PDA

View Full Version : Why the grief?



Doe, John
2006-Feb-21, 11:42 PM
So I access the board today and it basically scolds me for not posting enough.


Hello Doe, John it appears that you have not posted on our forums in several weeks, why not take a few moments to ask a question, help provide a solution or just engage in a conversation with another member in any one of our forums?

I get enough passive aggressive behaviour at home and at work. I don't need it from a bbs.



. . . and yes, I do get the irony that I am posting to complain about being chided for not posting enough.

Wolverine
2006-Feb-21, 11:52 PM
Don't sweat it. Fraser stated here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=685687#post685687) that he was just testing a new add-on for the forum.

01101001
2006-Feb-21, 11:57 PM
So I access the board today and it basically scolds me for not posting enough.

It may be related to Fraser's experimentation described here: topic Lurking (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=685687#post685687) -- though it's not clear to me if complaints involve nagging email messages or nagging web pages and/or if they are related.

Probably no solution is perfect. Nagging that gets more participants to be active will tick off some who aren't interested. Lack of urging to participate will probably tick off others.

Doe, John
2006-Feb-22, 12:43 AM
Just venting. Not really concerned unless a follow up like


You have not posted in over a month. Please post within 5 days or your account will be terminated. Have a nice day. :)

appears.

Fraser
2006-Feb-22, 01:39 AM
And now that you've posted, and removed the message, so you won't get nagged. ;-)

Honestly, though, if you're going to lurk, is it too much to have a message at the top of the forum that encourages you to get involved? The community depends on people taking part in conversations, and I think some people are too nervous to get involved.

What do you suggest?

Enzp
2006-Feb-22, 01:48 AM
Well, if I am at a social event and folks keep coming to me and telling me to get involved, it is more likely to bring up my defenses. I am in no danger of getting that message, I probably post too much stuff. But when a telemarketer calls, I make a mental note never to do business with that company. If I find a paper flyer under my wiper blade at the store, I again put that company on my list of do not patronize. In general in your face marketing efforts raise my hackles, and if I got one of those messages I would not be impressed in a positive fashion. Participation for participation's sake seems less desireable than substantive participation by motivated posters. ANyone a fan of "team building" week at the workplace?

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-22, 01:52 AM
And now that you've posted, and removed the message, so you won't get nagged. ;-)

Honestly, though, if you're going to lurk, is it too much to have a message at the top of the forum that encourages you to get involved? The community depends on people taking part in conversations, and I think some people are too nervous to get involved.

What do you suggest?

I am totally for the E-Mail account termination in 30 days...but thats just me, I have a problem with having members that have not used their account in more then a year, I think that the mods should go through and just sweep all of those away. Doing both of these should clean up the boards and spawn some new posts as well with the lurkers.

Planetwatcher
2006-Feb-22, 02:56 AM
There are occasions when I have lurked simply to see if there was anything new or interesting, and simply didn't have time to post.

Other times when I read, even what was new and/or interesting, with time to kill, but simply had nothing to contribute. I don't personally believe in building up a post count with lots of comments consisting of only a word or two. Not that anything is wrong with that when it's appropreate, but to do it a lot, or only to boost one's post count is annoying.

More often then not, I get on, lurk, and go on to something else. Not that I have a problem, or am shy, but just nothing to say.

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-22, 03:00 AM
There are occasions when I have lurked simply to see if there was anything new or interesting, and simply didn't have time to post.

Other times when I read, even what was new and/or interesting, with time to kill, but simply had nothing to contribute. I don't personally believe in building up a post count with lots of comments consisting of only a word or two. Not that anything is wrong with that when it's appropriate, but to do it a lot, or only to boost one's post count is annoying.

More often then not, I get on, lurk, and go on to something else. Not that I have a problem, or am shy, but just nothing to say.

Which if fine, but I know you post more then once a month, I don't mind lurking, but if thats the reason you made your account, then I don't believe you should have the privilege to be a member IMO.

Lance
2006-Feb-22, 03:45 AM
The nagging is bad. I, too, would be disinclined to post if nagged to do so. Or, conversely, to post something in-your-face annoying since I didn't want to do it in the first place.

Sometimes people register so they can keep track of what they have and haven't read. Having an account makes it easy to do that. Why nag/force them to post? If they have something to say, it is likely they will do it without being goaded into it. This isn't an elementary school class where Little Johnnie needs encouragement to stand up before the class.

