defrunner

I'm Greased Up
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After perusing this site for about two months now (after I found out about it), I've come to the conclusion already that people each year over the course of the same application cycle will keep asking the very same questions at the same points in time. Heck, people will ask the same questions with weeks or even days of one another. Some veterans of the site will get frustrated and complain about people's apparent lack of familiarity with the search feature while others will patiently repeat everything that they have already said before or helpfully link the OP to what has already been said before, therefore bypassing the search feature (which may or may not help stunt their growth in learning how to use it). Still other people will try to act clever and make a joke about something that has already been unknowingly joked about before, or other people will act as flamers/trolls, as though what they say really matters; I mean, if people get upset about each and every thing someone anonymously posts about in some website, then it's time to re-evaluate how they perceive themselves.

My point of this is that, with the moderators continually patrolling the website to ban the trolls and make sure everyone discusses medically-related topics (but not too much in terms of medical diagnoses or AAMC test answers, lest you get banned), the posts and questions posed will invariably get repetitive. The application process and what people go through each year do not change all that dramatically from year to year, so if people thoroughly searched SDN for the answer to their question, more often than not, they would find more information than they ever anticipated.

To sum the point of the point I was trying to make: unless people start becoming more clever, I can see a day in which SDN ceases to be this lively because everything that is going to be asked in the future has already been asked in the past, so all people in the future need to do is search for it and read all about it. At that point, it will become more of a social forum, and we know that it would be against the TOS not to discuss topics relating to medicine. As such, what can we do to ensure active participation without this participation becoming too repetitive?

Just one point of view, but perhaps I'm wrong.
 

Oculus Sinistra

Finish it.
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defrunner said:
To sum the point of the point I was trying to make: unless people start becoming more clever, I can see a day in which SDN ceases to be this lively because everything that is going to be asked in the future has already been asked in the past, so all people in the future need to do is search for it and read all about it. At that point, it will become more of a social forum, and we know that it would be against the TOS not to discuss topics relating to medicine. As such, what can we do to ensure active participation without this participation becoming too repetitive?

Just one point of view, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Yes, that's internet forums in a nutshell.

But the thing is that SDN will never cease to be lively because the people who are truly sick of it will eventually stop posting here and the incoming people, unaware or unwilling to use the search feature, will always post new questions. There really isn't any reason to believe there will be a reduction in the numbers of either group of people... thus maintaining homeostasis on SDN.

Perhaps I am doing it wrong, but sometimes searches aren't that useful because you'll search for a keyword and it will point you to the thread but it won't tell you what page the searched keyword first appears on.

With threads that have 30-something pages, it can be a real undertaking to sift through all those comments to find what you are looking for.

But perhaps there is something I don't know about searches that solves this complaint...
 

kypdurron5

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Dec 3, 2005
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defrunner said:
After perusing this site for about two months now (after I found out about it), I've come to the conclusion already that people each year over the course of the same application cycle will keep asking the very same questions at the same points in time. Heck, people will ask the same questions with weeks or even days of one another. Some veterans of the site will get frustrated and complain about people's apparent lack of familiarity with the search feature while others will patiently repeat everything that they have already said before or helpfully link the OP to what has already been said before, therefore bypassing the search feature (which may or may not help stunt their growth in learning how to use it). Still other people will try to act clever and make a joke about something that has already been unknowingly joked about before, or other people will act as flamers/trolls, as though what they say really matters; I mean, if people get upset about each and every thing someone anonymously posts about in some website, then it's time to re-evaluate how they perceive themselves.

My point of this is that, with the moderators continually patrolling the website to ban the trolls and make sure everyone discusses medically-related topics (but not too much in terms of medical diagnoses or AAMC test answers, lest you get banned), the posts and questions posed will invariably get repetitive. The application process and what people go through each year do not change all that dramatically from year to year, so if people thoroughly searched SDN for the answer to their question, more often than not, they would find more information than they ever anticipated.

To sum the point of the point I was trying to make: unless people start becoming more clever, I can see a day in which SDN ceases to be this lively because everything that is going to be asked in the future has already been asked in the past, so all people in the future need to do is search for it and read all about it. At that point, it will become more of a social forum, and we know that it would be against the TOS not to discuss topics relating to medicine. As such, what can we do to ensure active participation without this participation becoming too repetitive?

