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Static content vs dynamic (forum) content. Does ASR needs a Wiki?

xaviescacs

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Just a moment ago I asked in the Sabaj D5 thread if the device remembers the volume independently for line and headphone outputs. The same question I asked in the Topping EX5 thread some days ago. I'm more or less forced to ask these questions because I don't really have time to read all the pages in both threads. Besides, the absence of any guarantee that I'll eventually find the answer is quite discouraging.

Ok, people here are awesome and I got my answer in few minutes, and since my question is direct and the answer is even more, I hope search engines will capture it. I will try it in a few days. But that's not the point.

My impression is that only if you participate very actively in this discussions and follow them, you are able to find those kind of simple answers, because when they are present, most of the time it's not as a direct answer to a direct question, but entangled with many other things. And that goes against the basic indexing criteria of the search engines, Drupal's included, as it would require a lot of semantic indexing, etc.

My conclusion is simple: this site is oriented to discussion, but not to creating organized and indexable content, at least not for the tested devices.

In contrast, take a look at Atlassian's Confluence for instance. It integrates quite well two approaches to create content collaboratively, which in the end is the nature of this site, namely: discussion and knowledge base. One thing complements the other, but none of the two alone are enough to provide the site the features it needs to cover all user's necessities, which in the end is the goal of a site. Which necessities? Well, there are a lot of use cases, but there is at least one that isn't covered by this site: searching for a very simple fact, characteristic or attribute of a tested device. In agile terms, a user story could be the following: "As a user, I want to know if both RCA and XLR outputs work at the same time in some preamplifier". It's a toy question, just to make my argument.

The only way to properly address this necessity is by synthesizing content in "static" pages, wikis if you like, so both humans and machines can find its contents. This pages could be created on the fly. When something gets asked in the discussion and there is an agreement on this, it could be added to the knowledge base. Which users roles does that requires? Users, content creators and administrators/moderators. But this site has already all of them in very good shape, so that wouldn't be the problem.

This will be very beneficial in terms of SEO, as engines really like structured content.

Moving to a more specific example, some kind of summary table for each device tested here would be really nice, useful, and will attract a lot of internet traffic coming from engine searches if the keywords of the table are wisely chosen to match the most typical searches. For instance, "Independent volume of line and headphones". Each device could have a "static" page with data and description that could be filled by authorized members who prove to own the device or know something about it (the manufacturer itself?).

In summary, I think there is a potentially very nice project for developing which IMHO is the missing half of this site: the knowledge base. What does it requires? Basically four things: staff agreement, a clear vision, someone who leads and resources to implement the required changes.

And will I add something else. All those sites like What HiFi may not contain any valuable information and a lot of crap, but they know a lot about indexing. Their reviews are always a balance between subjective opinions and descriptive facts, very simply stated, just like how search engines like, all written in a fashion that it doesn't seem a naked table nor some literature. This equilibrium is not easy to attain. Their pros and cons lists? Honey for the search engines. They know what they do.
 

Keened

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Bump, I think this is worth revisiting.

If nothing else I think a 3 level Wiki where we have a high level layperson overview of major topics, a more detailed rough consensus overview of major topics, and a dedicated expert article section (for things in the Audio Reference Library) would be very useful.
 
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xaviescacs

xaviescacs

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Now that I read that again I realize there is too much emphasis on SEO engines on the first post, and surely the main benefit of the Wiki would be the consolidation of knowledge that otherwise is dispersed among many threads.

I've written this before, but as an example, I remember someone explaining why some speakers can sound dark at large distances. I remember who, but not where, and I don't remember the details, so it won't be easy at all to find. Rely on the search engine of the site to solve this problem is too optimistic.

Now that I rethink the question I'm still convinced that some structured content will help this site in many ways.

dedicated expert article section (for things in the Audio Reference Library) would be very useful.
I agree. There is not much sense for a reference article written by an expert to have a discussion after it, it isn't something conceived to start a discussion. The creation of an article can require a great degree of discussion between their authors, but that should be private. Once written, anyone can create a post talking about this and that, and referencing the article.

Likewise, if articles have a better structure and are free of spontaneous comments, they could become better and potentially more engaging for people outside the forum to use them as references. As a side effect, this could be an incentive for people outside who want to figure on the list of authors of an article at ASR.

Well, this is a bit of wishful thinking....

The main issue here is that Wikis requires people compromised with them, because as opposite as forums, they don't grow out of spontaneous people interaction, they need a lot of energy. However, this is precisely what I see this site has plenty of, so IMHO it would be worth trying to take advantage of it to create a more solid knowledge base.
 
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