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About GunWiki's Q&A column

The questions which people ask Yahoo or Google, which subsequently lead them here, are a good source for the kind of information which writers need: it tells us what people want to know. To this end, I review the search terms which lead folks to GunWiki on a monthly basis and answer the questions. Sometimes this means I write an article about the matter, and other times it just means that I provide a quick one-liner in that month's Search Terms column.

Yes, if you search for "xxx gun website list", I will see that you were looking for it. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to write an article about it, let alone do any research on your behalf.

Now, before anyone gets upset - I don't care what your IP address is or whatnot, and I certainly don't have your email addresses to send you spam mail. The only thing I'm interested in is answering the questions which you were searching for, and my one regret is that there's no way for TGW to look ahead into the future and tell me what folks are going to look for in advance.

Starting in November 2007, I have written a Perl script that mails me the search results every night. Trying to answer a month's worth of searches at a shot was killing me, and eventually I started getting backlogged. The script also informs me what the search terms lead to, so that I don't have to guess anymore as to whether there was a satisfactory answer to the question already on TGW. I also think the shorter lead time on articles, will improve TGW's utility and responsiveness. November's article will be created early in the month, and have questions/answers added on a frequent basis throughout the month. Starting with June 2008, I discovered that even daily searches were starting to get huge, so I added a 'memory' feature to the script so that it lists new search terms in a separate area from previously encountered ones. While I do get slightly different wordings still flagged as new, this does reduce the daily number of searches I see in the 'new' field by about 50%.

If anyone else wants to be added to the mailing list which these results get sent to, just let me know. I don't want to be TGW's sole contributor; it just happens to work out that way most of the time.


  • Interesting raw queries get integrated into the article SearchTermsRawFeed.
  • Some queries are put into WantList, and others make their way into the specific months' search term answers. Short answers without real articles to fit into remain within the monthly writings, however more in-depth things get written from time to time.
  • I periodically review the short answers within the months' search terms in order to see if there are any articles that the answers should be integrated into. Ideally, the monthly search pages should be whittled down to nothing, as cohesive articles replace the raw searches.

Designations for article status's

  • incomplete: Search terms have been submitted for that month which were neither answered, nor digested into "article wanted" specifications.
  • No designation: Article is complete.
  • In progress: Article is for the current month, as of writing, and is by definition incomplete.

-- SeanNewton - 18 Jul 2007

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Topic revision: r10 - 04 Jan 2010 - SeanNewton
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