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Topic # 24357 22-Jul-2008 10:10
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I have noticed a rigidity on forums (certainly not just GZ) in which moderators get very hung up on correcting even de minimis deviation from the thread subject.

Why is this so?

After all, when we converse in real life, we do not religiously avoid mentioning any other subject during our conversations. I am curious as to why the "tradition" has developed in on-line conversations to do so. Obviously there is a need to steer generally around the topic being discussed, but moderating even the slightest mention of something else seems almost un-human.

Any one know?





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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 150136 22-Jul-2008 10:15
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I don't see a problem in moving a little bit away from the topic. But forums are a source of solutions for a lot of people out there and moving away too much makes it harder for those to be helpful.

An example? One thing is discussing the iPhone. Then people found a cheap supplier, and others started talking about how this supplier starts scamming customers by suplying fake hair p[roducts. So at the end the users themselves created another discussion on how to get refunds from this supplier and previous experiences. Obviously not iPhone related at all.

Or about iPhone alternatives. One thing is to present the alternatives and tell people why you think they are valid. Another thing is start posting about how one hates Windows for being Windows - you did that in one discussion earlier today.

So I asked people to go back to the iPhone alternative discussion because the original poster wasn't asking about reasons to hate one OS or another...






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  Reply # 150141 22-Jul-2008 10:19
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freitasm: I don't see a problem in moving a little bit away from the topic. But forums are a source of solutions for a lot of people out there and moving away too much makes it harder for those to be helpful.

An example? One thing is discussing the iPhone. Then people found a cheap supplier, and others started talking about how this supplier starts scamming customers by suplying fake hair p[roducts. So at the end the users themselves created another discussion on how to get refunds from this supplier and previous experiences. Obviously not iPhone related at all.

Or about iPhone alternatives. One thing is to present the alternatives and tell people why you think they are valid. Another thing is start posting about how one hates Windows for being Windows - you did that in one discussion earlier today.

So I asked people to go back to the iPhone alternative discussion because the original poster wasn't asking about reasons to hate one OS or another...

Ha! No, I was only spurred on by that latter point - it is a question that has generally been ruminating for some time.

I just think it is interesting how F2F conversations are organic and evolutionary and online ones tend not to be.





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  Reply # 150176 22-Jul-2008 11:17
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Think of forums as email conversations - you set a subject for an email, and if the email conversation changes, so should your subject. What goes on in the forums is not just a conversation between its participants - it is (more importantly IMHO) an archive of information on the topic for use by future visitors.

If you have say, a question and answer about Logitech driver support under Linux, in a thread called "My ASUS gfx is broked under Vista", then the value of both are diminished - the future Logitech users will have trouble finding the conversation, and the current and future ASUS users will see a less valuable thread with irrelevant stuff in it.

Its REALLY easy to create new threads, and it is perfectly okay to post in the old thread, something like "I have a question about Windows - see this thread".

In terms of offtopicness and our policing of it, I think GZ is probably riding the median strip (though we are considered slightly extreme in other aspects of our forum management).




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  Reply # 150188 22-Jul-2008 11:33
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tonyhughes: Think of forums as email conversations - you set a subject for an email, and if the email conversation changes, so should your subject. What goes on in the forums is not just a conversation between its participants - it is (more importantly IMHO) an archive of information on the topic for use by future visitors.

If you have say, a question and answer about Logitech driver support under Linux, in a thread called "My ASUS gfx is broked under Vista", then the value of both are diminished - the future Logitech users will have trouble finding the conversation, and the current and future ASUS users will see a less valuable thread with irrelevant stuff in it.

Its REALLY easy to create new threads, and it is perfectly okay to post in the old thread, something like "I have a question about Windows - see this thread".

In terms of offtopicness and our policing of it, I think GZ is probably riding the median strip (though we are considered slightly extreme in other aspects of our forum management).

You are? Which aspects?!

Well, OK - maybe it is me. I never change the subject of emails! ;-)





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Reply # 150189 22-Jul-2008 11:37
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For example we do not accept people using "funny" names for companies. Complaining about services and products is ok, but using "funny" names is not. AS we say here, if you want respect you give respect.

Or our policy against link dropping. First link drop is the last one. We delete post and ban the user. If it happens again then we ban th IP.

Personal attacks as not welcome at any time.

We may b a bit less strict when an old time user drops a link for example. There's a huge difference between someone who posted 1000 times here and someone tha posted once only.

