Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rules?

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Allow ads everywhere, or enforce existing rule against them in discussion areas?

Enforce existing rule
25
89%
Allow them everywhere
2
7%
What's an ad?
1
4%
 
Total votes: 28

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Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rules?

Post by amberwolf » Mar 30, 2017 5:17 am

I'd originally asked this over in the Forum Rules and Features section a month ago,
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 13&t=86656
but Polls and Surveys might be a better place to ask this, given the lack of response to the original.

Since ads are being posted and left alone more and more around the discussion forums, should we simply change the rule against doing this,
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... f=13&t=152
and allow them everywhere, (possibly even eliminating the Online Market section as it would no longer be needed)?

Or should the existing rule against posting ads outside the Online Market section be enforced?

Or should selective enforcement continue, and under what terms? (who should be allowed to post them in discussion areas, and who should not?)

Presently this is the existing rule, as stated within the Forum Rules:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 13&t=86656
in a few places:
2. Please keep all advertisements for items which are relevant to these forums in the Online Market section https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=23 (clarification: all ads of any kind must go in the Online Market, in the Items For Sale - New / - Used sections. If it's discussing or promoting a product you or your company sells, it's an ad, and can't be posted in the discussion areas).
DON'T post for sale or wanted "ads" in the Forums - Use the Buying and Sellling Section ONLY
All threads regarding money, wanting and/ or selling of goods must be in the online market.
* You buy and sell at your own risk
* If it's discussing or promoting a product you or your company sells, it's an ad, and can't be posted in the discussion areas.
DON'T post SPAM about your website, business, eBay ads, or Endless Sphere classified ads (all ads of any kind must go in the Online Market, in the Items For Sale - New / - Used sections. If it's discussing or promoting a product you or your company sells, it's an ad, and can't be posted in the discussion areas).

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by Harold in CR » Mar 30, 2017 6:54 am

It's probably more work for the moderators to keep things in shape, but, rules are rules, and I voted to enforce existing rules.
Thanks to Justin, the forum is open source and NON-commercialized.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by teslanv » Mar 30, 2017 10:21 am

I think there are some instances where links to parts for sale should be permitted outside of the "Online Market" section.
As a reader, I like to see links of where I can purchase something when reading about it in a thread. Such a link should not automatically disqualify the entire topic from being in the build section. This might include a link on where to get a specific headset, pedal, chainring, etc.

I think the poster should be able to include information on where they purchased a kit or bike, so long as they don't include a link. It is enough to say they got if "From Grin Tech" or wherever.

If the poster is known to be an owner or employee of a particular company, I think the rules must get enforced more stringently than if no such affiliation exists.

There has also been the problem recently of certain enthusiasts "spamming" build threads with references to their favorite vendor and that vendor's products. If it is for the sake of a fair comparison, I have to admit, it is a benefit to the community to see such posts, however, again, I think direct links should be prohibited.

I get that as a customer of a particular vendor, one may have strong feelings and wish for that vendor to be successful, and to share their good experiences with the community. There are limits, though, and we moderators must be able to recognize when those limits are exceeded, and be permitted to respond accordingly.

I don't want this place to devolve into a "FanBoy" club for any particular vendor. That is what we must guard against. If you are a fanboy of a particular vendor, I'm willing to bet that that vendor has his own website or facebook group where you can rave to your heart's content. Go there and post your spam all you want with like-minded folks.
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Mar 30, 2017 2:41 pm

teslanv wrote:As a reader, I like to see links of where I can purchase something when reading about it in a thread. Such a link should not automatically disqualify the entire topic from being in the build section. This might include a link on where to get a specific headset, pedal, chainring, etc.
I'd say it's pretty simple to distinguish what can and can't be posted, according to the present rules.

If the link is posted by the person (or company) selling it, it's an ad.

If the link is posted by someone that works for the seller in any capacity, it's an ad.

If the link is posted by someone else unrelated to the seller, it's not an ad.

