Several recent questions from members have persuaded me that it is time to have a discussion about the way the site is organized and how to find information not available on the Main Page. I'm not going to attempt a comprehensive list as I'd like other members to join in by sharing what they know and value regarding less obvious facets of GHS.
Let's start with groups. On the Main Page in the right hand column there is a section titled Groups with three groups listed that have the most recent discussion comments. Under the bottom group listed are the words, View All. By clicking on that command you will see a full list of all the groups and be able to pull up each and review the current and prior discussions and which shalers are members of the group.
Groups are valuable for several reasons. All the group pages are set up so that members receive an email alert each time a new discussion is started. For this reason location specific questions are best posted in the appropriate group. If a new discussion is started on the Main Page, the members of that location specific group may miss it if they do not catch it before it rotates off the Main Page list of current discussions. They do not get an email alert unless the discussion is posted to the group page.
There is quite a variety of groups and some are particularly valuable to members just starting to learn about managing their mineral estates and tracking activity relative to their interest location. For those fortunate to have minerals in Louisiana the state databases, SONRIS (pronounced Sun Rise), are a user friendly source of information. The SONRIS Help Group is a good place to learn the basics of searching the database. Instead of posting a question and waiting (and hoping) that someone will answer, you can often find the answer yourself in the database. The discussions in the group will also offer helpful hints on using the database efficiently. One particularly good example is searching for wells by section-township-range. By leaving the section query box blank and just entering township and range the database will display all the wells in every section. This will speed up many searches and is especially important as members realize that horizontal wells are regularly drilled from an adjoining section. For example if you look for a horizontal well only in Section 16 you could miss that the well has a surface location in Section 9 or 21even though it is drilling into and producing from Section 16.
There's also a group for the Texas Railroad Commission database.
Note that the databases are altered and updated over time and sometimes links no longer work. In that case just ask the members of the group for help. It is difficult to keep all the specifics constantly updated.
When you post a response in a discussion the site automatically adds you to the notification list of those following the topic and receiving email alerts when additional responses are posted. If you wish to get the email alerts without making a response simply click on Follow below the reply below the discussion title. When you wish to stop receiving the alerts, click on Stop Following in the same location.
I believe we have the tabs according to how they are most useful.
Whether someone comes looking for a certain play, or simply their state, they should arrive in the proper area to get the most beneficial info.
I made no comment regarding the tabs, Keith.
Good question. Hopefully you'll get some feed back. My personal observation is that new members' questions reveal that they are unfamiliar with the state databases and may not know of the tutorials that teach them how to do their own searches. Also there are frequent questions of, "I saw such-and-such and now I can't find it". I think in the majority of cases they can't find it because it (the particular discussion response) has rotated off the Main Page. The archive is the place to find that discussion. I think that few members use the archive and that is a shame considering the wealth of information available there from four years of GHS discussion.
My biggest complaints about the site is that you can't date order a search and for groups I wish that the default would be "latest activity" and not "most active" the least accurate default. Also sometimes groups claim recent activity and when you click on the group there is no new discussions or comments. Also on front page there are categories Austin Chalk, Lower Smackover and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale that are redundant. I would either delete them or have them link into the main discussions that are listed under the Play/Formation tab. I like the site and can believe that alot of time and effort went into creating it, but these are some of the adjustments I would like to see happen if possible.
tc, group alerts are sent when a new member joins the group. In that case there is no new discussion or comment. I agree the archive could be better if configured differently as you suggest.
tc, i know that an action included in the group activity are new members. So if someone joins, that is considered new activity.
The the landing page for each forum (main page and group) can be sorted by discussion and then by newest discussion, though not a date. I'll pass the date idea onto tech support and see if that is doable. I think its a great idea.
The reason why I added the categories on the front page is that not everyone uses the groups consistently.
As a word of caution, those doing deep research will likely find strong political opinion in a lot of discussions - It isn't meant to offend (generally) but is meant to inform. If all of us thought the same way about a particular topic, this site would not be nearly so informative.
Certain topics (e.g. deep oil) seem to come back almost seasonally. Some times, they have a kernal of truth, sometimes not. While most folks here want to help, many can't share all the info they actually have. A few folks may intentionally mislead, but rarely.
Thanks for posting this GHS discussion. Newbee GHShalers don't get the benefit of "growing up" with GHS. So it must be quite daunting for them. If new GHShalers are looking for specific answers for a specific search request, I see that hundreds of discussions could pop up. Most often I think New Shalers don't have the time or don't want to spend the time that "some" of U.S. have vested here...They are just looking for an answer for their particular problem. And if they are looking for GHS info without wanting to "weed through" this massive store, it can be like going into Home Depo for the first time expecting to find a nut or bolt that no one has ever seen before...and expecting to go right to the right "nuts and bolts" bin and with one look...finding that specific one. That never happens for me... It probably won't happen here either.
The best part of GHS...IMO...is its contributors... Without GHShalers like you, Jay, Les, Henry, etc., etc., etc...and of course, Keith...who have spent thousands of hours responding to each new GHS member's "need," this experiment would not have become the O&G Shale information mecca it has become.
If New GHShalers would spend just a little time exploring GHS, looking and reading and learning...like one has to when you get a new computer program, or a new camera, new car...and just look around this site...and experience it instead of just "using" it... I think they would get so much more and probably find answers to questions they didn't know they needed to ask...or needed the answers to.
It takes time and effort... But the rewards are great. Just ask any GHS mineral owners who signed leases before they became GHS Members...
Thanks for all your time and efforts. Invaluable to say the least.
DrWAVeSport Cd 1 6/13/2012
Or, Doc, just ask the holdouts who didn't sign a lease with CHK . . .
(and, y'know, I stand in line with my family as being so darn lucky) . . .
Yet still -- others seem to have a passive/aggressive attitude (or maybe even a love/hate relationship, if certain posting histories can be believed), per some landowners not wanting to actually put the "cult of Aubrey" beast into a grave with a wooden stake into the bloodsucker's steel heart.
You always shed a light on new ideas that make a whole lot of sense...
Looks like the CHK Board Of Dipsticks just gutted the New Chairman Of The Board...even before finding Him/Her... Giving Mr. Chesapeake ALL his same CHK Chairman Of The Board Rights, just taking away the Title on his Door and putting it on the "future" CHK Chairman's...
Hey, maybe some of U.S. should apply for this new CHK Chairman's job... It sounds pretty cushy to me. Just show up, keep your mouth shut, stay out of AM's way....and rake in the $$$$...
DrWAVeSport Cd1 6/13/2012
p.s. Aubrey hasn't even paid back the "map" moneys...
GD... How about being a CHK Co-Chair, split 50-50? LOL