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Problems That We Are Going to Address on Rise Forums

Discussion in 'Community Announcements' started by Kevin Muldoon, Nov 23, 2015.

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  1. I was away from Thursday to Sunday catching up with some old friends. When I returned last night I had a lot of threads on Rise Forums to catch up on.

    A lot of other problems quickly became apparent when reading these threads. These problems have been coming up over the last month or so, but they were more obvious to me when I was responding to a lot of threads at once.

    In my opinion, this community will be damaged if we do not actively tackle these issues. That is why I think it is important to address them.

    I want to voice my opinion on these issues publicly because I think it is important for myself, and the staff team, to be transparent about what we do here.

    Below is a list of these problems that we are going to address.

    Auto-Archiving Older Threads

    @k06mars recently made a suggestion about auto-archiving older threads. This is something I know we need to address as it is frustrating for existing members when new members arrive on the forums and start responding to discussions that have not been active for several months.

    I am still looking at the best way for me to do this, though I do want to let you know that this is a problem I am looking to resolve.

    Members Who Post in the Wrong Discussion Rooms

    We have multiple discussion rooms for a reason. When a community reaches a certain level, it becomes important to categorise threads as many members are only interesting in certain topics.

    A lot of members are failing to do this.

    There is no reason to post an internet marketing question in the WordPress News discussion room. There is no reason to post a WordPress question in the forum management room.

    I appreciate that some questions are related to multiple topics, but frequently it seems that the member starting the threads just doesn't care where he starts it.

    Moving forward, I am hoping that members take the time to start threads in the right room. This is especially the case with advertisements and threads about offers.

    We have a marketplace in which you can post an offer or advertisement. If you post an advertisement in any other discussion room, the thread will be marked as spam and the member will be banned from the forum.

    Members Who Disguise Who They Are

    I do realise that many people disguise who they are online. This is becoming very common on Rise Forums.

    We are seeing a lot of members signing up pretending to be something they are not. I have no issue with anyone using an alias online, but I do not feel there is any need to hide where you are from.

    We have members who are signing up from China and Pakistan sign up with western names such as Stephen or David. Their broken english gives away the fact they are not from a country such as the USA or Canada.

    I appreciate that it is difficult for people to write in English when it is not their first language, however I do not think that excuses the fact that they are trying to be someone they are not on here.

    If you are from Vietnam, tell us you are from Vietnam. Do not try and fool other members into thinking you are American or Australian. It benefits no one.

    Whilst it is impossible for me to vet every single member here, if people are misleading other members about who they are, that can generate problems. My responsibility is to try and protect members to the best of my ability. That is why I do not appreciate people trying to convince others they are something they are not.

    Members Pretending to Be Experts

    A lot of beginners are trying to portray themselves as experts. This is not something I recommend members do as they will get found it quickly by more experienced members.

    Be honest about what you know and don't know.

    This should be a welcoming community where people help each other and are honest about their experience working online.

    You will find that Rise Forums members are more willing to help those who ask for help than those who try and pretend they are internet gurus.

    Members Aren't Giving Enough Information In Their Threads

    This problem is seriously starting to drive me up the wall.

    Myself, and many other Rise Forums members, actively try and help fellow website developers and internet marketers.

    However, we aren't psychic.

    Many threads are turning into a large guessing game because the member who starts the thread is providing us with next to no information. This makes helping people much more time-consuming.

    Simple one-sentence questions will generally not cut it. Members should not be purposely asking vague questions.

    I make a point of taking the time to help everyone I can here, but I am getting to the point where I feel like those who do not provide enough information should not be helped. Members have to take the time to do proper research on topics before they ask questions. They must also provide as much information to us so that we can help them resolve the issue.

    Starting a thread with "What is the best SEO for my website?" is really vague.

    You need to help us help you.

    Members Who Contribute Nothing to the Rise Forums Community

    There have been members who have signed up recently who are hurting the forum. They are actively posting nonsensical posts in discussion threads.

