Being a better member moderator

by WarriorForum.com 147 replies
Member moderation is like a "neighborhood watch" in many ways. It works best when the participants know the rules and understand the issues. And, sometimes, people who are minding their own business and hurting no-one will get hassled by control freaks and nosy busy-bodies who think everyone should have to live their way.

For the most part, though, what hassles do come up are the result of well-meaning people not knowing how the system is supposed to work, and what the goals are.

That's the purpose of this thread. To discuss a bit about what moderation is, what it's supposed to accomplish, and what the standards are for posts. The more people who understand what moderation is and how it works, the better off we all are.

It's also useful to have a place specifically for the discussion, rather than 27 different threads that bury posts on other topics.

Note: These are my opinions only, and are not to be considered official statements of any kind.

That said, I've been moderating electronic forums of various types since 1987, so I have some amount of (hopefully useful) clue on the topic.

....

The definition I use for moderation is: To keep discussion within topical limits that allow for optimal benefit to all participants.

Every word of that definition is important. For starters, the last one: Participation is a requirement to be considered part of the community. Lurkers are welcome, but if you never add anything to the conversation, you have no say about how it's run.

If the only time you ever post is to complain about how someone else does things, don't bother. You have every right to your opinion, but it doesn't carry much weight. You shouldn't expect it to.

....

Topics are limited to make it possible for people to better use their time. If the board was open to everything and anything anyone wanted to discuss, it would be useless for anything practical. Hence the "Where we talk about making money."

That does not mean that casual asides and humorous twists are bad. Those things let you see more than one side of a person's character, and add to the strength of the community. That means that people work together, have more success, and become invested in the community. So, they stay around longer and do more to make it a better place to be.

Everyone benefits.

....

Now, for the most commonly misunderstood concept: Self-promotional posts.

The prohibition on spam is not an arbitrary one. If ads are allowed unchecked, they'll choke out useful communication. We've all seen what that can do to email, and it can happen even more quickly with a forum.

People do pretty well with reporting the obvious spam. Drive-by ads, articles posted just to get attention to a link and the like go away quickly. No need to explain that.

For the edge cases, a quote from a post I made in another thread:

This is something most folks here never quite get their heads around. People create products on the subjects they know the most about. That also happens to be the area in which they can offer the most help to others. No coincidence there, and no conspiracy. Just plain logic.

One of the guidelines I always used when I was moderating was a question: Is the information in this post useful on its own, without needing to buy a product? If so, it's a valid post. If not, it's not.

The decision was based solely on the content of the post. I deliberately ignored sig files for purposes of answering that question, unless the poster made a reference that seemed to point to theirs. That provided a balance of interests that worked. People got to promote their knowledge and their products, in ways that were helpful whether someone purchased anything from them or not.

Win-win.

People pay waaay too much attention to the correlation of sig files and post content these days, and way too little to the value of the content itself.


Self-promotion, if that's your motivation for posting, should be driven by adding value, not blatantly (or sneakily) shoving ads in people's faces.

Put another way: If the post would be useful without the sig file, the poster has earned the sig file.

....

There are people who think the forum should be devoid of anything that looks like self-promotion. The common call is:

"Ban sig files, and see how long they stick around!"

My question is: Would that really help? Or would it hurt?

If someone contributes, and their expertise actually helps others, those are the people we want to know about when we need products or services on that topic. They're not just posting articles or one-offs. They're putting personal time and experience into helping the group.

Should we make them invisible?

That's not really in the group's best interest, is it?

Look at it another way. If it passes the test above, it's adding value. If they happen to make sales through their sig file, that just offsets a little of the time they put into the post.

Fair enough.

The people who are only here for that never last, though. Either they leave, or they escalate their tactics, getting to the point where they start going over the line. They get called on it and they either back off or they leave.

Balance is maintained.

The people who are naturally social types and enjoy teaching will stay around for the other benefits. Learning, conversation, networking, WSOs,the satisfaction of seeing someone gain from what they've posted, and the fun they have.

It all sorts itself out nicely, as long as you go by the answer to that one question: Ignoring the sig file completely, is the information in this post useful on its own, without needing to buy a product?

The best part?

You don't have to even care what someone's intention was in making the post. If the information is useful as-is, it's useful. Period. The person who needed it doesn't care why it's there. It's what they needed.

....

Are there people who push this? Absolutely. As a rule, those should be left to folks who've got more experience. This has nothing to do with intelligence, mind you. It has to do with experience, and knowing where things lead when left alone.

The problem: If you don't know what to look for, you're likely to cast too wide a net, resulting in damage to innocent parties. Once accusations start flying, people tend to read things in ways that create further suspicion. They repeat their interpretations, and smoke starts to imply fire.

Sometimes there really is nothing there but the smoke machine.

I recommend being very cautious about what you listen to. Accusations need to be backed up with evidence, or they should be heavily discounted.

Never forget that forum politics - in any forum - can be a nasty and messy business. Like nuclear fuel, it can be used for good, but you don't want to get any on you.

....

That leads us straight to Rule #1.

As I understand it, Rule #1 is not intended to keep out all conflict. People who try to use it that way are going to fail, as that's not only impossible, it's not always desirable.

The original motivation for Rule #1 was, I believe, to stop the "XYZ company sucks" and "Joe Schlabotnik is a scamming thief" threads that would pop up all the time here. People were creating these threads just about every day, pursuing vendettas, trying to use the forum to blackmail merchants, cutting down their competition, etc.

Yes, it is also supposed to apply to WSO issues. Exceptions are made occasionally in cases where it's provable that the WSO is a fraud, but that's far less common than some people make it out to be. Problems with downloads, refunds and the like are not supposed to be handled in the main forum.

The most common argument against Rule #1 is that "people should be allowed to alert the other members to crappy products and frauds, so they don't get sucked in."

Doesn't work that way. Far too many of these "warnings" are just expressing gripes or grudges. Some are trying to blackmail a merchant to get something they don't deserve. Others are outright lies. The majority are people who simply don't understand how something is supposed to work and who are angry because they're confused.

Except for the outright lies, every one of those people believe they've got a legitimate case. None of them do.

Without a lot more information than is usually available, there's no way to know which are the few that really are sound, and which are the mistakes or malicious postings. So, they all stay out.

The same dynamic applies here as with malicious gossip: Once the accusation is made, some people will always wonder. And some will swallow it whole, without any evidence at all, much less actual proof. Then someone will mention the allegations on another board, and they (or someone else in the thread) will link back to the thread here, presenting the allegations as evidence.

It gets real ugly, real quick. And there's usually nothing there but a smoke machine.

That just ain't right.

....

As far as members duking it out... That can be a good thing. It is very often a better idea to let them sort their problems out on their own than for anyone else to jump in and try to fix things by suppressing them.

It's not just good for them. It's good for the group. Grown-ups sometimes have to hash things out, and that's not always pretty. If the end result is that folks get a better look at the characters of other members, that helps. And quite often, if they handle it right, the people beating each other up end up being better friends because they stayed in it and worked through the conflict.

That's the real world, folks. It has sharp corners and hard edges.

If things get to a point where they're a problem for the group, believe it: There are people watching who can deal with it. And they will.

Being a moderator does not mean you're suddenly a parent to the whole world. That way lies madness, guaranteed frustration, and various other forms of insanity.

....

There is a lot more to what is being called "official moderation" than most people ever see. There are often things going on that we, as members, don't know about. There are tendencies that have to be taken into account, like, "This is okay by itself, but it tends to lead to this other thing that isn't so good."

That's why some things are left to continue that you think should be cut off, and why some things are cut off that you think should be left to continue.

That's a function of experience.

I see a lot of people arguing for "official moderators" to be brought back. They have all sorts of ideas about how that's somehow better than member moderation. Most of those people have never been moderators here. (Yes, this place is, in some very important ways, different from most forums.)

I've been a member here for 10 years. The current system works as well as any other we've had. The same problems and complaints that come up now came up when we had one moderator, three moderators, and something like thirty moderators.

The current system is a hybrid. We have "official" moderators to handle the edge cases that require experience. We have members to take the majority of the load of handling spam posts off their backs. It's working just fine, as far as I can see.

It will work even better when more of us understand that the role of moderation is to keep things within limits, not to try and make them perfect, or force them to conform to one person's social standards or personal preferences.

The trick is the balance. If you make the limits too broad, you lose all focus. If you make them too narrow, you lose the interplay that generates much of the value and interest of the place.

Look for the balance, and you'll do a much better job as a member moderator.

You'll also find yourself sweating a lot less of the small stuff.

....

Enough for now, eh?

Well, don't just sit there looking silly. You know you have a question or opinion. Out with it!


Paul
#warrior forum help #member #moderator #pauls goggles #turn blue in cold
  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    This was very compelling, Paul!

    But something you didn't cover above was drawing direct attention to your own products or services (or ego) over and over and over again. How do you think those cases should be handled?

    Is it ok? Is it grounds for dismissal?

    AL
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Al,

      Yeah. Imagine if I'd tried to actually cover the subject...

      If people keep pointing to their own products, they're pushing the line. They may be over it. That's one of those nasty things we in the trade refer to as a "judgment call."

      None of us get those right every time. Do your best and learn from the ones you get wrong.

      Edit Added to this post on 9/24/2010, to make sure it's seen earlier in the thread and not missed because it's 100+ posts down...

      There was a discussion of an apparently faked screenshot for a WSO, posted in the main forum. My response to it is duplicated below. Don't worry if all the details don't make sense. The policy aspects will.

      ....

      Okay. Some thoughts on this, wearing the official red and black moderator's cap:

      You may not comment on a WSO product or associated customer service unless you have bought it, or been given a review copy for that purpose.

      If you suspect/know a screen shot is faked, you should post that in the WSO thread and also report it to the mods. Unless the comment on the screen shot is early in the thread, a lot of people will buy without ever having seen it. Be specific about your reasons for the suspicion.

      Posting this in the main forum is not allowed. Posting a copy of the screen shot, without reference to who used it, might be useful if it showed how to recognize the fake.

      Raising questions regarding sales copy within a WSO thread needs to be done only with clear reasons. It is best if those issues are left to be raised by people with reputations at stake, since the problem of new people asking questions with the apparent intent to damage someone's sales is way too common.

      In response to one of Brian's comments: Yes, it is possible for someone to cook a graphic and still have a useful product. I've seen that happen. That doesn't make the use of the cooked graphic in any way acceptable.

      If you make an outright accusation of improper behavior that turns out to be wrong, and you get caught, you're getting a timeout. If you ask questions that seem to be motivated by malice, careless reading or inexperience, they'll be deleted if seen by a moderator. (We can't read every post in every thread. Simply not possible.) Push it and you'll get a timeout.

      Anonymous members with few posts have nothing to lose, so they shouldn't be surprised or annoyed if they end up being banned for this stuff. If your username is something like Spartacus, hellokitty69, or t4aw72853 and you have 6 posts, ANY questionable activity will likely get you banned.