All moderators have my support. It's really unusual (I think unheard of) I change anything the moderators have done.







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Reply # 150196 22-Jul-2008 11:44
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freitasm:

For example we do not accept people using "funny" names for companies. Complaining about services and products is ok, but using "funny" names is not. AS we say here, if you want respect you give respect.

Or our policy against link dropping. First link drop is the last one. We delete post and ban the user. If it happens again then we ban th IP.

Personal attacks as not welcome at any time.

We may b a bit less strict when an old time user drops a link for example. There's a huge difference between someone who posted 1000 times here and someone tha posted once only.

All moderators have my support. It's really unusual (I think unheard of) I change anything the moderators have done.


I'll be fine then. I don't even know what 'link dropping' is, so I probably won't be tempted to do it!





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Reply # 150197 22-Jul-2008 11:46
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  Reply # 150216 22-Jul-2008 12:16
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Geektastic: I have noticed a rigidity on forums (certainly not just GZ) in which moderators get very hung up on correcting even de minimis deviation from the thread subject.

Actually I think the GZ moderators allow a reasonably wide latitude of deviation compared to some other sites, which does allow threads to have a more conversational feel.  When the deviation becomes too much (ie too far off topic or not coming back on topic in a timely fashion) they will jump in and remind contributors what they should be talking of.

I've heard of other sites that just delete off topic posts.  No flaming or funny names are good rules to strictly enforce, but I too don't know what link dropping is.  MF or TH - Is it something like someone promoting a website by linking to it, with no value towards any topic?

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  Reply # 150222 22-Jul-2008 12:34
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Yes, "link drop" is when someone posts about "a wonderful new site I just found".

Most of the times we know that the person posting about this "wonderful new site I just found" just happens to be the owner or a staff member trying to get some free links from around the web.




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Reply # 150230 22-Jul-2008 12:44
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I think GZ's level of moderation is a good balance of freedom of expression vs keeping everything clean and above board here.

Can't agree more with the proper companies name rule - if you were to make a mockery of my company's name, I would be very reluctant to take you seriously, plus I would question why I would contribute to a non-productive community.

The mods are an approachable bunch, so I don't see them not being able to explain a moderation issue and I've normally seen them giving reasons for locking threads, editing posts etc.

On that thought, my last point is people need to realise that this isn't a public service, but something run by Mauricio.  At the end of the day, if he doesn't like something and changes it to your dissatisfaction, tough. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

:)
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  Reply # 150402 22-Jul-2008 17:05
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nate: I think GZ's level of moderation is a good balance of freedom of expression vs keeping everything clean and above board here.

Can't agree more with the proper companies name rule - if you were to make a mockery of my company's name, I would be very reluctant to take you seriously, plus I would question why I would contribute to a non-productive community.

The mods are an approachable bunch, so I don't see them not being able to explain a moderation issue and I've normally seen them giving reasons for locking threads, editing posts etc.

On that thought, my last point is people need to realise that this isn't a public service, but something run by Mauricio.  At the end of the day, if he doesn't like something and changes it to your dissatisfaction, tough. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


Couldn't agree more, to be honest.





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Reply # 150424 22-Jul-2008 18:07
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nate: my last point is people need to realise that this isn't a public service, but something run by Mauricio.  At the end of the day, if he doesn't like something and changes it to your dissatisfaction, tough. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Ha ha - very good.

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  Reply # 151477 25-Jul-2008 23:24
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If anybody has an issue with Geekzone, don't go near doom9 -www.doom9.org- you'll be reprimanded for simply asking eg., "What's the best codec?" It's against their policy to use the word 'best' in a post.




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  Reply # 151480 25-Jul-2008 23:36
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1gkar: If anybody has an issue with Geekzone, don't go near doom9 -www.doom9.org- you'll be reprimanded for simply asking eg., "What's the best codec?" It's against their policy to use the word 'best' in a post.

Gosh! People who think like that must have really odd conversations in real life!!





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  Reply # 151487 25-Jul-2008 23:48
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Geektastic:
1gkar: If anybody has an issue with Geekzone, don't go near doom9 -www.doom9.org- you'll be reprimanded for simply asking eg., "What's the best codec?" It's against their policy to use the word 'best' in a post.

Gosh! People who think like that must have really odd conversations in real life!!
They epitamise the definition of the word mitigate perfectly, as it was designed to prevent flame wars. Guess some people have nothing better to do than deride others' PC configurations.Frown




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