This is something which went backwards slightly with the redesign of the forums a year or so ago. I often remember that someone in particular (like Joe, James, Robert, Andy...) posted something on a thread that I want to find again, and that definitely got harder.
The best way I've found is to to use an external Google search across the site. That works quite well for this - though Google's index isn't always completely up to date and it doesn't seem to find all posts for some reason.
In the Google search box you need to limit it to the Tableau site with the "site:" operator and I also include the search term "submitted by" to limit it to actual forum topics (rather than the content pages). Then include the name(s) of one or more people who you want to be on the thread. The names should be in the display format used against each posting, not the user ID format shown for the "Submitted by" bar at the top - that way you'll pick up any threads that the person has contributed to (i.e. "Shawn W" not "shawnwallwork"). Remember to put quotes round names with spaces in them.
Try going to Google and searching on:
site:www.tableausoftware.com "Submitted by" "Shawn W"
Note the quotes round "Submitted by" and your name separately - that's so it finds any thread you've contributed to.
I'm not sure that this finds everything, but I use it quite a bit and it's pretty effective.
Yes it would be nice if the forum search got smarter - but I guess we'd all prefer that the development effort went into the product rather than the forum.
Richard, what a great explanation of a good work-around. Thanks a lot!
Yes, this is a problem. We are redesigning the forums from the bottom up. When the redesign launches, we hope that the whole experience will be much greater. Searching for authors will be in the new forum!
Andy that's great to hear! Should you start a 'Wouldn't it be nice if the forums...' thread? You might get some interesting suggestions. --Shawn