ArmyNet - Why is the search function so 'disapointing'.

Discussion in 'ArmyNet Announcements' started by BuggerAll, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Why is it that the search function on ArmyNet rarely finds anything unless you know where it is?

    Try looking for The Army List, the OCE, JSP 101, the ROAL. The search function can't find them. If you search for them you will be lead to a raft of documents that mention them but not the documents themselves.

    I know that technology is not faultless but.....
  2. I typed in Wedding, Uniform, rules and combinations thereov. I ended up with stuff about how they were going to switch PTC Gym Queens to RPTC. It sucks. Agreed.
  3. Well I just searched 'RAOL', the search function came up with 'Opportunities' at the top of the list, click on it then scroll down the page and on the bottom right hand side was the link to the RAOL.

    If you want the OCE list, it will be top of the list on the RAOL as a link.

  4. As someone who knows Armynet, the main problem is the fact that for a page to appear in the search function, you are relying on the person making the page to put in all the search keywords. Plus there is a box to tick to make sure it appears in the search function.

    eg. arse, arrse, aarse, arsse, army, rumour, service, armyrumour, rumourservice, unofficial, gossip, forums, etc, etc, etc, etc,

    When a page is created it is up to the editor and publisher to ensure that there are as many combinations as possible, imagining what someone might put in the search function (spelling mistakes 'n all). Also, don't forget that at the bottom on the page there may be a button called "Next" with more results. Sometimes the page I am looking for will appear on the second or third page.

    The only other saving grace for the search function on Armynet is that it is 10 x better that the one on DII.
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    It's similar to the one on the MOD intranet - and that one is also utterly utterly useless. No-one bothers to use it as a result - if you know where stuff is, fine, if not, hunt it down manually, or get someone to send you a link.
  6. I can assure you that ArmyNET has not "Spunked Millions" on anything. In fact the total budget for ArmyNET since it's inception has not reached the magic million mark. Nor are there any Royal Signals officers, serving or retired, in receipt of money for the running of ArmyNET.

    The points made by IrishDoris are correct. If the information within ArmyNET is not tagged correctly then it will not be found, no matter how efficient the search engine, even if that search engine did cost millions of pounds.

    Why aren't we tagging the information I here you ask? That would be a tall order indeed for the 3 staff that keep ArmyNET on the road. The tagging responsibility lies with the owner of the information being uploaded.

    Hope this helps and thanks for your feedback.
  7. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I understand your point about tagging and I think I can detect an trace of frustration when you mention the failure of 'owners' to tag but I've searched for things using the words that appear in the title of the item and still the search engine does not find it.

    I mentioned the 'Army List' in my original post. I understand that this is no longer published and there is a DIN (DIN 2010DIN01-134 dated Aug 10) about it. I imagine that the owners of that DIN would assume that the words 'Army List' appearing in the title would be enough for it to be found by the search engine without tagging. I would have assumed that.

    Anyway thanks for responding.
  8. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I tend to lump Armynet in with all the other MOD websites in that it's fairly useless and poorly designed, Armynet being only marginally more useful than the rest because it lets me get my pay statement early and has an official looking email address which I use when begging companies for free stuff when deploying on tour. :)

    As with most large companies the MOD has gone a bit web-mental and there are websites for everything you can imagine, almost none of which work as intended / hoped.

    I think we should accept that not every single unit in the British Army needs its own website. In theory, a good idea, but looking around it's a pile of gumf that's actually on there and the Forums... *Shakes his head*

    Seriously, what a waste of resources.
  9. MrBane

    Thanks for your feedback, you obviously have strong views on the matter.

    Could you expand on why the ArmyNET forums cause you to shake your head?

    You are absolutely right in saying that not every unit in the British Army requires a website. ArmyNET provides a platform for those units which would like a site and it also allows them to directly control the content, unlike their page(s) on British Army Website
    I would also agree with you in saying that there is quite a bit of gumf on there, especially on unit sites which were a hive of activity whilst a unit was on tour and are now laying dormant since the units return.

    I doubt that the family and friends of 1 R IRISH are viewing ArmyNET to be a waste of resources. The 1 R IRISH homepage is currently the most viewed page within ArmyNET (apart from Pay). From Sep 10 to Jan 11 that page has been receiving between 1600 and 6000 visits (visits by a humans, not hits by search engines etc) a month. I would imagine that most of those are from friends and family logging on to find out what the Bn is up to.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback about the forums.
  10. I typed 'search function' into the search box and the second item it came up with was "The Defence Contribution to Resilience". ^_~

    I think ArmyNET is ok, no gripes from me.
  11. We do a full database search, giving weight to page title h1 - h6 tags and the text within a link element. This is a bit of a dark art and I'm more than willing to investigate why a certain search term brings up tottally irrelivant results. It may even lead to a refinement of the search parameters.

    I fear most of the issues with not finding what you are looking for are the info doesn't exist in ArmyNET, The first example was the Army List and I remember removing that when it was no longer being published by Know UK.