Sitepoint Quality of Posts

Over the years I’ve come to view Sitepoint’s forum as invaluable. The php and mysql sections are practically legendary, with only a few other forums offering some level of service near this grade. This is not exaggerating.

I’m wondering how it is then that other sections are lagging in this effort, such as for internet marketing. Many times it simply seems to attract the latest ‘new signups’ with many post replies intended to quickly roll up their post counts, mainly if for no other reason.

Is it the nature of the beast for internet marketing vs those that do more scripting?

While I’m very glad that SitePoint does have a reputation for high-quality discussion and advice, the forums also welcome beginners in all web-related activities. People who have been helped often want to give something back and help others in turn, which they do to the best of their ability.

Everybody had to start somewhere, and I wouldn’t like to see SitePoint become a place where members are afraid to post in case their reply is not considered “up to standard”. We do work hard to keep the forums clear of fluff and spam, but where a member has made a genuine attempt to contribute, at whatever level, we try to guide and encourage them rather than dismiss their efforts.

[font=calibri]I think we would all agree that some sections of the forum get a better quality of discussion than others. We do what we can to weed out the rubbish and to get people talking at a higher level, but as TechnoBear says, we also want to cater for people who are just starting out … and we also recognise that we can’t force people into discussions if they don’t want to.

Why are the programming and design forums often stronger than social media and internet marketing? A lot of it boils down to what people want. If you’re a programmer or a designer, you’re likely to be continually coming up against new challenges, so you want a strong community where everybody helps everybody else. So it attracts serious discussions and helpful threads. If you work in SEO, you haven’t got that same need to engage with a community – there are only so many tips and tricks, and then it’s a case of applying them and keeping an ear to the ground for any new developments, but those come through on an external timeframe. We have had some great discussions about SEO, but by now most of the arguments have been done to death in the past, and it’s harder to find new contexts to apply them to than it is with coding.[/font]

Thank You TechnoBear, Stevie D.

  • Pretty fair & diplomatic contributions to the topic.

Heh, you’ve hit on the conversation that we have been having in the staff forums for many years now. At the risk of offending any legitimate SEO specialists, that branch of our industry is so full of misconceptions (put out there by the inordinate number of snake oil salesmen that purport to be experts) and misinformation, that the same subjects are raised and conversations had ad nauseum. People don’t even bother reading the forum first to see if the question has been asked before.

Part of the issue is the false belief that forum backlinks are beneficial, so pumping up post count is definitely the goal for many.

I’m relieved to hear you speak so highly of the other areas. Means that we’re doing something right!

As other said, we all started somewhere and if we know anything is because we did an effort… and we had a lot of help (from forums, friends and where we could find it)

Therefore, I’m glad that the forum welcome begginers.

But, as you say, some other areas need of improvement. We do try to do our best but in some areas it is hard to find someone with enough knowledge and enthusiam and diplomacy to be part of the staff.

Killing spammers is a tough job (much easier because the staff in this forum, if I can say so, are great and make it a so much more enjoyable job) and answering the same question over and over, and do it personally instead of copying and pasting the answer you gave a hundred times, takes patience, consideration and dedication.

So while in some areas we’re on the look of someone that can really provide quality answers and has the time to do so, some other have the “virtue” of attracking every single fluffer, spammer or missinformed being in the universe.

That’s the case of Internet Marketing. It is a forum that attracts lots of viewers and posters because everybody wants to make business and you need good marketing for that.

It also attracts gazillions of spammers because almost everybody wants to make quick cash and they think that by posting and posting, exposing signatures and posting some more they will get those wonderful customers that, for an unkown reason, will spend money in their services/products.

And it attracts thousands of “experts” that, for some reason, look less like an expert because all the misconceptions and bad information they received and, therefore, they give.

In a forum like that, it is hard to raise the quality because when you try to start a quality thread, you receive an inmense amount of people wanting to provide information… that most of the time is wrong and almost always they never have data to back it up

Nevertheless, we never give up and we try to do our best to raise the quality and remove the misconceptions.

And if you want to participate, have any ideas or want to make an action plan with me to raise the quality in the Internet Marketing forum, I’m all ears! or well, eyes! :smiley: