I'm looking for your opinion about a new feature that's available for the community called Search Before Post (or something along those lines). It would basically for search before you could post a new topic.
if I understand you correctly, you would like somehow to encourage, possibly even strongly, to get those posting on a problem issue they are experiencing, to do a search of existing postings first.
I am assuming you wish in this way to help those with problems in finding a possible solution more quickly. As a secondary result, it would have the potential to stop redundant postings from being made on problems/issues which already have been resolved and for which solutions have been posted previously.
All of that would seem to be good, and lead to better Forum utilization and more effective problem resolution for Forum users.
You state this new feature is available. How does it work, and what would the web interface/posting process be to accomplish this?
I can think of a number of different approaches that could be used to achieve this objective. What exactly did you have in mind?
Also, would such a feature be optional to use, or would it be a required/mandatory step in creating a new thread, or possibly even to reply on an existing thread?
I have activated it on the stage side of the forums, it is really subtle. It works much like the current search bar does where suggestions are presented below the text box. But it applies the search bar to the subject line of a new post. So it pulls suggestions as you type.
I've attached a screen cap so you can see what I mean.
FYI - we will be starting this feature out this week (I hope). I'll post a little announcement about it. It's been improved since I first talked to you about it. It used to surf off a draft post and now it opens the search items to the right.