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Thread: Request: rank for modifying posts forever

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    To be fair I did get an explanation at the time. See HERE.

    Marcel Van Herk, the "victim" of this event, is an easy chap to find on the Internet. HERE's an overview of his activities. It is sobering to think how many lives have been saved around the world as a result of this jovial chap's research in radiotherapy. Getting a bad reception here was hardly significant compared to Britain's treatment of him and his family. As we have now left the European Union and they are Dutch nationals they will have to apply for permission to continue to live and work here, which I suspect will be very much a formality given his status, but even so he is extremely annoyed on principle. Well, the British authorities didn't give Alan Turing, who also worked at Manchester University of course, a particularly fair deal in life either, to put it mildly, so nothing's new there.

    Back in 2017 Marcel told me that he had acquired a Data General Nova 1210 to restore. This was a significant project for him as it was the type of computer used in the world's first CT scanner back in 1972, so directly important to the history of his specialist subject.

    So now we are well off topic. Sorry about that. It's time for my lunch anyway.

    So let me see if I understand this correctly ...

    Seven years ago a new person posted here, and the moderation system could not tell if the post was spam or not so it went to a moderator. (Back then the software handled the decision; not all users were thrown to the moderation queue immediately.) The moderator could not tell so they deleted the post, but did not ban the user giving them the benefit of the doubt. I don't know who deleted the message; it could have been me for all we know. But based on the follow-up to it it probably was not, as I would have just stated that I deleted it myself.

    This is not ideal but it's not a "bad reception." If your friend had written something that both a computer and a human could tell was not spam then the outcome would have been different. But they did write something that vague or trite or short, so it did get filtered.

    It is not our responsibility try to vet the post or the person. We try, but that's an unrealistic expectation. It also shows a lack of awareness for the amount of work the moderators put into keeping things running, fighting spam, and dealing with users here. Your friend could have taken one more minute to write a more meaningful post, talk the moderators directly, or do something else. But they thought so little of it they never bothered to try again.

    It sounds like the system worked correctly.

  2. #22

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    For the record, this is the text of the post that got deleted:

    Hi,

    a greeting from Amsterdam. Just letting you know I joined the forum.

    Marcel


    Both the software and the moderator at the time could not tell that from spam. It might have been a mistake, but honestly I think your friend could have tried a little bit harder or retried with another more meaningful post.

  3. #23

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    Hey, that does look a lot like some of the typical run-of-the-mill opening posts from either a bot or a spammer. Unfortunately, a quite innocent post like that tends to blow both ways.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kent, England
    Posts
    152

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    The message was posted on my thread and was a direct greeting to me by my friend to let me know that he had joined. It has already been mentioned here that threads are predominantly ongoing dialogues and in general it is to be assumed that posts are directed at the thread creator. I never got an opportunity to acknowledge the post as it was deleted before I logged onto the site but after the system had sent me an email notification of it. Had the moderator waited to see my response I could have confirmed that the post was meaningful to me. In a chat room setting the message would simply have been "Marcel has joined the discussion" or something similar, which clearly wouldn't be spam.

    I am not disparaging the work that the moderators do as I can barely imagine how bad things would be without them, but I was just pointing out that any constraints like deleting posts unbidden and restricting editing without qualification, such as depending on the credentials of the poster as suggested in the OP, can be detrimental to the benefits of the site and such powers should be applied wisely. I drew attention to the discussion that had occurred at the time with the opening words "to be fair" and I hope that that made it clear that I didn't want my recent remarks to be seen simply as moderator bashing. I'm sorry if that didn't come across clearly enough. I have never subscribed to unmoderated social media sites because I consider moderation to be a necessity and if sometimes it doesn't work the way we hope that's just something to take on the chin, but this thread was intended to be a discussion of an aspect of the systematic approach, which will always be subject to repeated questioning, so moderators should equally accept that subscribers will come back to these old issues if the sore point still itches.

    Fair enough now?

    By the way, Marcel and I continued our discussion of my project by email and also face to face during personal visits, which is why he never attempted any more posts here, but maybe our discussions would have been of interest to other readers and led him to share his knowledge on other matters here as well. Not everyone joins because they want something from the site; some people may actually have something to offer in terms of knowledge and the initial response to their early posts may therefore be important. On that other site that I mentioned I had the role of meeter and greeter, responding to first posts in a friendly manner to guide new members on the local protocol as many people didn't read the rules before plunging in. (Who does, to be honest?) We "mentors", as the role was entitled, smoothed things out at the early stages to take some of the responsibility off the moderators. Quite possibly it was this two tier method of vetting posts that allowed unlimited editing of posts to work relatively smoothly as there were more mentors than moderators, so more people overall to keep an eye on things. Mentors didn't have any special powers on the site, so they could just be recruited from the core membership quite easily, but the mentor title demonstrated to other members that they were trusted by the moderators to know how to behave appropriately and advise other members. To be honest, I never did totally understand why they asked me to be one as i can be quite outspoken, but it may have been in the hope that I'd knuckle under more as a junior member of the staff and stop making suggestions on ways to improve the site. Obviously it never worked as I'm still making suggestions. The trouble with vintage computing is that you are bound to encounter a lot of vintage people such as myself.
    Rob - http://www.honeypi.org.uk
    The Internet is a winch to get your project off the ground ... but always have a parachute handy.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    867

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    By the way, Marcel and I continued our discussion of my project by email and also face to face during personal visits, which is why he never attempted any more posts here, but maybe our discussions would have been of interest to other readers and led him to share his knowledge on other matters here as well. Not everyone joins because they want something from the site; some people may actually have something to offer in terms of knowledge and the initial response to their early posts may therefore be important.
    I do think that perhaps we are missing the 'Project' mentality here and that does require an ability to edit your original posts. Something akin to the lines of xda-developers or even the atariage forums. But, I think as was mentioned earlier in the thread, the threads here are more meant as an ongoing dialog... a place to chat and continue that dialog.. and it does that just fine. I don't think the moderators have the time or inclination to make this into a full time job and it's not meant to be a forum for more then vintage enthusiasts to get together and chat. I do know that i'm working on projects myself with others, and we do those in other places, because the design here just isn't conducive to that. But, it doesn't need to be. There are other places that are better for development/project threads, but might not be as good for some of the topics that occur here.
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/GS/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/128/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, Timex Sinclair 1000, TRS-80 Color Computer 3/Model 4 GA

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kent, England
    Posts
    152

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngtwolf View Post
    I do know that i'm working on projects myself with others, and we do those in other places, because the design here just isn't conducive to that. But, it doesn't need to be. There are other places that are better for development/project threads, but might not be as good for some of the topics that occur here.
    Yes, I admit that I have entirely neglected to update my own project website for many years but then I haven't posted much on my progress here either. Even when I do get around to putting the more permanent information on my own website I doubt that I will include any facility for visitors to post discussions as here. In fact I have only been posting here as a stopgap because some members have become impatient for information and pretty pictures.

    My immediate project work involves creating a larger workspace to carry it out, so unless anyone here is interested in discussing dry lining walls, fixing false ceilings or other building work I am unlikely to have any reason to write more posts for a while. I don't know how others cope but I find that I spend more time working on the infrastructure of the project than building the computer itself. There is also a big difference between getting an already complete machine working by changing a few items and building a new one from a large heap of parts, most of which were never specifically part of a computer, especially when you don't have a detailed design to work from, just the functional specifications. I work on my project alone but depend on the support of others who have found out about it through various means, one important one being this site, which is why I try to keep my project thread here active. The meagre sources of information and parts are spread around the world, so my project is as much about bringing them together as actually building anything. Hence I really appreciate sites like this one and the work that the administrators do to keep them running and there is no doubt about that. Nevertheless we always hope for more and will ask for it; if we didn't have that attitude we would simply let all that obsolete technology that we discuss here fade away and be forgotten. In a way it is ironic that we are discussing here, or at least should be, the need to repair old posts but never think twice about the need to repair our old technology.
    Rob - http://www.honeypi.org.uk
    The Internet is a winch to get your project off the ground ... but always have a parachute handy.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    867

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    In a way it is ironic that we are discussing here, or at least should be, the need to repair old posts but never think twice about the need to repair our old technology.
    Oh, trust me, I think twice (or more) about repairing old technology too...
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/GS/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/128/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, Timex Sinclair 1000, TRS-80 Color Computer 3/Model 4 GA

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    The message was posted on my thread and was a direct greeting to me by my friend to let me know that he had joined. It has already been mentioned here that threads are predominantly ongoing dialogues and in general it is to be assumed that posts are directed at the thread creator. I never got an opportunity to acknowledge the post as it was deleted before I logged onto the site but after the system had sent me an email notification of it. Had the moderator waited to see my response I could have confirmed that the post was meaningful to me. In a chat room setting the message would simply have been "Marcel has joined the discussion" or something similar, which clearly wouldn't be spam.
    There is a flaw in your reasoning here; it seems to assume that threads are "owned" and exist for the benefit of the original poster. If that were the case, we'd stop moderating using a central pool of moderators and let the original poster of the thread determine what stays and what gets deleted or edited.