I think the poster should be able to include information on where they purchased a kit or bike, so long as they don't include a link. It is enough to say they got if "From Grin Tech" or wherever.
That hasn't got anything to do with the topic at hand, which is about ads, which would be from companies or individuals selling items, unless the poster is the seller.

For example, if you yourself (because you are a vendor) post a build thread, and post links to your company or sale threads, etc., where it can be bought, or mention that you sell the things you built it from, then the build thread is an ad and does not go in the discussion area.

But if you yourself post a build thread that contains links to *other companies'* parts/etc., but *not* to your own stuff, it's not an ad and there's no reason it can't be in a discussion area.

There has also been the problem recently of certain enthusiasts "spamming" build threads with references to their favorite vendor and that vendor's products. If it is for the sake of a fair comparison, I have to admit, it is a benefit to the community to see such posts, however, again, I think direct links should be prohibited.
There is nothing in the present rules prohibiting this; these are not ads, unless the person works for the vendor in question.

So, for instance, since Spinningmagnets works for Luna Cycles, he would not be allowed to post links to their products outside the sale section. Since Teklektik works for Grin Tech, he would not be allowed to, either. Since Dogman Dan works for E-bikekit, he would not be allowed to...and so on.

But any of them can post links to *other companies'* stuff, and be in compliance with the rules.

If you wanted to create a rule banning *all* product links of any kind then you could do what you're talking about there, but you cannot really make an enforceable rule preventing only "fanboys" from posting links to things they like. Unless perhaps you limit each person to a specific number of links that they are ever allowed to post, and once they exceed that they can never ever post another link again. Or that each person can only post a certain number of links within a specified time period. Both of those would require either a mod to the PHPBB, or they would require quite a lot of moderator time to determine if they are being followed. Neither one is likely to be possible; neither is practical.

And it really isn't the topic at hand, anyway.


I get that as a customer of a particular vendor, one may have strong feelings and wish for that vendor to be successful, and to share their good experiences with the community. There are limits, though, and we moderators must be able to recognize when those limits are exceeded, and be permitted to respond accordingly.

I don't want this place to devolve into a "FanBoy" club for any particular vendor. That is what we must guard against. If you are a fanboy of a particular vendor, I'm willing to bet that that vendor has his own website or facebook group where you can rave to your heart's content. Go there and post your spam all you want with like-minded folks.
Unfortunately none of that really has anything to do with the problem, or the rule in question. While I agree that the fans and the haters of any particular vendor can cause issues, either separately or because they cause disruption when they meet in a thread, those are a whole different topic. ;)

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by tomjasz » Mar 30, 2017 3:24 pm

Harold in CR wrote:It's probably more work for the moderators to keep things in shape, but, rules are rules, and I voted to enforce existing rules.
ABSOLUTELY I'd volunteer to just keep ads off!
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by tomjasz » Mar 30, 2017 3:29 pm

amberwolf wrote:I'd originally asked this over in the Forum Rules and Features section a month ago,
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 13&t=86656
but Polls and Surveys might be a better place to ask this, given the lack of response to the original.
Hey Amber, are you back moderating? That's a good thing if so.

I like the rules and would like to see them enforced. I also respect some of teslanv's observations and DO think they are relevant.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by Lurkin » Mar 30, 2017 3:46 pm

I think the answer is obvious but the resulting work is the issue. One forum member can post more posts than a moderator can realistically moderate, and moderators are outnumbered. This inevitably ends in a constant game of catch up, which the moderators cannot get ahead of by design.

- how can the mods be better supported by forum members?
- should forum members have a greater ability to moderate their own threads (sale threads definitely come to mind)? is this more likely to lead to abuse of privilege or would it be a blessing/relief for mods?
- should vendors contribute to pay moderators for the cost of their time/ equipment? Its happened in the past but kinda unofficially. Is it fair to expect vendors to have to pay to play?

