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Starting line

yveskleinsky

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Hi MJ-

I was thinking today about some challenges that the RD forum was facing and how we could do things better/differently over here. What I found to be challenging (and frustrating) over there was that every new investor had similar questions and those questions often kept the group from going forward, as the smae questions had to be responded to over and over again. Here is what I was thinking: what if we had a "starting line" for the fastlane. The starting line could be it's own forum topic like you have for commercial real estate or general discussion. Some categories in there that I think would be helpful would be books to read, CDs to listen to, and a baselevel of knowledge a person should have before they do a deal. Maybe you could also include sample deals for people to analyze. This way, with any new members (probably myself included) they could start reading all that stuff in order to get "caught up" on what everyone is talking about. Just a thought.
 

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Russ H

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Cool idea. MJ, are there tried and true solutions for situations like this?

A similar problem: Newbs posting really elementary questions on some of the threads ("What do you mean by ?) can really make the thread lose it's momentum.

It's great to get newbies who have questions or need a term defined (and all of us seem to have that "how can I help" spirit), but it would be cool if there also was a nice way to get newbs up to speed so that less "huh?" questions were asked (reading FAQs? Or a few posts? I'm not sure how to do it).

We're local experts for the Napa Valley for TripAdvisor, and the way we were able to cut down on repeated questions by about 80% (really!) was to sticky the top 10-12 FAQs at the top ("Read This Before Posting").

That, and we suggest that folks use the search function for oft-asked questions (we provide the key words). I think this second part helps a lot, since newbs read these posts as well, and go "A-ha! I should use the search function first!").

Anyone out there have any ideas how to handle this? :)

-Russ H.
 

Bilgefisher

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Russ,
Some pretty good ideas. From the newb side of it, having a faq would be really useful. I can see how frustrating it must be to field the same questions over and over again. Any time I see a term on here I go to one of two sources to look it up, my real estate dictionary or wiki. I think simple definition questions may be better if ignored or directed towards wiki. It may seem standoffish at first to new comers, but once they catch on they will hopefully look up simple questions before asking. If they still don't understand, then that is different. This could be stated in a FAQ format.

On a poker forum I am on, we actually created our own wiki. Any really useful post were directly linked on that wiki. This is the place we would send many newcomers. In most cases the question they had could be simply answered there (with links directly back to the site for "classic posts".) Just a thought.

Another idea, for FAQ. How to ask a question. Sounds simple, but well worded questions require some research before hand IMO.
 

Legacy Dad

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Sep 3, 2007
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I am trying to do something similar. I get questions and emails daily on basic stuff.

I want to make an online tool that has most of the basics, terminology, reads, and the basic context of what I do.

It would be cool to have a "Read This First" link here

Lance
 

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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Cool idea. MJ, are there tried and true solutions for situations like this?

A similar problem: Newbs posting really elementary questions on some of the threads ("What do you mean by ?) can really make the thread lose it's momentum.

It's great to get newbies who have questions or need a term defined (and all of us seem to have that "how can I help" spirit), but it would be cool if there also was a nice way to get newbs up to speed so that less "huh?" questions were asked (reading FAQs? Or a few posts? I'm not sure how to do it).

We're local experts for the Napa Valley for TripAdvisor, and the way we were able to cut down on repeated questions by about 80% (really!) was to sticky the top 10-12 FAQs at the top ("Read This Before Posting").

That, and we suggest that folks use the search function for oft-asked questions (we provide the key words). I think this second part helps a lot, since newbs read these posts as well, and go "A-ha! I should use the search function first!").

Anyone out there have any ideas how to handle this? :)

-Russ H.
Russ, as a newb, I'll give you my honest response! :)

I proposed an idea a little while back to have a database containing many basic and advanced terms/acronyms that would automatically be synched with posts. Basically, if someone makes a post containing, "RE", the program would automatically detect it and show that by either underlining the term or doing something to make it stand out. Once it's been identified as a "term", viewers can just put the mouse over the term and the definition or full acronym will pop up, possibly with a link for further explanations.

I recommeded this idea for a few reasons. First of all, it eliminates questions from less experienced members like myself. Second of all, it's often hard to understand exactly what a person means when used in context. Often, I research the terms or acronyms and still come up with nothing, and I'm no newb at finding answers! Lastly, it also can help those more experienced members learn things that they might otherwise just disregard or simply be too lazy to look up.

