I see both sides to this issue and as a former retail pet shop manager, I know it gets frustrating seeing or hearing the same question over and over. ( I left retail for exactly the reasons expressed on this thread.) I have a suggestion to the moderators or website designer: Divide each forum, within each section(Fw
) into headings "Beginners", "Advanced" & "Most asked questions" in both. The advanced hobbyists have the option which to post in but the newbies can only post in the beginner sections for a limited amount of time. Set this up to enable everybody access to the advanced section to learn by the postings of advanced hobbyists but not be able to post into the advanced section until they have "X" number of posts in the beginner's section or something along that line. This way, the advanced hobbyists can choose to go to the "beginner" section to help or stay in the advanced sections for more advanced issues. As mentioned in a previous post, there are enough advanced hobbyists that are more then willing to help the newbies. The others that don't won't to, won't have to deal with this issue. If this is not an acceptable alternative, make a FAQ section and put a pop up window when opening the particular forums stating that prior to creating a new thread, check the FAQ section first.
Obviously, there will need to be some filtering needed to be done by the website designer but I'm sure if they used the similar filter that designates each member as a "Newbie, Finatic, etc., it would be a good start. Even if a newbie slips through the circumvents the filter, their postings will give them away and appropriate actions can be taken by AA.
Just a possible solution to this situation