EvilBob
2006-Feb-22, 07:54 AM
I haven't posted in a couple of months (until tonight...) because I haven't felt like it, because I can't get to the board from work anymore (our network software blocks pages with the word 'lesbian' in them, among others - anyone else find that offensive?) and frankly, there hasn't been a discussion I've noticed that I felt like getting involved in. But I don't need the prodding... I'll post when I'm good and ready! :shifty:

mickal555
2006-Feb-22, 08:42 AM
That message was bugging me at JREF...

Drove me nuts...

Sp1ke
2006-Feb-22, 05:15 PM
I don't mind the reminder but I don't understand the problem with lurkers.

I haven't posted for quite a while because when I get a little time, I find myself reading everyone's comments and then don't usually have time to add anything useful myself. What's wrong with that? I don't use up any significant resources, I still actively use the forum, I enjoy watching the cut-and-thrust of the dialogues, and I'll offer an opinion when I've got something useful to say.

Now if you were to suggest removing those users that hadn't logged in for, say, two years that might be more understandable. It's a pain when you want to choose your favourite user name and it's already in use because someone registered in 1999 but hasn't been back since.

Still, I don't think it's a big deal. Keep the nag message if you want but don't take it any further.

ToSeek
2006-Feb-22, 05:24 PM
How hard would it be to have a setup so that when people sign up, they are prompted to enter an introductory message? If they do so, this creates a thread in BABBling introducing them. This might encourage more participation - just a thought.

Lance
2006-Feb-22, 05:29 PM
How hard would it be to have a setup so that when people sign up, they are prompted to enter an introductory message? If they do so, this creates a thread in BABBling introducing them. This might encourage more participation - just a thought.
I would like to encourage you, ToSeek, to participate more in my forum. But I understand why you can't. Should I continue to understand, or should I begin prompting / encouraging / nagging you?

Disinfo Agent
2006-Feb-22, 05:30 PM
Hello Doe, John it appears that you have not posted on our forums in several weeks, why not take a few moments to ask a question, help provide a solution or just engage in a conversation with another member in any one of our forums?I didn't get the message, but, as long as it's tuck in discretely in a corner of the page, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Musashi
2006-Feb-22, 05:53 PM
Which if fine, but I know you post more then once a month, I don't mind lurking, but if thats the reason you made your account, then I don't believe you should have the privilege to be a member IMO.

I totally disagree.

Melusine
2006-Feb-22, 05:53 PM
The nagging is bad. I, too, would be disinclined to post if nagged to do so. Or, conversely, to post something in-your-face annoying since I didn't want to do it in the first place.

Sometimes people register so they can keep track of what they have and haven't read. Having an account makes it easy to do that. Why nag/force them to post? If they have something to say, it is likely they will do it without being goaded into it. This isn't an elementary school class where Little Johnnie needs encouragement to stand up before the class.
I think "nagging" is too harsh--I don't think Fraser's intention is that! If the intention is to get lurkers who are intimidated or shy about posting, then I think a sticky or a message when one first registers, would be a good thing. Those who aren't shy or intimidated may simply not feel compelled to post or have enough time, as people said above. I agree with a two-year clean-up, because there are a lot of names people might want to use, especially astronomical names.

I know the first time I ever posted on a big political site years ago I was nervous about doing so. But, I was so mad about some pundit I just had to write about it ,and the owner said "Great post!" That meant a lot to me that he replied or I would have lost my nerve to keep posting. I never introduce myself on any sites--I just jump in. (Introducing myself feels corny to me, for some reason.) If I don't post at all on a forum, I get bored just reading it, because then I might as well read books or the sites of known experts.

So, if Fraser thinks people aren't posting because they may be shy, intimidated, afraid of sounding dumb, not scientists or astronomers, bad spellers, etc, etc, then a sticky thread of encouragement to lurkers or a one-time message when signing up may be the way to go.

Fraser, so what were your thoughts behind starting that message?

Lance
2006-Feb-22, 06:32 PM
Melusine;

I agree with just about everything you said. But:

I think "nagging" is too harsh--I don't think Fraser's intention is that!
Nagging is in the eye of the beholder. To a "frequent lurker", something that is presented every time you come to the board might be quite in-your-face.

