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Advice for new members

D

Dizzydiza

New Member
It seems over the past few days that new members are jumping straight in to threads with advice without any formal introduction. Unfortunately as part of their advice they are posting links which to many members on the forum appears like they are spamming, albeit the advice given may be creditable.
Is it at all possible that once a new member registers they are taken straight to the Introduction section before making any posts elsewhere? And is it possible that they can't make any posts until they have Introduced themselves?
I don't know any of the technical stuff of forums so I don't know if this is possible...but maybe this would help prevent some of threads erupting into full scale arguments with the new members becoming abusive because they don't understand what they have done wrong.

Please note that I am not having a dig at anyone on the forum because I can understand why everyone has reacted they way they have....I just don't like arguments.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Hi Diana,

You make some great points and I agree with most of what you say. Many months ago I changed the welcome message when you join the forums and it now specifically suggests that people go to the introductions section first in the very first email they receive. The vast majority of people do make introductions but I also have to concede that there is a minority who join just to try and spam.

You are correct in saying there has been a bit of this over the past week or two but I have to say that as a person who visits many forums you tend to see these spam artists on numerous forums doing the same thing. Spammers I have no time for but some dont actually think they are spamming and try to deliberately start arguments etc.

This place would be boring if it didn't have differences in opinion and sometimes that can lead to heated debates and of course arguments. I'm not a great fan of them either but I do accept that they happen sometimes.
 
You do make some excellent points Diana, and offer some good suggestions.

Spam has always been a problem with discussion groups. I can well recall on the old Compuserve forums periods where it became a very serious issue with bandwidths being what they were back then! (who remembers 14.4K modems!):w00t:

Ad-Spam has always been an issue. For some bizarre reason the people that sell trash like fake viagra, dodgy timeshares and dubious get-rich-quick schemes seem to imagine that if they shove it under your nose often enough you'll buy the nonsense they spout. In more recent times, with the current fad for SEO and the obsession with link building linkspam has become a very serious problem.

Some forums have been overwhelmed. A couple of photography forums and a sea fishing one I used to frequent are but a trio of examples. The solitary moderators of each being quite simply unable to cope after letting things slip. And, it has to be said most business forums are pretty much worthless. No legitimate business person, no matter how modest or how large their business, has the time to trawl though the uninformed babble and shady sales patter.

Various methods exist to tackle the linkspam problem. New members can be barred for a period of time form posting links. Or required to make a certain number of posts. But both those methods are regularly circumvented. We see some evidence of it here. New 'members' making random responses to boost post count. Random dormant accounts being set up in order to circumvent any time-bar...

At the end of the day we're here to discuss business. To lend help support and share experiences. And yes, sometimes that means allowing others access to our display of wares. But I don't think there's room on the forum for anyone who's sole objective is just blatant self-promotion. In other words anyone who's primary objective is to abuse, rather than use the forum.

If the SBF is not to be crippled like many other forums that demands a certain intolerance on the part of the ordinary membership. Remember every spam poster absorbs resource.

No-one who is web literate is unaware of the etiquette surrounding the use of forums. Hijacking a thread to blatantly push your own wares is well-known to be unacceptable practice. As is posting the same commercial message several times across a board. And these are matters of 'netiquette' established over a decade and a half or more. Since the day of dial-up BBSs in fact. SO I simply don't 'buy it' when a blatant spammer pleads ignorance. But certainly, for the avoidance of any doubt, it would be useful if new members were made aware of what I hope would be a VERY firm and direct policy on spamming.

Arguments aren't nice I agree. But as a wise man once said, "for evil to flourish good men need only do nothing".
 
D

Dizzydiza

New Member
Thanks for the feedback guys. Do you know I had a sleepless night last night thinking about this....sad eh. I was going to suggest the barring of links until a certain number has been reach but yes, I guess it is easy to add random replies just to get the post count up. I know as a member of a craft forum they have it set at a rather high 25 posts before links are allowed. It does cause a lot of annoyance to new crafter's but it lets the forum know who are genuine in participating and who aren't.
I think the pacifist in me just like's a harmonious world. I also think I may have been an emu in a previous life ;)
 

peteark

Banned
Dizzy drop me an email if you want I will put you in contact with one of my clients who sells wedding jewellery, a really nice guy who may see an avenue for some joint business.

In terms of links spam, difficult to prevent, that said they do have some value

For a forum to do well it is needs to be seen to be popular, spammers help here

For a forum to do well with search engines, it needs lots of content, spammers help here

So it aint all bad, just painful to put up with, oh and what about the links you cannot see? Crafty spammers hide them well.
 

PennyPR

New Member
I saw a post on a project site asking for bids to post 500 'natural looking' comments on a wide range of forums. The indicative budget was £50. By the time you've logged in, and thought up proper responses, the hourly rate would be slave labour. Sadly in this economic climate, some poor soul on the other side of the world is probably desperate enough to offer to do the work, and just cuts n pastes the sales kernal in the message to get his £50.
 
Gutsy

Gutsy

New Member
Maybe on registration a message could pop up or be sent to the newbie saying "please pop past the introductions thread and let us know who you are before posting, and spam messages will be deleted immediately" ? The spam bit is really annoying, but I'm thinking quite a number of people are landing here because of Google Alerts where if they click on the link they get taken straight to the thread they have an interest in and if they have an interest in replying, they just register and go straight back there?
 

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