Abuse of the "New Topic" Button Vs Search Field (Repeat Posts)

To all this may apply to…

Welcome to the SmartThings Community, this is one of the most amazing development communities around (as quoted by most long term members) Here you will find years of hard work, development, discussions and solutions for your new and exciting SmartThings Home Automation System by some equally exciting and creative individuals.

Should you have any issues with your SmartThings setup that the Documentation, Knowledge Base or Support Team (email/chat/phone) cannot solve, then this is the place to find your answer…

As easy as it is to hit the button and ask your question in the hope that someone with more ST Wisdom will come to your saving grace like a 24/7 IT Support worker, it isn’t always the best approach. Please remember 99% of the users here are “users & third party developers” and not staff, so they are not paid to play a technical support role and answer similar questions week in week out in there spare time, most are here to contribute or for information and ideas of there own, however many are usually more than happy to help with new issues and ideas presented to the community.

You will find that with most subjects and issues, if you use the search field

you will more than likely find your answer to a lot of the existing problems. Like yourself, at one point someone else has more than likely had that issue and it was solved month if not years ago and you can find your solution within the massive archives of content on here, its the real value of SmartThings to new users (the vast amount of support / solutions and ideas on this community) so it makes sense to make use of it as a pose to spamming the community with replicated posts (which are usually just linked back to the older solution)

Should you search for a topic and find nothing that answers your question or relates to it in a way that you can ask your question amongst similar users, then its time to use the magic button :slight_smile:

Id hate for this post to seem rude or sarcastic in any way (it isn’t intended too) i just feel many new users haven’t realized that this community has been around for many years and just how much content/solutions are actually available here (as respectively they are new to the product let alone community) and the best ways to utalise the platform for quick answers, i also know its becoming an issue for more regular users who are seeing 101 topics about the same light switch not working days apart from each other.

Yet again, welcome to the community from myself, best of luck with your setup and i look forward to seeing your input and ideas on this amazing community in the months and years to come…


been thinking about and frustrated by this for days, if not weeks.
Thanks for taking the time to abstract this into a how-to for the new folks.


Thanks for posting, I did not find it rude at all. I am 4 days in using ST and it’s my first home automation product. With so much to absorb and learn about this product, I have already found these duplicate topic posts to be a distraction from the limited time I have to give on this project.

The ST support staff has been extremely helpful and I rely on them as my first line of defense towards solving any issues. While waiting for ST support to reply I will peruse this community for potential answers. This community board has been extremely helpful to me and I will reserve posting any “New Topics” for issues left unresolved by the ST Support staff (but only after using the “Search Field” first).


Its great to have more enthusiastic users on board, and i look forward to seeing what magic you come up with, the reason i mentioned…

is because i know that sometimes text doesn’t always portray a view or idea great, it was meant as more of a guide / point in the right direction to users who hadn’t identified the actual depth of information available on here from the years of hard work by internal and third parties, its great to see it came across correctly, cheers for the heads up.

yet again, best of luck with the setup, i hope to see your spare time turned into a masterpiece of technology :blush:

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Yea I’m excited to see what the new wave of users does to this platform, but I can’t keep up with the new post count to be helpful. More often than not it’s the end of the night, I look at a couple posts where I might be able to help then I dismiss all because I can’t keep up with them.


This is a reason why we should help @JDRoberts get the Smartthings Wikipedia up and running.


Four words to every new (and old) user:

Search :mag: is your friend.

(And lazily creating new Topics before Searching, is the easiest way to avoid making new friends… I have no problem being rude and sarcastic about it — just pragmatically, nothing personal :smiling_imp:).

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I like this post and agree with @keithcroshaw. This weekend it was raining and raining (still raining), and the wife was out, so I decided to play in the Community. Wow were there a lot of posts and repeat topics. I thought when a new topic was being created that similar topics would start showing up right above the subject/title? Or am I thinking about the online support request site?


All we need is to make people read this post before hitting the new topic button and not after!

Maybe for those who are helping out, we can all use a standard response. Something like: here is your answer or the link you need…now can you please delete your thread, so we don’t clutter the forum?!

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What i wrote above should be reworded into a few small simple paragraphs with simple diagrams/images as a sort of intro page for first logins to the community . . .