      If a WSO seller does not include some way to contact them outside of forum channels, report that. Such contact methods are required. The fact that someone gets banned does not necessarily mean there was something wrong with some offer they were running at the time. And the fact that you have a WSO going does not give you a free pass to break the forum rules.

      No-one should ever read the word "Banned" under someone's name as meaning anything more than that access to this forum for that user account has been blocked for some period of time. There are reasons a person could be banned that have no reflection on their character, their product or their integrity. And some people have personally asked to be banned for some period for reasons of their own.

      Bill: Yes, it is possible to know some screenshots are faked, in the sense that there is no other remotely reasonable conclusion. As an example, I once saw a Paypal "screenshot" that had no decimal points or cents places in any of the dollar amounts for sales.

      Mal said: "Negativity and doubt sows the seed for more negativity and doubt. And away it goes - downhill. "

      That is absolutely true. It is one reason for the caution we encourage in making accusations or asking such questions without some reasonable basis. "Everybody knows you can't believe thus-and-such" is not a reasonable basis for anything.

      In response to Mal's comment, Jill said: "If those questions/comments are perceived as trying to derail the offer, those kinds of comments can be requested to be removed from the thread. "

      And if they're deleted, the conspiracy theorists shout about how we're protecting frauds. Which is just a way of biasing the discussion against the seller, and adding us to the mix.

      It's been demonstrated time after time that raising negative questions creates a tendency in the mind that can be difficult to overcome even by proof that the basis for the question is completely false. If you ask "Is it true that So-and-So was caught murdering puppies in a hotel with a prostitute?", and they're later shown to have been at church with their wife in another state, just seeing the question may have lingering negative effects.

      That doesn't mean you don't ask reasonable questions. You should do that. You should also be mindful about when and how you ask them. All judgement calls are based on one's estimation of probabilities based on personal experience. They can all be wrong. You still have to make them. Just remember that last part: You could be wrong.

      Kay is correct. Offering to PM people stuff that would break Rule #1 if posted publicly is still against the rules, unless that offer is made to a moderator for purposes of checking out the situation. The reason is simple: If someone passes you something in secret, that deprives the accused of a response, and creates an air of "private knowledge," which may not be "knowledge" at all.

      ....

      Putting the Stetson back on and speaking from personal opinion: Ignore income claims/proof. The ones that aren't faked are irrelevant.

      Also, please, folks, learn the difference between evidence and proof, and the different standards of "proof" that are required in different venues.

      Evidence is one or more facts, presented along with an interpretation, set forth in an effort to demonstrate the truth or falsity of a claim or proposition.

      If the interpretation is wrong, the evidence is misleading.

      Opinions, assumptions, rumor and other purely subjective mental constructs are not evidence.


      Edit: Added 10/05/2010:
      The fact that you're new doesn't mean you don't know a lot about marketing. It may suggest that you don't know how things are done here. Take this as friendly advice, intended to help you avoid the most common mistakes.

      1. Do not use affiliate links in your signature file.

      2. Post in the appropriate section of the board. Questions about SEO or posts asking for advice on specific products belong in other areas. Not Main Discussion. Post them here and they're more likely to be deleted than moved.

      3. Use subject lines that indicate something specific about your question. Subjects like "Heeelllp!" or "I'm annoyed" are pointless and waste people's time. They also usually fail to get the attention of the folks most well-equipped to give you useful answers.

      4. Do not post complaining about specific people, guru or newbie. We're not the Internet police and we can't do anything about it. And we don't have a clue if the complaint is even valid. Most of them turn out not to be. So, the claim that you're just trying to "alert our fellow Warriors to this problem" most often means nothing. Even when that's your sincere intent, which isn't usually the case.

      5. If your thread is deleted, do not re-post it. Do not post a thread asking why it was deleted. Read the rules, watch how things are done here, and figure it out. This is not complicated stuff.

      6. Remember that threads get deleted for lots of reasons, most of them having no reflection on the original poster. They can be nuked because they're the umpteenth copy of the same discussion in a short period, because they're on topics which too often degenerate into flame wars, because they have nothing to do with making money, because they're pointless, because they tend to drift into bashing, and lots of other reasons.

      7. Don't assume anything when you see the word "Banned" under a user's name, other than that the account has been blocked from posting for some period. "Banned" does not always (or even usually) mean anything bad about the person.

      8. If your sig file is a bunch of keyword phrases with links on them, don't be surprised if it's deleted. If that happens, don't just re-insert the same sort of thing. Especially if there's no way for us to know the domain belongs to you.

      You are not allowed to link to other people's sites that way from this forum. If you get caught doing it, you're likely to be permanently banned.

      9. Read the stickies at the top of this section, and make sure you understand them.

      10. Don't be surprised if something is deleted and you're not told why. This place is too big. It would take more time than there is in a day for us to notify every person of the reason, every time we deleted a post or thread. And that doesn't begin to count the time that would be wasted arguing with people who don't understand or refuse to accept the rules.

      Deleting posts is not a personal thing. Don't make it one.

      11. Count on your posts being deleted if you make a lot of one-liners early on. We know what that's about, and we're as likely to delete you as your posts if you push it.

      12. Use some common sense.

      Edit: Added February 26, 2011

      If one or more of your posts have disappeared, here are the most likely reasons:

      1. Violated one or more rules. This is the one you most want to avoid.

      2. Tons of pointless one-liners. Sorry, folks, but if you come in as a new member and start posting a ton of one- or two-liners, they're going to end up being deleted. If you're new and your post count dropped a lot, fast, that's almost always the reason.

      Same with posting to a lot of old threads. One member dredged up at least a half dozen threads today from 2009, with comments that added nothing to the original discussions.

      3. Wrong section of the forum. This is getting ridiculous. We move 100 or more posts per day from main discussion into various sub-sections. I'd say that's a very conservative guesstimate, since my last 3 passes through have resulted in moving 40 or 50 in a short time. And that's just me. There are a half dozen mods handling stuff in this section.

      If you want the best answers to your questions, post them where the people hang out who focus on the topic involved.

      Over the past few weeks, I've been alternating between moving such posts, closing them with a note about where they belong, and outright deleting them. I am going to start slanting much more toward simply deleting them. It appears that is the most likely action to get people to pay attention.

      If you want a review of your web site design, or have a question about web site design, put it in the web site design section. If you want help with Wordpress, put it in web site design. Or, if it's a programming issue, in the programming section.

      If you want a review of your sales copy, put it in the copywriting section.

      Posts relating to CPA that are posted in main discussion will simply be deleted. The majority of those are fakes, designed to get attention for specific programs. Speaking of which, I'd be very careful about believing most of the reviews of programs in that section of the board. It's rife with shills.

      Cleaning that section out without nuking every person associated directly with a company would take two weeks, doing nothing else. Yeah. It's that bad.

      You've been warned.

      Product reviews belong in the reviews section. If you don't have enough posts to put one in there, wait until you do. There's a reason for that limit.

      Note: Support questions about products are not reviews, and do not belong in the review section. A LOT of people are confused about this. The first place for a support question is (surprise!) the merchant's support forum or mailbox. Not the Warrior Forum.

      If you must ask here, do it in the section most relevant to the product in question.

      The SEO stuff is absolutely the worst. Questions about backlinks, page rank, the effect of domain names on placement in the search engine results, and anything else that has to do with where a site appears in a search engine belong in the SEO section. AdSense, AdWords and PPC stuff go in the same section. (Yes, it seems odd. It's close, and it keeps us from having too many sections that are too narrowly focused.)

      Do not expect a personal explanation about why your posts were deleted. We're not going to get into 100 or more arguments per day with people who haven't read the rules and don't pay attention. Or with more experienced people who post in main discussion because it gets more eyeballs.

      If someone posts something that's in the wrong section, please point them to this thread, and then report the post. We'll probably just nuke it, but they might see the pointer before that happens.

      If you spend time answering a question that doesn't belong in the section where it's posted, don't get mad if your answer gets deleted. Wait until they post it in the right place to help them out.


      Paul

      PS: If you're in a rough situation, read this thread: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...desperate.html
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      • Profile picture of the author hilhilginger
        Thanks Mr. Paul for these guidelines. I think this is very helpful for a new member like me and also encourages me to stay as contributing member.
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        They have over 2300 Offers, Instant PayPal Payments and Free Training Articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    I soooooo needed this...

    From now on I'm gonna follow this and then just put in my report post form:

    "Paul Myers told me to"

    Thanks Paul.. I said the same to Allen in a post today about this kind of thing, it is good for us to get it from this perspective.. I stopped reporting posts for a few days because the lines were looking a little too grey for me to decide...

    This, combined with Allen's post have helped me set a few things straight in my head for reporting posts..

    Thanks

    Peace

    Jay

    p.s. (I am all of a sudden REALLY aware of my writing, spelling, grammar/er...uuughhh, no more Paul Myers threads for me)..lol
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    Bare Murkage.........

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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      As long as it meets with Allen's approval, maybe Paul's post could be tagged
      onto the "Members are Moderators" sticky. Sort of suggested further reading.

      Another stonking post Paul! Your obvious passion for maintaining a healthy
      forum shines through. Let's hope that your message reaches the people it
      needs to reach. I know I, like Jay, needed to hear it.

      Thanks

      Peter
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Jay,
        "Paul Myers told me to"
        Oh no you don't! Your calls, your lessons.

        Peter,
        stonking
        [voice mode="Glinda"]Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?[/voice]
        [voice mode="Gollum"]Is it crunchable?[/voice]

        I'm not too worried about the people who break the rules reading it. They don't care. This is for the people who want to understand how things work, so they can better handle the ones who don't.


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
          Paul,
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


          Peter,
          stonking
          [voice mode="Glinda"]Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?[/voice]
          [voice mode="Gollum"]Is it crunchable?[/voice]

          Paul
          [voice mode="Bluebottle"]Enter Bluebottle, waits for applause... not a sausage. Is he talking to us? [/voice]
          [voice mode="Eccles"]Hello der, I dunno![/quote]

          stonking

          British colloquial: Impressive, wonderful

          Peter
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        • Profile picture of the author Rick45
          Well moderation depends also on the type of business you are in, and the media you are employing therefore. In earlier days I used to work for a direct Marketing company and I had to sell Merchandise every night, doing kind of meetings in a local pub or coffee upon invitation. It was pretty well organised and the money wasn't too bad. However every night I had about 15 to 30 peope sitting in there and listen to my sales presentation. So what I can tell you out of this, is that the first 3 to five minutes decides upon whether you attract peoples attention or not.

          And from there you can go and keep the people following you on what ever you would like to do them.
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      • I wholeheartedly agree. I don't spend too much time worrying about who is following the rules and who isn't and unless it's blatant spam I will probably not even see it. However, I think Paul's post is excellent and should be a guide for how we all conduct ourselves here.


        Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

        As long as it meets with Allen's approval, maybe Paul's post could be tagged
        onto the "Members are Moderators" sticky. Sort of suggested further reading.

        Another stonking post Paul! Your obvious passion for maintaining a healthy
        forum shines through. Let's hope that your message reaches the people it
        needs to reach. I know I, like Jay, needed to hear it.

        Thanks

        Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Paul,

    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

    To keep discussion within topical limits that allow for optimal benefit to all participants.
    That's an excellent definition.

    I've deliberately highlighted the word "keep" because
    it seems to me that many people seem to think that
    moderating is about removing content.

    I can tell you from my own brief experience as a
    Moderator on this forum that removing someone's
    content was a last resort and not a decision that was
    taken lightly. Nor should it be an easy decision.

    It's not just a matter of clicking a button.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      John,

      That was always my thought on it, too. I had something of a reputation as a "hardass" when I was moderating here. Because of that, very few people ever noticed that, other than spam and similarly blatant stuff, I deleted or rejected almost nothing.

      I always preferred to assume that people are adults, and can think for themselves. Other people have different ideas on that.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        I tried to respond to this earlier in the evening but have been through two
        blackouts since 5 PM. At 8:30, we're finally back up and only a bit on the
        chilly side.

        I for one needed to see this thread. Thank you Paul for taking the time to
        make the post. I know a lot of thought went into it.

        In light of so much that has gone on here in the last 3 weeks, I am going to
        start each day by reading this thread before making one post to this forum.

        As you said, this is for the people who care.

        I care.

        Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Allen,
      The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..
      It's the yogurt. (That's my story and I'm sti... umm... anyway, that's my story.)

      Maurice,

      Thank you. You've given me illustrations of several other points that people can learn from. For instance, your comment...
      isn't that ironic
      ... is an example of what's called thread hijacking. Deliberately introducing off-topic comments (changing the subject), or on-topic comments that tend to pull the conversation in a different direction.

      Some people freak out about this. I personally don't think it's always a bad thing, as long as the new direction is useful. It's good to be aware of it, though, because it's the most common cause of useful threads turning into flame-fests and getting deleted.

      When good threads go bad, as it were.

      What I just did there is called, "bringing it back on-topic."

      As far as posting articles as thread starters, that's usually frowned on. The reasoning is the same as that applied to more direct advertising: It would quickly take over the forum, swamping conversation.

      There is an article directory attached to this forum. You'll find the link on the front page, near the bottom.
      apparently the WF good ol boy network is still as strong as ever

      sorry, i don't follow cults of personalities...regardless of how high their post or "thanks" count may be
      Since you quoted me just before that, I should point out that I have repeatedly stated that I don't think post count is an indicator of much of anything except post count. I don't recall ever even discussing "thank you" counts at all. At least not as any indication of general status.

      Yes, thankfully, the WF "good ol boy network" is still as strong as ever. And still as non-gender-specific as ever.

      One of the things that people don't like to admit is that every forum has its share of cliques. (Note the spelling. It's not 'clicks.') A clique is just a group of people who share a common set of interests, and actively protect and promote those interests.

      In any forum, the clique that's referred to as the "old boys network" is the group that protects the overall group: the forum itself. They actively promote the traditions, values and tone that are established over time, and which are set by the owner and/or moderator(s).

      Folks who disagree with those values and traditions call it "the old boys network." Those who agree with them tend to refer to the people in that group as the forum's leaders, or senior members. There is one thing that can be said about these groups to which I've never seen an exception:

      For any forum to be successful in the long term, it must develop an "old boys network."

      These things tend to be exclusive. That's the nature of the beast. In order to be part of one, you must show - over an extended period, and by action, rather than just words - that you share the fundamental goals of the group.

      Post count has very little to do with it, except in so far as there's a certain amount of time and activity that's needed, varying with the age of the group itself, to demonstrate consistency.

      You don't "get in" by sucking up or just saying the right things. You get in when the established members of the group believe that you genuinely share the values that guide the forum overall. It's not a single step, and it's not something anyone votes on. It's a matter of recognizing a thing as it develops, rather than creating it.

      Whether that's good or bad depends on the goals and values. The fact of the existence of an "old boys network" is just that: a fact. An inescapable reality of group dynamics.

      That has very significant implications for marketing, and pretty much all of life, not just forums.

      Humans are tribal creatures. Ignore that at your own risk.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Martin,

        You've been reading my mind again. I hope it wasn't too scary an experience.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Maurice,
        I will always speak the truth, regardless of consequences or who's feathers get ruffled.
        In this case, you are expressing a subjective opinion. (I know. That's somewhat redundant.)

        Your conclusions are inconsistent with my experience of John Taylor and his motivations. That means one or both of us is/are operating from faulty assumptions.

        Eliminate any assumption you can't demonstrate to an unbiased third party as provable fact, and see if you have enough left to support your conclusions.

        Roger,
        I am part of 'the 'ole boys network.'
        We mailed you the membership card and decoder ring last month. Haven't they gotten there yet?


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author globalpro
          WOW Paul,

          Originally Posted by Paul Myers

          Roger,We mailed you the membership card and decoder ring last month. Haven't they gotten there yet?
          Paul
          Are there any of these left? I must have missed the mailing.

          Thanks,

          John
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          • Profile picture of the author ExRat
            Hi igrowyourbiz,

            I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
            And woe betide anyone who dares to try and correct your victim mentality -

            Keep your hands off those blinkers!

            Life's much more comfortable when they're on and they allow me pass all responsibility for any problems I encounter onto everyone else - even if I end up hypocritically accusing them of not paying attention, when in fact it is I who is doing just that!

            I'm off to make some money...see ya later gators.
            Troll-spotting secrets Vol 1

            RES - Repetitive Exit Syndrome. Always more powerful when used with an accompanying 'I'm too busy' comment or 'I have more important things to do like making money - unlike you losers!'
            Signature


            Roger Davis

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            • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
              Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

              Troll-spotting secrets Vol 1

              RES - Repetitive Exit Syndrome. Always more powerful when used with an accompanying 'I'm too busy' comment or 'I have more important things to do like making money - unlike you losers!'


              Peace

              Jay
              Signature

              Bare Murkage.........

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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            John (globalpro),

            Are you nuts? Do you know what could happen if we shipped a copy of the Warrior Protocols into the deep south? Those people are conspiracy nu... (What? Who? He lives in... Oh yeah.)

            Ummm. We're out of copies. Yeah. That's it. We're out of copies. Maybe next shipment.

            Maurice,
            I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
            Excuse me? I took no side on the issue at all. You may want to redirect those comments to the people with whom you have an issue. They don't include me.


            Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Ken,
              Please stop responding to igrowyourbiz' posts -- it takes two to keep a thread hijacking going.
              True. On the flip side, this is an excellent illustration of a number of things that people should get familiar with and learn to understand.

              I think it's quite appropriate for this thread.


              Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author globalpro
              OK Paul,

              If things run true to form, someone will be having a WSO before too long and I can grab them there.

              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              John (globalpro),

              Are you nuts? Do you know what could happen if we shipped a copy of the Warrior Protocols into the deep south? Those people are conspiracy nu... (What? Who? He lives in... Oh yeah.)

              Ummm. We're out of copies. Yeah. That's it. We're out of copies. Maybe next shipment.

              Paul
              Also, I would like to make a request. If any openings come up for the 'old boys network', I'd like to sign up. I think I qualify:

              1. I am old.
              2. I am a boy.
              3. I like to network.

              Thanks,

              John

              PS Glad you started this thread and even better it got stickied. Great stuff.
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Maurice

            but in the end...what difference does it make...I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
            Here's my experience of how these things pan out.

            1. Member feels victimised. Makes a snide remark.

            2. People ask what it means.

            3. Member complains of mistreatment.

            4. Other Warriors try to point out where the misunderstanding lies.

            5. Member persists in feeling victimized and lashes out even more.

            6. Other Warriors try once more.

            7. Member acknowledges a slight fault in the way s/he complained but persists in the belief 'they' are out to get her/him.

            8. Other Warriors decide enough is enough. The old boy network swings into action and the Member receives heavy flak.

            9. Member leaves thread because no longer wishes to mix with people who have inferior debating skills.

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
              Martin,

              That's an accurate description Martin. It's a shame that given the
              opportunity the process is often circular and no sooner have they got to
              #9 then they make another post and start at #1 once more.

              It's as if the forum is a free flowing river of information. Every now and
              then an obstacle disturbs the flow. Usually, as you say, a minor
              disagreement or snide comment. Behind this obstacle the current gets sent
              into reverse and swirls around getting nowhere until it dissapates.

              It's a forum 'eddy'.

              Nothing to get het up about, just a little hiccough that will soon disappear,
              forgotten but not gone.

              I agree with Paul, this particular eddy is worth keeping in this thread; it's
              informative and illustrative of the issues that member moderators face.

              Peter
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              • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                Hi Peter,

                It's as if the forum is a free flowing river of information. Every now and then an obstacle disturbs the flow. Usually, as you say, a minor disagreement or snide comment. Behind this obstacle the current gets sent into reverse and swirls around getting nowhere until it dissapates.
                Beautifully analogous.

                This 'object' that 'disturbs the flow' business - makes me think of another water-based analogy, that's applicable, but a little more descriptive, and possibly not quite as beautiful or acceptable. :rolleyes:
                Signature


                Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
        Can you guy stop having fun when it's night time over here and I'm asleep. :rolleyes:

        Paul, my card hasn't arrived either or don't we get them in Hong Kong

        Does anyone see a likeness to another person in this statement, don't read they are the same person, but a likeness.


        I will always speak the truth, regardless of consequences or who's feathers get ruffled.

        [removed some of the quote as it wasn't relevant]

        with that, I am done with this issue, anyone else cares enough to want to discuss it..call me. If not, its a dead bird at this point.
        I said this on email to Paul not about Maurice but another person, but the principle is exactly the same.

        Their comment is they always speak the truth, and they basically don't care what other people think.

        Yet, they are double standard people even if they don't realise it. Why?

        Because they are allowed to speak the truth, but when someone else speaks the truth it is not allowed, because it shows their truth to be inaccurate.

        It comes from the mindset of believing that a person is always right, and their right to say what they like, as long as nobody else has the right to do the same thing.

        And their final comment is I'm done with the thread, but they always return.

        I didn't see Maurice's post, but again this is like another person. They use the forum as their personal article directory, even if it was the first time Maurice did it.

        Go to EZA and look at articles and see if they are not exact copies of posts here, and then look at their various blogs and see again the same article.

        People have seen others being allowed to post thread where they didn't use the word article in it, and then they go and post that article in various places, so the assumption is made. If one person can do it why not everybody.

        Let's milk the forum for as much as we can because we don't have any other way of making money.

