A More User-Friendly Forum

Why do people keep asking questions that have been already answered? Because they can’t immediately find the answers.

Here’s what I suggest.

Among the stickies, individual messages with ultra-clear subject lines and step-by-step solutions. Not all hidden in a FAQ that no one wants to read through.

They should include verbatim error messages or simple subjects, like:

Synchronize to continue.
Refresh Database freezes.
Recovery mode–what’s that?
Where are my songs?
Weird characters, bad files, can’t delete files.
Unit not recognized in Vista.
Unit not recognized in XP.
Audible and audiobooks.
Video conversion.
No installation disk? (You don’t need it.)
What to do with mp4, .aac and other files.
What is MSC mode? What is MTP mode?
Formatting: How to do it, when to do it.
Software links (with direct, updated links to Firmware Updater, Media Converter, firmwares and a downloadable sansa.fmt).
and also just a big ol’ all-caps subject: DON’T USE IPOD DOCKS! THEY FRY SANSAS!

Good subject headers could eliminate a whole lot of repetition.

Message Edited by c1u31355 on 01-23-2008 02:27 AM

Sure, but I doubt users will ever figure that out.  :dizzy_face:

It would take a lot of mod work to retitle a lot of those posts, and I’d bet money newbies STILL wouldn’t look at them…

It would take a couple of hours, maximum, to set things up as I suggested. We could help by writing or cut-and-pasting simple instructions. But we can’t sticky them.

But I believe even the n00bi3st of the n00bs would click on a subject that was exactly the error messages they were having. As it is, if you don’t know what “hidden files in MSC mode is,”  you’re not going to look there to find “where are my songs?”

Besides not doing  a quick reading of the manual once.

Most, Many, Quite a  Few? People don’t bother to read “stickies”.

They don’t even check to see if there is even a thread the same day with the same problem, some of which is caused by threads titled - Big Problem or some other such silliness.

They think they are the only people with a distinct and one of a kind problem.

Personally, the only errors I’ve had with both my Sansa E250R and the E205v2 which is vastly superior to the R,  I’ve owned were self inflicted by “self experimentation” which I believe causes 99 percent of a Sansa problems posted here.  Most by people simply not understanding what the unit was designed to do, Some thing I call iPod fever.

What I wanted to see in the forums are postings about creative things that people do with their Sansas to make them “Dance and Sing” instead  of just Sing.

Just my middle of the night two cents…

PS: And posters telling people to “rockbox” it is like going to a PC forum and telling people to buy a MAC.

I think a lot of the panic occurred also when SanDisk went from v1 to v2 without any notice.  The original v2 firmware had some bugs.  Add to this the holiday season with more buyers and, voila!, frantic noobies.

IMHO, a big part of the problem is that the “Official FAQ” is so short it’s practically useless.  Everything else in that thread is user-generated, and hence haphazard.  What’s needed here is a comprehensive Official FAQ, with all error messages listed, and a method to submit questions for inclusion in the Offical FAQ. 

What’s REALLY needed is for Sandisk to allocate more of its resources to the forums (I know, I’m dreaming again).  Your help is highly appreciated, MrSmileyFace, but you’ve made it clear that you’re tech support, with limited or no access to to the people who make decisions – and I doubt very much that “forum management” is your full-time job.  We can post requests until we’re blue in the face, but we have no way of knowing if anyone’s listening. 

It would be nice to maybe redo how things are sticked or floated at the top… But people still would not look at them… I mean, hell, its a great idea and I would back you up on it, but people just do not bother to LOOK for things before crying for help.

Think how much tech-support time it would save if people could find their error message and fix the problem without even a phone call. Look how many people read these messages. Do the math.

I’d say that was worth a few hours of cut-and-paste.

Though I still think a FAQ with internal subheadings is useless. Bust out the error messages and post the fixes in BRIGHT COLORED TYPE.

Thats true and all, but people still will not search for the topics…  It is just pure nature to start screaming for help instead of looking for it on their own…

However I do agree with you it would be nice…

I might do something like this if I find time… I dunno

I just help people lol

and for what its worth…

this community would not be what it is if it wasnt for the people who keep asking the same questions over and over again. Regardless of the method they chose to try to eliminate repeat post, its still going to happen.

I mean, its not like there would be very many new post if it wasnt for the newbies who dont search the forum. I believe you can collaberate and organize all you want, theres ALWAYS going to be trolls and re-posters; its just part of what a forum is.

I would love to discuss ways of making this forum better. Although forum managment is not my the full duties of my things to do, it is definetly high on my priority list. So of the suggestions are welcome.

Things to keep in mind and the thought process…

Stickies on the top of particular boards (such as e200) can pile up to quite a lot. We do not want a huge list of 10 or more stickies in one board. So in an effort to minimize; We have created a “FAQs and Stickies” board. In this board it was intended to put “general” FAQ’s that could apply to any of our players and are not “product specific”.

The only stickies that was going to be placed in the product specific board are the ones that could not possible apply to any other player.

It was intended to create one sticky in the specific product page that provided a list of all other stickies; such as this one… http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board/message?board.id=e200&thread.id=9448

Sticky order can only be arranged by date created.

Open to ideas and suggestions.