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Endeavor

Trolls, Spammers & One-timers.....

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Perhaps our new member "FeeSan" is our angel to get this topic started. Tensions in the forum seems to be brewing and perhaps it's time to have a constructive discussion where we see this forum going, what is its purpose and what to do with Trolls, Spammers and one-timers ...... if anything?

Of course it's Marks forum and he decides what to do with it. He can even delete this thread if he thinks that an open discussion is not required / desired. That's all fine. Even if I get kicked off the forum for initiating this thread, that's also fine with me.

My humble observations and suggestions;

It seems that we get an increasing inflow of "new-members" who don't take the time & politeness to introduce themselves. They ask a question (under the right or wrong chapter), get an answer and thereafter just disappear. It seems that the forum is becoming more like a service-point where everybody can ask any of their watch questions for free.

Clearly our moderator Oldhippy isn't happy with that, and I think a lot of other WRT-members either. Of course, it up to each and every forum member to answer such "new-member" or not, but it's in my opinion an one-way energy flow, often even without a "thank-you".

If the forum decides not to become a free service point for every watch question and likes to keep itself reserved for serious WRT-members, who want to learn & discuss watch repair problems & skills, perhaps it could be an idea to higher the entry-threshold. As far as I can see, all what currently is required are a display-name, an email-address, password and a proof of not being a robot. I didn't want to register myself again, so I'm not sure if there are any other instructions / requirements for new the members such as the forum-wish to introduce themselves first?

If a (partial) shifting of one-timers, Trolls & spammers is preferred, perhaps a time delay may work. It seems to me that the modern youngsters are seeking instant gratification and if they don't get it, they try somewhere else. To me, somebody who really likes to become a WRT-member, he/she has no problem with waiting 12 or 24 hrs for his/her application to be approve by a moderator. Of course this time-delay & approval can be automated if deemed required.

As for the application and introduction; In my opinion there is certainly no need for an in depth introduction, personal details, credentials or anything like that. It would however be nice to know a which watch/clock-repair skill level the new member is, the geographic location (US / EU / Asia, so more specific answers can be given specific for the members area) and perhaps a few other basics questions (to be determined by forum / moderators / Mark)

The prospect of having to wait 24 hrs and thereafter having to answer a few compulsory questions may discourage and lot of the one-times / Trolls & spammers.

Anyway, I did not start this thread to say what needs to be done, that's up to Mark and perhaps the moderators. But I do hope that this thread will serve as starting point for a constructive & healthy discussion, with the intention to keep this great forum great.

If I get scarified for this ....... so be it.

For me: "If you want to move forward, you have to stick out your neck" ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Endeavor

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I have said this before and I will say it again - if anybody is spamming, being offensive or trolling or generally not following the forum rules then the "report post" function is the way to go.

It is simply not possible for me to monitor and read every single post.

I asked for moderators and literally one person put their hat in the ring other than oldhippy who was recommended. I am still open for mature members of the forum to be considered.

Mods not only get greater powers to help with these issues but also get a say in how the forum is run.

I am happy to take suggestions and I do try to keep the forum running smoothly ( especially with the technical side and security updates). I can understand your frustration but rant posts are not the way to go - perhaps contacting me via PM would be good. However, I'm not deleting this post as I'm interested to hear from other members as well on this subject.

As for the issue of trolls - this is regrettably a side of the Internet which will not go away - that being said, if anybody joins the forum and is found to simply be trolling others then they should be reported and they WILL be banned.

As for the issue of 'one hitters' in the q&a section - we have had a small discussion regarding this and I am working on a strategy. You're input above is along the lines of what I want to put in place whereby new members will not be able to post in the q&a until they have been upgraded. This may involve automation though so it won't be perfect.



Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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35 minutes ago, Endeavor said:

In my opinion there is certainly no need for an in depth introduction, personal details, credentials or anything like that. It would however be nice to know a which watch/clock-repair skill level the new member is, the geographic location (US / EU / Asia, so more specific answers can be given specific for the members area) and perhaps a few other basics questions (to be determined by forum / moderators / Mark)

Hello there Endeavor. I don't believe we have ever interacted, but its very good you started this conversation. I agree with you on the topic I  quoted from your post. I generally turn away from making blanket statements about why and how first timers/new members post a question. My default mode is to try to help, if I can, with whatever information is being requested.

There are many posts I see that are reductive, tedious, and even humorous ! That doesn't mean the person is just looking for instant gratification--which, by the way, is not limited to younger people. I think that any forum will have the "casual lookers" that simply want to get help with a watch that fell on the floor, or that suddenly stopped working -never mind that they're often super-cheap watches with brand names I've never seen or heard of.

The point is that they've found  WRT and are interested in this forum. I joined because I needed help with a watch. I asked the question here and in several other forums--I wanted help fast and I didn't care where I got it from.