        If you're on a forum, then you are the guest of the forum. We should all be allowed our opinions, but when we get people who say they speak the truth regardless, then they have to allow people the same rights.
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Paul,

    Member moderation is like a "neighborhood watch" in many ways. It works best when the participants know the rules and understand the issues. And, sometimes, people who are minding their own business and hurting no-one will get hassled by control freaks and nosy busy-bodies who think everyone should have to live their way.
    I find it both ironic and appropriate that you use the analogy of the 'neighborhood watch'.

    Like most communities, we have a watch program where I live. While it's a good tool to use in crime prevention, the problem that usually comes up is the overzealousness of some of the watch personnel.

    Since it's a volunteer organization, that does well all in all, you get the few that end up letting the badge and the car (fortunately they don't carry a weapon) go to their head. It's like it becomes a power trip that can get extreme.

    In their desire to do the right thing, they become like little vigilantes that will get involved in ways that aren't their place to. The conclusion I always drew from the few like this is they are people that have nothing better to do with something to prove.

    In the end it proves to be their undoing.

    I can almost see the similarities to some of the 'neighborhood watch' personnel here.

    Thanks,

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    Paul,
    You took a lot of time and effort into clarifying this for everybody. My concern is that the people that need to read this, probably won't.

    Thanks for this valuable contribution.

    Talltom
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      John,

      I chose the "neighborhood watch" analogy for exactly the reason you mention. Everyone who's ever had to deal with those groups knows... Most of the people in them are there for their community. A small fraction are there for the perceived power.

      I have no time or use for power junkies and control freaks.


      Tom,

      The people who read it, read it. If they apply it, and explain to others what they're doing, it will spread. If not, at least a few more people will understand the dynamics, which is always good for the group in the long run.


      Steven,

      This stuff is reflex to me. Very basic. There's precious little new in this area of communication. I saw the same things happening on BBS's back in the 80's. Fidonet, Usenet, discussion lists, web forums, bars... it's all the same.

      Human beings.

      The only real thought that went into this was in what to remove. I had about 3 pages of examples of things that have happened, and how they should have been handled. I deleted them all. They would have pissed off some people who deserve it, but they wouldn't have done any good in the long run.

      It's rarely a good idea to derail your own thread.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Josh,

        Thanks.

        You missed some REALLY good stuff in a thread that got deleted a few days ago. Lots of useful and very insightful comments from lots of people. I might just dig the good stuff out of that thread and add it here, after removing any reference to specific situations or people.

        There's a challenge with making something like this "sticky" anywhere. If you do that, basic guidelines take on a semblance of being rules, and the list lawyers start quibbling.

        Not to mention, there are other approaches that work just as well. This is just one way of looking at it.


        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    This is the only other truly useful thread, besides the one that Allan posted, that I have seen on this subject lately.

    If there was never another thread about member moderation ever we could rely on the wisdom in this one.

    I vote to make it a sticky on all forums throughout the universe.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    Paul,

    You absolutely have to allow me to add your definition to my Warriors
    Handbook. Back in mid 2008 I captured the domain name
    warriorshandbook.com

    I had planned to create a Handbook that could be distributed to new WF
    members. It would consist of Words and Wisdom from Warrior Elders...lol

    When Allen moved the WF to this new platform I placed the project on
    hold until the dust settled. Now I feel the project is needed!

    Please let me know if you would like to add a chapter to the project.
    Paul, You can't blame me for asking, I would be in a "DUH" state if I didn't.

    Your pearls of wisdom and clarity help make the WF a great place to be!

    Have a Great Day/Night!
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    There's a challenge with making something like this "sticky" anywhere. If you do that, basic guidelines take on a semblance of being rules, and the list lawyers start quibbling.

    Not to mention, there are other approaches that work just as well. This is just one way of looking at it.

    Paul
    Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Michael,

      Feel free to quote anything I say in this thread, and use it any way you like. With or without attribution.

      Josh,
      Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles.
      [chuckle] Thanks. I needed that laugh just then.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
        Hi Paul,

        Thank you very much!

        Of course I will give you total credit/attribution for the
        "Being a better member moderator" section in the handbook.

        Bless you and yours,
        Have a Great Day/Night!
        Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)
      Josh,

      You should brand that product and get it launched
      immediately!

      John
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      • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
        Josh,

        You should brand that product and get it launched
        immediately!
        The only problem is that they are in short supply since they are made from the glass bottoms of bottles from Paul's favorite beer.

        Though I did consider it for a moment as an ebook title...

        "Paul Goggles - A view of the world described purely with Myersisms"

        Everyone should try on a pair at least once and this thread is a good example of why.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Josh,
          The only problem is that they are in short supply since they are made from the glass bottoms of bottles from Paul's favorite beer.
          Not that short a supply. But short enough for a legitimate scarcity play.

          And the "coolest" thing... They turn blue in the cold!


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Paul,

            May I post this on a couple of my sites (with full attribution)?

            I was thinking maybe you could also make a pdf of it that people could send to their lists because it deserves to go viral.

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Josh,

              Careful, dude, or they'll be accusing you of setting up for a WSO.

              Martin,

              You, and anyone else I haven't explicitly warned NOT to use my content, may use this in any way you choose. As I said to Michael, with or without attribution, doesn't matter to me.

              You may want to wait, though. I have a summary of some other things that you, Roger (ExRat), sevenish, and Thomas (tomw) had to say on the subject. Mind you, I can't give any kind of permission for their/your thoughts, but they're worth waiting to see (again) and ask them about.



              Paul
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              • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
                Hi Paul,

                I'll wait then. You have my permission to use what I said as you wish.

                Martin
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                • Profile picture of the author ExRat
                  Hi Paul,
                  I have a summary of some other things that you, Roger (ExRat), sevenish, and Thomas (tomw) had to say on the subject. Mind you, I can't give any kind of permission for their/your thoughts
                  Most of my thoughts come in one of two flavours -

                  Inpermissible or missable.

                  Hi Thomas,

                  I write straight out of my head
                  Yeah, I've been called that too.

                  Hi Allen,

                  The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..
                  ...better than a sticky redneck.
                  Signature


                  Roger Davis

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                  • Profile picture of the author tomw
                    Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

                    Yeah, I've been called that too.
                    I knew that I could rely on you to pick up on the deliberate play on words.

                    My grammer sends her regards.



                    Thomas
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                    Help Us Rescue, Rehabilitate And Reunite Victims With Their Families

                    STOP THE TRAFFIK is a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people,
                    PROTECT the trafficked and PROSECUTE the traffickers.
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    • Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

      Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)
      Are those kind of like Beer Goggles?
      Signature
      -----------------------------------------


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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Are you nuts? Do you know what could happen if we shipped a copy of the Warrior Protocols into the deep south? Those people are conspiracy nu... (What? Who? He lives in... Oh yeah.)
        OK - now I'm feeling geographically challenged. Ordinarily I'd think it was just temperature related winter jealousy - but I'm freezing my tootsies off today in the deeeeep South so it must be a conspiracy.....for real.


        Even so, I'm enjoying this thread immensely.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi,

          I appreciate that this is a useful sticky, and normally I wouldn't add any more dross to it than I already have. But as Paul's useful post has been generally defaced anyway (yes I contributed too), I'll make an exception. I'm sure at some point, if it is needed, this thread can be cleaned up and have the off-topic whingeing stuff deleted.

          There has been a lot of interesting discussion recently about moderation and the forum in general - some of it useful, a lot of it whingeing-based. After getting involved in that stuff myself (not the whingeing), and also other things (EG people here selling dross to other warriors, then preaching in threads about 'keeping it real' and similar).....I'm left with a thought and a song stuck in my swede.

          Most people I encounter who come to this forum agree on one thing - amongst whatever else they have to fight their way through, they find gold here that they cannot find anywhere else, regardless of how hard they look. I too fit into this category. This place isn't perfect (nothing is) but I find all sorts of gold here, which has impacted my career positively, which is one of the big reasons why I come here.

          When it comes to the rest of the internet, I'm pretty liberal-minded about what people get up to in order to earn a shilling - hey! - It's a dog-eat-dog world. I'm also aware that for an IMer, this forum is a rich feeding ground, which is tempting.

          But regardless, I feel compelled to point out to warriors that there is so much abundance around, that it is not a sin to leave a bit of change on the table when one visits here, whether that applies to -

          a) how you treat others here (in terms of how far you will go in order to dip into their paypal accounts)

          b) how you treat the 'hand that feeds you', or how you respond when things aren't perfect, in terms of criticising the way the forum is run, thus bringing the mood down in general and bringing negativity in, directed towards the admin, actively moderating members (trying their best, most of the time) and the group as a whole.

          The whole situation compels me to present you with a song by a band I like. WARNING - four letter swear word (s* word) used frequently.

          Audio version (play button on top right) -

          Advice for my fellow warriors

          Video version of same song, live in concert -

          Advice for my fellow warriors

          I do hope that the message I intend to get across is the one that is received, and perhaps, this is actually relevant. And just perhaps, there would be a lot less moderation required and less perceived negativity required, if people adhered to the principles of the simple rule presented in the song.

          {For the hard of hearing or click-lazy, here's a brief summary - 'Don't sh*t where you eat, my friend'...}
          Signature


          Roger Davis

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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
    Sticky, please!

    Great guidelines, Paul.

    Steve
    Signature

    Not promoting right now

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  • Profile picture of the author admin
    Administrator
    The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..

    :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Wow, I go away for a few days and everyone gets all grow'd up 'n' sensible!



    Thanks for making this thread, Paul. It's long overdue!

    ("Redneck Sticky" - LOL!)

    I don't have a record of anything that I have written in any of the deleted threads. I write straight out of my head directly into the comment box. If you have a summary of some of the points that many of us made and choose to post them for the benefit of this thread then great.

    I have no problem at all with anyone quoting something I may have written. However, I don't really think anything needs to be added to your original post. It stands up pretty damn well on its own in terms of clarification.

    I'll leave the evaluation or judgement of absit omen to you.



    Thomas
    Signature
    STOP THE TRAFFIK: PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE BOUGHT AND SOLD
    Help Us Rescue, Rehabilitate And Reunite Victims With Their Families

    STOP THE TRAFFIK is a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people,
    PROTECT the trafficked and PROSECUTE the traffickers.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Wonderful end to this thread. Nothing further to be added. Except maybe a word from our sponsor.



    Cue music...roll end credits.
    Signature
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    Help Us Rescue, Rehabilitate And Reunite Victims With Their Families

    STOP THE TRAFFIK is a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people,
    PROTECT the trafficked and PROSECUTE the traffickers.
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Thomas,
      Except maybe a word from our sponsor.
      See my sig, special offer - today only.

      Discounted Ark Exhausts And Ark Racing Kits
      Signature


      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author mylelo
        Why complicating things? Just follow the rules and everything will be smooth!
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        • Profile picture of the author edhan
          Originally Posted by mylelo View Post

          Why complicating things? Just follow the rules and everything will be smooth!
          In life, there always be people trying to break the rules. Life will be perfect if we have a good set of rules and regulations where people do not think of 'backdoor' and doing sneaky stuff just to get additional benefits. We can be feasible but certain aspects of rules should be strictly regulated otherwise it can get out of hands.

          If only everyone just do their parts, there will be no complication.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steve Diamond
          I'd appreciate some guidance on the intersection of Rule #1 and posts that refer indirectly to illegal or unethical marketing practices. I'm seeing more and more of these recently. (I suppose it's because some new members have previous experience in forums where those practices are discussed openly.)

          Here are two recent examples:
          1. A post was made in one of the tech support sub-forums asking about how to duplicate the functionality of a certain site (link was given). The example site was clearly both illegal and fraudulent. (It used a well known dark hat technique.) But the request for technical help sounded innocent.
          2. A post was made offering a free report for download. The report features a marketing technique that very clearly violates the TOS of a certain popular site in several important ways. Many members have thanked the OP and said that they were going to try the technique.
          In the first instance, I really felt that the member didn't know any better. I let them know in a PM that the model was illegal and asked them to delete the post. After some hours elapsed, I reported the post, and it was deleted. From the member's eventual private response to me, I believe they would have deleted it on their own in any case. No real problem here because it was very clearly illegal. Even though the post didn't discuss the nature of the illegal techniques at all, I feel strongly that drawing attention to them in this manner has no place on the WF.

          The second situation I find more ambiguous. My impulse is to make a post cautioning anyone considering using the technique to ponder the implications. Maybe that's innocent enough, but I think it violates the spirit of Rule #1 since it implies that the OP is full of crap and that the report is worthless. Also, the judge in one of the MySpace suicide cases ruled recently that intentionally violating a site's TOS is not a criminal act. So that makes this one an ethical rather than a legal issue - much more subjective and less definitive.

          So the question on situation number 2 is, can I follow my impulse and make a post pointing out the TOS violation and decrying the lack of ethics?

          I'm all too aware of how it could degenerate into a pissing match, thus demonstrating the need for Rule #1 in the first place. And yet...

          Thanks for any discussion and insight.

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Steve,

            Posts and products which recommend techniques that violate the terms of service of other web sites (or this one) are not allowed here. Allen has made that pretty clear.

            Pointing out that a system violates some site's TOS is encouraged, as long as you're sure that's the case. If not, asking that question is also acceptable.

            Techniques are not people. Rule #1 does not apply.


            Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    Paul Myers should have been a writer (i know, i know)

    I always enjoy reading your posts and I always learn something.

    Write on,
    Peace Out.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Another recurring theme. I figured it would be good to have this here, so people can refer others to it when appropriate.

      On February 4, 2009, MichaelBSoftware posted the following, quoted in its entirety:
      It's interesting so many of you seem to dislike new posters.

      I'm new, and you're making me want to leave. I mean seriously, how many of you old members had to put up with these rules we have to put up with.

      30 posts before you can do this, or 15 before you can do that. I've bought 4 products through WSO's since I've joined and I can't even PM the vendor I am a customer of.....that's BS from my standpoint as a new poster.

      It's real simple for you guys that have been here for years to let your ideas flow to increase the difficulty for a new poster to do anything. You want us to contribute but I can't even answer some questions because I needed to post dummy links to illustrate the answer and I couldn't even do that.

      So it's now wonder people use one liners to get through the bs as quickly as possible.

      Try and see it from both sides, imagine how you would feel if you were just now joining...versus joining years ago when the hoops didn't exist.
      Here is my response to that post:

      Michael,
      It's interesting so many of you seem to dislike new posters.
      It's interesting that you assume that we don't like any new posters, simply because we don't like new posters who abuse the forum.
      I mean seriously,
      how many of you old members had to put up with these rules we
      have to put up with.
      splorf!

      Dude, here's an announcement I posted on February 4th, 2001, Ironically, exactly 8 years to the day before you made these comments. If you want to verify it, go to this link, at Archive.org.

      The exact text of the original post:

      Message: IMPORTANT: Changes in Posting Rules
      Author: Moderator

      Posted 02-04-01 - Article 1 of 12 in this thread.

      [Back to Index] [Next Message] [Reply] [New Thread] [Hot Threads]

      Hi folks...

      Some changes in the rules. I've discussed these with Allen, and he agrees that they should be implemented. From now forward:

      1. All posts must be accompanied by the poster's real name, and include a real, working email address. No anonymous posting will be allowed.

      2. No posts will be approved that have any affiliate URL anywhere in them EXCEPT in the sig file. No posts will be approved which specifically refer you to their sig file for an affiliate URL.

      Oh yeah... If your sig file suddenly starts changing to reflect the appropriate affiliate URL every time you post, that's a no-no too.

      3. Posts requesting a site review MUST be accompanied by a description of the specific issues the requester is trying to solve. If it looks like it MIGHT be a game to get traffic, the post will be refused. (You know who you are...)

      4. Host4Profit technical support questions should be referred to H4P support or the manuals.

      H4P customers are encouraged to ask and answer questions relating to marketing and design of websites, and all the other issues confronting an online business. Only H4P system-specific questions are not allowed.

      5. Anyone regularly trying to abuse the forum by breaking the rules will be banned from posting for a period of one month.

      For the record, I already refuse most posts that say "Email me for details." The exceptions are ones where the offered help is in the form of information that would be too long and/or situation specific for normal posting.

      Paul

      Email the author (paul@talkbiz.com)
      Yep. You had to use your real name, AND a working email address. If I found out an address didn't work, you didn't get posts approved until you fixed the problem.

      When I say that using a real name changes the way people post, I'm not talking out of my hat. I saw the difference, first hand. It was very significant, and very positive.

      As you can see, the problems with affiliates abusing their access isn't anything new. It was old before that post was made. You may not believe it, but we've seen all of this stuff before.

      You have to have 30 posts before you can send a PM? Take a look at the row of phrases in [Brackets] there. Those were the functions available. Do you see PMs in there? Or blogs? Or groups? Or even a function for a sig file? You pasted your sig file in manually, if you used one. Most of us didn't bother.

      People offering WSOs these days are required to include contact information that's outside the forum's systems, so even new folks can reach them if there are problems. If you find that someone has failed to do this, use the help desk to notify the Powers That Be. Such things are taken quite seriously.

      You think it's tough to participate enough to hit the posting mark before you're allowed to make a WSO? (A whopping 30 posts, at the time of this writing.)

      The requirement back then was not so easily finagled. You had to get past me. They went right in the main (single) forum, and I only approved them when they offered significant value, and when they came from people I personally considered to have earned the right, by way of their contributions to the group.

      One of the big rules back then was, quoted exactly: "Them that gives, gets."

      By the way, there was no such thing as a "Made for WSO" product in those days. You had to be actively selling it to the public, and offer Warriors a discount on that price.

      Notice the part about posts not being approved if they broke the rules? Yes, that really does mean that Allen or I read every post, and refused a lot of them. You had to get past one of us before your post was even visible to the members.

      Say something stupid and get blistered for it? The philosophy at the time was, "Hey, if you can't handle it in a discussion forum, you're just not ready for prime time. Real customers will eat you alive." We had some ferocious battles back then.

      May the best idea win.

      At the end of the day, we learned about and developed respect for each other. We found out who was really thinking, and who was just running off at the keyboard. New folks who played by the rules got treated with decent manners, certainly, but that was it.

      If you wanted respect from the Warriors, you damned well had to earn it.

      People who came in and demanded respect, while spewing nonsense as fact when we knew it was wrong or dangerous, got treated the way they deserved: Like idiots.
      Try and see it from both sides, imagine how you would feel if you were just now joining...versus joining years ago when the
      hoops didn't exist.
      You were saying?

      This is neither bragging nor complaining, and it's certainly not saying things were necessarily better back then. They were just different, from a technological perspective. Certainly not as easy as today, but we didn't care. It was just what was possible at the time.

      But, as far as your completely inaccurate assumptions about how the old-timers here think, or what things were like back when we joined, I have a recommendation: Get facts before you start making assertions.

      Dude, we were all newbies at one point or another. And I remember exactly what it felt like, too. It felt like, "Cool! This is going to take some figuring out, but look at the possibilities!" It still feels like that.

      There are a lot of people here who remember this group in 2001. There are some who were already here when I joined, in '97 or '98. Those people are the ones who walked a ton of newbies through the learning stages, and who made the place what it is. They've seen all this stuff before. It goes in cycles, and none of it, absolutely none of it, is new.

      There is one huge difference: The number of people. A lot more newbies, so the cycles are shorter. A lot more experienced people, so the potential for learning is higher. A lot more posts, so you have to be more careful of how you mine the information.

      A lot more opportunity. A lot more tools and proven information (much of it developed by those same old-timers). And a lot more whining about how hard it is to make anything work.

      Those weren't the golden days, in terms of potential. These are. Do you want to take advantage of it, or waste it, talking about how "tough" things are?


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Oscar,

        Thanks. A welcome chuckle, indeed.

        Clever re-interpretations of the book titles, too.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Pete Lauder
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        There are a lot of people here who remember this group in 2001. There are some who were already here when I joined, in '97 or '98. Those people are the ones who walked a ton of newbies through the learning stages, and who made the place what it is. They've seen all this stuff before. It goes in cycles, and none of it, absolutely none of it, is new.

        There is one huge difference: The number of people. A lot more newbies, so the cycles are shorter. A lot more experienced people, so the potential for learning is higher. A lot more posts, so you have to be more careful of how you mine the information.
        The forum has chaanged, and moderation will change with it, as time goes by, we can expect even more newbies.

        They are our future, like it or not, and the way we shape these people will, ultimately shape the Warrior forum in years to come.

        I don't know how you find the time Paul.

        Pete Lauder
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    • Thanks Paul! That was a book. lol. But I am glad you wrote it because it lets people see from the inside instead of the outside looking in on what a moderator goes through.

      Rule #1 was a "biggy". I believe there is a difference between a "rant" and having an honest detailed discussion about the pros and cons of a product or program.

      I have not been on here too long and I think it would be great if newer members such as myself take the time to read this post.

      This is one of those "Warrior Forum MUST read"
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    uhumm ... getting back to the topic of "being a Better Member Moderator ..."

    Hi Paul,

    You know besides the nickname of "Forum Redneck" you are also known to many as the town mayor, and I for one appreciate the fact that we have people like you that use their wisdom to teach and guide people in the right direction.

    I think the neatest thing about your comments/posts/threads like this one is that you don't tell us how to be but encourage us to make our own choices backed up by useful information about the subject.

    So Thanks!

    I particularly found this segment of your comment the most useful:
    The current system is a hybrid. We have "official" moderators to handle the edge cases that require experience. We have members to take the majority of the load of handling spam posts off their backs. It's working just fine, as far as I can see.

    It will work even better when more of us understand that the role of moderation is to keep things within limits, not to try and make them perfect, or force them to conform to one person's social standards or personal preferences.