It's also really easy to answer this question when its black and white. But,

- what about where only one vendor offers a product, its new, and only the vendor knows about it? Its in the forum members interest to refer to it, but that's self promotion.
- how is it fair if an unaffiliated forum member 'pumps' a vendor? especially if their "disclosed" association is dubious?
- Is there a duty of care expected of vendors to respond to posts which include their name?
- should vendors be expected to submit information for the wiki/ forum periodically as a means of non-financial contribution?

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Mar 31, 2017 2:35 am

Lurkin wrote:- how can the mods be better supported by forum members?
Forum members can read and obey the rules. ;)

They can also encourage all other members that are not doing so to do so.

Forum members can also use the report button whenever they see a problem post, instead of replying to it (currently this is one of the big problems with the vendor bashing threads that start out as tests, reviews, or simple vendor/customer problem reports--various members just pile on, instead of leaving it for the mods to remove or edit the extraneous posts that do not belong in the thread).

- should forum members have a greater ability to moderate their own threads (sale threads definitely come to mind)? is this more likely to lead to abuse of privilege or would it be a blessing/relief for mods?
That is a can of worms. :/ No one has "their own" threads. Threads don't belong to anyone, and as long as it is on the topic at hand, anyone is free to post in any thread.

It is certain to be abused, especially by vendors. There are some vendors who have created not-even-thinly-veiled advertising threads outside the for sale section, supposedly for members to "show off" the products they have bought from that vendor, but in reality the vendor uses the thread(s) to post more ads about their products, to make sales to more people, etc. When members post links to other people's products, the vendor complains that "their thread" is being polluted, and demand that these links be removed.

They do not have the right to ask for this, since A) it is not "their" thread, and B) they are already breaking the forum rules by posting their own products in that thread.

*If* the thread in question was in the for-sale section, *then* it would be inappropriate for others to post links to other products within that sale thread.

If everyone had the ability to moderate, posts would jsut vanish or be edited by whoever felt they should. Wikipedia works well enough on that principle, as a fact-collection repository--a discussion forum does not.


- should vendors contribute to pay moderators for the cost of their time/ equipment? Its happened in the past but kinda unofficially. Is it fair to expect vendors to have to pay to play?
No, because then they also will expect extra rights to post ads, etc. probably wherever they feel like.

Once that starts, then it will probably escalate--whoever has more money will pay for more "ad space" or other priveleges, and we end up with an ad-based forum, like we "revolted against" back in 2011, when Grin Tech took over stewardship of the site.


- what about where only one vendor offers a product, its new, and only the vendor knows about it?
That's what the Online Market for sale sections are for: to post products for sale. I don't see what the problem would be?

That's the point of this thread and poll--to determine whether or not the regular membership would prefer to have such ads all over the place, or simply maintain the existing requirement to put such threads in the for sale sections, where anyone that wants to buy something can go look for it.

If products are posted outside the for sale section instead, then what do vendors do for those that go looking in the for sale section to buy something? do they post multiple threads in various forums for each product? If they have to do that, then we also will need to change the rule against posting to multiple forums.

Its in the forum members interest to refer to it, but that's self promotion.
If you mean that it'd be self-promotion for a vendor to post about it outside the sale area, then yes. If you mean for other, unaffiliated, members to do so, then no, it wouldn't. But since we do have the sale area for people to post whatever EV-related products and services they wish, and any member can easily look there for such things, I'm still not sure what the problem is. (But that's why I started this thread...for everyone to discuss it).

