Stop Looking and Start Finding: Tips for Searching the Forums

Mar 11, 2009, 2:22 PM |


Clearly, the easiest way to see all of the topics that another user has merely initiated (as opposed to contributed to) is to look at that specific member's content ...

MEMBERSSearch Members, {name (or partial name)}, search, click on the member's name. This takes you to their profile, showing you their Recent Activity i.e. the topics (blogs, photos, etc.) they have created. If the topic you are looking for is not in the initially-displayed list of 10, click on view {name}'s content. Page through, 10 per page. You can sort it by Most recentAlphabetical# of views or # of comments.



The following sources of information are available:

Help - at the top right of the homepage screen. Type in a word like speed and it will show you a list of Forum discussions and also and Frequently-Asked-Questions or Articles about 'speed of play', great chess players playing quickly, browsers running slowly, games timing out, etc.


Immediately after you have used the Help feature, you are brought to the Site Search form (this is where the list of matching results is presented). The first box is labelledKeywords; you could specify play games on line. The second qualifier is a drop-down menu labelled Category; by default, it is set to Entire Site, but you could choose Forums,Articles, etc. If you leave it set to Entire Site, and click on Search, you will see that one of the results is this one

which talks about Play. Online Chess. Tournaments. Live Chess. Against the Computer. Vote Chess. Learn ... low on time in a game so that you will not forfeit the games by time. ...


Any time you click on the FORUMS button at the top, you will be offered the Search the Forums box (on the right of the screen). This will limit your search to the Forum discussions. When the lists of results is returned, you can refine your search by selecting a particular Forum area e.g. Community or Help & Support.


Look at a few hot topics. Locate anybody talking sense. Send that person a message, challenge them to a game & chat with them, drop a note on their homepage. A person can be a quick guide to finding your way around the labyrinth.


Happy hunting!



Is there any way do a seach specific to a particular area: such as a search just in blogs, or just in articles, or just in chessopedia, or just in the forums?

Google for ...



"Mating Patterns"


"cafe de la regence"




The Most Recent Posts list on the Forum page contains about 10 items. It shows the posts which have been most recently updated. (Off-Topic posts are not featured). Since new posts are arriving at a rate of several per minute (depending on time of day) , a post may be visible for only  about 2 minutes.

It is possible to list the posts in creation order, by using a trick: leave the forum search box empty - and click on search. A list of all the posts ever written are now displayed, 10 to a page. They can be sorted by Most recent or # of posts. However, most recent in relation to this full list means: most recently created- not most recently updated.

So, first: shouldn't the Most recent posts heading be a link that takes you to the full list?

Secondly, it would be more logical for most recent to have the same semantics in both cases - preferably most recently updated. (Or, better still, offer both most recently created and most recently updated as separate options).



Billium248 wrote:

In the message forums on other sites, there is an option to "see all posts by this user."  At the moment, when you click on someone's "activity" here, you only see the threads that they started.  It would be nice to see all posts that this person has made in other threads as well.  I wouldn't want this to show up in "my tracked activity" cuz it would get too full too fast, but it would be nice to be able to quickly access this feature.

This can be achieved, to a certain extent, using Google's advanced search option. Googling for "billium248" locates all the topics Billium248 has either written or been mentioned in. To restrict it to just the ones Billium248 has written, use  "by billium248"".

The most detailed level of resolution for topic contributions (both within Forum Search and via Google) is down to the containing page - about twenty or so postings. currently supports tracking of Topics on a per user basis. If it offered tracking of individual postings instead, the number kept track of would increase, probably by a factor of 5 .. 10.   

These discussions also contain tips on searching:



Not forgetting that you can go back and re-edit all of YOUR OWN posts, so you could insert tags. e.g. your topic SIMPLE LOCAL TIME NOTE  is hard to find when using forum search for "SIMPLE TIME". If you were to edit the first post and put in a unique keyword, you could find that topic more easily. In that discussion, I mentioned "Mountain Std Time" (I'm avoiding the full word in THIS discussion) - which is an uncommon phrase in chess discussions. Hence, when I use Google to search the forums for "Mountain Std Time" (spelt out in full), it takes me directly to your discussion.



You can also use the BINARY CHOP technique for searching through ordered lists, This might be usefully applied to one of four lists:

  • topics you have created (FORUMS, Topics I Have Started)
  • topics you have posted in (FORUMS, Topics I Have Posted In)
  • tracked topics (FORUMS, Topics I am Tracking)
  • all topics (refer to the MOST RECENT POSTS trick mentioned earlier)
The first three lists are displayed 20 to a page. They are listed in last update order, most recent first (except that pinned topics always appear at the head of the list).
The items in the 4th list are displayed 10 to a page - in creation order (not last updateorder).
Since all of these lists are paged, when you click on a page number, it will take you directly to that page. This will show you the approximate date when the topics on that page were last updated/created (e.g. 4 days ago, 16 months ago). Provided you have some idea when the topic you are searching for was last updated/created!, you can choose a page further back - or further forward.
In the case of the all topics list, you may be able to recall one or more unrelated topics that were created at the same time as the one you are searching for.
One point to note is that you are only presented with about 10 page numbers at a time. So it could be quite slow to get back to page 80 - or page 800. Fortunately, you can edit the URL directly. The URL for page 8 might be ...
you can adjust this to ...
and jump straight to page 800.
Update: has introduced a 100-page limit so you can no longer search back more than a few months. You can, however, use Google to search for a thread containing a contribution on a specific date
e.g. "9th May 2007" 
Searching for topics that no longer exist (see discussion here ... Last Chance To See) is a bit more tricky, but is often achievable.
9. Using your browser's history list
One of the easiest methods is to use the History feature on your browser to show you all of the web pages you have looked at. Depending on which browser you use, this is likely just to show you the name of the forum topic (in the case of pages), but this may be sufficient.