Just one point of view, but perhaps I'm wrong.
If we ban already-asked questions this would become nothing more than a pre-med FAQ list. So what if someone wants to ask a question that's been asked 500 times since the debut of SDN; if you're not interested then don't read it or post on that thread. The truth is that forums ARE social; this isn't just a Q and A site. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the URM issue debated and yet I still continue to see new and interesting arguments. What would really turn people off is stopping them from posting any relevant issue they want.
 
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DoctorPardi

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One thing to consider is that there is a lot of turnover on these forums. It isn't like the same 5 people are answering questions for years. Generally people will participate in these forums for maybe a year before and after their application cycle and after that point 90% do not post in pre-allo regularly.

For example, the 2007 cycle is going on right now and there are tons of people who are really active right now. A year from now completely different people who will be in the 2008 cycle will be asking/answering questions.

Also there is a period a lot of posters go through, where they don't know anything, ask a lot of questions, and then 2-3 months later they are able to start answering some questions. So there is a fresh supply of question askers and question answerers.

Finally, the annoying posts, that veterans complain about are threads that come up weekly. Things that are asked once a month, or every 3-4 months are not very annoying and generally no one minds answering those questions.

So this is why SDN will remain lively:
1) Increasing number of people learning about SDN, along with the slightly increasing number of medical school applicants.
2) Turn over is very high on these forums, so by the time veterans get burned out answering questions, someone else is there to replace them.
3) Applying to medical school is a dynamic process, which will pose different obstacles to applicants every year. (For example: MCAT is going computer based next year)

Ok those are the few things I can think of off the top of my head, although I am sure there are many more.
 

etf

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yeah i know what you mean - i'm seeing some of the same threads rehashed from when i started out this process. i think it's cool that stuff gets re-asked because sometimes you can see how a certain users perspective has changed - like someone answers something a specific way as a premed, and then after residency they say something different. this site is so cool - i hope one day it goes public (nasdaq: SDN) and that us loyal users will get some shares pre-ipo...
 

burntfries

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ironically, i actually do a search on all my questions before posting a new thread...unfortunately, the google search function for this forum sucks compared to other forums i frequent (for example, it searches ALL the SDN forums instead of just pre-allo, it doesn't sort results according to time, it often doesn't take you to the page of the thread that contains your keywords, etc.). so then what ends up happening is i post an already-asked question, and then the veterans complain about how noob i am by not using the search function, when i already have....blah!!
 

rajad10

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this site makes up for the lack of decent pre-med advisors around the nation...never cease!
 

DoctorPardi

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burntfries said:
ironically, i actually do a search on all my questions before posting a new thread...unfortunately, the google search function for this forum sucks compared to other forums i frequent (for example, it searches ALL the SDN forums instead of just pre-allo, it doesn't sort results according to time, it often doesn't take you to the page of the thread that contains your keywords, etc.). so then what ends up happening is i post an already-asked question, and then the veterans complain about how noob i am by not using the search function, when i already have....blah!!
Do not use the google search function. There is a "search this forum" tab at the top of this form, and you can search the pre-allo forum only and that will provide much better results.
 

dbhvt

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The inevitable existential questions. The absurdity of the human condition. This thread takes me back. Way back. To April 2006.

Check out this thread and the one jebus links to at the end. I nearly shiit myself every time. This is the kind of meta baloney induced insanity you will experience at the end of the app cycle.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=272407&highlight=full+ride+hopkins

By the way, Oculus Fenestra, if you tell the search function to display results as posts instead of threads, it will solve that problem.
 

Haemulon

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One thing you should consider is that part of the appeal of SDN is the support that we can offer eachother as we go through this stressfull process. Talking with others about their progress, sharing your concerns, knowing that you are not alone in this, .... these are all things that can not just be boiled down to Q and A, and conducting searches for subjects. The shared SDN experience is very valuable through just chatting, even if it does re-hash many of the same questions. After all, it is difficult for those that have not gone through this MD app process to fully appreciate all of our joys and and frustrations, excitement and dissapointment.
 
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