One of the first things that many users do at Creative COW, is use the search engine to explore the COW's nearly 1.5 million post archives to find an answer to a question. With so many posts available to search, the chances are that your question is probably hiding somewhere in the archives. Getting to it is the purpose of the COW's Search Engine.
I have some additional features that I will shortly add to the new search engine but in order to get it out the door quickly, I have opted to give Creative COW members a v1.0 engine and we will add features based on user feedback and needs.
So let's look at what's here in v1.0 and how it works...
NEW SEARCH & ARCHIVE DISPLAY FUNCTIONS
The previous search engine had some nice features and powers but we regularly heard that it was hard to understand and users couldn't always find what they wanted easily. Also, there was not a way for users to go back into the archives except through the search engine. Now, the search functions include a way for you to go back into the archives and view threads and posts within their context.
So, based on your feedback and ideas, I think that we have given COW members a new search engine and archive review capability that will help you find what you want with just a minimum of steps and a simpler approach.
WEIGHTED RESULTS ARE DISPLAYED
The search results can be displayed using "relevance" as your search parameter or you can sort by forum. Relevance allows the search engine to offer you results that are more likely than others to meet your search needs. The weighting is based on both the search term and the date of the result, giving precedance to posts that are newer and contain your search term.
SEARCH ENGINE BASICS
First, is your question based on:
- A technique?
- Is it based on a certain tool?
- Is the answer likely to be found on a specific forum?
- Are you looking for a post made by a specific author or member?
- Is the answer based on a post that you've already seen in a particular timeframe?
Based on these answers, you can craft your search criteria and quickly find your answer.
AUTHOR SEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS
If you know the person's screen name you can search on it for posts you have seen them make. You can help speed your search by limiting the time period to a range which approximates the time when you saw the post.
LOOKING FOR A TECHNIQUE, BUG FIX OR WORKAROUND...
SETTING DATE RANGES FOR SEARCHES
You can expand the search date range parameters but if the problem is more recent, to speed your search, keep your searches as compact as possible.
SETTING FORUMS TO SEARCH
You can search a particular forum or all of our forums. Use the most logical choice that will likely meet your needs. Soon, we will give you the ability to search a group of forums but to get the new search engine out the door as quickly as possible, we have made it either one forum or all, for now.
BOOLEANS ARE SUPPORTED
The best way to use the new search engine is to limit to a single word or to enclose a phrase in quotation marks, such as "render speeds" or perhaps a term like "Final Cut error #_____".
Please watch this page for new features and how to use them.
If you want to email me to discuss the search engine, write me at abraham AT creativecow DOT net.