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#1142699 - Thu Aug 18 2016 08:46 AM Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
Hi!

We haven't asked for volunteers in a long time, so thought I'd put this out there and see if there is any interest.

"Ask FT" is 15 years old now, and a lot of the older entries need updating.

Most importantly, a lot of reference links to other websites simply don't work anymore. Many point to pages or sites that don't exist. I have written a program which is going through every link, in an attempt to determine which are good and which are bad. There are a few thousand bad ones.

What I'm looking for is a small number of people who'd be interested in going through a list of answer responses with old, broken links over the next few months and replacing them with new, valid links and/or answers. Probably 4 or 5 volunteers should do. No pressure of course. You can edit them as you see fit, and do a handful a day or whatever suits you best.

Please let me know if you'd be interested. What you would see is a list of all posts with bad links. I would give your account specific access to edit posts with faulty links, and you could edit the links directly to point somewhere valid.

The "Volunteer" badge would of course go to those who helped us out.

Thanks
Terry


Edited by Terry (Thu Aug 18 2016 08:58 AM)

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#1142701 - Thu Aug 18 2016 09:27 AM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
nautilator Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Mon Jan 09 2012
Posts: 456
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Is this specifically for broken links? I imagine there might be other things to check, like whether or not questions meet posting guidelines.

Either way, I'd be up for this.

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#1142706 - Thu Aug 18 2016 09:46 AM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: nautilator]
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: nautilator
Is this specifically for broken links? I imagine there might be other things to check, like whether or not questions meet posting guidelines.

Either way, I'd be up for this.



Broken links is the focus, but while you're there, adding/correction info would be great too! We actually get a lot of people visiting FT to get answers to these questions, so giving them correct and useful answers is important.

Thanks. I'll send you a message when it's set up and we're ready to go.

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#1142707 - Thu Aug 18 2016 09:49 AM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
zorba_scank Offline
Prolific

Registered: Tue Feb 20 2007
Posts: 1908
Loc: Mumbai India
I'd like to sign up too.
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#1142708 - Thu Aug 18 2016 09:51 AM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: zorba_scank]
CmdrK Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
Posts: 1780
Loc: Nevada USA
I'd like to do this. Please consider me.
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#1142713 - Thu Aug 18 2016 12:28 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
shuehorn Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Jul 04 2006
Posts: 3317
Loc: Lawrenceville Georgia USA     
I would love to do this if you need more help.
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#1142716 - Thu Aug 18 2016 01:01 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6291
Loc: Florida USA
Sorry, slow dial up ISP prevents my involvement in URL surfing activities. It takes 5 minutes to load new websites.

Will you or could you offer malware antidotes to those who will be your helpers? I think that would be the biggest detriment for your helpers to guard against doing this task.
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Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

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#1142718 - Thu Aug 18 2016 01:38 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
MiraJane Offline
Prolific

Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1148
Loc: New York USA
I'd like to try and do it.

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#1142719 - Thu Aug 18 2016 01:43 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
LadyNym Online   content
Participant

Registered: Sun May 15 2016
Posts: 15
Loc: Virginia USA
I'd be glad to help! Count me in, please!

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#1142720 - Thu Aug 18 2016 02:05 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
gracious1 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue May 01 2012
Posts: 990
Loc: New York USA
I'd be glad to help also! Count me in as well!
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#1142723 - Thu Aug 18 2016 02:19 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
postcards2go Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Nov 20 2008
Posts: 962
Loc: New York City USA
I enjoy Ask FT. I'd like to help keep it up-to-date.
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#1142725 - Thu Aug 18 2016 02:27 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
satguru Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7002
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
Hand up from me, I've been digging around there for 15 years.
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#1142747 - Thu Aug 18 2016 05:00 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6291
Loc: Florida USA
Will there be a heads up to current members that their reply will be changed?
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

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#1142748 - Thu Aug 18 2016 05:04 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
No. A line will appear under their post generated by the system indicating it has been modified, with the user's name and date.

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#1142749 - Thu Aug 18 2016 05:28 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6291
Loc: Florida USA
We are now voting to try and identify the best answers. Will there be a similar system to allow us to indicate our preference on the new answers?
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

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#1142751 - Thu Aug 18 2016 06:00 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
Same deal as always. The goal is the edit links. The cleanup crew can post their own additional responses.

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#1142752 - Thu Aug 18 2016 06:04 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
Thanks for all the interest. It is a daunting task, so we will need a number of helpers. Will send you a forum mail over the next couple of days if we need your help. Thanks!

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#1142753 - Thu Aug 18 2016 06:12 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
MissCirrus Offline
Participant

Registered: Fri Aug 28 2015
Posts: 23
Loc: Denbighshire UK
Count me in, Terry!
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Write drunk, edit sober.

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#1142757 - Thu Aug 18 2016 07:02 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
PDAZ Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Aug 02 2008
Posts: 459
Loc: Phoenix Arizona USA           
I'm also willing, if needed

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#1142774 - Thu Aug 18 2016 11:13 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Shadowmyst2004 Offline
Explorer

Registered: Sat Jan 02 2016
Posts: 77
Loc: Ohio USA
Looks like you got plenty of people. But if you need another. I'm more than willing to help out.

