|Editing a User Profile.|
I thought about having fun with it...
"Hi, I'm so-and-so and my hobbies include spamming message boards with my unwanted sales pitches after I have weasled my way into their group..."
I don't like to bad month any of my forum members, but sometimes a weasle with ulterior motives enters the group. Can someone with experience share the best way to deal with these folks? On this site(WebmasterWorld), it's different, members seem to pick up on these folks right away... but in my own forum, many of the other members(even established ones) miss what is going on.
The Tedster approach: A kindly avuncular message explaining how the place works, referencing the rules, welcoming the new member.
I think that works best.
I try to follow Tedster's example, in my own incapacitated, mere shadow of a Tedster fashion.
OTOH, I am sometimes known to call a spammer a spammer, swiftly apply a laser guide weapon to their post and petition the administrator gods of WW to banish the fiend to the lower circles of heck.
Mostly the adminigods don't listen to me when I make such petitions. Likely a good idea. :)
Do it the Tedster T-Man way: All compassion, all the time.
When the T-Man finally goes for the 2x4 I kinda know that we are dealing with a serial mass axe murderer.
Really, all kidding aside, I wish I had Tedster's poise, grace and capacity to offer redemption . . but I'm just not getting enough sleep lately so remember to duck when you drop links in the Domain Forum.
Explain it to the newcomer and then be patient with them? Whoa! Slow down.
I'm not sure if I can ALWAYS follow the tedster example... sometimes things just work out differently.
Pure spammers don't usually get the kill 'em with kindness treatment. On the other hand, a member who seems to have some potential can often be rehabbed with some polite explanation.
In some forums, you'll find productive members who are biased or troll-like in some way. I've been tempted to assign a special member class for these folks that might brand them as a "Mac Troll" or similar.
In most cases, where the member has contributed, or they're a well known company, I send a PM explaining why their post was removed from public view, link to the forum rules, and then link to the advertising page.
If someone jumps out of the gate w/ their first few posts being nothing but spam, they get banned w/ no explanation.
I've always felt a little uneasy thanking someone for their spam post ("how nice to know I can get my meds cheaper"), and then tersely explaining to them the house rules ("we don't need no meds"). Lesson: sarcasm, like kindness is lost on determined spammers.
"where the member has contributed, or they're a well known company"
Yes, I got to thinking that this member does have potential and got down to the rules with them. It actually worked. I gave them examples of others who also sell their related goods and ALSO post on the forum. In other words, when they have contributed enough, they are allowed to sell indirectly only when the subject comes up in conversation(this was implied not stated directly).
So far, so good. I thought the PM would completely drive them away.. but, no, this member is lying low for now and posted a VERY informative and in-depth post today. All mods were informed to pay special ATTN to this poster.