Perhaps this "feature" can be set to display no more than once a week?

NEOWatcher
2006-Feb-22, 07:20 PM
I enjoyed the discussion, and have gone back and forth quite a bit before coming to an opinion.
At first I thought it was a nice friendly question or reminder, and something you can tend to ignore, like the ads. But; the more I thought about it I realized that as long as someone is using thier account in some capacity, at least it shows they have some interest. And for some, maybe it's better that we don't hear from them.
It's the ones that don't use thier account. Those are the ones that I'd like to ask "where'd you go?".
I was a lurker for a few years before participating, the difference is that I lurked quietly in the shadow and never got a username. I learned quite a bit during that time, and started feeling more comfortable with my comments (not that anyone here is comfortable with them:silenced: )

ToSeek
2006-Feb-22, 09:59 PM
I would like to encourage you, ToSeek, to participate more in my forum. But I understand why you can't. Should I continue to understand, or should I begin prompting / encouraging / nagging you?

I think you should email me every hour. I'm sure that would help. ;)

I was just thinking of a one-off in my suggestion. Harassing people isn't going to work, but if just signing up causes them to have a presence on the board, it might "break the ice", so to speak.

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-22, 10:18 PM
I totally disagree.

Can't please everyone.:neutral:

I have a problem with account inactivity as I have expressed before, I think that is where we need to strike, if they still remain inactive I think the account should be disposed of.

darkhunter
2006-Feb-23, 02:01 AM
I am totally for the E-Mail account termination in 30 days...but thats just me, I have a problem with having members that have not used their account in more then a year, I think that the mods should go through and just sweep all of those away. Doing both of these should clean up the boards and spawn some new posts as well with the lurkers.

Although there are time some of us are unable to post for between 3-4 months to up to a year (depending on branch of service and deployment/TDY length.

A workable solution could be a notification process so the moderators flag those individuals to keep their accounts open....

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-23, 02:21 AM
The fix for that would be for the account termination to not be automated, which means more work for the mods, but that way I think accounts could be kept track of. Even if we don't do it all the time, I think that the accounts that have been inactive for 2 years should be dealt with for now, I think it is important because we have 10,000 accounts that never see any action, and they need to be taken care of.

Musashi
2006-Feb-23, 02:26 AM
Why do they need to be taken care of?

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-23, 02:31 AM
Because what happens when we have 20,000 inactive accounts? 30,000? Eventually it is going to get way out of hand and that by it's self slows our server down I am sure. And when it reaches such a point do you think anyone plans to take care of it then? It would be a pain in the butt (not saying it isn't going to be now, but much harder the longer they wait) Not to mention the false information that we have 10,000 members or so more then actually are here.

mickal555
2006-Feb-23, 06:42 AM
Accounts don't take up much space ya' know...

If you want to clean up space get rid of the WAG.

And all forums work like that- there is allways a group that never post, so our figures are accurate.

Wolverine
2006-Feb-23, 07:35 AM
Because what happens when we have 20,000 inactive accounts? 30,000? Eventually it is going to get way out of hand and that by it's self slows our server down I am sure.

I don't think that's an issue for the server; perhaps Fraser or Phil could offer technical insight in that regard.

Something to bear in mind: while unregistered users can read through the forum, attachments can't be viewed unless someone registers for the board. A number of people likely register just to peruse the gorgeous photos posted in our Astrophotography section, or perhaps other things. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, nor that we should "force" participation. If people wish to contribute, they will.

jkmccrann
2006-Feb-23, 08:15 AM
The fix for that would be for the account termination to not be automated, which means more work for the mods, but that way I think accounts could be kept track of. Even if we don't do it all the time, I think that the accounts that have been inactive for 2 years should be dealt with for now, I think it is important because we have 10,000 accounts that never see any action, and they need to be taken care of.

I have some sympathy for this point of view - although I accept that its not perhaps widely shared - if only because it provides more accurate figures about the size of the true community here. In any community there is immigration to and emigration [b]from/b], for whatever reason.

It's obvious that for each account the server keeps track of the last time that person actually visited - and if someone hasn't visited for 2 years I think its fairly clear that they're either no longer coming here or that they've adopted a new persona and are posting under a different name - perhaps for the simple reason they forgot their original password, but that's a fair amount of time to decide if an account is still `active.'

