As a guest, i can't search?????

I’m sure someone else has posted this question before, but if I can’t search… :rolleyes:
I registered as a guest not intending to post, but because I wished to browse the boards and perhaps decide to subscribe. No way am I slogging through all this stuff looking for the things I’m interested in.

I read the "The SDMB is switching to paid subscriptions " post, but it wasn’t made terribly clear that guests can’t search. If it had been, I wouldn’t have bothered.

I don’t really see how letting guests use the search feature for 30 days isn’t a good idea. Might I suggest you rethink this? I’m more willing to pay 14.95 to search than to post on a site like this, but not before I’ve tried it!

Needless to say, when you get thousands of guests asking the same questions that have been answered countless times already, telling them to do a search before they ask isn’t an option.

Correct. You must be a member to search.

Correct. You must be a member to search. Welcome to the board.

Um… yes, I got that. (Even before the first time you said it.

If you’re not good at picking up on nuances, I’m complaining about not being able to search.

I’m not an admin or mod or anything, but I believe the reason guests are not allowed to search is to save bandwidth. The SDMB is often very slow even in the best of circumstances.

Sorry about that.

By the way, to complain about board rules, you should post in the BBQ Pit forum. The ATMB forum is for asking about and clarifying rules.

Well, I am asking WHY ? It seems a very poor policy to me. But you’re probably right… if I were allowed to use the search engine I’d probably discover how much it sucks and then I’d never subscribe.

But thanks for telling me about the BBQ Pit. After the admins tell me “because we said so and we’re not changing it” I can got there to vent.

Sometimes the search engine sucks, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s whimsical, to say the least.

I hope you stay around. You have the right qualities, WANTING to search for a previous thread, and not wasting people’s time. A very admirable quality.

For all of the quirkyness of the board, it’s worth it. In spite of the jerks, it’s worth it.


I’m pretty sure Loopus is right, and that it is to save bandwidth. The search function takes up a lot of bandwidth, and even with the membership fees, the SDMB is still a money-eating machine for the Reader.

I do recall that in one of the original discussion threads about going subscription, it was said that changes might be considered in the future if needed, but I doubt that the search function would be opened up for guests, since it’s such a bandwidth hog, unless there was some way to limit its use for a guest account.

(Note: IANAM)

Just in the interest of being factual, let me post for about the thousandth time that the Search function is a drag on server power, not on bandwidth. The primary reason Search is slow is that it takes a while to go through the word lists, thread titles, etc of the nearly 5 million posts here.

Sorry you had to post that for “about the thousandth time”… I should have searched before I asked. Oh wait… I CAN’T!!
Here’s what I don’t get: As a guest, I’m allowed to post for 30 days. Say I have a comment about one of Cecil’s “recent columns” from a couple of years ago.

I’ve read enough of the boards to note the moderators posting on quite a few occasions, “Thank you for your comment, but there are already 26 threads on this subject… might we suggest you post there?” I’ll leave it to you to figure out the flaw in this system.

Not to mention that I might be asking a question that’s already been anwered 57 times, rendering my post unnecessary in the first place.

As it is, I suppose my options are: A) Start a new thread on the column I wish to talk about, and if it’s redundant, hope somebody provides a link to the relevant thread(s), or 2) Read through 75 pages of post titles, only some of which are even descriptive of what the thread is about.

The guest membership period is to give you a flavor of the board. If you want full functionality, you’re invited to be a full-fledged member.

If you posted a threat on a subject already covered, it would be understood by the moderators that your searching options are somewhat limited; there’s limitations in being a guest. How we counsel members is different from guests.

your humble TubaDiva

I would think you could start a “Have these subjects been covered?” thread, and plenty of registered members would be happy to search for past threads for you.

It really is worth the money, though. I highly recommend ponying up the cash.

My apologies. I’m not much of a computer person, and, to tell the truth, I don’t know the difference. Despite the other 999 times you’ve made this point, I’ve never seen it.

My apologies, as I wasn’t trying to pick on either yourself or Principessa. My post was not meant to sound as bitchy as it did. It was meant to have deliberate hyperbole for humour, and failed to convey the proper message.

Quitcher whining and read the first two or three pages. If there’s nothing there on the topic, post.

I rarely search.

AND CHILL. No one will get on you when your name says “guest” if you haven’t searched. We’re not idiots, you know.

Maybe what’s such a drag on the search engine is having to sift through all those repetitive unnecessary posts by guests. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, I’ll stop complaining. But it still doesn’t make sense to me. We can get the flavor of the board just by reading it. I don’t think guests should be allowed to post if they can’t search.

We want you to try before you buy, that means reading and making posts.

And we hope that what we have to offer is such an interesting and dynamic community that you’ll pay up and stick around and be a participating member.

Being able to search the database is another little extra we extend to our members. (We hope to offer more in future, server permitting). Most people think it’s worth it. We hope you do as well.

your humble TubaDiva

Just to clarify one point, we all agree that it’s unfortunate that guests can’t search. In an ideal world, anyone at all would be able to access any piece of this vast compendium of information at a moment’s notice. For that matter, in an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to pay to post past thirty days, either. But unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, so we cannot extend full functionality to everyone. We just don’t have the resources. Even with the subscription fees, there’s still a very real limit on the hardware, bandwidth, etc. that this board can afford. Even for those of us who have paid and are therefore allowed to use the search engine, it’s still erratic and unreliable. That’s a problem, too, and one to which it also appears there is no easy solution.

However, may I say, as others have, that despite our problems, this is still a good place to be, and you do seem like you would fit well with our community. Please, consider staying.

As a recent subscriber to the SDMB, I can only say; just subscribe. As the pitch goes, “you can scratch up a few pennies a day (to pay for the subscr.) just by digging through your sofa”. This really is a bit of an elite board; a patch of prickly pears, you might say. You’ll be glad you did. I am. Just don’t ask me about Mod’s and chocolate… And if you get booted to the Pit, don’t whine, just settle in and get comfortable :smiley: .

Is it still OK to point guests to to do searches? I find it even harder to get a hit there than here, but it’s a start, I guess. Just make sure to put sdmb in your search parameters to get hits off this board. I don’t know how far back (or how recently) their thread list is though. I guess if it’s not on the first 3 pages here and you can’t find it there, go ahead and post again here!

Better yet, though, subscribe! It’s worth it.