I think the SEARCH button should be bigger. Most people just post things over again(I did that my first time round). If we could get that Search topics button a little more noticable, it would prevent a lot of the post to be re-posted. But at the same time, I think we all like to post our ideas again and again. If the new guys didnt come in and ask questions, then thi splace would get a lot slower and lose some people. I like giving my two cents whether I gave it a month ago or just 10 mins ago on another post.
FAQ would be helpful, but keep it basic - most of us have fairly unique setups that dont exactly work for everyone. Maybe get a generic car FAQ and then a Member Entry FAQ - that would have stuff like how to setup a Climate Control on a 1996 Toyota 4Runner or Power supply setups for certain motherboards members have tested
I'm a ghost...email me if you have any questions on my old setup
As a newbie I can say that a GOOD newbie/faq (they're one in the same, no?) page would be very helpful. I saw early on that there was a search option, but half the time I couldn't do a search because I didn't know the terminology to search on.
In my opinion, a good FAQ page would include:
an overview of why people do this
basic parts of a system (display, input, computer, etc)
a breakdown of the parts (display options = none, lcd, tft, etc)
Pitfalls/common mistakes/things to avoid (examples of lessons learned the hard way)
Links - where to buy items that everyone is after (displays, inverters, etc)
I'm sure there are more things to include. I agree that if you have a newbie forum, then it would be the blind leading the blind. Instead, I think a comprehensive FAQ page would give them (us) enough information so that we can join the forums and ask (more) intelligent questions.
Divx.com has the right idea, although their implementation could be better. They have a newbie section that is pretty hard to miss. It tells you what you need to know in order to get started playing. It would be better if it included a newbie guide to ripping, as that's where most of their questions come from. Anyway, I know that the info on these pages is a little more complex that the divx scenario, as there are a TON of options that we all have in building these systems (which lead to a TON+ questions).
I also think that a comprehensive FAQ would be the best solution--it would be nice if there was a link to it right above the General Hardware Discussion. This would really cut down on a lot of posts that detract from the board.
Got started with computers on this board early in high school...now I run a web development company and am about to build my dream machine.
finally a newbie with some starting sense!!! I think tbone is on the right track and seems to know what he wants. Also, would there be a way to if someone signs up for the UBB, would there be a way to limit them to only look at this newbie faq for say the first 30 days they are active? Just a thought but if someone couldnt ask stupid questions then they would go searching for the answers themselves (hence the faq). Just a thought.
The Grand aMP3 Project Car: 96 Pontiac Grand Am Current Setup: AMD K62 300MHz, 64MB DIMM RAM, 20GB WD Hard Drive, Basic Video & Sound
I don't think you should restrict Newbies from the other areas. There is no way that the FAQ's will answer all the questions that people will have (That's what the forums are for). Again, the FAQ should be used to bring people up to a basic level so that people can do their own searches/research and also so that they can ask decent questions.
From what I've read, most of you experts get frustrated answering the same questions over and over again (very understandable). From what I've experienced, newbies like myself get very frustrated because we don't know where to start/what's possible/what you call that thingy, etc.
Ideal situation: Newbie finds these forums, has a question, creates account to post his question. After his registration, he is taken to a page that makes the following very clear:
people hate repeating themselves
there is a search option here
tons of questions/answers over past X years in the archives
newbies are encouraged to search before posting
I think most of us are reasonable in that if we understood the situation, we would be happy to help out. I don't think the answer is restricting people.