i try to search for stuff as the forum asks before posting a post but i've not had a lot of success
Yes, almost every forum asks for the same in an intent to keep the topics and the info focused instead of spreading in so many topics, plus keeping the date base smaller. Nice, but... Usually the search tools in so many forums work far from decent, and using customized searches with Google use to work much better. Type this into Google:
site:forums.linuxmint.com whatever you want to search for
In other hand, small forums like this with not too much activity are not specially helpful in many cases. For instance if you use the main flavor, Cinnamon you are more likely to get sucesful help. Most Mint users use the main version, but if you are using KDE like me, most topics about questions and problems normally live unsolved or simply don't have any reply. I use to find better help surfing the web for help in other forums, blogs, wikis or whatever. Don't get me wrong. I still prefer rather small forums with a friendly helping community. Huge ones, like the Ubuntu forums are kinda crazy. Too much activity going so posts are often swallowed and lost in the immensity within minutes. To search the huge forums, better use the Google search instead of posting on them. Whatever you want to ask is surely asked and discussed a lot of times before. It's the idea why the forums staff ask for using the searches before posting. and what the small forums want to achieve too... but this seldom happens.
anyone else here feel we might need to review our help documents?
Are you referring to this?http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/welcome