    Their posts have nothing to do with the discussion at hand and are nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt to have their signature displayed.

    Moving forward, if any member posts these garbage posts, the posts will be marked as spam and they will be banned from the forum.

    Good Members - Don't Worry!

    It does not matter if your English is not good. It does not matter if you are a beginner who is just starting online. What does matter is that members contribute to this forum in a positive way.

    None of what has been said above is targeted towards good members. These problems are being caused by people who are looking to get something from Rise Forums without giving anything back.

    Whilst I do want Rise Forums to grow as a community and attract more members, it is vital that we attract the right type of people to the forum. I do not want this place to turn into a place that is only used by spammers and self-promoters. We have a great community spirit here and I want that to continue.

    As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.


    Heather likes this.
  2. Hi Kevin,

    Yeah I've definitely noticed an increase in signature spam recently. Would one solution not be to only give members with at least 100 posts sig links? Or who have been members for 6 months? Something like that.
  3. That could be one solution Charlie. I think a combination of time and post count could work well.
    Heather likes this.
  4. This is such a great forum with some really nice and super helpful people. It also ticks me off to see people doing stupid things and wasting your time, when you work so hard to help each and every person (or at least make sure they're helped by someone, if they need help). Also, yes, those of us who care want to see the quality of this forum stay high. It does seem like there has been more of an influx of spam and a lack of new quality members, as in, people showing up in a real, authentic way to help others and be helped and just interact like normal people.

    I will say that it has really annoyed me seeing posts where people are pretending to be someone they're not. It's so silly in my opinion. I mean, it's not like native English speakers won't know that "David" is not really David. (That isn't aimed at anyone in particular, by the way.) It's sad that people feel the need to try to pretend like that, and it's embarrassing to think that they think they're fooling anyone. If English is not your first language, just be honest about where you're from. Be genuine.

    This is not directly about this, but since we're talking about the forums, I'll throw this out there. I wish there were a room for members with a certain number of posts... I sometimes might like to get my Rise forums friends' opinions on something about my website or related efforts and would like to discuss it just with the people who are really genuine and active here, and not have it out there completely accessible. I prefer forums that you have to log in to to read, but that would at least allow for occasional discussions that aren't completely out there. Just an idea.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  5. This is common problem for community websites which are driven by its members. I also deal with these things on my animal forum website. Luckily on my niche there is nothing to sell or make money so people there doesn't spam that much but still I delete 3-4 singup weekly who wants to get back link through their profile page.

    To deal with these problems. I have made strict rules. To use moderators effectively, I offer moderation job section wise only, to those members in which they are interested and productive. Thus I avoid responsibilities of entire site on them. I also offer good members to do moderation job for little period of time.

    Forums from many years are seen as good and easy way to get back links and attention, that's why newbie internet marketer use this method to spam the place thinking of getting google love.

    I agree with Kevin statement to auto archive the old thread. Or you can close these threads

    For new members, set the option of "Require moderator approval before posting" for certain number of posts. If they are posting in correct rooms from starting, remove this constraints

    Put them in a specific group which do not allow signature and other such facilitates permanently, In short discourage them to use the forum for wrong benefits by restricting several options.

    As already suggested, use time and number base constraint to restrict the signature. But keep an eye on new members who are already a reputed person, in this case, allow them all the facilities from beginning

    When a new member signup, send the link of thread which contains the information on how to ask question here (I think one is already created) in the welcome email. If they still don't follow, just leave a reply and put the link of the thread which have information on how to ask questions telling them the reason why their questions can not be answered. With time either close these threads or auto archive.
  6. That's a good ideas. Perhaps we can tie it in with Charlay's idea and when someone has been on the forum for a certain length of time and reached a certain number of posts, then they can display their signature and participate in that discussion room.

    The question is: Should such a room be 100% private or should everyone be able to see it but not be able to post?

    This is a good suggestion, but I'm not too keen on moderating every single post. The reason being is that a new member's threads may not be authorised for up to 24 hours.

    In the first day a new member signs up to a forum, they are keen to participate and hang out in the forum. Moderating every single post they make in the beginning could discourage a lot of people from coming back.

    So while this would eliminate poor posts from the forum, it could also hurt growth badly. This type of moderation also gives the moderating team a lot of work; which is not ideal when we will spend most of our time working on our own projects.

    At this point in the forum's life, I don't think we are at the level where we should be using techniques like this to stop spam.

    That is a good idea. If people are not participating in the forum, they should not be able enjoy the benefits the forum offers.

    Agreed. I like the idea of upgrading members to the promoted group earlier if they have shown they contributing to the community.

    Great idea. My only hesitation is that the people who are causing these problems are the same ones who do not tend to read sticky threads with rules. However, I agree that it is worthwhile for me to do something like this.

    Perhaps what I should do is expand the forum rules page and then display a prominent notice to all new members to read the forum rules. If they fail to comply and start posting spam, they're gone :)
    Sanjay Ojha likes this.
  7. I would like the active members only group to be 100% private... But maybe it would be useful to have one like you described as well... maybe for website reviews or something that is more of a premium benefit?

    I don't blame you for not wanting to moderate every post.

    And I agree about posting the rules prominently and having more tough love or just a no BS policy that if they break the rules, they're out without warning. It will not be a loss to the forums. And if they're just pretending to be someone else, and they really want to be here, maybe they'll join as someone else who will actually follow the rules.
  8. I will make a point of introducing some of these changes this weekend. I have work for clients this week so I won't get a chance to sit down and sort everything yet.

    Yeah it's a difficult act to balance Heather. I don't want to just ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules as a lot of people post in the wrong discussion rooms etc by mistake. That doesn't bother me. If someone is contributing to the forum in a positive way, I'm happy. However, I have zero tolerance for spammers and I know they can discourage good members from returning here and that is obviously a concern.
    Heather likes this.
  9. I know what you mean. And I'm sure you want to give people the benefit of the doubt unless it's obvious spam. I get that. It's frustrating I'm sure when people are doing relatively minor yet super annoying things like posting in the wrong forum/thread or writing super vague posts and questions. I'd also want to give them a warning or redirection or two... but still, I'm sure it's frustrating.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  10. Good changes Kevin! I am all for these :)

    As an aside, I have noticed my signature has gone. Was this deliberate? I don't mind either way but was just curious (and I couldn't send you a convo asking you, so writing it here instead :) )

    Thanks for all your work. I did delete a few obvious spam (like "Download James Bond" things) over the weekend when I checked a few things, so I cannot imagine how much you do on this (I generally ignore the crap posts, and the ones I don't have an opinion/knowledge on)
  11. Your signature is displaying correctly for me. Are you not seeing it?

    I would certainly never remove any established member's signature. If you are not seeing the signature, I will check permissions as something could be up. :)
  12. I can see his signature, too.
  13. Thank you, Levin, Charlie L, Heather, Sanjay Ojha, and Rhy Wynne,
    I just a newbe in this forum and not an expert at all.
    You articles and contributions have helped a lot of us.
    thank you,
    Guadalupe calsada
  14. Yeah, it popped up again :)

    Odd, it disappeared for a while!
  15. AHHHHH!!! I figured it out.

    The first post of people's appear with a sig. Subsequent ones don't :)
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  16. Ahh yeah that is a modification that was put in place so that the same signatures are not displayed several times in a thread.
  17. What do you guys think would be a good level to reach for a member before they are eligible to display a signature and post in a private room?

    Be aware, however, that this kind of system is not full proof as some members would look at it as a target. However, the idea is that any poor members would be banned for posting crap before then and discouraged from putting in the hours necessary to reach that level anyways.
  18. Maybe 100?
  19. OK 100 posts seems reasonable. We could also put a timescale in place to stop people trying to turbo post (though any member doing that would likely be banned before they reached that level).
    Heather likes this.
  20. Could you do say 100 over a minimum of 30 days? I think that would be the best.
    Kevin Muldoon and Heather like this.
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