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Regarding duplicate hint submissions... Site News
I've said this before, but I think it's time for another reminder. Please help me help you by searching for duplicates before you submit your hints! Although there are only four hints published today, there could probably be a lot more -- but I spent most of the last 2.5 hours finding and responding to duplicate hint submissions. Out of 27 submissions I looked through this morning, I found 18 duplicates! Finding and deleting these hints (and sending a "Sorry, duplicate" email) takes quite a bit of time, leaving much less time to edit, test, and publish the other "new" hints.

While I agree the search engine here is not the greatest (BTW, it's in the midst of an upgrade via a third-party; hopefully I'll have something back in the next couple of weeks), the searches I used to find the duplicates were really very simple. Not to pick on any one submitter, but just as a real world example, consider a hint submitted on transferring print jobs from one queue to another via drag and drop. I searched on print center drag and found eight matches, the second one of which was the match to the new hint. So please, take a couple of minutes to search the site prior to submitting your hint -- I'll have more time for new hint testing and publication, and you may save yourself a lot of excess typing!

If you're uncertain if something's a duplicate, you can also drop me an email -- I'd rather take a minute to reply to an email inquiry than to feel badly for your wasted time as I delete your two-page detailed hint on installing PHP and MySQL ;-).

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Regarding duplicate hint submissions... | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: famousactress on Jun 16, '03 10:47:21AM

I've seen some sites that allow users to rank posts. One of the ranking options is 'duplicate', and I believe those posts may be auto-deleted or at least not displayed to most viewers.. maybe it would be worth implementing?

It would provide an easy way to skim through the highest ranked tips also, which I imagine would be a desired feature for MacOS noobs like myself.


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Some day...
Authored by: robg on Jun 16, '03 11:33:55AM

If the site grows large enough to merit my hiring a programmer, such features are very high on the list of things I'd like to have added. It's just that making such a change locks me into a customized version of Geeklog (the software that runs the site) ... and that means I'd need to have programming skills available quickly in the event of security patches that need to be applied and/or general system upgrades.

But I'm in complete agreement with the principle (along with adding some "keyword" capabilities to make searching easier).


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Some day...
Authored by: famousactress on Jun 16, '03 12:08:59PM

Hmmm. I assume that there are quite a few software development wonk types (myself included) who would be more than happy to help out should you ever get something like that going...

Come to think of it.. there are probably already open source platforms for this type of site that include that ability (Slashcode for instance).


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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: silas on Jun 16, '03 01:30:42PM

May I suggest that, while it's certainly a matter of personal preference, you might consider not even bothering to respond to submitted hints that are duplicates. It's a wonderfully nice and polite thing to do, but as your site grows in size and activity, that sort of personal attention may become much less feasible. This doesn't solve the problem of you having to do the research, but letting your users create additional work for you because they didn't follow instructions doesn't seem scalable at any level.

At least, I would suggest, there are other areas of the site where personal attention is more effective and worth your while.

But, as I said, it's a matter of preference, and I certainly can't argue against courtesy. :)


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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: displaced on Jun 16, '03 02:28:09PM

Hmm... Maybe you could AppleScript it! ;o)

No, really! Something like an AppleScript in Mail's script menu to automatically send a polite duplicate notification email to to sender of the currently-highlighted messages...

Hook it up with something like YoupiKey, and you'll have a keyboard shortcut for it, too...

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Automatic detection?
Authored by: nathanst on Jun 16, '03 02:40:30PM

I haven't used GeekLog, so I'm not sure if this would be easy or not. But, I was visiting a site that allowed you to post the mistakes you find in movies. With each post, it did a search of the current database, suggesting similar entries, at which point you could decide whether or not to submit.

It'd probably help you a lot to add a step to the hint submission process that does an automatic search.

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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: charles2003 on Jun 16, '03 08:55:37PM

Perhaps putting the "search form" again just at the top of "submit a story" with another reminder to search before submitting, would encourage a search.

I would be that the average regular submitter probably skps directly to that part of the page ignoring the top of the page (Read this First) where you say something about searching.

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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: snit on Jun 17, '03 05:59:38PM

You start with "I've said this before..."

And your request is in-line with the hints... sort of a hint in and of itself...

so... isn't it a duplicate hint submission? Shall we do as you ask or do as you do?


OK... just being a smart @ss... I am with you... anything you can do to keep the site going and saving you time. People SHOULD do some basic research first...

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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: peterneillewis on Jun 17, '03 10:43:06PM

Perhaps you need an assistant editor who does a first cut at the hints and figures out if they are duplicates and passes along the ones that are not?

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I'll volunteer to help filter dupes...
Authored by: glowurm on Jun 18, '03 04:55:50AM

Hey Rob:

I'll volunteer part time - if we can rig up some way for the submissions to be emailed to me or for me to be notified by email that there are new submissions.

Perhaps we come up with a way of referencing and rating a submission (as the above post states, or by another method) so you spend less time doing the digging?

You should have my email in my profile if you're interested. I'll keep an eye out on this post in case you don't.

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Regarding duplicate hint submissions...
Authored by: david-bo on Jun 19, '03 06:52:07AM

My suggestion onhow to solve this issue is a yahoo-type of hierarchy for the hints. This would not just make it easier for the submitter to realize if the hint already has been submitted but also when I someone needs to find a hint a hierarchy would make it easier (and you could also find similar hints to the one you are looking for).

If you force the submitter to suggest a place for his/her hint in this hiearachy I think the problem would go away by itself.


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