For instance, ran into some of this fellow's posts the other day and was interested to note that the last time Silas was here at the forums was in 1970! We've seen these strange dates before, but this was the first time I'd seen it attributed to a poster's last activity here.

Silas (http://bautforum.com/member.php?u=136)

Looking at that, I think it's safe to say Silas won't be back - if you are here Silas, let me know!

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

:)

Fraser
2006-Feb-23, 03:32 PM
Sorry, just to nip this in the bud...

We are never going to shut down accounts, cull members, or do anything no matter how inactive people become. I don't care if we have 10,000 inactive accounts for every 1 active persion.

If people want to visit the site once every 5 years, that's totally fine by me. We've got a huge hard drive, and these additional people don't drain our resources one iota.

mid
2006-Feb-23, 03:43 PM
Nagging every single lurker to spam the boards with any old rubbish on a regular basis is hardly a way to reduce the load of those users on the server, is it? So I'm glad Fraser doesn't want to cull accounts.

Doe, John
2006-Feb-23, 11:19 PM
I don't consider myself a lurker, but alot of the time people have already made the points that I consider most relevant by the time I get to a thread and it seems weak to keep posting "yeah, what s/he said!".

Besides, I went back and checked. It had only been 18 days since my last post when I got that message.

DogB
2006-Feb-24, 01:29 AM
......A number of people likely register just to peruse the gorgeous photos posted in our Astrophotography section, or perhaps other things. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, nor that we should "force" participation. If people wish to contribute, they will.

[unlurk]

Hear hear :)

[relurk]

Musashi
2006-Feb-24, 01:38 AM
I have some sympathy for this point of view - although I accept that its not perhaps widely shared - if only because it provides more accurate figures about the size of the true community here. In any community there is immigration to and emigration [b]from/b], for whatever reason.

It's obvious that for each account the server keeps track of the last time that person actually visited - and if someone hasn't visited for 2 years I think its fairly clear that they're either no longer coming here or that they've adopted a new persona and are posting under a different name - perhaps for the simple reason they forgot their original password, but that's a fair amount of time to decide if an account is still `active.'

For instance, ran into some of this fellow's posts the other day and was interested to note that the last time Silas was here at the forums was in 1970! We've seen these strange dates before, but this was the first time I'd seen it attributed to a poster's last activity here.

Silas (http://bautforum.com/member.php?u=136)

Looking at that, I think it's safe to say Silas won't be back - if you are here Silas, let me know!

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

:)

That is obviously a broken stat. His last post was in Feb of 03. In any case, so what?

jkmccrann
2006-Feb-24, 07:34 AM
That is obviously a broken stat. His last post was in Feb of 03. In any case, so what?

In the sense that is this an important issue?, obviously if the servers are easily capable of handling increasing membership numbers, then no it really doesn't matter at all how many members there are, active or inactive - and really I agree, if Fraser says there's no problem then there's no need to worry about it.

I guess its just a matter of accuracy on a certain level. Though I'm not an actuary, I am somewhat statistically inclined, and I'm sorry if this is somewhat morbid - but coming purely from a statistical viewpoint - In a community of 12000+ randomly (I don't know if anyone's done or could do a demographic modelling of the BAUT membership) selected individuals - I wonder what kind of mortality rate the membership here would have?

umop ap!sdn
2006-Feb-24, 05:21 PM
I'm glad to see the administration state the intention of not culling member acounts. :)

Even if such a thing were ever put into practice, it wouldn't really free up the old usernames in a practical sense. I've seen on another board, somewhere along the line part of the database got mangled and old threads were showing up as post after post made by Guest. :eek: I believe it's possible to avoid that somehow, resulting in posts that show a username but aren't attached to a member account, but then that would be confusing if someone else has registered with the same name.

Argos
2006-Feb-24, 05:45 PM
Personally, I´d be glad to be invited to post. I´d come up with something very quickly. :)

HenrikOlsen
2006-Feb-25, 12:24 AM
Which if fine, but I know you post more then once a month, I don't mind lurking, but if thats the reason you made your account, then I don't believe you should have the privilege to be a member IMO.
We've been over this before.
As far as I remember, you have to be a member to see pictures uploaded to the board, so being a member and not posting has a perfectly valid reason.
A high number of members will only affect the board if it gets into billions and fill out the disks, there's no performance hit unless you do really weird searches.