I continued interacting with the members on WRT because they were willing to tolerate my naive, untrained questions and didn't give me attitude or condescending remarks intended to let me know how little I know about watch repair. I kept coming back and now, its been a few years I have been a member of WRT (though not yet a patron...<_<). Sure, I've had questions from "first-time" posters where I spent time looking for an answer, only to have no acknowledgement of any kind from the person that asked it. I've also had great responses and even had people send me stuff in the mail as a show of gratitude. One member sent me a box of mince pies all the way from the UK when I admitted I didn't know what they were!

If there needs to be some form of check point set up, perhaps the moderators can serve as the initial points of contact for someone interested? I think all the moderators here are fantastic and are usually the first one's to welcome a newcomer and try to offer assistance.

 

J

Edited by noirrac1j

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I started to write many different replies and just could not find the correct words.  But, the one  thing that this thread brought to mind was how I got started.   Which was by asking a question on an internet forum.  Maybe I should have never asked that damn question :)

one watch turned into thousands!  

 

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Mark, 

I'm happy to help out with moderation, currently a mod at vintagewatchforums.com and I use to run a forum with 24, 000 users and understand the issues with having a large community. I'm in Australia, so can provide mod help during a different time zone. 

Pm or Facebook chat me (pad printer 3d) if I can be of help. I'm still learning watch repair and by no means am I experienced. 

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Like JerseyMo I too started out by asking questions on a forum (without introducing myself) and was told off by OH but so what. Its no big deal, I'm probably one of the older members here and think the forum works just fine. I associate with people my own age in my private life and would much rather have the younger generation to chat to. All the oldies do is moan moan moan. The forum aint broke like many of my watches so why mend it?

We are all looking for the same things advice, assistance, general chat about our hobby. When I was at school in the fifties teaching was done with a rod of iron. Sure you going to get Trolls and Spammers occasionally but lets take them with a pinch of salt. The world is full of grumpy old men lets not add to them. They know who they are. Sorry if I digress a little but lets make this forum a happy forum and above all else lets have FUN.

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I completely agree with chrisdt,  you can't blame the one-timers... most likely is people trying to fix a problem with their watch if it's quick and/or cheap enough, they may not be really into watches at all, you can't have them posting everyday. I don't see it as a "free service point" because we can choose if we want to answer them or not, but then again... what are we enthusiasts about?

Regarding the trolls and spammers, well as Mark said it, you just can report them and the will get banned, I don't see the problem here :mellow:

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I am curious about whether we have had a policy change? I went back to the original message from Mark when I joined and it said that you "can" introduce yourself it didn't say you have to introduce yourself?

The reason for asking is I now feel really nervous if I see any discussions by a newbie wondering if I have to check to see if they've answered the secret questions of the universe and whether the moderator has approved their introduction? There's been a couple of discussions I've looked at where Oldhippy Came to the discussion terminated it until the person introduce themselves name rank and serial number or else.To me this just doesn't make for a friendly discussion group.

Then unfortunately I can understand the moderators frustration. I'm not sure if I'm noticing more but it just seems like lately there's been an increase of I can't think of a proper word but basically nonproductive discussions that were basically a waste of time. I can see the moderators are frustrated and want to do something but terminating an active discussion I don't think that's the way to handle the problem.

So rather than this after the fact thing perhaps we could take care this in the beginning? When you join the group you're given a link to where ever it is you go to introduce yourself. Maybe a few sample questions like what do you hope to get out of the group or endeavor posted some up above. Also there would be a comment that up to 24 hours would be needed before their approved for the rest the discussion group. Recognizing that locking a person out might be complicated depending upon the group software in real life all you have to do is tell them to take up to 24 hours to be approved. Then a moderator noticing that a newbie is posted congratulates them and tells them they're free to join the rest of the group. Then we get our introductions out of the way and slow things down a little bit.

Then if nothing else this discussion has produced,, did I notice somebody volunteered to become moderator?

 

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3 minutes ago, Geo said:

Very well put as usual John, your post gets my endorsement.

Very true.

And I do feel very uncomfortable forcing people to introduce themselves before interacting in other areas.

But I am willing to listen - this is a membership site and we all have a stake in it's success.

The reason why I have never forced introductions in the past is because people should have choice - new members have a choice to introduce themselves as well as existing members have a choice to simply ignore their questions.

I must say - I am a little disappointed that this is an issue as the original intent of this forum was to be a help towards others with less knowledge as well as a community where all levels of horologists and enthusiasts could come together and simply be - and be relaxed.

With that in mind - I have a solution, and it is a very very simple one. ....

1. I am not going to enforce an introduction policy, but I will make it more clear that members of this site will consider it polite if people do so first. ( I will work on making this prominent in the welcome email and I will make this clear with a information box at the top of the forum which only new members will be able to see).

2. If a new member posts a question without introducing themselves then, and here's the simple part, existing members who may be offended by this do not have to participate in that thread. We even have an ignore function on this forum if you feel that strongly about it.

3. Any member, both new or old who harasses new members, and it's reported to me, will be warned - persistent harassment's will result in a ban.

A Word Of Encouragement...

One-hitters who don't even reply sometimes are extremely annoying. Especially if you have crafted a three paragraph response with pictures and the OP does not even acknowledge your reply. It sucks. BUT - remember this. This is a public forum which gets indexed by search engines. Your replies are never a waste of time - it's all good content which will be read many hundreds or thousands of time - there is no telling how many people you will have eventually helped - with this in mind, it does not even matter who starts the conversation, your replies and the passing on of knowledge will stay on this site for people to find for years to come. It's not a waste of time.

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Thank you Mark. I think that is an extremely good way and well thought out. That will help both sides, new members and Mods.

I see my name has cropped up a couple of times and it seems, as some have not been happy with me. So I would like to ask this question. Would you like me to step down from being a Mod.

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3 minutes ago, oldhippy said:

I see my name has cropped up a couple of times and it seems, as some have not been happy with me. So I would like to ask this question. Would you like me to step down from being a Mod.

Absolutely not!

You are a diamond here at WRT and most would agree with me I am sure. 

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@oldhippy; I hope that you noticed that at several occasions I was trying to support you. What happened yesterday was for me totally unacceptable and I thought that urgent action was required. Hence I threw my reputation (if you can call it like that, and if I have one at all) and membership on the line. Luckily the glove was taken up by Mark and it's all in the open.

Your question above was exactly what I was trying to prevent !

Through the years the forum has grown, additional activities are added and that has attracted perhaps different people. This calls for reviews and adjustments; where we are, where do we like to go and are we still doing fine?

I sincerely hope that you, Mark and the other mods can work things out, clear new guidelines/ a clear vision / rules / regulations. Perhaps we should call this event the "growing pains" of a successful forum.

You are for sure a big contributor to that success !

Edited by Endeavor

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4 hours ago, Mark said:

A Word Of Encouragement...

One-hitters who don't even reply sometimes are extremely annoying. Especially if you have crafted a three paragraph response with pictures and the OP does not even acknowledge your reply. It sucks. BUT - remember this. This is a public forum which gets indexed by search engines. Your replies are never a waste of time - it's all good content which will be read many hundreds or thousands of time - there is no telling how many people you will have eventually helped - with this in mind, it does not even matter who starts the conversation, your replies and the passing on of knowledge will stay on this site for people to find for years to come. It's not a waste of time.

 

I like that. 

Rudeness abounds today, it is astounding people don't even thank you for the free help, but its the internet, and its full of wheat and chaff.  If you start worrying about the chaff, the chaff doesn't care, it only brings you down.

There is a model wooden boat forum who've developed an open source set of drawings for a really great project.  They're very worried that the drawings fall into the wrong hands, i.e someone who might us a power Hegner scroll saw for example.  Its a bit comical - all this hand wringing, imagine fretting (pun intended) about such a thing?   You'd think the objective would be the drawings are a net to be cast far and wide to bring more people to the hobby.  Point being you won't get any wheat if you so worried about not getting any chaff.

Oh, and when you do get some help - give the person a like!  everyone needs a little positive feedback now again, especially when spending their time helping someone

 

 

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24 minutes ago, JerseyMo said:

As a systems programmer I tend to think in a logic work flow ... ie IF ELSE THAN.

IF - new member

No - proceed

Yes - introduction required.

well again I attempt to give a cleaver reply to this thread  - See previous -.  So I will end with this - I am very happy to see that many here see this topic as an non issue as do I.  

Now if you want to know me, come on over to Biggies on route 17 south and I'll buy ya a beer.

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Well i just joined the forum yesterday to get some help with a watch from knowledgable people and i have already learned alot!

Though i am a newbie it might seem as i was a one hitter but i simply just dont have enough knowledge to answer questions and would rather observe and ask.

I hope i wont come of as a one hitter and i would hate to get that reputation for being here to learn.

 

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1 minute ago, Muligans said:

Well i just joined the forum yesterday to get some help with a watch from knowledgable people and i have already learned alot!

Though i am a newbie it might seem as i was a one hitter but i simply just dont have enough knowledge to answer questions and would rather observe and ask.

I hope i wont come of as a one hitter and i would hate to get that reputation for being here to learn.

 

@Muligans, please don't worry - you are absolutely welcome, as you get more confident you will be able to contribute more. This website is for people of all skill levels.

We're just working out some issues to make this an even more awesome website.

The positives here outweigh the negatives by a huge mile :)

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I must say i am guilty for  asking questions on other forums and then not going in there again. I think all have done that sometimes?  As an example i asked about my car that had a fault i couldn't figure out. So posted on a Renault forum. But as i don't know that much about tinkering with cars i don't post a lot there after that . Am i a bad Renault forum member because of that? 

Edited by rogart63

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10 minutes ago, Mark said:

@Muligans, please don't worry - you are absolutely welcome, as you get more confident you will be able to contribute more. This website is for people of all skill levels.

We're just working out some issues to make this an even more awesome website.

The positives here outweigh the negatives by a huge mile :)

Thank you Mark for the welcoming word, i have already taken notice of the positives here! 

Its so cool to have found a place like this even though its starting to cost me money for new equipment and stuff i had no clue i needed for watch repairment. :biggrin:

I am more confident now that my projects will turn out okay after i found this place. And also that my knowledge will continue growing.

Edited by Muligans

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