    However, that is not how things work here. Many people read and participate on these threads. We have a central pool of moderators (with a lot of practice) who weed out spam and put out the flame wars. There are potentially hundreds of people reading new posts here every day so we treat spam fairly seriously. And out of respect for people's time, we want a high signal-to-noise ratio, so something that is relatively content free or looks like a spam-bot could have created it is going to be deleted.


    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    I am not disparaging the work that the moderators do as I can barely imagine how bad things would be without them, but I was just pointing out that any constraints like deleting posts unbidden and restricting editing without qualification, such as depending on the credentials of the poster as suggested in the OP, can be detrimental to the benefits of the site and such powers should be applied wisely. I drew attention to the discussion that had occurred at the time with the opening words "to be fair" and I hope that that made it clear that I didn't want my recent remarks to be seen simply as moderator bashing. I'm sorry if that didn't come across clearly enough. I have never subscribed to unmoderated social media sites because I consider moderation to be a necessity and if sometimes it doesn't work the way we hope that's just something to take on the chin, but this thread was intended to be a discussion of an aspect of the systematic approach, which will always be subject to repeated questioning, so moderators should equally accept that subscribers will come back to these old issues if the sore point still itches.

    Fair enough now?

    By the way, Marcel and I continued our discussion of my project by email and also face to face during personal visits, which is why he never attempted any more posts here, but maybe our discussions would have been of interest to other readers and led him to share his knowledge on other matters here as well. Not everyone joins because they want something from the site; some people may actually have something to offer in terms of knowledge and the initial response to their early posts may therefore be important. On that other site that I mentioned I had the role of meeter and greeter, responding to first posts in a friendly manner to guide new members on the local protocol as many people didn't read the rules before plunging in. (Who does, to be honest?) We "mentors", as the role was entitled, smoothed things out at the early stages to take some of the responsibility off the moderators. Quite possibly it was this two tier method of vetting posts that allowed unlimited editing of posts to work relatively smoothly as there were more mentors than moderators, so more people overall to keep an eye on things. Mentors didn't have any special powers on the site, so they could just be recruited from the core membership quite easily, but the mentor title demonstrated to other members that they were trusted by the moderators to know how to behave appropriately and advise other members. To be honest, I never did totally understand why they asked me to be one as i can be quite outspoken, but it may have been in the hope that I'd knuckle under more as a junior member of the staff and stop making suggestions on ways to improve the site. Obviously it never worked as I'm still making suggestions. The trouble with vintage computing is that you are bound to encounter a lot of vintage people such as myself.
    How many active members does that site have on a given week?

    We have a lot of users here, and quite a variety too. I think that kind of approach works great, but it doesn't scale well to larger forums. It's like the difference you will find between a small club that meets at your home and a larger group that assembles at the local sports field.

    As to the question about editing posts ... I think what people are looking for but missing on this forum software are "project" pages. Something they can edit and keep up to date. Cloud tools like Google Docs are really much better suited for this. I'm happy to help anybody edit a post in a thread (the first one?) to have a link to a page like that. Keeping the forum threads for the conversation and using a better tool for maintaining the project status makes sense.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    867

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbbrutman View Post
    How many active members does that site have on a given week?

    We have a lot of users here, and quite a variety too. I think that kind of approach works great, but it doesn't scale well to larger forums. It's like the difference you will find between a small club that meets at your home and a larger group that assembles at the local sports field.
    I don't have a horse in this race personally and I'm not sure which part of Robs post you were referring to, but if we were referring to not being able to do project type posts on large forums (specifically allowing posts to be edited for all time), I'd refer back to xda-developers which manages it and is a significantly larger site then this one. If it was referring to a different part of his post, then disregard.

    I'm not sure how great it would be, however, to have threads without content that refer back to some cloud site since you would still have the same issues of people editing it later, except then it's not only controlled in a third party site, people would also have to click away to read it or catch that it's changed.. At that point, I'm not sure the benefit of it being here at all? I'm not sure what the answer is, maybe its just something that can't be accommodated here.
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/GS/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/128/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, Timex Sinclair 1000, TRS-80 Color Computer 3/Model 4 GA

  10. #30

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    xda-developers is using vBulletin but it's highly customized. And it's also littered with advertising, which implies they are bringing in revenue and can afford to pay people to keep it running smoothly.

    Everybody at VCFed.org is a volunteer, and we have day jobs. We don't have the time to customize vBulletin and maintain it the way xda-developers do.

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