Friday, April 25, 2014

Forums but No Togas Required

There are forums online for every conceivable interest group. I find forums to be of great use when I have a problem before me which I cannot solve in a real world way or the real world way will cost a fortune.

One problem I needed to solve was that the horn on our car would suddenly just start blasting away while we were driving it. Our usually astute body shop had seen nothing like it.  So I did a Google search for a forum which could address problems for Chrysler, make and model number inserted, with this problem.  I found an auto forum and they were discussing this problem with our car in every detail.  After I read through all of the responses it was clear that there was no way to fix the horn on the steering wheel, that we would have to install a new horn next to it after disabling that one.  It was an economical solution and fixed the problem. The answer had come from someone who had worked on those cars for decades as a mechanic for Chrysler.

Recently I had a Caliber ebook database search engine problem with my ebooks so I went to the most popular forum for ebook readers, Mobile Read Forums. I submitted the problem before I went to bed and when I woke up the solution was sitting there from a guy in India.

I need to get knee replacement surgery so went into a medical forum where patients were sharing their experiences. One guy, a marine my age, was relating his experience in graphic detail, including the unfortunate side effect from the surgery of swollen testicles. I was really glad to be female for this surgery!

I always start with a Google search as that will get me off to the best start. That usually pins me down to a few forums and I am off to explore how good they are.  I thought we would do such a forum search to show how valuable they can be in solving a problem.

Artists and craftspeople are some of the most ardent online users.  They are plugged into one another for help too.  So I drafted a query that was craft based and submitted it to Google regarding a forum for discussing sewing without patterns.

On the first page of my hits, this looked the most promising so I clicked over to it. There Martha Shaw was discussing this very issue in the Fiber Arts Forum of Wet Canvas. Helpfully she also gave two links to get one started on finding such clothing. So I followed those links. I had used Wet Canvas before so I knew it was a legit community of artists and craftspeople.

I didn't like the info at Martha's first link but the info at the second link was promising. It is shown to the left and is located here. After looking through the clothes though, I don't find anything I want to make. This means I need to do another Google search, probably trying another word combination to improve my results. I don't expect to solve this problem very quickly. These creative searches are rarely quick as there are a lot of solutions which just do not fit the other artist's taste level.

Jim just stuck my colonoscopy instructions in front of my face.  It is two weeks away.  I notice that I am using a different prep so this seems like a good time to go over to a medical forum and see what someone has experienced with it.  I find a patient who has logged a minute by minute account of using Moviprop as the gut blaster for clearing out the colon prior to the colonoscopy.  I will keep this nearby in case I get more interested in this account than I am right now.

There is a huge cancer forum presence online. All I need to do is put in a two word query, forum moviprep, and boom, I have tons of potential forums as a resource.

This account goes on and on beyond these two paragraphs. Because I've had colon cancer and endured all of its indignities, I don't find it the least strange that she has put together this diary and users are thanking her for it.

If politics is your thing, then there are plenty of forums to express your political views. I personally would not do so as I think such a forum is a likely place to start a flame war (online fight) and/or attract the notice of persons you don't want to attract. By contrast, the people on the mobile read, wet canvas, and the healing well forums are all fine. I've never had a problem with those people. Nevertheless, if you want to dive into political forums online, the following is typical of what you will experience.

Doing a google search for forum american politics yielded a ton of hits. I picked the first one listed.

Here are the topics. I pick any one of these to find myself in an ongoing discussion. I pick Illegal Immigration.

Here are the subtopics for Immigration and I select one of them. Note that the ads on this site are also different from what you are used to seeing.

Here is Jughead's response (his alias) to someone expressing his frustration on going through the Immigration & Naturalization Process.

I did not try and winnow the forum down to a conservative one or a liberal one.  It is easy enough to add either word into a Google search query.  However, then you are going to limit yourselves to forums where everyone agrees with one another.  That is not the aim of political forums! The whole point of logging onto such forums is to fight over your ideas.

In conclusion, there is a forum for just about everything. Stay away from flame wars and you should be ok on them.

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