So new user signs in, then has to scroll down the page and read about standard practise (make it visually appealing so they dont just scan past) and then they must sort of click an acceptance button which takes them to the community :slight_smile:

It would hopefully elimate all of the first time keybord warriors from creating new topics to have a moan about a feature that is unavailable and currently been fixed (but they havnt looked for more info on) or the 101 posts about a certain lamp not connecting…

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I recommend those interested in this particular Topic to consider browsing http://meta.discourse.org, as the SmartThings Community is not alone in this challenge.

One thing that could help (if we accepted as “normal”) is that privileged users (Badge" Regular) here are allowed to arbitrarily re-Title, recategorize, and tag Topics (but not split/merge).

More accurate Topic Titles slightly lower the likelihood of redundancy, as the New Topic feature suggests existing ones by Title.

But folks are sometimes offended if someone renames their Topics. :confounded:

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How abouttttttt a new user cant create a topic until they have completed ten posts - it then forces new users to look for answers as a pose to asking them again :slight_smile:


This is a slippery slope. While I agree people should read posts before posting new ones, let’s be careful that we don’t make people feel they are being a pain or being stupid. One of the things that kept me with smartThings though the rough times was the EXTREMELY supportive and helpful community. I enjoy this community, but my feelings would be different if I was shunned every time I posted a duplicate topic.

With that said, people should also be aware that as you’re typing in your body of the topic, the forum is giving you potential matches. On a few occasions I’ve found my answer because the body of my topic contained the key words my search did not.


Terry that right is granted with ‘regular’ badge already. @JDRoberts has been fighting this war for sometime now. Even I have done it on a very few occasions.

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I think only allowing regulars to create new topics would work best. Leave it to @JDRoberts and we will have a super organized community!


Its a catch 22 situation, when it was a smaller community it was easy for more advanced users to be supportive day to day, the user base has nearly doubled in the last few months and its not the odd topic now been duplicated, its the same ones several times a week . . .

It is all about having a happy balance, the more clone topics we see appear, the less attention advanced users will pay to helping other users, as it will seem like a chore for them . . .

But then we dont want people to keep there mouths shut in fear of sharing and been a part of the community . . .

Hence why i said it may be a good idea to make it veryyyyyyy clear and transparent on first login with a nice splash page about keeping the community clean and organised and not been lazy (using search feature effectively etc) its not like asking them to send a blood sample, its just basic respect for the community and years of efforts to get it to this point . . .

The thing i fear most is all the advanced users backing off and been alienated from the community, as they see it as been more of a chore to log on as a pose to an enjoyable way to spend there spare time and contribute and help advance the platform, because then everythinggggggg will go to pot.

We have all got to keep the loyal and heavily respected contributers of this community happy and show a basic level of respect for everyones hard works over the years, not spam it up with dead 1 reply topics in the hope of a lazy quick answer.


I agree. But. The search is not that great. I have been using these forums for over a year and I still cannot find what I am looking for sometimes. Even when I am looking for an old post that I made myself. Combine that with the fact that the support section could be designed to be a little more user friendly and you have people just asking instead of looking. Remove the friction to finding answers and you will have less repeat questions. People by and large will always take the path of least resistance and right now that path is just asking on the forums.


That’s the purpose of Support@SmartThings.com … I’m dead serious.

If something is a simple question; not related to Development, or unsupported Devices and SmartApps, or “real customer experiences”, then it should be answered:

  1. In the documentation.

  2. In the knowledge base: https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us

  3. By the Support email and/or Chat.

  4. By a thorough Forum Search.

  5. Finally: By a post in the Forum with answers subject to volunteers and discussion.

Too many people are turning here first. That is often inappropriate.

If it’s not a question, and just a complaint, well then, start at #4, or, even better, redirect >> /dev/null


Try telling that to the folks who developed / develop Discourse (http://meta.discourse.org). They are very proud of this system that has no regular expressions, or other advance search capability.

Perhaps we’re supposed to use Google “site search”?

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Couldnt agree more - i should of really added that into my origonal post . . . This is a DEVLOPER community not a CHARITABLE CONSUMER SUPPORT FORUM haha