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ITIL :: View topic - Updating the forum policies
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Updating the forum policies
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JoePearson
Senior Itiler


Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject: Updating the forum policies Reply with quote

Dear ITILadmin Very Happy :

Is it possible to have a discussion with the members about the policies and setup of the board? Or are they cast in stone by whoever sponsors the board?

In particular, the ability to post links. Most of us are mature and don't have a commercial agenda. A good practice from other boards would be to restrict this to members with more than X posts. There are other controls possible too.

And the other high-annoyance factor is having to enter the verification code with every post. There are better solutions, like adding a 'captcha' step to registration so bots can't register, or moderating the first few posts of a new member.

Moderating would take effort and probably require volunteers. And any of these would require phpbb admin power.

Thoughts?
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3260
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JoePearson

Comment: not to be confused with ITILadmin comments

While you were off line, there were several dozen spamposts that clogged the forum

and of course they had URL selling stupid things

Also, I dont mind the numeric code...

As to URL and posting email addresses

I do them this way wwww dot name dot tld
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John Hardesty
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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JoePearson
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Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very important to keep spam off the forum. And we don't want pure commercial posts. I don't want to change these policies.

But you're telling me that the verification number thing doesn't work? There's still spam?

I for one find both the things I mentioned are intensely irritating. I'll bet they put off a good number of worthwhile contributors.
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no automated spam now that the number code has been introduce.

I'm happy with the setup. The numeric code is no big deal when you get used to it. It doesn't stop certain "people" being trivially abusive about highland terriers now and then.

Providing URLs is not a large component of the forum. I doubt if it is as much as one percent of posts that do it. Most URLs can be got by googling a couple of keywords or using the dot dot dot dash approach.
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William Penn 1644-1718
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JoePearson
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Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm: obviously you guys are reasonably happy with it, otherwise you wouldn't post as much. But are you really saying you wouldn't like any improvement?

Deja vu ... no SLA, no service desk, and people saying "we don't need best practice, we've always done it this way" ... I come here to get away from that kind of thing. Razz Wink
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UKVIKING
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3260
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To paraphrase Blackadder

Are you paying for the abuse or is this part of the service ?

If this was a fee paid/ paid gig....forum.. yes

But this is a best endevours.....

and it has its own concept of best practice

what ever works for the forum is best practice
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John Hardesty
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ITILadmin
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Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe: you need to understand the scale of the spam.

In the early days we allowed links. It didn't last long. Every hour of every day: and I am not talking about bot-spam.

If links are allowed it is a green light for spammers: and this is a hugely attractive site to them. Equally, every link would have to be followed to ensure it pointed to a legit site.

If we had staff online 24x7, fine. But we haven't. We don't make money, we don't have any full time staff, and we don;t get support from APMG/TSO/OGC/etc. It is volunteers only, as John points out.

We just cannot run as you suggest on this basis.

The only way that could change is if we sold the site to a party who commercialized it or had the staff to support the effort. Failing that, we just have to run it out of our own pockets and time: which means not multiplying the current resourcie overhead by allowing links. That would be impossible.
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JoePearson
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Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen the havoc spam can play on once-popular forums. I know it's serious. But, with respect, I think you are wrong, and perhaps not considering what is really possible with forum software.

I know much larger forums that run with few administrators. E.g., one with over 350 active members, 2000 to 5000 new posts per month, whose very name is a magnet for religious and political nuts, kept in order by two admins (and no moderators) who are busy with full-time jobs.
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ITILadmin
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Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess then that we must be really lazy. Several hours per day every day (minimum), paying all the costs out of our own pockets... but at least we have your obvious gratitude for our efforts in providing the free service.

C'est la vie... I guess. Rolling Eyes
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JoePearson
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Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologise. I was trying to explore ways of making it easier, not to criticise the current operation. Sorry.
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asrilrm
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Joined: Oct 07, 2007
Posts: 441
Location: Jakarta, INA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Just want to add that I've seen many attempts to sell goodies, stuff in this forum, complete with the link by sales persons.
And those were truly annoying.

Asril
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ITILadmin
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Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there was a way to make life easier, and an affordable way to improve the forum simultaneously, believe me, we would would take it.

Deleting linkspam, defending the forum from hack attack on a daily basis, and even removing those posts that are simply placed by schills.... none of that is fun.

But it is what makes the forum useful, on a shoestring. Smile


Last edited by ITILadmin on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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UrgentJensen
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Joined: Feb 23, 2005
Posts: 458
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And worst of all you have to read are inane ramblings... I'm actually starting to feel sorry for you!

UJ
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Diarmid
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Joined: Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe,

if you know of techniques for this forum software that can save the admin time and effort and improve the modus operandum for the site without compromising the defences, perhaps you can consider setting up and conducting a trial and put forward a proposal to that end.

After all, it may just be that there is no resource for the R&D; and that, coupled with the present system being workable to an acceptable level, is all that hinders improvement. So costs, benefits and possible problems please. Razz
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"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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JoePearson
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Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diarmid wrote:
So costs, benefits and possible problems please. Razz

Wink

Costs: there'd better not be any! I'm happy to look into the phpbb capabilities for what I propose. Ie provide the R&D. I have more experience with vBulletin but how hard could it be? (Famous last words.)
Actually there will be some effort cost, as I'm proposing a small amount of post moderation.

Benefits: less hassle keeping the forum clean; easier use for members; possible increase in members and/or participation.

Possible problems: who / how many people have full admin access to the server, to do software upgrades and/or detailed config changes?
What mods if any have been installed? Are they supported? - That could scupper a version-level upgrade.
Who installed it originally?
Do we want to have this discussion in public? Smile

Proposed solution:
Trust registered users - remove the verification required on every post.
Tighten up the registration to keep bots out - using captcha, or something else, to be researched.
Introduce two or three grades of member, automatically assigned by number of posts and/or time since registration. Moderate all posts by new users (who will be real people given the above). Promote them to unmoderated after a number of approved posts, which could be quite small, but still prohibit links. (Automatically block links in posts!) At the next (full) grade, allow links. If members abuse the rules after being 'promoted', warn then ban (immediate ban for off-topic spam).

All this would be automatic except the moderation of beginners' posts, and even that could be spread over a number of moderators - or skipped, and left to retrospective clean up. (A common technique is a "report bad post" button so any member can easily flag a bad post.)

Am I making sense?
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