Update, Progress Report and Gimme Your Input – #2

Hi everyone!

It’s me Don with your weekly update. I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Time to get your input on a very important feature that will, I hope, help you get better answers to your Excel questions.


The new server was installed last week and everything seems to be moving along well now. If you notice any errors or issues please let me know.

The voting system has been finished and is working really well but isn’t live yet.

I’m moving along with new features and, in an ideal world, everything will be finished in about a month. 😛

Important Feature – Need Your Input

Answers vs. Comments

I want to setup the Q&A forum so that it is easy to find the correct answer to a question.

This means that two things should happen:

  1. Allow the user who asked the question to select an answer from one of the replies and then display that answer prominently.
  2. Separate actual answers to the question from discussions/comments made to clarify the question.

The second point is important and really where I want to get your input!

I am thinking of having discussion/comment sections. These comment sections would be located under each post, both question and answer, and indented so it’s easier to identify them; writing in them would be optional and only used to clarify things in order to provide a better answer to the question.

This will be confusing at first for some people but I feel that it will make it much easier to find answers to questions when you search for them.

What do you think? Gimme your thoughts and Ideas! 🙂


Have a great week!


17 Responses

  1. Sandi says:

    This sound great so the outline would look something like this;

    • don says:

      Well, not exactly, but I didn’t want to put all of my thoughts out there in the post b/c I didn’t want to influence suggestions too much. But, I am thinking that The format will be like this:

      Discussion/Comment – used to clarify what is needed etc.
      Discussion/Comment – used to clarify what is in the answer etc.
      Discussion/Comment – used to clarify what is in the answer etc.

      (each Discussion/Comment section is supposed to be indented but it doesn’t show in the comments)

      The discussion/comment sections are optional but the Question and each Reply would have the ability to have them if needed. This functionality is common in new types of forums and it seems to work well for them, but it is a big departure from the traditional layout of discussion based forums.

  2. Sandi says:

    There should be two indention’s one for Replies and another for Answers.

  3. Richard says:

    Wow what a great Excel service. I save every email for future reference and read them all. One important tool that would have huge benefit in addition to the attached Q&A:: Is there a way you can create an index of the keyword(s) in the titles so we can find earlier posts? Maybe the index could be accessed from this URL?

    • don says:

      I am currently working on a search feature for the forum so all of that will be indexed and I will include vote counts for posts in an effort to return the most relevant results possible. Or, did you mean searching the tutorials on here? Those are available on the Excel Tutorials page, link is at the top of the page.

  4. Aivars Norenbergs says:

    You are right – the answers need to be separated from the comments and suggestions since the answer is a direct solution to the problem, but a comment/suggestion might not be one.
    The layout could look like this:

    1. ANSWER or perhaps several ANSWERS selected by the user who had a question, then below:
    a) comments (could be multiple entries)
    b) suggestions (could also be multiple entries)

  5. Angus says:

    Maybe offer a check-box when user is responding with a comment. User – Is your response an Answer?, Comment? or Discussion Point?

    • don says:

      Hmm that’s an interesting idea! I will think about how something like that could be implemented b/c it could certainly help to reduce posting errors and confusion.

  6. Kravitz says:

    That would be a good idea, and the questions at time of entry, can be added into broad categories, so that others can easily search for a solution before adding new questions.
    Keep up the good work.

    • don says:

      Thanks for the input! And yea I’m hoping the “tags” or “keywords” that will be required for a new question will help with categorization.

  7. Dinesh says:

    Hi… tanks for input upadate.

  8. hesham says:

    SO useful

  9. Aivars Norenbergs says:

    The person who asks the question should be prompted to enter what Excel version he/she is using. We all know how frustrating it is when a question is asked, but the one who supplies the answer has done the work in a different Excel version. Consequently, the person who asked the question cannot use the solution due to the differences in the Excel editions.
    I know that the issue with the VBA syntax, for example, is a serious problem when looking for a solution in two different Excel programs. Thanks.

  10. Jon says:

    Don. This forum is truly going to be awesome and I’m so looking forward to using it. Just like Richard, I already save every one of your emails for future reference but this will be the icing on the cake! It is definitely good that the person initially asking the question is the one who selects the most appropriate answer, as no one else really knows why they asked the question in the first place. I also would use Richard’s keywords search facility and Aivars’ suggestion regarding Excel version is very valid. Keep up the great work.

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