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  1. #1
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
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    Some (good) changes to the rules

    Ok people, I have good news!

    We've been doing some analysis of the anti-spam measures that we've implemented over the last year and we've come to the realisation that some of them haven't had the effect that we'd hoped.

    At the same time we're hearing your frustration at being 'punished' for the actions of the minority.

    So we've reversed a couple of rules that we hope will make you happy.

    1. All forum signatures are now visible to everyone, including guests
    2. Users can now post links, regardless of how many posts they've made previously

    It is important to note that for now signature links are still no-follow, but you'll be able to take advantage of much higher exposure and hopefully that will increase your click-through traffic.

  2. #2
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Thank you much. Nice. I would still like to see a longer edit time reinstalled, that would just be wonderful
    Ulrike
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  3. #3
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I'm looking at that one next Datura.

  4. #4
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    I'm looking at that one next Datura.
    Thank you much, I think a lot of members will like this, especially the serious posters who have a lot to say. Mistakes are creeping in, for me anyway.

    Often I prep a post in a word program, but I also see my posts grow into more when I just wanted to quickly say something. So the edit button is important in that case
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  5. #5
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    1. All forum signatures are now visible to everyone, including guests
    glad you have a new crop of moderators on board, because this will immediately drive up the fluff

    seriously, hiding sigs from google was a good move, and reversing this decision, well, i just think it's wrong

    we shall soon see, won't we...

    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
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  6. #6
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I agreed with you originally Rudy, but when I analysed the stats they showed absolutely no change in the number of infractions for fluff posts when this rule was instated. Of course, we'll be keeping a close eye on them to ensure that this doesn't change, but I'd prefer not to have a whole lot of rules and regulations in place unless they can be proven to be beneficial.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Well, I hope you know what you are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    seriously, hiding sigs from google was a good move, and reversing this decision, well, i just think it's wrong
    That's my inclination as well, but I hope to be proven wrong.

    Perhaps it's because of a sharp increase in moderator activity, but it's been my impression that the amount of spam and fluff has gone down significantly over the last few months.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  8. #8
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    They looked at the stats of reports rather than viewable fluff. Dan's apparently been keeping track in some ginormous database in a secret bat cave somewhere... with some Crays crunching the numbers??!!??

    BTW I've noticed since about begin Feb that I've been able to spend a lot of time editing my posts... it's certainly longer than a minute. Is that because I'm a mentor?? Does everyone else have just one minute like I remember?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    No, I think I can edit my posts for at least several minutes now.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  10. #10
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
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    It is not just one minute I forgot the actual time but it is 10-15min I believe!

  11. #11
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    Perhaps it's because of a sharp increase in moderator activity, but it's been my impression that the amount of spam and fluff has gone down significantly over the last few months.
    It might be that we now have started a strict no-fluff policy, if it's not meaningful it doesn't do anyone any good so it'll be liable for purging. It means we can now wipe out some of the clutter that's not technically spam but dilutes the forums quality, I've seen a sharp decrease in low quality posts since that's been put into action as the report button has been going into overdrive scrubbing the barnacles away!
    Last edited by HAWK; Mar 28, 2010 at 10:56. Reason: Can't say ;)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    2. Users can now post links, regardless of how many posts they've made previously
    As I feared, this has turned out to be a bad decision. There's been a surge of spammers today, and in combination with the painfully slow report process it's getting very tedious.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  13. #13
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Hmm, Mr. T, that probably explains when I tried to REPORT a "quote robot" today it failed; invalid response due to lag although luckily the robot has been removed. I think this month; it seems like have had REPORT on speed-dial settings, and caught somewhere near twenty of the "little pests".

  14. #14
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    As I feared, this has turned out to be a bad decision. There's been a surge of spammers today, and in combination with the painfully slow report process it's getting very tedious.
    We have always had bad days on occasion. I think you might be a bit hasty in blaming the change of rules.

    You are right about the report button however - there is an issue with it and it is being looked at. I apologise in the mean time for the delay.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    We have always had bad days on occasion. I think you might be a bit hasty in blaming the change of rules.
    Hasty? Me? Nevah!

    It's quite clear, though, that allowing live links from the first post has increased the number of actual spam posts. Before, they could post fluff, but they couldn't post a live link and that made it much less interesting for the b*st*rds.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  16. #16
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    You're probably right. The decision to revoke that particular rule was based on the number of spam posts + our ability to remove them quickly versus the number of new members that were getting frustrated about not being able to add links for the right reasons.

    I'm not concerned about the number of spam posts increasing provided we are able to remove them quickly and easily. Should that not be the case then I'll put my hand up and say that I was wrong. I know that there are issues with the speed of the report post button and we are sorting that out at the moment.

  17. #17
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    there have been noticeable, positive improvements

    1. fewer sig spammers, although i believe this reflects the previous "not visible to search engines" policy

    2. less fluff, due to good communication by staff and awareness of our rules in new members

    3. fluff disappears quickly, because of better moderator response

    the signal to noise ratio is way up

    touch wood it stays that way, eh

    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  18. #18
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Sweet! Just what I wanted to hear. I'm glad it's noticeable.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    I'm not concerned about the number of spam posts increasing provided we are able to remove them quickly and easily.
    I suppose it depends on your definition of 'quickly'. The other day I reported a whole host of spam posts, but it took well over half an hour before they were removed. And there were at least three Advisors on-line at the time.

    And considering that Google often indexes new threads within minutes of their posting, half an hour can be more than enough for the purposes of the evil hordes.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  20. #20
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Reported thread notifications go to Advisors responsible for the particular forum that you report from (as you know), so it is possible that those Advisors weren't even aware of your reports.

    While I accept your point about Google and concede that in an ideal world it wouldn't take half an hour to clear a post, that doesn't seem like an unreasonable time to wait.

    And thanks for making the reports.

  21. #21
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I will say that early on in the change, I did notice a serious upsurge in the amount of spam posts (especially from people with 5 or less posts) however in most respects that's died back down to the level it used to be at... perhaps people noticed they didn't last long when they started hitting up their links within the posts.


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