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I thought it might be useful to give an example of both the effectiveness of one of our site features and why we are such sticklers for build log title formatting. Let's suppose that you are interested in viewing only finished build logs, and you don't really want to have to spend a lot of time scrolling through the logs section to find them. Well, that's exactly why we take the time to add the tag "FINISHED" to every finished log. If you are not inclined to use the site's search feature, then having the word "FINISHED" in all caps towards the front of the log title makes it stand out from the list and easier to spot if you choose to simply scroll through the pages and pages of logs. But there's an even better reason for adding the tag.


Suppose you are interested in seeing recently finished models. After all, not everyone add pictures of their completed projects to the gallery. The FINISHED tag makes such models very easy to find, but there's a little bit of skill needed. If you simply type the search term "finished" into the search box in the upper-right corner of the home page and click the search button, you'll get (as of 10 June 2018) 18,750 results -- hardly more useful then scrolling through the entire site. But when you enter your search term in the box, a drop-down menu appears to the left of the search box. By clicking the option for "topics" and then clicking the search button, the number of results is reduced to only 18,448.


Okay, so obviously, that isn't the "extra skill" I hinted at earlier. No, the real trick is to look down to the very bottom of the aforementioned drop-down menu to the "Advanced search" option. This brings up the advanced search page. By clicking the "topics" option from the "Content Type" menu and the "Content titles only" option from the "Find results in ..." menu, the search engine brings up only the 598 topics that have the word "finished" in their titles, and the vast majority of these are finished build logs. You can see what this results page looks like here. There are other options on the advanced search page, too. Suppose you only want to see those builds completed in the last six months. There's an option for that in the "Date Created" menu. Selecting that option cuts the number of results in this instance down to 17.


Now suppose that you are getting ready to build a model of the USS Constitution, and you want see some already-finished models of her. By searching the terms "finished Constitution" using the process we've outlined for you (advanced search + topics + content titles only), you can find the 13 finished build logs for that subject. Slick, eh?


So, that's why we plug the term "FINISHED" into finished build logs. You can do this yourself, if you'd like, using the edit button located in the first post in your log. Simply add the term to your build log title using all caps, along with the required spacing and setting off with hyphens. Don't use the word "completed", since that won't come up as a result when someone searches for "finished". If you'd rather have us do the edit for you, just PM one of the moderators and we'll gladly do the job for you.


The advanced search feature can really be handy, but only if you use it (obviously). Giving thought to how topics will be searched is another reason why we ask that topic titles be specific about the content of a post. Consider this example: Suppose you create a topic called "question about rigging," but all you really wanted help with is thimbles, and you get the advice you needed. Now, sometime later, another member also has a question about thimbles. If they search the term "rigging", they will get over 21,000 results -- not very helpful. If they do a generic search for the term "thimble," they will still get 250 results (topics and posts), many of which will only mention thimbles in passing and are not particularly useful. But if they use the advanced search options described above, they will find exactly three topics that are specifically about thimbles (one of which is called "Thimble help needed" -- bingo!) and which will probably contain the desired information.


Advanced search -- use it and plan ahead for it!



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