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Forum: New Questions are Old Questions Asked Again

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started Forum: New Questions are Old Questions Asked Again

This topic contains 13 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  wickededge 01/18/2019 at 3:08 pm.

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  • #48986

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    First we introduce ourselves as a new Wicked Edge owner/user on this Wicked Edge Forum.  Then we participate by asking questions.   Later, hopefully, searching and reading, on our own, to gain more experience and to expand our knowledge.  Then, maybe later, we share our experiences and post with pride the fruits of our labor.  That’s when we’re contributing and passing on to others, who came after us, what was freely shared with us when we first asked.  After we’ve been sharpening with our Wicked Edges for a while and made use of the Wicked Edge Forum we learn there are no, (or very few), new questions.  Questions we see on the Forum are usually old questions asked again.

    Here lies the problem.  Those of us who came to learn and stayed to share don’t always have the old answers to the old questions, asked anew.  Those who shared with us, before us, only visit from time to time, and aren’t here most of the time like they once were.  Our points of view and knowledge are far more limited then all the answers that lie here in the Forum threads posted over the years by all those very experienced sharpeners who were here before us.  Yes we know a lot of the answers and have gained a lot of experience looking for the old answers to the newly asked old questions.

    As a new sharpener and Forum participant you’re doing yourselves an injustice by not combing over the old threads looking to learn the old answers to the same old questions, from past experts.  The knowledge base contained in the old threads are much broader with a wider point of view then the answers just a few of us, “regulars”, can share with you today.  It is easier, to just ask.  We will continue to do our best to keep answering.  Every question you search for an answer, on your own, is another opportunity to learn something else, that you we’re looking for, while looking for your answer.

    Take a gander.  For a start, go to the “Main Forum”, then look at “Techniques and Sharpening Strategies”.  Then go to “Basic Techniques and Sharpening Strategies”; a good place to start.   Click on the last or earliest page number,  maybe “21” to start.  Read the titles of the threads.  Look for titles that seem like it might answer a question you may have.  You’ll be surprised from the titles just how many of your issues and questions were previously discussed. Read the threads that look or sound interesting.  Skip what doesn’t interest you now.  By going through them and reading the titles, later on when you have a question come up you may remember you saw it in an earlier thread.  When you read something interesting or helpful, save the thread to your favorites for later reference.  Commit to spending a few minutes everyday, or even weekly, to reading old threads as you work your way forward to the present, where your questions are posted.  Then do the same thing under another forum topic.  Eventually you’ll get through them all.

    I promise you once you start doing it you’ll be happy you did.  Yes, the Wicked Edge models used back then were older models.  The clamping and sharpening issues are still the same.  Knives haven’t changed.  It hasn’t change how we sharpen knives with our Wicked Edges.  Whichever model, no matter how old, the sharpening methods and techniques are still the same.  The knowledge you’ll gain from the elder statesmen is invaluable.  When an old member pops in to say hello you’ll recognize their Forum name.  You’ll certainly feel more apart of the Wicked Edge Forum and Sharpening Community.   You’ll be a better more educated sharpener for your efforts.  You’ll gain confidence knowing you can find more answers, then just the few answers, provided by the few of us currently active on the Forum.  Then when a Forum newbie asks an old question again, like it’s a new question, you’ll know the answers that we don’t, because you read the old threads.

    One last point.  By asking less, of the same old questions, again, and again,  it gives an opportunity for new and different discussions to develop.  Old Forum participants who have taken to just reading the titles and skimming over the same-old-conversations, that only read the Forum from afar, may be more apt to jump back in to participate and share their new experiences and insights.  There’s no telling what else could develop.

    Sorry for the sermon, it’s just my opinion.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  MarcH.
    7 users thanked author for this post.
    #49007

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    I don’t see how not asking an “old question” would provide “an opportunity for new and different discussions to develop.”   I, for one, don’t have the patience to pore through old and long threads, trying to find relevant answers.  Having to follow a long series of posts, only to find that no clear or relevant answer was offered is more than doubly frustrating.  My personal experience is that the average reader has even less patience for wading through long dialogues than me.  Over the years, I’ve written many detailed technical explanations, only to have the addressee reply with a question that was clearly answered in the text of my posting.  Either they can’t read, or they didn’t or won’t take the time to read the details.  I once asked the engineers and techs in a class I was teaching how much reading they did.  I was shocked to learn that out of a class of about 15 , three had not read a single book since graduating from their 2 or 4-year degree engineering programs.  These people were ten years or more beyond graduation.

    I once suggested here that when a thread reveals a valuable tidbit of information (old or new), it should be linked to by the WE Knowledge Base (or Wiki), which lists categories of questions or tech info.  The purpose would be to zero the “newbie” in on the most relevant or most thread or video, saving him/her from having to sift through the wheat and chaff, not knowing what was opinion and what was valid info.

    Now here I am getting long-winded, but back to the basics…  I think that persons seeking answers should be encouraged to ask any and all questions they might have.  Dialogue encourages discussion and discussion serves to produce data.  If the newbies suddenly stopped postings referring to “old” questions, it would get pretty quiet around here.  Eventually, fewer of us would bother to monitor the traffic and this forum would be a lesser resource for it.

    Yes, Marc, I know you’re not suggesting that every newbie should cease posting questions until they’ve exhausted the forum search opportunities, but rather that they should happily read the various threads, hoping to understand and retain the wonderful mine of information buried here.  It’s clear that it was a valuable experience for you, but most are not willing to invest that much time in something they might not be as singularly focused on.

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    #49010

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    I believe the premise of a Forum is to be able to read a thread, and old threads of past discussions. Otherwise this would be a “chat room”.

    Tom I see your point and can’t argue it.  I haven’t read a book in years.  I only read to find answers to questions.  I do believe those of us who really want to get into this sharpening stuff and gain a full understanding of the challenges and solutions won’t mind the journey through the forum.

    It’s amazing how much good stuff I gleaned from “tcmeyer” by reading old threads in my few years here.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #49016

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    This discussion has prompted me to browse a little more in the “Knowledge Base” pages.  I think the individual sections are done very well and I especially applaud how concise the explanations are.  I think it would be really neat to include links to related Forum threads and videos.  Rather than having to pore through multiple threads and hundreds of comments, the user would have direct access to the info he/she is looking for.  More photos and diagrams would be helpful too.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #49017

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Tom, I like your idea and thinking but turn it around.  The Forum can reference or link the “Knowledge Base”, but the “Knowledge Base” cannot reference or link the Forum.  The Forum is autonomous.  A Forum by it’s nature is self driven by it’s members, participants and contributors.  It is a place where participants can share their knowledge and opinions; good or bad.  It is made possible and hosted by Wicked Edge, USA.  It is not controlled, edited, or censored by Wicked Edge, USA.  The Forum and the “Knowledge Base” may share knowledge and data, by coincidence.  Commonly held information.

    As a Forum participant and contributor when I attempt to answer questions posted in threads, if I know the answer to the questions can be found and read in the “Knowledge Base”, I will reference or link the “Knowledge Base” document.  A Forum participants will be well served to read through the “Knowledge Base”, as you did Tom, to find the answers to their questions, before posting them in a thread, or just to familiarize themselves with the helpful information contained there.  Then when a question arises, for them, they may know right where to find the answer, without needing to ask it.

    I don’t know the answers to many questions asked, but because I read back through old Forum thread titles seeking help to answer current questions, I read a lot of old thread titles and discussions.  I often remember I had seen the questions and the discussions before.  I read old threads for enlightenment, to improve my sharpening skill and knowledge, not just seeking answers to questions.  I have found helpful tips and methods that I can apply to my sharpening techniques that never occurred to me.  It was never even a question.

    What we really need is a better working “search” feature for our Wicked Edge Forum”.  Our current feature is too broad, and general and doesn’t go back far enough into the older threads of the Forum.  The “advanced search” seems no better.  I think we need a search function that would allow us to string ‘key words” together to help narrow down a thread containing the answer or helpful content.  I sometimes use “Google” to find answers on our Forum, sometimes it works quite well.

     

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #49021

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    So is it possible to embed a form of the “knowledge base” in the forum and have that link to relevant threads?  I’m certain that users would find that the very concise info offered there is much more efficient than threads which can be anything but concise.  What’s more is that threads can include incorrect bits of information.  I know that because I’ve posted a few over the years. Not to mention those with varying opinions.

    Maybe we (?) should just be more active in keeping the Knowledge Base up to date and a more dynamic part of our forum discussions.  This might include pasting important parts of threads into the KB.  Or maybe the KB administrator might post text paraphrased from forum comment strings.  Photos from the forum might also be an important feature.

    #49022

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    Thinking harder on it, I can’t see why a Knowledge Base administrator couldn’t include links to the forum.  We’re not talking about having a search function built in to the KB, but rather hard links which take the user directly to a specific thread, or even better, a specific comment.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #49023

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Tom, I write Tom, because I’m trying to address his comments.  What I write is my opinion, insight and understanding of this issue.

    The Forum and the Knowledge Base are autonomous.  They are separate entities.  We Forum members, participants, readers, contributors are self driven.  What happens here happens through interactions between Forum members, the participants, readers, and contributors.  Yes there is a lot of information contained in these years of threads.  Some is very good and correct and some is bad and very wrong.  That is what a Forum is.  “A public meeting place for open discussion”.  It is a virtual meeting place.  Nothing happens here without members doing it.

    The Forum administrators are paid, (by Wicked Edge) to only work on the mechanics, so to speak, of the Forum to keep it operating; well and safely.  They do not change or introduce or manipulate the open discussions.  They may merge some topics or remove and block spammers.  All this is to keep the Forum operating smoothly and prevent harm from coming to the data bases, work engines and the computer servers that make this virtual meeting place possible.  (I may be using wrong terminology but I hope you get the point).  Some Forums ask for member donations and member sponsors to help keep them up, running and administrated.  I believe Clay foots the bill to have the Forum up running and administrated because he see’s the value of the open discussion and it seems, to me, he enjoys sharing in the interaction as a fellow Wicked Edge user and knife sharpener.

    Clay is running a business that sells knife sharpeners.  He has sponsored and created this opportunity for his product purchasers and users to meet and have an open discussion, this Forum.  The Forum has it’s own website.  Clay has embedded a link to the Forum website in his Wicked Edge, USA, Products website for convenience.  The embedded link is to show WE buyers/users there is this Forum, available to them, specific to open discussion between WE users, and to make finding this Forum website easier.  The Forum appears as though it is an integrated part of the Wicked Edge, USA, because the pages come up in a browser window with links to Wicked Edge.  I’m guessing that’s intentional for good business reasons and for the ease to reference and shop the W.E. products directly from the Forum, and also because W.E. hosts the Forum.

    Clay has created and compiled the Knowledge Base on his business’ website to help his buyers/users find answers to their questions and to provide helpful data to these knife sharpeners.  The Knowledge Base is a separate entity, a separate source of information then the Forum.  It is for those people who look for answers and choose not to engage in the Forum.  The Knowledge Base and the Forum have nothing to do with each other.  They are autonomous, separate entities.  They may, by sheer coincidence have the same information or data, or because the Forum member has chosen to use this KB in a thread.  I’m sure originally, way back, when W.E. was just getting started a lot of the information that is now incorporated in the KB was  made available and brought to light by early Forum members in posts and threads.  The value of this information was recognized, collected and organized in a concise form, over the years that developed into the current Knowledge Base.  I’m sure original sources are referenced as necessary.

