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Search, Filter and Hashtag Features

One of the nicest — and probably most underutilized — features of our support forum is its Searching and Filtering capabilities.  For instance, let’s say I’m are having a problem with my iMac so I decide to go to the TVAUG Forum and look for help.  Before creating a new Topic with my problem, I’m going to Search all the messages that are up there to see if there is already an answer:

I just clicked on Search and put in “iMac” and got 24 results!  I could browse through those results or add another term to make the results even more specific.  Let’s try “imac office 365″…Now I narrowed it down to just 1 result!

Of course, that message thread may not resolve my problem but as our forum continues to grow with more members and more messages, we will be building up a significant number of questions and answers.  Using the Search function not only enables you to find an answer quicker than posting a message and waiting for a reply, it also helps minimize redundant questions.

And speaking of building up lots of questions and answers…let’s look at the Filter option next.  that’s the little funnel to the right of the Search button above.  Perhaps you were traveling the last week and wanted to just browse through the messages you missed while away.  The filter button is perfect for that!

As of today, 8/31/20, our forum has been open to our members for 3 months and has.over 100 Topics with numerous Messages in most of those topics.  As more and more members join our forum and time passes, those numbers are going to increase significantly.  Search, as described above, helps you locate information extremely fast.  The Filter button lets you narrow down the range as shown here:

If I narrow things down by Filtering to just the Past Week, for instance, that 100+ Topics comes down to just 8 topics with their associated messages.  A much more manageable number!

Hashtags are another useful way to find what what you’re searching for.  They not only let you filter topics down to specific topics, they also let you follow the topics you’re most interested in and mute out those that you’re not.  Here’s a screenshot of the #Hashtag dropdown list:

That just shows a few from the complete list here – https://tvaug.groups.io/g/Forum/hashtags
When you create a new topic, it is good forum etiquette to select the appropriate hashtag so other members can easily find that info later.