As I see it it's a free choice issue; if people wish to read the posts, why shouldn't they be allowed to do so without posting when the only thing affected is an already useless number.

Lance
2006-Feb-25, 04:08 PM
How many accounts meet the criteria:

Post Count = 0

Last Login > 1 year ago

If they have never posted and don't even bother to come here anymore, they would probably not be too big a loss.

I have had uses on my board register, log in once and then just never come back.

Fraser
2006-Feb-25, 04:44 PM
But actually finding those people and removing them would be more effort than doing nothing.

Here's the thing. Even having those dead accounts creates pages that Google will crawl. So we actually get new visitors to the forum, even though these people aren't actually participating in the forum. It also helps boost our numbers in Bigboards.com - we're the 1,300ish largest forum on the Internet. And there are other benefits too.

So, even if carrying these dead accounts was a drain on the system, I'd upgrade our computer before I got rid of them. But it isn't a drain, so it's all good.

Dragon Star
2006-Feb-25, 04:50 PM
But actually finding those people and removing them would be more effort than doing nothing.

Here's the thing. Even having those dead accounts creates pages that Goggle will crawl. So we actually get new visitors to the forum, even though these people aren't actually participating in the forum. It also helps boost our numbers in Bigboards.com - we're the 1,300ish largest forum on the Internet. And there are other benefits too.

So, even if carrying these dead accounts was a drain on the system, I'd upgrade our computer before I got rid of them. But it isn't a drain, so it's all good.

Well, on that note Fraser has a point.....I suppose we can drop the subject now and not worry about it, I just thought I would suggest we do something with dead accounts while we can, but I see what you mean, thanks for explaining.:D

Arneb
2006-Feb-26, 10:26 AM
But actually finding those people and removing them would be more effort than doing nothing.

Here's the thing. Even having those dead accounts creates pages that Google will crawl. So we actually get new visitors to the forum, even though these people aren't actually participating in the forum. It also helps boost our numbers in Bigboards.com - we're the 1,300ish largest forum on the Internet. And there are other benefits too.

So, even if carrying these dead accounts was a drain on the system, I'd upgrade our computer before I got rid of them. But it isn't a drain, so it's all good.

That indeed closes the case of pruning no-post members (as Phil did a few months before the merger, IIRC, together with old threads).

However, I'd like to add that personally, I would consider the "Why not ask a question..." mail from the board as spam, and that it would annoy me. This is just too much like the innumerable "visit our site to find great deals" messages that clog our mail boxes. If it was a "due to nonparticipation, we will erase your account in x weeks. Feel free to re-register" notification, fine. But apart from being notified of an impending change in status I think board members should be considered grown-up enough to know what to do or not to do with their accounts - and be left alone.

mickal555
2006-Feb-26, 10:53 AM
I don't think it's an email... just a message at the top of the forum...
If it was an email I would be really ticked off.

Arneb
2006-Feb-26, 11:05 AM
Ah, sorry. I got this wrong.

As a message on top of the board - not that annoying, but still quite unnecessary.

Enzp
2006-Feb-28, 10:17 AM
Gee, I wonder who is 1299ish on the list?

Draconis
2006-Feb-28, 03:18 PM
[unlurk]DogB has the right idea...[/relurk]

Squink
2006-Mar-11, 02:41 AM
we're the 1,300ish largest forum on the Internet.WooHoo, Go BAUT!

-Now let's see if that message about not posting recently has disappeared.

umop ap!sdn
2006-Mar-11, 11:15 PM
-Now let's see if that message about not posting recently has disappeared.
Hey - long time no see! :)

JMV
2006-Mar-12, 12:09 AM
I don't consider myself a lurker, but alot of the time people have already made the points that I consider most relevant by the time I get to a thread and it seems weak to keep posting "yeah, what s/he said!".
My thoughts exactly. Must be a time zone thing. Most of the times I open a thread about a subject I know something about, all the points I would have made have already been made by someone else.
So yeah, what you said!

Squink
2006-Mar-12, 03:47 PM
Hey - long time no see! :)Actually, I've been off looking at the VLA, which is indeed VERY LARGE; plus, they've got tiles with pictures of radio telescopes on them in the restroom at the visitor's centor. :razz: