-2016, 12:58 PM
  2. vBulletin search tips to help you get better search results
    By mikegalbicka in forum Forum Software Specific Help. NOT for bike related questions.
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 04-08-2015, 02:21 AM
  3. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-08-2008, 03:40 PM
  4. How do I search for a specific topic in the forums?
    By Zeus1221 in forum Forum Software Specific Help. NOT for bike related questions.
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-15-2006, 12:56 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •