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[GUIDE] Get the Most Out of community.secondlife.com Search!

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Torley Linden

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I hope you've been finding community.secondlife.com's search to be a great improvement over the previous system. In my own raw usage of digging stuff up, I've found the autocomplete (also called "auto-suggest") to be a lovely friction-reducer in finding answers fast. As you get more comfortable with search, here are handy things to know:

The search box is on almost every page

Ain't that convenient? Just about everywhere you go on community.secondlife.com, you'll see the familiar search box in the upper-right.

The search box is on almost every page.png

One notable exception is directly under the Answers tab, because here, a simple search is contained within the "Ask a Question" widget to reduce confusion. But when viewing a particular Answers thread, your private messages, and more — there's the search box!

You can make search results more useful

Community participation — YES, YOU — helps good things float to the top. How?

For example, if you ask a question in Answers and get a helpful answer, make sure to mark it with Accept as Solution. This highlights it so others who have the same question after you can see it easier. It should also rise up in search results.

Also, if you're generally browsing Answers and see a helpful answer, click the Kudos button, available in certain places. It's an easy way to thank the answer-giver and help others focus on what's useful. Kudos are part of our ranking system, which makes it easier to see who extremely helpful Residents are.

You can make search results more useful.png

(If you're wondering: "I didn't notice that before!" you'd be right, because we didn't have Kudos when we initially launched community.secondlife.com. But it was added last week.)

For more on where you can give Kudos — or revoking them if you made a mistake — see this Community Help page.

Various Lindens, including myself, are also watching for threads that our Residents deem especially worthwhile. In rare cases when a thread is so broadly useful that IT MUST BE SEEN BY EVERYONE (OMG!), we can also float (sticky) a thread to the top of a forum, like this:

Floated-stickied threads.png

For your own personal view (that doesn't affect anyone else), you can choose Topic Options > Float this Topic to the Top when viewing a thread, making it easier to find on future visits:

Float this Topic to the Top.png

Search for a specific Resident

Are you looking for someone's profile? Here's how:

  1. In the search box's dropdown menu, select Users.
  2. Enter their name (or your closest guess) and wait for it to autocomplete, or click Search.

Search for a specific Resident.png

Note: There's a weird bug. If you go back a page after viewing results and do another search, it may incorrectly show "0 matches". I've reported it.

Bookmark power search if you use it often

Starting your search with the simple mode should work fine for most, but if you regularly find yourself narrowing down options, you can bookmark the power search page. If you want to keep track of search results over time because there are keywords you're watching for — like a type of land you want to buy — then you can Subscribe to RSS Feed for this Search, too.

If you're accustomed to Boolean operators and want even more options, click the Advanced Search... link to get super-granular. As we say here, the world's your prim oyster. ;)

Advanced Search... + Subscribe to RSS Feed for this Search.png

What does that "Highlight" thing do in the Forums?

When clicking Options in the upper-right of a forum post, this appears:

Highlight post.png

I asked community guru Lexie Linden and she clued me in: turns out it's the same as it's similar to "Permalink", which puts a specific URL for that post in your browser's address bar, which can be useful within a huge thread.

UPDATE: As Cerise Sorbet clarifies in the comments: "The highlight function should literally highlight posts in a different background color, but the graphical backgrounds used here have been covering up the effect." Oh boy, we need to fix that!

Of course, the name is confusing — I was expecting the post to glow or something. So I've made a request to rename Highlight to Permalink like we already use elsewhere on the site, like at the bottom of a blog comment.

Use Google to search all of secondlife.com

What if you want to search not just community.secondlife.com, but all of secondlife.com? Or a specific subdomain? Google offers a popular workaround:

If you find yourself doing this frequently, you could create a Google Custom Search to save time. As those 80s NES days used to say: NOW YOU'RE PLAYING WITH POWER!

For more info on how to search community.secondlife.com, see Community Help - Searching.

Got a compelling search tip you wanna share? Let's hear it!

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Thank you Torley. I was wondering about that highlighting/Permalink thing. :)

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The highlight function puzzled me for a while. It turns out that it does do something here, but a flaw in the LL site design keeps us from seeing it. The highlight function should literally highlight posts in a different background color, but the graphical backgrounds used here have been covering up the effect.

To see how highlighting works, you can try this in a user style sheet. This example uses a border instead of a background change, that's the easiest way demonstrate. :) It can be handy to keep your place in a long thread while paging around.

For this site, only the first entry makes much of a difference. If works in the forum areas, it does not do much here in the blog area.

 

#lia-body .lia-content .lia-effect-highlight {  border: 5px solid #FFFF7F !important;}#lia-body .lia-content .lia-effect-highlight-start {  border: 3px solid #FFFF7F !important;}#lia-body .lia-content .lia-effect-highlight-end  {  border: inherit !important;}

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@Cerise THANK YOU for that correction and clarification, I've updated the post and am going to forward that info to our community platform gurus.

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Thanks, Torley!  I've been looking for a way to get an RSS feed of all blog posts again (like the old feedburner one), but I couldn't find one... So with the discovery of the RSS Feed for this Search link, I managed to hack up a link to an RSS feed of all blog posts.  (Well, I think... :) I had to check the "Topics with no replies" checkbox, which I hope doesn't do anything weird for blogs.)

[edit] Actually, I found someone in Answers that had a better link - http://community.secondlife.com/secondlife/rss/Category?category.id=Blogs ^^;

http://community.secondlife.com/secondlife/rss/search?location=Category%3ABlogs&openresponse=true

Long Version: http://community.secondlife.com/secondlife/rss/search?sort_by=-topicPostDate&location=Category%3ABlogs&advanced=true&search_type=thread&search_page_size=10&openresponse=true&filter=openResponse%2Clocation

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I realize this is quite an old post, but there's a search tip that's rarely discussed:


 Use the same search function built into the Second Life website. When you log into the SL website, in the upper right corner there is a dropdown menu option to search. Once you enter a search term, it will open the search page that shows in the viewer ... with a major advantage:

 After you find a likely result, expand the listing by clicking on its title, then click on the <More Info> button. This will take you to the (I assume ...) leftover legacy search detail page, where you can view the individual items that are searchable on that parcel ... with a direct <go> button to the item. NICE!!

 Personally, I do this in an external browser where I have the added ability to use the page search function (generally Ctrl-F) that is not available in an internal browser. 

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