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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Hair-brained forum idea to deal with mod time
Ever close the forum doors between hours?

 5:51 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sure, sure, online all the time is the motto of the connected world, but has anyone ever encountered a forum that wasn't open 24 hours a day.

Is this a radical idea? Is the world of "I want my xyz NOW" going to freak out? (You bet!) I know it's a round world and the timing could be an issue across nations, but 9 to 9 allows a fairly wide slot to add input.

Benefit: Mischief comes in the night. You only need 12 hours of mod coverage. You needn't wake up to a disaster or lose sleep at night.

Is this any way to run a business? Is a forum a business? Do they close the library at night?

It's a big world. These are the rules of this playground. If you're unhappy we accept that you will go and play elsewhere.

Maybe not shut it down but all after hour posts are qued for pre-mod, with certain posters given instant access after a time period?

How about forum software that limits newbies to posting only during certain hours? Now, I like that idea. How about software that only allows 1 after hours post to kill spamming or flaming? (Is there only 1 m in flamiing but 2 m's in spamming? I want to know NOW!)



 6:07 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know your forum so I may be totally wrong here but what about appointing a mod living on the opposite side of the world from you then there could always be someone 'on duty' ;o)


 6:26 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't close it down or "close" like you're suggesting, but rather change the new posts so that they have to be approved first by a mod before they go public. Then when you "open" for the day you can approve the posts you missed and then re-open and make posts live again.


 6:38 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

The ideal situation is to have mods in different time zones or with very different sleep patterns. You'll lose some posts if you go to pre-mod on each post, and you'll also have some weird threads when you get ten replies to the same topic but none of the reply authors have seen the other replies.


 6:42 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

You'll lose some posts if you go to pre-mod on each post

Yep, it sure would be idiotic to pre-mod even your miscellaneous forum.


 7:41 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Webwork, I'd add that in my own forum experience some of my best contributors post at really weird hours. Kicking these posts into delayed display would almost certainly demotivate these members.

I'm not advocating this approach, but one thing you could try would be to limit after-hours posting to "senior" members or those with admin approval. That would eliminate drive-by spamming and reduce the probability of inappropriate posting while the board was unmoderated.


 9:48 pm on May 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is just a thought balloon so get out your psychedelic drugs, peashooters and shotguns. Theorize, criticize and 'share' (a great word from the 60s-mid 80s).

I may actually run a test and/or customize forum software based upon certain ideas being floated here.

My principal target would be drive-by spammers and newbies, though I might like to place restraints where needed if I see signs of the smoke before the flame wars.

From what I've read it's the unattended forum that suffers. In a forum's early stages there might be a need for safeguards since a mod may not always be on hand. Which is worse: Spending an hour deleting crapola or 'plan B'? I don't know. I'm fleshing out the hypothetical.

I'm looking at possible time/mod-absence based settings in the administrative module as I think this bad idea through. Maybe put hyperlinking on hold after hours? Clearly, I'd want to keep reigns on newbies unless I otherwise had assurances about the character of the newbie.


 2:07 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know that it's a "bad idea" as such. But then I don't count myself a "script kiddie" or a board trasher, etc.

I DO know that I am perfectly happy to deal with moderated posting (where the mod MUST see posts before they hit the board), considering the serious problems that can be encountered without strict moderating. Given a preference, of course, I'd rather not do that, since I tend to post at odd times (for the nonce - will change once I retire in August....), not here but at other boards I frequent (and even my own).

If you have the sort of board which will act as a "dweeb/noob/l33t" magnet you almost HAVE to do something serious to prevent the sort of idiocy which will drive away the very people you REALLY want to attract.

[Object lesson: Interplay/Bioware Baldur's Gate I boards in 1999 and following.... it was a MESS, with the kidlets regularly flooding/crashing the boards just because they COULD; and the "I'm a MS programmer but I don't care anything about copyright/EULA, I've reverse-engineered this game and I'm selling MY version HERE" guy not to mention his foul-mouthed obnoxious wife with the basic porn for BG portraits; and the "ex-marine so I can ignore the TOS all I want" guy; etc etc ad infintum ad nauseam.... You DON'T want to go there. Those of us who were desperately trying to provide quasi-tech support to make up for the lack of such as well as the lack of basic QA in the game itself got so whacked by the dreck that though we hung on by tongues and toenails, we didn't honestly enjoy the game itself.... *sigh* I never knew there were so many IDIOTS out there.... how naíve of me....]


 8:39 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, in the early stages of a forum you might be able to leave it for days at a time without much worry - it's only when people find it that you start to attract problems. 99.9% of your posters will be fine, but the remaining .1% will cause you grief.

I do like usergroups as part of your hypothetical solution - your "most trusted" group would have unlimited privileges, while others might have limited posting, moderated posting, or no posting at all. The groups could be based on post quantity or on specific assignment. For example, a member that you had to caution about flaming might be busted down a level for some period of time.


 1:41 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Different user groups works really well, as does having moderators in different countries. Plus, it's easy enough to delete a whole mess of destructive posts in one fell swoop, if necessary, then put the person into read only. Generally what happens is they either get bored and leave or they start to behave. Plus, as someone else already posted, there's that trusty IP ban. When we've had troublemakers signing up after losing accounts, sometimes we'll stop the auto-approval for a day or so to new member signups, until they're approved manually. It prevents the constant troublemaker signups while we check IPs and other commonalities.


 1:20 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

AAnnAArchy, that's a great idea - kicking the new member process into approval mode for a short period, and then relaxing again after the troublemakers have moved on. I've got this issue going on a forum right now, and finally put new members in an approval queue to prevent persistent spammers.

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