I've seen a program like this on forums before so I'm pretty certain it is a reasonable idea. Anyway, I have school tomorrow so I'm gonna have to head to sleep. I'm sure some of this might sound confusing, but I don't feel like getting an ear-full from my parents for staying up til 1AM on a school night. :eusa_naughty:
 

Bilgefisher

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Yankees. Thats an excellent idea. I wonder how difficult it would be to implement.
 

Russ H

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Wow, Yankees, that's a great idea.

Not sure if the forum software can handle this (MJ?), but an automatic link to a glossary for common terms like RE, ROI, COCR, etc would be awesome (and take less time, since I wouldn't always be explaining the abbreviations).

-Russ H.

RE= Real Estate
ROI = Return on Investment
COCR = Cash on Cash Return

(see?!) ;)
 

MJ DeMarco

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These are great ideas .... just trying to determine the best fit and the best application to use to give me the desired effect. Optimally, Id like to do what Yankee's describes but haven't found the application that can be easily added-on. I might just do a sticky post with glossary, or install a Fastlane Wiki ... again, it takes me some time to track down the software, learn it, and then install it.
 

Russ H

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No BS or brown nosing intended, MJ
:icon_bs: :brownnoser:

You're kicking butt with this so far. Keep up the great work. :thumbsup:

-Russ H.
 

TNT

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Aug 31, 2007
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MJ I have to agree with Russ H This is turning out to be a great forum. Keep up the great work.
 

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LightHouse

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I ahve seen several diffrent programs/script like yankees is describing, i will see if i can dig a few up later.
 

MJ DeMarco

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MJ I have to agree with Russ H This is turning out to be a great forum. Keep up the great work.
Thx for the props.:smx9:

I ahve seen several diffrent programs/script like yankees is describing, i will see if i can dig a few up later.
And thx for the research.:thankyousign:
 

Yankees338

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Glad to hear the idea is popular!

MJ, if you'd like, I can link you to the forum where I originally saw this app. There, it's only called "Acronyms". Maybe you can figure out where they got it or how they implemented it from seeing it; I don't know. If you'd like and think it'll help, just lemme know (via PM) and I'll send you it.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Glad to hear the idea is popular!

MJ, if you'd like, I can link you to the forum where I originally saw this app. There, it's only called "Acronyms". Maybe you can figure out where they got it or how they implemented it from seeing it; I don't know. If you'd like and think it'll help, just lemme know (via PM) and I'll send you it.
Yes, plz PM me the info then I can trace down the app.
 
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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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Jul 26, 2007
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Why can't we do both? Can we incorporate the mouse-over application that Yankee is talking about as well as have a "starting line" thread? On the thread we could have glossary, books, CDs, etc.

...I learn so much everyday it is friggin amazing. ...I am going to go look at multifamilies tomorrow, and one month ago I wouldn't have even thought that owning one was possible! Thanks to this forum, I now think, "Why not?" or "How could I make this work?". Of course I come running back here to get validation that my thought process is on track :driving:
 

MJ DeMarco

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Why can't we do both? Can we incorporate the mouse-over application that Yankee is talking about as well as have a "starting line" thread? On the thread we could have glossary, books, CDs, etc.
Everything has a cost, and I don't mean $$ cost. Website "doodads" have a performance cost in terms of response time and server load. This site is in a shared hosting environment which means I already am crippled in some things VS owning the entire server. Anytime I evaluate these add-ons, I have to consider the performance hit the site will take. If doing these add-ons causes the site to freeze or take a 50% hit, it isn't worth it - at least until it grows more and I can justify a dedicated server config.

That being said, ALL of the above is being evaluated - there may be 5 different ways to accomplish the above - I am looking for the best to implement in terms of server load, implementation, ease of use, and user contribution. Evaluation of this takes time, not to mention I have 20 other things going on right now that having nothing to do with this site. The "Fastlane Forum" isn't quite my full time job .... yet!!!
 

Bilgefisher

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This is a wikia from a poker forum I frequent. It has links to posts on that forum. All the posts that the users found useful, helpful or repetitive. The best part, it can updated by anyone and the users of that forum take it upon themselves to keep it updated.
Wikia Example
 

MJ DeMarco

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This is a wikia from a poker forum I frequent. It has links to posts on that forum. All the posts that the users found useful, helpful or repetitive. The best part, it can updated by anyone and the users of that forum take it upon themselves to keep it updated.
Wikia Example
Thx ... however that looks like a hosted application which is something that I will not consider. http://fastlane.wikia.com is not what I want. Needs to be housed here so I retain control the content and the medium to which it is delivered.
 

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