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It's time for FAQs

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
how about appoint a few special people as EDITORS to go through all of CC and create the "BEST OF... FAQs" that would be a locked thread w/ only the editors and sys admins (J & H) able to edit.

A really nicely organized & locked FAQ (w/ pics if possible) for all the "standard" techniques like Viva smoothing etc. would be a blessing.

It could even be a permanent tab at top, right after HOME and before recipes. (i felt that punch in the arm, Heath!)

example...the "everything you wanted to know about buttercream" thread would be transferred to FAQ. MUCH easier to find.

and the FAQs would be edited down to remove all the fluff and get straight to the point.
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post #2 of 19
As a "newbie" myself, I'd have to second that idea Doug.

It's overwhelming when first starting out to go through HUNDREDS of postings.
post #3 of 19
That sounds like a wonderful idea Doug ... it would be very useful I someone actually had the time to compile everything!
post #4 of 19
Yes, yes, yes!!! I try to search for so many different topics and hate reading through all the "fluff"! WONDERFUL IDEA!!!
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post #5 of 19
I believe this is what the intent of the articles section is

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-guides.html


From the How Do I? forum description...

Common questions will be printed as an article and featured in our newsletter


For instance, there's already an article for viva smoothing...

http://www.cakecentral.com/article10-How-To-Create-Faux-Fondant-The-Paper-Towel-Method----Viva.html
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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa

I believe this is what the intent of the articles section is

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-guides.html


From the How Do I? forum description...

Common questions will be printed as an article and featured in our newsletter


For instance, there's already an article for viva smoothing...

http://www.cakecentral.com/article10-How-To-Create-Faux-Fondant-The-Paper-Towel-Method----Viva.html



This is correct.. Ideally the really important stuff will all get turned into articles. This is part of the new efforts going into making CC easier to use. Its not going to happen right away as we are still trying to get some other major items off our plate.

As I mentioned in the other thread, the FAQ thing can be discussed once Jackie returns from vacation...
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
the articles section is far more wide ranging than an FAQ-- for example it includes How-to's on making specific cakes like the baby in the flower pot.

also it is a static collection that is not updated very often.

further, the articles are usually the work of just one person and not the condensed wisdom of the many talented people we have here.

creating the kind of FAQ envisioned would take some time -- months -- and it would never be finished, it would be under constant revision.

as a former Homework Help Tutor on AOL, I am familiar w/ the FAQ system that was used there for students -- they called it the "Knowledge Database" (since replaced by a web service). How it worked: a student needing help on "the twits" aka Romeo & Juliet would go there and look them up and find the combined answers/hints of several tutors. A cadre of editors saw to it that the answers received continual "refinement" over time.

another example: Wikipedia....a giant FAQ that is under constant refinement by anyone who registers to edit it.

here on CC -- we would need at least a group of 20 or so individuals -- say two or three per forum who would lift the best information on a topic and create a FAQ entry that combined all the available info on the topic in concise form. In some cases it might be nothing more than a link... Think of how often we simply post links to articles.

since it's not practicle to create an index of CC
and since the articles as implemented now are limited in scope
and as the intent of an FAQ is to provide quick access to basic info, just like we mini-FAQ about CC itself,
and since the search function is limited in scope and doesn't always return the expected or desired results,
creating one on the basic topics would be most helpful.
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post #8 of 19
Doug... I concur.
post #9 of 19
I have to agree with Doug having to go through all those old posts can take a lifetime!! just to find an answer to a problem
post #10 of 19
Notice how many people ask (What's IMBC? Can I refrigerate fondant? What's the difference between 6x and 10x powdered sugar? Help, I need great recipes for white cake!) rather than search now.

Adding a FAQ won't change that.
post #11 of 19
Add another vote from a newbie; I actually came to this forum to suggest it!

If only I'd read a "fondant faq" I might have learned about using gum-tex when making figures. I've only done 2 cakes with figures but the figures sagged like crazy while drying (to my surprise of course). Finally searched on "figures fondant" and eventually DUG UP the info about MMF not hardening fast enough. Didn't know there was an issue so never would have thought to ask a question. However I surely would have read a FAQ if there had been one, to prepare myself for my mission. Would have learned about gum-tex, also that Wilton fondant hardens faster than MMF, etc...all the things I spent hours digging up from the site after things didn't come out as planned.

A faq on painting (color and dust) would have saved me some "shimmer dust is NOT luster dust" heartache...which I didn't realize till after the darned stuff didn't work. Would have never known to search for "shimmer dust," as I thought I knew what I was doing. When it all went awry I didn't know why so...of course...posted a question. A FAQ would have kept me from wasting other members' kindly donated time.

FAQs would be fabulous. Yes lots of people will still post questions rather than read FAQs in order to get a quick answer...but I do think the FAQs would diminish the amount of repeat questions.

Humble opinion of course!
post #12 of 19
Sounds like a job for Doug!

I hope the original will be kept in it's original form as well. (For those of us that are interestd)
post #13 of 19
Doug sometimes the answer is right there and the question is still posed. So This raises the question of how effective will a FAQ really be?

Perhaps a tutorial on how to use the search feature already on the site in an efficient manner is what's in order.

Btw Doug, How do I make red icing? icon_evil.gif Just kidding.
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post #14 of 19
I know I already belabored the point in my prior post and I do agree that some people will always ask a quick question rather than read thru available information. Of course they will! Sometimes it just works out that way--all you need is a quick answer, not a full tutorial in the topic at hand. And sometimes trying to come up with just the right combination of search terms to allow you to find the answer you need without having to scroll through the contents of 37 different "semi-related" posts is just too overwhelming for people who just want a simple answer about how to get their icing red! icon_smile.gif Because you don't want to risk being too specific and not tracking down the right email.

But readily available FAQs WILL be read by newbies and others and will often address questions that cake creators on this site don't even know they need to ask, BEFORE they need to ask them. If there was a FAQ on how to color your icing, complete with all of the collected tips Doug is referring to, a lot of people will take a look before they ever even think about making red icing, and by the time they need to make it, they've already learned everything they needed to know...so...no question posted. Frankly I wouldn't even call it a FAQ, "FAQ" makes me think "Information about the website". I'd call them each "everything you ever wanted to know about ___".

You will never eliminate redundant questions but you can reduce them, plus what a great way to drive even more traffic to this site: if people know it's a great resource to turn to for readily available (easily found, concise, comprehensive info) on their cake decorating needs. And I can only imagine the server space it could ultimately save as miles and miles of redundant inquiries become obsolete.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
it could be the

CakeWikipedia

Cake-wiki for short

or

CW (could also stand for Cake Wisdom)
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