    As Forum members we can do anything we want that doesn’t bring harm to the Forum.  There are forum administrators and forum moderators that monitor this.  Along with this our members self monitor the forum by the nature of what a forum is.  I don’t believe it is in Clay’s interest to hire and pay someone to read through the Forum to find the useful tidbits, as you’re suggesting Tom, to link to the Knowledge Base.  It goes against the premise of what a Forum is.  We Forum members can do this though, ourselves.  That’s why I suggested to our Forum members, the value of reading through the old threads, in the first post on this thread.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #49034

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    So who is the Knowledge Base Administrator?

    I never meant to suggest that someone be assigned to mine threads older than today for apparent relevance to a technical issue.  I was imagining that Forum Monitors, such as yourself, (unpaid, I assume) be given the authority and access to insert links onto KB pages as they arise.  For example, you might decide that a current thread (Topic) would be of value to one who is reading the relevant pages of the KB.  Or when someone asks a question on the Forum and a search for related threads/comments yields a particularly valuable tidbit, you might decide to add the link to the related page in the KB.

    This seems to me to be advantageous in that a link might take the reader to a thread with a seemingly unrelated Topic label.  In such cases, a new user would probably never have found such a discussion, as he/she would be primarily focused on Topic titles.

    Some years back I think I suggested that forum members might submit short essays on subject matter they believe to be of value.   For instance, I had once assembled an essay (with micro photos) on a study I did on certain scalpels and razor blades.  Not something of significant value, but the sort of thing forum members might be interested in, even if it is only anecdotal.

    #49038

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Some years back I think I suggested that forum members might submit short essays on subject matter they believe to be of value. For instance, I had once assembled an essay (with micro photos) on a study I did on certain scalpels and razor blades. Not something of significant value, but the sort of thing forum members might be interested in, even if it is only anecdotal.

    I never meant to suggest that someone be assigned to mine threads older than today for apparent relevance to a technical issue.  I was imagining that Forum Monitors, such as yourself, (unpaid, I assume) be given the authority and access to insert links onto KB pages as they arise. 

    Tom, what you never meant to suggest is in essence what I suggested in the original post that began this thread. For someone to mine the older threads, than today, for relevance to a technical issue.  That someone was Forum members and participants; new and old.  It seems we do agree in the value of reading old threads!  That’s what we Forum members are doing when we read a newly posted question that we remember having read a similar discussion, in earlier threads.  We don’t know exactly where we read it so we comb through the old Forum pages, thread by thread, looking for relevant titles.  As we come across relevant titles and relevant threads we’ve learned are helpful to answer common recurring, newly posted, old questions…we have “favorited” these threads to have ready access to link them as we answer these same “old” questions, asked again.

    Through my time participating in the Forum I have seen information that was contributed and shared in the Forum by members that did lead to good discussions that, the Forum, did conclude was indeed helpful and should be made part of the Knowledge Base.  Suggestions were made and Clay as an interacting Forum member did make the topic and information part of the Knowledge Base.   This Forum, the Wicked Edge, USA website and Knowledge Base are ever transitioning to improve their look, quality and ease of access and use.  This topic, IMO. has stimulated good Forum discussion that may lead to something down the road.  That how a Forum works.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #49066

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2879

    So who is the Knowledge Base Administrator?

    That job is shared between a few of us but it’s not receiving the attention it deserves. It’s on our 2019 plan to fill it out and update it more thoroughly.

    -Clay

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #49067

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2879

    I think part of what’s missing is the Wiki we had that was lost during the move to a new platform. The Knowledge Base is designed to replace it, but is lacking that element of user contribution that the Wiki had. I’d like for us to develop some mechanism for user generated content to make its way into the KB, probably via some sort of curation process. I’m wide open to suggestions on the best way to do that. I’d certainly a worthy goal.

    -Clay

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #49068

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Clay is there any plan to repair or replace the Forum Search function, particularly the Advanced Search Feature?

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    #49086

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
    • Replies: 2879

    Clay is there any plan to repair or replace the Forum Search function, particularly the Advanced Search Feature?

    I’ll ask Chris, our developer about it.

    -Clay

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