    The trick is the balance. If you make the limits too broad, you lose all focus. If you make them too narrow, you lose the interplay that generates much of the value and interest of the place.
    I think it's working fine too. There will always be people "playing" with the system to use it to their advantage, but they will eventually figue out it's a wasted effort.


    Hey Maurice,

    Far be it for me to jump into the midst of your dilemma/discussion, but I did notice one thing from youe comment here:

    but in the end...what difference does it make...I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
    I think you have a very unhealthy way of viewing WF members. It's not about good guy vs bad guy, or bad guy vs. good guy, or even big vs small.

    In the end we are all members of a "community", striving to grow, learn, etc ... from, and with, each other. Sometimes it takes another person or group of people to guide newer members in what's to be expected of them if they want to remain a vital part of the community that will benefit the entire group.

    Anyway, I wish you well in the end ...


    Mary
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Roger,

      I don't think it's been defaced at all. It's instructive stuff. And, after having a long conversation with Maurice (which got cut off somehow while we were laughing at my taste in schlock TV), I'm glad. He's a bright guy. Stubborn, intelligent, witty, and willing to keep going until things are resolved.

      Had some heated moments but, all in all, a worthwile conversation.

      An excellent point on how much there is to go around. It's easy to miss that when you are focused on what the other guy is getting, instead of what you can do to create value.

      Mary,
      I think it's working fine too. There will always be people "playing" with the system to use it to their advantage, but they will eventually figure out it's a wasted effort.
      Yep. And new people will come in and try to game the system. That's not going to stop.

      The thing we can do is constantly educate others on how to handle it, so that the damage the new creeps can do is always being reduced.

      Eternal vigilance is the price of intelligent conversation.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Bev,

        I don't think we'll see Maurice make that mistake again. It was just that - a mistake. One that was partially fueled by my comments on the value of the information in the post. I can see his reasoning, too.

        As for the rest... can we please not get into that again? Allen was quite clear in his preference on the matter.


        Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author ExRat
        Hi Paul,

        It's easy to miss that when you are focused on what the other guy is getting, instead of what you can do to create value.
        I'm trying to work out the intended direction of that one. :confused: Always looking for lessons if they are there...
        Signature


        Roger Davis

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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Roger,

          I was agreeing with you. Just in different words.

          There's enough out there for everyone, and we miss a lot of it because we're focused on what the other guy is getting and trying to keep up, instead of creating more value and getting our share of the result of that.

          Did I say it more clearly that time, or am I still being obtuse?


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author ExRat
            Hi Paul,

            Thanks, that's clear. Bit late here
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            Roger Davis

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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post


            There's enough out there for everyone, and we miss a lot of it because we're focused on what the other guy is getting and trying to keep up, instead of creating more value and getting our share of the result of that.

            Paul
            The Secret (Abridged Version) by Paul Myers

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Mary,

              That's not exactly what I intended (I really wasn't very clear the first time), but I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone thought it was. A worthy sentiment.

              Martin,

              That may be the very first time my name and the word 'abridged' have ever appeared in the same sentence.


              Paul
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            • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
              Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

              The Secret (Abridged Version) by Paul Myers

              Martin
              LMBO! Martin.

              That'll be the next one he creates.
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  • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
    Hey Paul,

    Eternal vigilance is the price of intelligent conversation.
    I hear you there.


    Hey Roger,

    I view what Paul stated here:

    It's easy to miss that when you are focused on what the other guy is getting, instead of what you can do to create value.
    As a way of expressing that it's not always about "us" (generally speaking of course, and applies to everyone on an individual scale) or what one "Gets" or can "take out" of the forum (or life), but what one can pack into it. Instead of sucking the life or value out of something, try the reverse and adding to the value.

    Hope this helps ...
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  • Profile picture of the author kennethtang
    Eternal vigilance is the price of intelligent conversation.
    Ahh...now THAT is a gem that should be highlighted in neon lights three feet high. Alas, much of many people's brains are bereft of anything resembling vigilance or intelligence, let alone their conversation.

    Kenneth
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  • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
    Cheers Paul.

    This thread makes being a member, and a moderator a whole lot easier.

    Louis
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      From time to time, I'll update this with comments on the subject from other threads. Those will scroll off, and not be available for long. They may also be missed by people who are interested in this subject, but not whatever the original thread was about that caused the questions to be raised.

      These may be slightly edited before posting here, to adjust for the context, and to avoid confusion.

      We had one like that today. Here are the questions and my answers:

      Paul Coleman (ic7) asked,
      Ok, if someone creates a very useful thread and at the end of their post says, "Check my sig for more info." And in their sig is a link to their related WSO...

      ...is this out of line?
      Ahh... THAT can get tricky. Even long time members can get confused about that.

      I spoke with a gentleman the other day who's been a member here for four years or so. He occasionally jumps into threads and offers help or comments, but rarely starts his own. He saw a question repeated, remembered my comment about the value of the content, and posted an article he'd written that he thought answered a number of those questions. Complete with copyright date.

      That looked self-promotional, and got deleted. Properly so, as he readily agreed when the situation was explained to him.

      He could have done the same thing by prefacing the post with, "I've seen X posts recently asking about [problem]. One here, one here and one there. Rather than post the same thing in a bunch of threads, I thought I'd offer my thoughts on it in one place, in the hopes it will be helpful to anyone who might have the same questions."

      Then edit the thing so it becomes part of the conversation, rather than an "announcement." Done properly, that could be a good way to handle it.

      I generally recommend against pointing to an offer in a sig file unless it's in response to a specific request for information on the topic. I very strongly recommend against pointing to any offer at all in a thread starter. It's very difficult to do that without being perceived as having posted for the advertising value.

      I say perceived because we don't really ever know the intent of the poster. We, as collective moderators, have to make decisions based on what things look like. If it looks like an ad, we need to get rid of it, because leaving it stay will encourage others to do the same thing in the same way. That encourages folks to post ads intentionally.

      Does that lead to people with good intentions occasionally being foiled in their efforts to be helpful? Sure. And that sucks. But it doesn't suck as much as creating an excuse for dozens of people with less helpful intentions to claim they're "just doing what Joey did."

      Chris Hunter asked,
      I guess my question is this: If I'm running a WSO about how to get more traffic from your articles and a link to my WSO is in my sig, should I not post answers to threads with article marketing questions?
      Answering questions is the place where my comments apply about the value of the post being the factor that determines fitness.

      If the answers would be useful without the sig file being attached, then yeah. The answers are appropriate, and the presence of a sig file should be irrelevant, except to people who find them useful enough to want more.

      Example: I've been answering threads here about writing for a looong time. When I had an offer going recently for a book on the subject, I didn't let that stop me from continuing to answer those same sorts of questions. In fact, I made sure I put more effort into giving complete answers, in order to make sure people got more value from the posts themselves.

      Some people might have thought that was intended to get attention for the offer. It wasn't, but that was probably an added benefit.

      That's how it works. The more value you offer for people who don't buy from you, the more attention you'll get from the folks who want to learn what you teach.

      The offer is gone now, but those posts still have value. That might be another useful way to look at it, if you're not sure.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author MickG
    I have only just joined this forum but I thought you made an excellent post Paul, this is like being in your lounge and we are your guests and have to behave accordingly or we are asked to leave
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Mick,
      this is like being in your lounge and we are your guests and have to behave accordingly or we are asked to leave
      Well, Allen's lounge, but yeah. That's a good analogy.

      Thinking about participation here as a social thing, and looking at how a planned action would be seen in an offline social setting, can lead to some very useful insights into what works and what doesn't.


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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I don't understand why people don't just answer the entire question in their posts to the best of their ability...or don't post at all. We are here to help each other. If you're not going to give everyone the information, don't post. If you just want to sell stuff (and it's obvious after a short while that that's what you're trying to do!!!), don't post.

    If we want to keep our "stuff" secret and for sale, then don't post in a thread saying that you know the answer but won't tell anyone (which is in itself another form of self-promotion in a lot of peoples' opinion). That's just rediculous and doesn't add to the value of the thread at all. All that does is get people to your sales page...that is what pisses other people off (and that is what the WSO forum is for).

    From what I have gathered, if your posts are helpful and never hint at someone visiting your site, sig or WSO for "more answers" then you have absolutely nothing to worry about...not even from the alleged "bullies" or even from people that "don't like" you, as I've seen it described lately in other threads.

    AL
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  • Profile picture of the author Casem63
    Paul, I think the all encompassing scope of your analysis and in depth school of thought clearly demonstrate the extent of your experience, even if you had not divulged the length of your history with forums. I was greatly impressed with the views you expressed and found them quite instructional.

    As an aside, thanks so much Peter for the definition of "stonking"
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Allen,
      From what I have gathered, if your posts are helpful and never hint at someone visiting your site, sig or WSO for "more answers" then you have absolutely nothing to worry about...
      That isn't entirely accurate.

      There are things one can do that seem (and often are) intended to be promotional, but which never involve pointing to a sig file or other link in the body of the post. These can form patterns, which experienced people will usually identify.

      Among them are the constant one-liners, regular posting of articles related to one's products, resurrecting multiple old threads on the same topic (usually by a new member), and probably more that I'm forgetting. A corroborating sign of this is including keyword specific links in one's posts or sig file.

      None of these are proof, but they can be very convincing evidence.

      Oh yeah. Posting questions about a product, and including an affiliate link to the product. Also, anonymous or unknown new members asking for impressions on a product, and then discounting negative comments. That one happened yesterday. The creator of a service came in and started that kind of thread using a sock puppet.

      Those are pretty much givens. You nuke them outright.

      The ways people will try to game the system are pretty limited, but the possible variations aren't. That's why so much of moderating is composed of judgment calls.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
        Paul,

        Your post count gives me the e-b-g-b's...lol
        Please make another post to fix it!

        It's throwing off you Zen.

        Michael


        Thanks! I feel better now!
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Aw, come on, Michael!

          In Yahtzee, 4 6's is a Good Thing.


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  • At least it wasn't three sixes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

      Aw, come on, Michael!

      In Yahtzee, 4 6's is a Good Thing.


      Paul
      Paul,
      Since you put it that way I feel much better now, Thanks!
      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      At least it wasn't three sixes.
      Angela,
      I agree although, I know Paul always Over Delivers so it made me
      worry even more! :confused:

      Have a Great Day/Night!
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Michael,
        I agree although, I know Paul always Over Delivers so it made me worry even more! :confused:
        Worry. Worry much.

        4 6's is actually just three sets of 3 6's. A Trinity thereof, so to speak...


        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          If you see anyone doing this, report them.

          I've always wondered where these guys learned that lame trick. This explains quite a lot...


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author JazzOscar
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            If you see anyone doing this, report them.

            I've always wondered where these guys learned that lame trick. This explains quite a lot...


            Paul
            Seems time is long overdue for launching a crusade on Dilbert. LOL:rolleyes:

            I seem to remember that some years ago there was a crusade in the US on some rock lyrics containing bad language and describing bad behaviour. Wasn't the wife of one of the former vice presidents involved? (In the crusade, not the bad behaviour.)