- how is it fair if an unaffiliated forum member 'pumps' a vendor? especially if their "disclosed" association is dubious?
It's not--but there's no rule against people posting "I love Vendor A's stuff", any more than there is one against them posting "I hate Vendor B's stuff". There's no way to really know if someone is a shill for or against a vendor, so there's not really a way to make an enforceable rule against such things, other than disallowing ANY promotion of ANY kind by ANYONE, which would make it very difficult to discuss anything here beyond completely DIY solutions. ;)

If no one could ever say who they bought from or what they bought, or link to any product they are not actually selling, that'd be a pretty extreme change, and it would also be just about impossible to enforce without deleting practically every build thread on the forum. :/


- Is there a duty of care expected of vendors to respond to posts which include their name?
Dunno about that--there's nothing wrong with vendors responding to support questions--but if it came down to them needing to promote something they sell to fix the problem, they probably ought to take it to PM's. Then the member with the problem would be able to post the final result, including anything they had to buy to fix it. Then there are no rule violations or ads outside the sale section.

Alternately, removing the rule against that, or modifying it, would enable the vendor to post whatever was "needed" (whether it actually was or not).


If a vendor responds to non-support questions by advertising their products, that's a different thing, and again shouldn't be a public response. If they respond privately and then their answer is posted by the questioner instead, that's like the previous instance--not a problem of spam.

- should vendors be expected to submit information for the wiki/ forum periodically as a means of non-financial contribution?

It'd be nice if they would post technical details, support documents, etc., in teh wiki, though I think it'd probably be proper for them to remove all company names/links/etc from them when they do so. I can't imagine most vendors being willing to do this. (some of them would just look on it as a great way to steal their compettitors' support docs and mark them up as their own).

I don't think we could make it a requirement, though it might be interesting to try. Since we can't even get everyone to read the rules, much less follow them, I doubt it's an enforceable requirement.



That's part of the thing about the for-sale rules: it's pretty easy to enforce a no-ads-of-any-kind-outside-a-specific-section rule. As soon as any gray-area stuff starts to be allowed, it becomes difficult to enforce. As soon as the rules get altered to make the exceptions, it gets more complicated, harder to decide about, and less likely for any particular moderator to act on it.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Mar 31, 2017 3:01 am

BTW, OT for this thread, but since it does have something to do with the advertising/vendor/etc issue; I've debated posting it as a separate topic, and will split it off if y'all think that would be better:

I think that no moderator should be allowed to be a vendor and vice-versa. If they are selling things on the site anywhere, it's really a conflict of interest.

I'd also expect that any moderator would be required to put in at least a few minutes a week looking thru and acting on (or passing on to another moderator) the reported posts and PMs. If they aren't willing or able to do that on a regular basis, or they wish to become a vendor, they should step down from moderation.

These might make it difficult to keep enough trustworthy moderators around, but if those moderators aren't actually doing anything, there's not much point in them having the moderator access, either, right?




tomjasz wrote:Hey Amber, are you back moderating?
No, and I doubt I will, because I don't think very many would appreciate how I would do it. One reason I stepped down is that I just plain got tired of being crapped on, as myself and as a representative of ES as a forum, and know that I will no longer be able to be moderate in my moderation.

If I did return I'd be doing it very strictly, with no notifications to anyone of moderator actions, no warnings, etc. All ads of any kind, even just mentions of selling things, etc., would be deleted; I would not be editing it out of posts, so a long technical post by a vendor that happens to include a link to their site would result in deletion of the entire post. And I'd just ban repeat spammers, advertisers, trolls, etc., regardless of what kind of contributions they make.

I'd split OT stuff off to it's own threads in whichever section is appropriate. I'd take all the vendor-bashing and stick it all in one thread for "pointless arguments", and anyone that wanted to bicker about that kind of stuff would have to do it there; if they keep posting in other people's threads with it they'd end up permanently banned if they're not smart enough to figure out why that kind of posts are disappearing from the threads in question and keep doing it. Once anyone was banned for any reason, I'd do everything I could to ensure they never were allowed back, and would just delete any new accounts they created, along with anything they posted with the new accounts.

So I don't think anyone really wants me to come back to moderate. ;)




I am still helping Fechter out with spammer control, but I haven't got access to do normal moderation stuff. Quite a few members should be glad that I don't. ;)

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by tomjasz » Mar 31, 2017 2:10 pm

OUCH! While I appreciate the spirit, the frustration comes out as over moderation. Yet I agree with putting an end to bickering and shilling. I still believe the most successful forums at building community don't allow vendor bashing. The last thread and all it's deletions are an example of wasted band width. Taking a huge dump and then deleting when settled. All it did was solve one individuals problem...
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by Izits » Mar 31, 2017 2:39 pm

There should be no distinction between advocating your own product that you make or sell, and advocating someone else's product that they make or sell. Otherwise all that happens is that person A can't promote his own cottage industry in every thread, so his friends do it for him. "Hey, you should buy person A's widget, it's the best there is!"
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by teslanv » Mar 31, 2017 3:41 pm

Amberwolf, you live in a very black and white world.
And I can only assume that much of what you say above is directed at me specifically. I choose to take it as constructive criticism, though.

I hope to eventually convince you of my altruism towards the community, even though I may choose to offer my products and services on occasion. I do it, because I believe it fulfills a need in the community, not merely because I desire to profit from it.

I appreciate that the other moderators trust me to be fair and thoughtful in my moderation, and allow me to contribute in this manner. If my actions and words are or become biased because of my business activities, I will understand completely if I get demoted. This ultimately rests with the other moderators, and with a community that either appreciates my contributions and performance, or does not.
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by tomjasz » Mar 31, 2017 7:40 pm

teslanv wrote:Amberwolf, you live in a very black and white world.
And I can only assume that much of what you say above is directed at me specifically. I choose to take it as constructive criticism, though.

I hope to eventually convince you of my altruism towards the community, even though I may choose to offer my products and services on occasion. I do it, because I believe it fulfills a need in the community, not merely because I desire to profit from it.

I appreciate that the other moderators trust me to be fair and thoughtful in my moderation, and allow me to contribute in this manner. If my actions and words are or become biased because of my business activities, I will understand completely if I get demoted. This ultimately rests with the other moderators, and with a community that either appreciates my contributions and performance, or does not.
Excellent post, and a valued perspective.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by tomjasz » Mar 31, 2017 7:43 pm

amberwolf wrote:

No, and I doubt I will, because I don't think very many would appreciate how I would do it.
So I don't think anyone really wants me to come back to moderate. ;)



With that attitude, you're right. Not many would.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 01, 2017 1:22 am

teslanv wrote:Amberwolf, you live in a very black and white world.
Because of the problems in my brain, I have quite a bit of trouble with anything else.

Whenever I think I am doing it (whatever "it" is) right, in any other way than "by the book", then I get yelled at for screwing up, because the way I think is very different from the way "normal" (neurotypical) people think.

So those (most) people usually think whatever I do is wrong (or "wierd", even if they don't call it "wrong"), and don't understand pretty much anything I do, unless I do it specifically by the set of rules everyone agreed to (either explicitly or implicitly by using a place, site, segment of society, etc). But then when I expect all of them to also obey those rules, many of them don't think *they* have to obey them, but they do expect *me* to.


And I can only assume that much of what you say above is directed at me specifically.
No, it's aimed at all of the people that do it; but I'd assume that anyone that sees in their own actions what I am talking about is one of the people I am talking about. ;) Hopefully anyone that is, does indeed take it constructively, as that's the main purpose of threads like this--to fix or change things for the better, in whatever way comes out of it.


There's probably moderator reports from the vendor that is trying to "own" a non-sale thread, if you want to look them up. I'd guess it's from a few months ago, but I can't remember which vendor. Artur? Allex? Don't remember.


I hope to eventually convince you of my altruism towards the community, even though I may choose to offer my products and services on occasion. I do it, because I believe it fulfills a need in the community, not merely because I desire to profit from it.
There's at least a few like that here on ES, and while they are all appreciated, they do still have to follow the same rules as anyone else, and not everyone does, though some (like you) have improved quite a lot. :)

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 01, 2017 1:29 am

Izits wrote:There should be no distinction between advocating your own product that you make or sell, and advocating someone else's product that they make or sell. Otherwise all that happens is that person A can't promote his own cottage industry in every thread, so his friends do it for him. "Hey, you should buy person A's widget, it's the best there is!"
Unfortunately if someone is going to be dishonest that way, there's not a lot to do about it other than community pressure to not do it.

But if it's disallowed to have anyone discuss/promote *any* products, we might as well shut the forum down and turn off the lights. No one could tell anyone about which products they used to build their bike or other project, etc. Would make it difficult to find what does and doesn't work. Heck, you couldn't even do much troubleshooting, especially with new members, becuase they wouldn't be allowed to tell you which products they are having trouble with. :(


It's a very simple thing to deal with as it is now, where it's only self-promotion outside the Online Market (sale section) that is disallowed. It just takes members reporting violations of that, and moderators acting on those reports as necessary, to keep it in check.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 01, 2017 1:30 am

tomjasz wrote:With that attitude, you're right. Not many would.
Kick someone in the head often enough, and they either fight back, or give up. Since fighting back would turn me into an asshole, and not be helpful to the community, I gave up.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by teslanv » Apr 01, 2017 9:34 am

AW,
I think the problem is that you flag more posts than Mods can address... :mrgreen:

There is currently a 4-page backlog of flagged posts in the moderator queue. Some are easy fixes, and I try to clean those up, but some are complex, (like combining multiple threads from a poster)
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 01, 2017 2:50 pm

Sorry; those are basically just the posts I would have dealt with myself when I was a mod.

I'd guess based on what I typically find to report in a week, that the backlog is 3-4 months' worth that mods simply haven't done anything with (or did/chose-not-to-fix but didn't close the report). At least, if those 4 pages are just the ones I've submitted, not including anyone else's. I don't know how many other people have submitted.


Note that there are probably several reports about teh same person/thread/set of threads for a fair number of things, where I see a problem not dealt with yet, but is either created again by the same person or is continued by them, like a continued for-sale thread in the discussion areas, etc. So I report each new post, in the hope that eventually one of the new ones will be noticed, where the others were not).


Either way, I guess you can see that moderating is a thankless task...and not a lot of fun.... :(

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by fechter » Apr 01, 2017 10:21 pm

You flag stuff way faster than we can deal with it. I have limited time per day I can even read the forum, let alone trying to clean things up. All the moderators are volunteers and have lives to live too. It's much like the backlog of paperwork I have at my day job. When checking, I scan the list for really nasty ones and prioritize those. Wish there was a ranking system for that.

To me, if someone is selling a product, they should have a topic in the marketplace. No issues with that.

But I think we should allow development threads and technical reference threads outside the marketplace. Remember, anything in the Marketplace will auto-prune and be lost after a long period of inactivity (I forget the setting now, but it's configurable). Outside the Marketplace, auto-prune is disabled. No pricing or sales questions should be allowed in these build or reference threads, those go in the Marketplace.

People frequently see something in somebody's build they like and want to know where to get one. Whatever the answer is, I don't consider this an advertisement. It's helping people find what they are looking for.

People frequently ask where to find something or which gizmo is the best. Again, while vendors may post answers with their products, if it's what the OP was looking for, I think that's OK outside the Marketplace. Has to be on topic though. Most responses will be from non-vendors, but I don't think it should matter.
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by Lenk42602 » Apr 02, 2017 7:35 am

amberwolf wrote:BTW, OT for this thread, but since it does have something to do with the advertising/vendor/etc issue; I've debated posting it as a separate topic, and will split it off if y'all think that would be better:

I think that no moderator should be allowed to be a vendor and vice-versa. If they are selling things on the site anywhere, it's really a conflict of interest.

I'd also expect that any moderator would be required to put in at least a few minutes a week looking thru and acting on (or passing on to another moderator) the reported posts and PMs. If they aren't willing or able to do that on a regular basis, or they wish to become a vendor, they should step down from moderation.

These might make it difficult to keep enough trustworthy moderators around, but if those moderators aren't actually doing anything, there's not much point in them having the moderator access, either, right?

If I did return I'd be doing it very strictly, with no notifications to anyone of moderator actions, no warnings, etc. All ads of any kind, even just mentions of selling things, etc., would be deleted; I would not be editing it out of posts, so a long technical post by a vendor that happens to include a link to their site would result in deletion of the entire post. And I'd just ban repeat spammers, advertisers, trolls, etc., regardless of what kind of contributions they make.

So I don't think anyone really wants me to come back to moderate. ;)
Amber, sounds like the "heavy handed" moderation style (not my words) I suggested years ago prior to being voted off the island.... From a moderator's perspective, it is the only way that moderators can work independently without having to hold a moderator meeting for every single questionable thread that needs discussed. Its also the only way a mod can take any kind of action and be confident that he is actually acting in accordance with the forums' best interest. If mods don't have enough time to do simple mod tasks, holding multi-day discussions in the mod lounge before acting on something is only adding to the work load, and letting unresolved issues grow longer than necessary.

Most importantly, it takes the personal elements out of moderating(biases, conflicts, personal attacks, etc) and protects them from being subject to questioning their judgement, and allows them to get on with cleaning the forum of useless, negative garbage content.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 02, 2017 2:22 pm

FWIW, this guy

https://endless-sphere.com/forums/membe ... le&u=53303

is a prime example of a spamming vendor.

it's not enough for him to have a sale thread, he has to go all over the forum and spam his stuff into other people's discussion threads.

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by teslanv » Apr 02, 2017 3:11 pm

Yep.
I just deleted most of those spammy posts, and sent the user a warning.
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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by amberwolf » Apr 02, 2017 7:37 pm

fechter wrote: Remember, anything in the Marketplace will auto-prune and be lost after a long period of inactivity (I forget the setting now, but it's configurable).
AFAICT there is no autoprune in the market subforums. I believe this was changed at some point because there were good discussions happening in some threads, and good data in others, that was best preserved, but not possible to easily preserve outside the market area due to it being in sale threads and requiring heavy editing of the threads to make them archivable in discussion areas outside the market.

There are threads from 2007 in Resources & EV Related Parts and Services and Items for Sale - New.

Threads go back as far as 2009 in Items Wanted and Items for Sale - Used (although I think the 2009 post there was moved from a thread, and it really only goes back to 2011).

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Re: Ads RuleChange: Allow everywhere or enforce existing rul

Post by Alan B » Apr 02, 2017 9:52 pm

At the risk of changing the topic here - I wonder if the right question is being asked. What are we really trying to accomplish? Is it primarily avoiding spam in the discussions?

Paraphrased from Wikipedia:

Advertising - a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are often businesses who wish to promote their products or services.

Spam - unsolicited advertising.

If a thread is talking about batteries for an ebike build, then posts discussing facts about appropriate available batteries is not spam.

Does it really matter who mentions a useful component related to the current or recent conversation?

We need to define what we consider spam and what we consider advertising and conducting business.

Actual buying and selling should occur in the appropriate area. Discussions about component suitability and performance are inherently technical, not advertising per se. Can we define at what point they transition to advertising? How about when they go beyond the current conversation, becoming both off topic and general advertising?

Maybe we should focus on how do define spam and advertising in a more specific way to avoid the problem amberwolf was having.

What about links? These seem to be the biggest goal of spammers. Perhaps we only allow internal links in discussion threads? External links don't hold up well over time anyway, and external links can be monetized. So if a vendor wants to sell stuff on ES they have a vendor thread or threads, perhaps with external links to their related products, but elsewhere in ES (and in sigs) they can only give links to their ES threads.

Many combinations are possible. But we need a clear goal of what we are trying to accomplish first. The rules we have seem to be too ambiguous. Once we have a crisp goal definition we have a better chance to define definitions and rules to implement the goals.

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