Location search feature for classified ads - FaunaClassifieds
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FaunaClassifieds Site HELP & Feedback Forum Anything of a nature concerning this website, moderators, admin, or anything having to do with how it is being run, should go here. Criticism is welcome, but abusive antagonism is not. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM FOR FEEDBACK CONCERNING BUYERS AND SELLERS! THE BOI IS SOLELY FOR THAT PURPOSE.

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Old 06-02-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
WebSlave
Location search feature for classified ads

I know some members have been asking for a method to search classified ads within particular geographical locations for a while now, and honestly an EFFECTIVE method to do this is more difficult to do than most probably realize. But I asked my programmer to set up something that while not perfect, at least it will give members at least a rudimentary method to try to locate advertisers selling items within a localized area of interest. There are some drawbacks, of course, that I will go over in due course.

First place to start is with the Member List, which is shown as a link at the top of the page in the dark green bar.



Click on that link and it will take you to the member list function which will show all members registered on this site.

Next you need to click on the link in the upper right hand corner to Search Members with the down pointing arrow to the right of the link.



When you click on that link, you are presented with a text entry box. Ignore that and instead click on the link below it that says Advanced Search.



That brings you to a screen that gives you a bunch of search options applicable to the Members List. For the purposes of this HOW TO, the one we are interested in is the one that says City and State. I entered Tallahassee as my search criteria.



Clicking the Search Now button at the bottom of the screen then searches the database for any matches of the entered text in the City and State profile field for all members. Which in this case, looks partially like this:



Of particular note are the two buttons in the Find Posts column, second from the left. The button that says Find will find ALL posts for that member. The one we are interested in for this HOW TO, is the Ads button. That searches only the classifieds sections for ads placed by that member.

When you click on the Ads button, you then are presented with a screen showing all classified ads that have been placed by that member that are still active. "Active" in this context ONLY means not deleted. It does not mean that the items are still for sale, nor that the ads themselves are still in any way current. It doesn't even mean that the member is still a participating member of this site any longer. I suggest that you check the DATE of the ad with the understanding that contacting the member about a very old ad is likely going to be a fruitless exercise.



Some caveats here.

The search function is not going to do a "fuzzy" search. If you want to search for members in California, the search algorithm does not know that "CA" means "California". It also does not know that someone using "Cali" or "Californica" is what you are looking for. It will ONLY find EXACTLY the text you entered as your criteria. So you may have to try a couple of different searches in order to try to cover as many bases as you can.

So there it is. As I mentioned, it's not perfect, but simply because such a search function cannot on freeform text fields without very strict controls on what text is allowed to be entered. But hopefully it's better than nothing to some folks.
 
Old 06-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #2
hhmoore
Rich - before tags got abused, and the list got locked, it was mentioned that they could help in this regard. What about adding the States to the tag cloud?
(Here's a reminder to people that paid members can create their own tags)
 
Old 06-03-2014, 12:09 AM   #3
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore View Post
Rich - before tags got abused, and the list got locked, it was mentioned that they could help in this regard. What about adding the States to the tag cloud?
(Here's a reminder to people that paid members can create their own tags)
Heck, is anyone even using the tags to search for ads or other postings?
 
Old 06-03-2014, 03:30 AM   #4
RDLinATL
Fauna has tags? No but seriously...
I could see a state tag system helping with the search problem of state names once people got acquainted with it. Or at least a beta until the coding for the state search could be resolved.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 06:23 AM   #5
hhmoore
Quote:
Heck, is anyone even using the tags to search for ads or other postings?
I've seen a few people using them.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 11:34 AM   #6
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDLinATL View Post
Or at least a beta until the coding for the state search could be resolved.
There is nothing else planned to be "resolved" about the state search function. Searches are rather easy to implement programmatically. The problem is really GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) concerning the data the algorithm has to work with. Without coding very strict requirements for entering location info at registration for new members and somehow going back through all 90,000+ members to get that info to comply with those requirements (or somehow FORCING all active members to do that themselves), a search algorithm will never be very satisfactory, much less completely accurate and comprehensive.

So if the tag system would be adapted to provide search functionality for location data, then it would have to be used as such EXCLUSIVELY. At this point, I'm not sure how doing so might make other impacts (such as search engine accessibility) that would prove to be unwelcome in the long run.

There is quite likely not going to be a whole lot of effort put into this. Quite frankly, I believe the focus of the classified sections of this site should be more oriented towards internet sales of animals and merchandise, and not the promotion of localized dealings done face to face. Promoting shows, of course, will always be beneficial to all involved, but the narrow focus of single sale local transactions is probably never going to be much of a priority here.
 

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