            Dilbert is a lot more dangerous. Sort of spreading bad ethics to the world. (Spread through 2000 newspapers in 70 countries.)

            By the way;

            If you find the "About Scott Adams" page of the Dilbert site, you'll find that the cartoonist among other things was a Certified Hypnotist from Clement School of Hypnosis, San Francisco. Maybe he's doing some dangerous things with our minds.:confused:

            You'll also find a treasure chest of good titles that fit very well in with different situations her in the Warrior Forum, like;
            • Newbie threads with "Clues for the Clueless"
            • "It's Obvious You Won't Survive by Your Wits Alone" for when you don't want to play nice with your oponents anymore
            • "Always Postpone Meetings with Time-Wasting Morons" for the situations where you really need to think twice before throwing yourself into a discussion
            • "Dilbert Gives You the Business" would be a nice business-in-a-box offer in the WSO section
            • "Try Rebooting Yourself" for when you need to cool down a little
            • "This is the Part Where You Pretend to Add Value" goes right into the discussion in this thread. Do posters add, or just pretend to add, value?
            Maybe a little bit off topic, but I just had to.
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          • Profile picture of the author mmurtha
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            If you see anyone doing this, report them.

            I've always wondered where these guys learned that lame trick. This explains quite a lot...


            Paul
            ROTFLMBO! I just happened to see this one. That comic makes a great point!

            It's just a shame some people try to bend too much because of greed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
    I'll tell you sumin, I had made 40 posts and asked 200 questions out of excitement before I even new you could have a sig lol.

    Seriously, if you can't provide this forum with 30 measly.. but valuable posts then how do you expect others to find your WSO's valuable? I know some Warriors that could post "buy this crap now" and would sell out in seconds due to the value they've contributed for free in the main forum.

    Louis

    P.S. my post is aimed at people moaning.. (whoever you are)
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  • Profile picture of the author alvien
    Hi to everyone: I am new to WS and in fact to all forums.I just finished reading Paul's dialog.I am 82 years old and do not find his observations so far out or misplaced. I base this on having been involved in Boy Scouts Of America, PTA, American Legion,V.F.W.,Sitting on Boards of Directors and creating an "Artist Guild "single handed. So I say Many Kudo's to you for this excellent piece.
    To equate this to ROI it would place the carpers,complainers, and those too ill equipped to function in today's world in about 1/2 of a percent of the total. This is probably giving them more pertentence than they deserve. The one thing I have learned in 60 some years of encountering this type of ego-aggression is to ignore them .How??? In live circumstances you could just not respond or turn your back. In a blog or forum why not use a face showing disgust replying to their rudeness anonymously.It would show them they are out of line and ,Just Perhaps,get through to them. They couldn't come down on anyone because they have no one to name. I know this has it's flaws but just a thought for chewing up. Alvie N Leeper
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy LaPointe
    One more addition if I could...After reading Paul's post and all of the replies, you know this is an excellent community. Like any relationship (business or personal ) you need personal responsible, mutual respect, offering something of value and willingness to really try to understand the other person's point of view. Thanks, Andy
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  • Profile picture of the author ProfitFu
    It's funny I stumbled onto this. My second post was flagged by someone who had multiple infractions. The very next click, I landed on an entire ADVERTISEMENT as a post. Go figure.

    No worries. I own all of the properties in my signature and life is very good. So, no feathers were ruffled. LOL.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      RJ,

      The fact that someone has multiple infractions doesn't mean much. I've got two, and both were from the same guy, but with different usernames. Some people consider that a way to "get back" at folks who correct them.

      Infractions are intended to warn you, not punish you. They expire after an hour, and I don't believe it's possible for them to add up to enough for someone to get removed by them.

      Yes, some people post plain old ads. You'll see them from time to time, but they get yanked pretty quickly by members using the Report Post button.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnsonC
    Hi guys,
    New here to the forum...thanks a lot for the info Paul. I have been on forums before, not of this type. I'm new to online marketing, and am excited to see what I can learn from some of the experts here in the forum.

    Thanks again!
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    • Profile picture of the author blagoj
      Originally Posted by JohnsonC View Post

      Hi guys,
      New here to the forum...thanks a lot for the info Paul. I have been on forums before, not of this type. I'm new to online marketing, and am excited to see what I can learn from some of the experts here in the forum.

      Thanks again!
      If you want to learn the best way is to be frequent visitor here, read e-books and constantly improve yourself. You can see what people are doing here and learn a LOT just by visiting the sites in their signatures.
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  • Profile picture of the author gb4biz
    Hi Paul, I just left a post on someone else's thread complimenting you. Then I got to this page and saw your comments. Just wanted to say Hello! Don't drink too much Beer!
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  • Profile picture of the author mike_h58
    Thanks Paul,

    Very pertinent and useful observations and advice; a bit long, I should say, for a complete review by new forum members, but necessary for those coming here to better themselves as marketers and not only...

    Keep it up!

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author lh1234
    Roger I appreciated your comments and hope others see the wisdom in them.

    lh
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  • Profile picture of the author prosperpreneur
    The subject line sounded me like a official Warrior Forum post .

    I completely agree with what Paul said and that is the only way to keep this amazing forum worthy of all of our time.

    Thanks,
    -Gaj
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    • Profile picture of the author edhan
      Being around with many forums but this is the first forum that uses member moderator. It is very interesting and does work up to a certain point as long as you do not provoke anyone. Wondering what will happen if someone dislike you and penalize you again and again.

      Up till now, I value what many had written in this forum and had helped many with wise words.

      Glad and happy to see many of us have understood most of the Dos and Don'ts. It is one of the best forum with so many experts hanging out to help newbies as well as advanced users.

      With this said, I hope this forum will maintain 'Law & Order' with every member benefiting from each other's knowledge & skill.
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBangkok
    Paul, this is an excellent, if somewhat wordy, post, worth preserving.

    I have a couple of comments on my own experiences:

    You said: "The majority are people who simply don't understand how something is supposed to work and who are angry because they're confused."

    I'm the author of a software product to teach the Thai language; it's available on CD in Thailand and as a download on the Internet. Most installations go without a hitch, but I get the following about once a month: "I downloaded your stupid software but I don't know where I put it so your stupid software is no good". Or "I downloaded your software and when I clicked on one of the 75 files in the zip file it ran and then crapped out with some message I don't understand so your software is no good". The download page has 5 instructions to be followed for installation, but some people have no idea what "zip" means, and won't reply to e-mails offering to help them. One wonders how they get through life each day.

    You also said: "One of the guidelines I always used when I was moderating was a question: Is the information in this post useful on its own, without needing to buy a product? If so, it's a valid post. If not, it's not."

    I used to particpate in a Thai language forum. One day, a young Canadian asked some questions about beginning the process of learning Thai. His questions exactly matched my own when I was starting, and being a fellow Canadian, I replied back with what I had done. My post was deleted within 5 minutes of posting. When I asked why, as I had spent 20 minutes writing it and had tried to make it useful and informative to other people, not just the original poster, I was told "Because you didn't mention you were the author of a Thai language product". So the volunteer moderator was being super-sensitive to spam, I guess, although there were no links in my reply nor in my signature (not allowed on that forum). When I pointed out that the reply was over 400 words long and my product was not explicitly linked to nor even discussed, just listed as one of several available products, I got no reply. So I did the only thing I could do, I quit the forum, never made another post, and never even lurked again.

    Moderation is very important but needs to be done fairly, as you said, and in a balanced manner. I think you got those points across quite well.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this.
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  • Profile picture of the author mlongley
    Thanks for this thread.. Lots of good advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author ZeroBull
    I was wondering is there a clear set of rules in this forum on what you are allowed to say on here and what you are not to say. The reason I ask is I made a reply in this forum yesterday which kind of put Google in a negative light. I see that the reply I made was removed. And to be quite honest I was a bit afraid to ask this question about it, in case I get banned for asking.

    I really need to know what is safe to say and what is not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      ZeroBull,

      If you've read this thread, you know that there is no way to formulate and express a set of rules for a forum that covers every possible situation. The more explicit you get, the worse the situation becomes, and the more time is spent in legalistic quibbling about the rules. Those time costs expand at a greater rate than the overall growth of the group.

      Common sense and discretion are the thing. Don't worry about it.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author rwil02
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        ZeroBull,

        If you've read this thread, you know that there is no way to formulate and express a set of rules for a forum that covers every possible situation. The more explicit you get, the worse the situation becomes, and the more time is spent in legalistic quibbling about the rules. Those time costs expand at a greater rate than the overall growth of the group.

        Common sense and discretion are the thing. Don't worry about it.


        Paul
        About a year ago I read an article in New Scientist about the collapse of civilisations. One of the key triggers for the collapse of every empire except one was that eventually the energy/time commitment costs of maintaining the system exceed the energy derived from the system and it all comes apart.

        The one exception (wish I could remember the name) had voluntarily shed a large proportion of their subject lands and reduced their complexity level by about an order of magnitude.

        Funny how all these random things you find out about seem to apply in so many different places.

        Roger
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Roger,
          the energy/time commitment costs of maintaining the system exceed the energy derived from the system and it all comes apart.
          That is a challenge for a lot of online systems, too, as you no doubt intended to suggest.

          On small levels, that's what kills a huge number of blogs and forums. It stretches the resources of many larger ones. And the energy drains (I call them parasites) don't have a clue what they're doing.
          The one exception (wish I could remember the name) had voluntarily shed a large proportion of their subject lands and reduced their complexity level by about an order of magnitude.
          That's an interesting topic, but it would turn political really quickly.

          We have a different, but related, approach to reducing the energy needed to maintain the system: Nuke the energy sinks.


          Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author dubo
    Hi all,
    I'm new in here and this is my first post. This thread is the first I read when logging in for the first time here. Since I'm new, I still had little headache reading along all the 3 pages here

    Well, in my opinion, moderation must be placed very carefully to decide whether the posts was violate or not. I like your word about 'neighborhood watch', but neighbor sometimes can be very helpful, but on other time, they can be very annoying coz too much interfering our life with their juicy gossip and their warning about what you can do, what you cannot do all the time, over and over, without knowing the true situation.

    Anyway, this thread was very useful, if all the members applied it well.
    Sorry, if my post make all of u confuse when reading it. lol

    I still learn how to write a good post. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author sanjid112
    I like the idea of become members moderator, since I feel who can make this forum more comfy, if not us as a member. Al would not be able to sort a lot of postings, if we as members didn't help him. It is all to make the forum still clean, and not full of garbage-heap.

    Keep on going and thanks to all for make this incredible forum. I love this forum. :p
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    • Profile picture of the author rwb24
      Just joined the other day and read through this thread. Lot of good information for all of us, and I am truly grateful that if we just use common sense there won't be any problems.