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#1142779 - Fri Aug 19 2016 12:57 AM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
reedy Offline
Explorer

Registered: Mon Apr 28 2003
Posts: 61
Loc: Manitoba Canada
I'm interested, too. But travelling until Labour Day weekend. Good after that.
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#1143782 - Thu Sep 01 2016 12:33 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6291
Loc: Florida USA
Terry,
So, I wonder why the question I replied to in Ask FT that had a valid link got reviewed and changed. And, how did a two year old that was just changed by the cleaning crew manage to get 4 votes the day it was changed? Are the cleaners accessing a list of their work to vote for each other? http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question137766.html

I'm not claiming the new answer is wrong or that mine is better but I just want to point out that the question asked about gemstones and the answers other than mine cite data for what is called Precious gems. Gemstones include more than diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Gemstones include all the rocks dug out and are capable of being used for decorative purposes like Lapis Lazuli, Jade, Amber, Aquamarine, Quartz and Amethyst. So my input originally sought to iron that point and make people aware that there are artifacts made from gemstones that weigh multiple tons and not just the few hundred pounds of the precious gems cited in the other answers. Also worthy of a ponder is that the new entry of the Bahia Emerald is already posted in the link shared by Walneto, so why is the new post necessary?. Wasn't Walneto's link examined?

I just can't figure why this Q&A got into the 'needs cleaning' set of question numbers? Except I'd have expected an editor who read the replies and was fixing things to have undone my typo of 'yr5s'.

Then I noted the 2 new links. One is from Wikipedia, which should remain fairly unchanged and accessible for many years to come. Also, it being a dot org (.org) it does not allow posting of new content without scrupulous examination and review, affording a virtually malware free entry. Contrast that to the other new link provided in the new post from a dot com (.com). There we will find advertisement style sheets and those are known to be the sources of malware intrusion into sites. But beyond that, it is a commercial site and those only offer free access to current product info. Those sites also have little or no possibility to refute the published claim. Either there is no comment section or comments are restricted to subscribers. In a couple of months, that site might archive the linked article and then restrict access only to subscribers. I see this as putting a dust bunny under the bed that will show as more dirt that needs to be cleaned in a couple of months.

I did not want to say anything to upset the boat about this clean up effort. But I think I had to come and suggest that possibly you limit new links to dot orgs (.orgs). Even though a dot com may be clean now, when someone goes to the question in two years, a dot com could be archived, gone or infected. Meaning, using the question linked above as an example, what was a valid but not perfect set of replies now has a worm growing in it and future cleaning will be needed.

4 votes on the day of cleaning? And you have to search to find the original question. It's not one of the ones in the New list that most people go to and I doubt 5 people (cleaner plus 4 voters) came up with wondering about the largest gemstone in less than a day. The vote data is being skewed in other words by the very cleaning intended to fix the problems. I appreciate the effort to improve Ask FT but I wonder if this isn't just swapping one problem for another, like what happened with the States/Nations Trivia database. I'd hate to see Ask FT scrapped like the States/Nations was. I hope you've captured an image of the Ask FT from before this work began in case you decide to go back to what was there and just put new restrictions to new replies in place to go forward with a better product. Rant over smile

PS, not a rant, just clearing my throat:
When someone comes here and finds a reply that has a link that reports URL not found, or some such linkage, the person who is looking for an answer to their question still has the data that the original responder offered, only the link is gone. Left in that situation, wouldn't the searcher use the data from here to find further information? Add a caveat that some links may be lost but the information as posted was found to be valid at the time it was posted. And ask that if that situation is encountered to then add any new links found for that answer (not new answers - they can come through your "Incorrect data" system already in place).


Edited by mehaul (Thu Sep 01 2016 12:56 PM)
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

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#1143786 - Thu Sep 01 2016 02:09 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Shadowmyst2004 Offline
Explorer

Registered: Sat Jan 02 2016
Posts: 77
Loc: Ohio USA
Mehaul, you'll note that the entry you reference as having a link that is valid is the one that was edited. Likely the dead link was replaced by the current one. That is what the cleanup crew is doing. Fixing all the dead links, and making that section of the site more user friendly.

Posts that are changed, are noted as such.

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#1143791 - Thu Sep 01 2016 02:55 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
kyleisalive Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Mar 07 2005
Posts: 6545
Loc: Toronto, Canada, eh!
Quote:
But I think I had to come and suggest that possibly you limit new links to dot orgs (.orgs).


This would seriously restrict the amount of revision/posting that people are able to do on AFT.
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#1143793 - Thu Sep 01 2016 03:04 PM Re: Wanted: Ask FT Cleanup Crew [Re: Terry]
Terry Online   FT-blank

Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 19140
Loc: USA
The goal of the cleanup crew is to make old posts more useful. A lot of stuff written years ago is stale, broken, wrong, and in need of updating.

That's mostly fixing broken links.

It's also reducing posts that contain huge walls of copy/pasted text.

The cleanup crew is also able to vote up a reply in ancient threads that were here before the voting system existed. A lot of those threads have few to no votes, and so they need a kick from the future.

If a post has been kicked up on an ancient thread and you disagree with the answer, I suggest you mail the person who made the post and voted it as "accepted" to plead your case.

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