How to use Search engine

TIP: Remember to also check the separate article pages as common questions are often converted into full articles.

Written for HoP by Mr Majestik

ok, so you're a newbie to the boards and you suddenly get the urge to ask "how do I do a three beat weave, and how can I turn it into an infinite-isolated-super-duper-hyper-loopy?" But before you go starting a new thread on the subject, have you tried a search? Now I know sometimes it can seem to be a lot harder than simply making your own thread, but considering HoP has been in existence in some form for over six years there is a high probability that what you seek has been discussed before. The search engine HoP supplies is just the thing to help you sort though all the posts that have been made over the years to find what you are looking for.

So, you've chosen to do the right thing and try searching HoP for the information you desire, but how do you go about getting the search results that you want? Well, there in lies the magic!

Finding the search section.

To start a search it is helpful to be able to locate the search option on HoP (duh) there are two main different ways to search on HoP.

The first is the Google search option in the top right hand corner of the page; this is always visible no matter what you are viewing on HoP. This option is quick and easy to access and should help you find what you are looking for, although it does require leaving the HoP website for a brief period. With this search method you can choose to search only the HoP website or you can search the whole web.

The second search option can be found by clicking the 'community' sign in the task bar which runs horizontally along the top of the website at all times. Once this task bar is opened more options will appear horizontally below the current one, around the middle of this menu is an option aptly titled "search". Clicking this will open the search page on HoP. Alternatively this search page is also accessible by logging into your HoP account and clicking the search option next to the "my home" option. This search option only searches the HoP forums and listings appear according first by their ratings, and then as they are found.

Doing the Quick Search (of the Forum).

This is a simple but faster search engine that only searches the title and first post of each thread (excluding the introductions forum)
it can not search for exact phrases or be told to exclude words but it will trim your search of common words so it will find its results faster.
It will also only display 10 results from each search.
If this does not find anything suitable then please try the advanced search found further down the page.

Doing the Advanced Search (of the Forum).

Ok, so you've found the HoP advanced search, but what should you type to search, and where should you look for it?

The HoP search page has a number of different variables you can search with:

  • The large box on the left of the search page gives you the option of searching in one, some or all of the Forums, you need to consider what it is you are searching for and where you believe you are most likely to find it. Keep in mind the more specific you can be the less results you will get and the less results you will have to sort through.
  • At the top of the right side of the search page is the "keywords' section. In the keyword box you can type keywords that you want to find in your search. Because search engines are programs they can only function as they were created, this usually means that you actually have to think about what you want to know, they can't mind read after all! A 'keyword' is any word on the pages that are being searched; however search engines usually ignore words such as "the" "a" or "is" because they are extremely common. Keywords should be as short and precise as they can be. If you wish to find out how to do a three beat weave, the keywords would be "weave, three-beat and how". This means that you are searching for information on the weave, and the type of weave is the 'three beat', and 'how' it is done.
  • The keyword box can be refined so as you search for things in conjunction with or ignoring things. If you wish to know about the three beat weave specifically it may help to type three+beat+weave, as this will mean the search engine will only supply pages that have all three words. Likewise if you wish to search a phrase, such as "three beat weave", you can simply put it in quotation marks and the search engine will return only pages with the exact phrase. If you wish to search specifically for something that is independent from something else you can use the minus sign. Say you wish to read about staff but not poi, you can search staff- poi and you will get results that contain the word staff and not the word poi.
  • Below the keywords box are three options, they ask where in the pages do you want to search for the keywords, either in the subject heading, the subject heading and the consequent replies, or in the subject heading and the first post. When searching you should consider which part of the page your keywords are likely to be in, and change the selection accordingly.
  • Below the keywords section is the 'search user' option, this option will search for posts by the user in whatever part of the forums you have selected, and will list then from the most recent to the least recent.
  • Below the search user option is the 'Date Range' option. If you know the date the post or thread was made this tool can be mighty useful. You simply have to switch "search posts made on any date" to "search posts within the following range" and then indicate the dates between you wish to search by filling in the blanks. Remember you still need to have "key words" when you use the date range option.


User Searches.

The user search option can be found by clicking the 'community' sign in the task bar which runs horizontally along the top of the website at all times. Once this task bar is opened more options will appear horizontally below the current one, slightly right of centre on this menu bar is an option titled "User List" Clicking this will open HoPs complete user list. Alternatively the user list is also accessible by logging into your HoP account and clicking the "user List" link option below the "main Index" link.

When on the "User List" page, there is a search option in the middle of the page immediately above the list of users. This can be used to search exact user names so as you can view people's profiles, note only correct usernames or part of usernames will be found.


Video/Image Gallery Searches.

Both the Video and Image Galleries can be found by clicking the 'community' sign in the task bar which runs horizontally along the top of the website at all times. Once clicked you will find directly below this the "gallery" and the "Video" sections are available. Open these windows and if you can't find the image or video that you want you can click the "search" option which is located on the right of the page in a white bar above the list of images/videos. Alternatively the gallery search is also accessible by logging into your HoP account and clicking the "gallery search" link directly below the "who's on line" link.

In this search both images and videos will be found in the results.

There are three different variables that can be addressed when searching in the Gallery. These are:

  • The "Keywords" box, found on the left of the search option, should be filled in to specify what it is you want to find. (Please see the "keyword" box explanation in the "Doing an Advanced Search" section of this article). Unlike the "keywords" box in the Advanced Search of the Forums, the "Keywords" box in the gallery enables you to search for the title of the image or video, the title and description of the image or video, comments made about the video, or all fields.
  • At the top of the right section of the search box is a "search by user option". This option enables you to find all images or videos uploaded onto HoP by any single user.
  • Lastly there is an option to "specify a date range" where if you know when a certain image or video you wish to find was posted, then you can specify that time by simply filling in the blank boxes.


The rating system?

The administrators have recently put in place a rating system, with which you can rate threads as to how useful and informative you consider them to be. The higher the average rating a thread gets the more likely it is to appear on the top of the search list when you search for it. This means that if you do find a useful thread it would be greatly appreciated if you take the time to rate it by going to the 'rate this thread' window just above the quick reply box.

In closing, please remember that the search option is just a simple program, it cannot think like us and although it will find the words you are looking for, it has no comprehension of what they mean or what context they should be in, you are smarter than it! THINK about what you want to search, ADDRESS the variables and PATIENTLY find what you seek!

Good luck and happy HoPping

Mr Majestik



See also: The forum search page , Article pages

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