      Looking forward to contributing what I can and always learning.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbrig
    Paul, I'm new here and having read your post on moderation, having read and digested it I had this strange sensation of sitting there looking slightly agog or silly, just as you predicted! I really do understand the message you put across, thanks for the clarity. I'll heed your advice and reach for the tin helmet when any flak starts flying and try and keep smiling.

    Regards mbrig
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  • Profile picture of the author mahesh2k
    Hi Paul, just noticed this post on Digital Point forums. Looks like some people are paying members to build profile here and to vote on WSO and reply to it. I'll be contacting Digital Point Moderators about this, i thought it was worth to bring this to your attention.
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    • Profile picture of the author Danny61
      Hi,

      I just joined this forum. Looked through the thread. Not to worry, if its common sense, then I definitely have one.

      Anyway, looking forward into having a great time here in this forum. Also looking forward into learning something new, and maybe contribute to the community as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author kelvinenterprise
    Paul,
    Thanks for the inspiring article & balanced viewpoint ,I enjoy reading it.
    There will be negative & critical comments but one should take it with a pinch of salt, ignore it & move on & not be Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People. (SNIOP), we contribute & add value to bring benefits to members.

    Cheers
    Kelvin Enterprise
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    • Profile picture of the author jimmycraig
      Hello,

      Another new member - that was quite a piece of manuscripting that you started off with Paul. I've never been a moderator in the sense it's used here, but I have done some in a technical forum that eventually was shut down. The interesting part of that is "why?" The answer is that the owner's employer felt it was a conflict of interest since it covered the subject that the owner knew best. The thing was non-profit - by intent and practice - and I really believe the employer "**** in his own nest."

      Anyway, that's a little off thread, but what I'm trying to say (obviously VERY indirectly) is that I understand what you're saying and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

      I'm looking forward to more interesting (and maybe some not so interesting) posts.

      Craig Hesser
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  • Profile picture of the author MICASCORDZ1
    Hello Paul, I enjoyed your post and I could learn by them. I also know if, and When I need help you all are here to lend a hand and your input on my endeavor, and adventure in to the business world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Link Money
    Thank You Paul.

    It is always nice to find forums where the long time members help the newbies to learn the ropes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karin Haworth
    Hello Paul,
    It sounds like you have given much thought to the best way communication can work for everybody and what it takes for that to manifest. I also get that you would enjoy a group of folks genuinely assisting each other in the art of making money. I know I am.
    I feel that people always have the opportunity to work together and learn a great deal from one another. However, this can only happen when each participant really cares about the whole picture.

    I hope I communicated accurately--please let me know. Perhaps I was way off.

    Karin
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  • Profile picture of the author Farie
    Great read, learnt quiet a number of things here. well done
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  • Profile picture of the author Eli_Hickman
    Although it has obviously been a long while since you posted your message, I still wanted to thank you for it. I am very new in this forum, and I want to contribute to it and it's members in positive ways.

    I have heard many of the same points you have made, but I have also heard some new things too. I am especially grateful for your words about not being overcritical or negative about others.

    Many of this points you made will serve as guidelines for what I contribute here. Again thank you for writing "your opinion" down.

    Choose to have a great day!

    Eli
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  • Profile picture of the author futurestrategy
    This really is a guiding post Paul.

    I see there are some obvious members to spam this forum too as they do it to any other forum. But after reading this post, it gives a refreshing thought on my approach.

    This will surely help my posts in other forums too.

    Thanks again as I honestly feel this is such an enlightening post.
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  • Profile picture of the author tallman
    Paul, I found this well written, compelling and easy to digest.
    You've put the moderation role in clearer perspective for this newbie.
    Thanks
    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author dannox
    paul you are great.more write ups
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  • Profile picture of the author Nazbir+
    Nice article bro ... but i dont understand who are the modaretors of warrior forum ?
    Because all users id colours are same .
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Mark,
      If you scroll down the page to the very bottom of any WF subforum, you'll see displayed on the bottom right hand side, the mod/s for that particular forum.
      There are a number of moderators who aren't listed anywhere as such. The mods for the various sub-forums all are, I think, but most of the forum-wide moderators aren't.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author LindseyRainwater
    Hi there, I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I'm really new here, and I want to be a part of the community. That said, I also want people to find me as a professional writer. I was scared the links in my signature would get me in trouble.

    Thanks to Paul, I'm comfortable knowing that as long as I'm actually participating, the links are fine.

    I feel things like this on forums aren't explained well enough to us noobs.

    I didn't read this WHOLE discussion, so I apologize if this has already been covered, but what does WSO stand for? (Like I said, noob here!)
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  • Profile picture of the author Valiant
    I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Something like this will help keep the forums cleaner.
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  • Profile picture of the author polet
    Everybody thinks differently. We all have the freedom to express what we think and i agree with Paul, in every freedom is a responsibility to limit our self to be accordingly appropriate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thinker1
    Thanks for this post. It really opened my eyes on things that I wouldn't have thought about.
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  • Profile picture of the author dh007
    Great post Paul, thanks!

    As I read it I had the word "balanced" in my head and sure enough I get to the end and there it is the word that summed the whole thing up!

    Agree with Melvin too. Rule one was a biggie! And rant and rudeness aside people should tell it how it is. Warts and all. But for the greater good not personal gain and without being malicious. On the whole we are all here for the same reasons right?
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  • Hi Paul - a well thought out post on moderation and I could not agree more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    I have a question,

    Have moderators ever moved an Off Topic Thread from that forum to the main forum .

    I was Just wondering I see moved threads all the time in the main forum, I am scared to be moved so i seldom open Threads unless I am 100% sure it fits in the main forum.

    But i think I started a thread in the Off topic that fits better in the main forum and this made me curious if off topic posts ever get reported as being in the wrong place.

    Thanks all mods and members for a great forum
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    • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
      Originally Posted by Cathy Shelver View Post

      I have a question,

      Have moderators ever moved an Off Topic Thread from that forum to the main forum .
      I've never seen that happen, and I doubt that it has -- the only reason a thread is moved out of a particular forum is if it's the wrong topic. Since it's not possible for anything to be off-topic in the Off-Topic Forum (or maybe it's not possible for anything NOT to be off-topic in the Off-Topic Forum -- I get confused) nothing gets moved out of there.

      The only rules in Off-Topic say no politics or religion - and those threads get zapped, not moved elsewhere.

      If you're talking about your cancer thread, that would've worked in the Main Forum, IMHO. It's a discussion about marketing.
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      • Profile picture of the author sanssecret
        Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, this is a long thread and I might have missed it.

        I notice a lot of folks will reply to what are obviously spam posts. Now the replies are always (unless from another spammer, lol) to point out the fact that spamming is a bad thing and I'm assuming they are also reporting those posts as such by using the 'report post' button.

        But should we really be making replies? Won't that make other folks more inclined to check out the thread, thus giving the op more views? Is it better to just report them so they can be deleted asap or is it worthwhile replying in the hopes the original poster will see the replies and possibly take notice for future reference? (I know, high hopes, :rolleyes: but sometimes real newbies might genuinely think they are offering us the greatest thing since sliced bread and might not see their post as spam).

        When posts are deleted is the poster told and/or given the reason why?
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          San,

          It's not a good idea to reply to a spam post, or anything else you plan to report or think should be reported. Just report it and move on to another thread.

          No, we don't usually tell people why their posts were deleted, even if they weren't spamming. That would take way too much time, and it acts as an invitation for debate. That would waste even more time.

          More importantly, it creates an adversarial situation, and many people become obsessed with winning those. That can lead to a lot of unnecessary problems.


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author sanssecret
            Thanks Paul,
            Personally I tend not to reply anyway but just wondered about whether or not folks were informed (though I fully understand the reasons for not doing so.)
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          • Profile picture of the author George Wright
            Thanks Paul,

            For bringing this out. Sometimes I'm inclined (usually around 2 or 3 am) to play with a troll or spammer. Won't do it anymore. Sort of like Cat and Mouse. Me being the Cat of course. Seems like common sense now that you bring it out. Then again as they say common sense is not so common. Especially in the early early morn.

            George Wright

            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            San,

            It's not a good idea to reply to a spam post, or anything else you plan to report or think should be reported. Just report it and move on to another thread.

            No, we don't usually tell people why their posts were deleted, even if they weren't spamming. That would take way too much time, and it acts as an invitation for debate. That would waste even more time.

            More importantly, it creates an adversarial situation, and many people become obsessed with winning those. That can lead to a lot of unnecessary problems.


            Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author diver351
    Thanks Paul
    I am a new member of the Warrior Forum and whilst the forum rules are clear to see and Read I very much enjoyed your slant on the issues.
    The point that you make on self promotion and signature files measured against content was spot on. I have been passively looking on for a while now and the points that you raised will help me to become a good Warrior.

    Thank you

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author christineconte
    I take the idea of being a member moderator to heart - if we don't all keep our eyes out and flag what we think is inappropriate, then we will all suffer the consequence of having a spammy forum.

    I have tried other forums, but have gotten so frustrated at the high levels of spam that I just gave up.

    I agree - when we see spammy or questionable content, we should just report it. The moderators will be better able to make decisions if they have all of the reports.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Wu
    it took me 30 minutes to digest this article....

    Great work!
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  • Profile picture of the author luckyone2day
    Great Post!! Its about time someone posted about the job of a moderator. Just because your there to make sure everything runs smoothly doesnt mean your trying to be a parent.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazardezign
    Hey,

    My experience so far has taught me that — all other things being equal — it’s better to have more moderation than less. I agree that appointments aren’t ideal, I would prefer to run elections, but we have urgent needs on the trilogy. I believe that every moderator we’ve appointed today lives up to our moderator selection ideals:

    1. Must be a currently registered user in good standing.
    2. Must have a reasonably high reputation score to indicate active, consistent participation.
    3. Should exhibit patience and fairness at all times in their questions, answers, and comments.
    4. Should lead by example, showing respect for their fellow community members in everything they write.
    5. They should want the responsibility. Being a community moderator isn’t an obligation, it is completely voluntary.
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  • Profile picture of the author thegotoguy
    Hello! This is my first post. I just joined a few minutes ago. Decided to stop by here and read the rules. So many forums are different and I don't wanna get kicked out the first day... I love the site by the way! Don't know why I didn't join a long time ago! This forum is huge! I'm just lazy! Took me a year! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author stevestan
    Cool. Thanks for clearing some things up for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Reno Van Boven
    Thanks for the info Paul. If people stick to these tips/rules it will certainly make it a better and more user friendly forum.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers

    Reno
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  • Profile picture of the author agusq
    Thanks Paul,

    This is very awesome and helpful
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  • Profile picture of the author KateCuttson
    Hey Paul,

    I just have to say that I admire you! You are so patient with everybody...
    I am really facinated...Keep up with the good work
    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author crystalmauldin
    This was very help information Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author Landon Walsh
    Damn. I just spent the last 30 mins of my life reading that. This whole thread could be turned into a WSO on "How to create a Great online Forum Community" Bravo.
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