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Forum etiquette FAQ + Moderator Enforcement

Advocate ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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jochemd wrote:

Since despite the plethora of messages nobody is even attempting to provide any arguments or suggestions towards improving the FAQ, this thread is being locked. Since the only currently provided reason for changing the FAQ is rather pointless in light of the overal rules, I am not updating the FAQ.

The problem with this is that you're assuming that nobody new is going to come along with a question or addition that will put the thread back on topic--it happens all the time.  So if someone comes along, sees the original post, and wants to comment--now they have to create a new thread like this. Why waste the time locking the thread?

Ramón G Castañeda wrote:

The Forum etiquette and best practices page contains something I had not noticed before.  It may have been added recently.

Don't:

  • Personally attack people, their edits (including spelling or grammar)…

Actually I strongly agree with this rule (change?)*.

*(It was there last time I looked and it seems to me that it's a typical forum rule.)

I've been the witness and target of personal attacks here for awhile now, so yes it does need to stop, and moderators should be removing this type of offensive comment.  But mods need to have the sense to detect good-natured joking around vs. an actual personal attack.

Really though, inappropriate behavior like this shouldn't be that difficult to most people with some common sense.

It's not that hard:

  • Questioning someone's intelligence? Unacceptable
  • Questioning someone's educational background? Unacceptable
  • Correcting someone's spelling, politely without implying that they're an idiot (a personal attack)? OK
  • Correcting someone's grammar, politely without implying that they're an idiot (a personal attack)? OK
  • Correcting someone's spelling or grammar in a rude, inappropriate, or condescending manner? Unacceptable
  • Criticizing person B for politely correcting (editing) person A's grammar or spelling? Unacceptable - according to the Adobe rule specified above

It doesn't say you can't correct someone's spelling or grammar, it seems to say not to attack people for (politely, obviously) correcting another's mistake.  I think.    It could use a little clarification, the "..." at the end hints that it's incomplete--but the rule itself is needed IMO.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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I can see what Ansury is getting at, but surely the need for going into such details makes the whole thing a farce. The FAQ would never be read – it's obvious nobody reads them anyway though, so it's all academic.


It would be great if there were just a big sign at the top saying "Be nice to each other!"


... and we were. 

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Ansury wrote:

The problem with this is that you're assuming that nobody new is going to come along with a question or addition that will put the thread back on topic--it happens all the time.  So if someone comes along, sees the original post, and wants to comment--now they have to create a new thread like this. Why waste the time locking the thread?

I have seen plenty of evidence that people are more then capable of creating threads With the diversity of people providing off topic input a lock was the best I could do. What I really wanted to do was put a chill-lock on the thread: a lock, some message and a counter counting down for 6 hours until the thread is re-opened. But this software isn't really abundant in moderation features.

I've been the witness and target of personal attacks here for awhile now, so yes it does need to stop, and moderators should be removing this type of offensive comment.  But mods need to have the sense to detect good-natured joking around vs. an actual personal attack.

And there lies the problem. What to one may be a good-natured joke (because some spelling / grammar errors are funny), to somebody else is a personal attack (becuase they studied very hard and long to learn a foreign language). Add to that that moderators need to make a judgement call on whether the comment will escalate or not, and a moderator has a hard decision to make. It is why I typically refrain from spelling corrections completely, except where pertinent to the problem (for example somebody writing IF (...) THAN ... ELSE ... ENDIF; in FormCalc).

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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jochemd wrote:

I have seen plenty of evidence that people are more then capable of creating threads With the diversity of people providing off topic input a lock was the best I could do. What I really wanted to do was put a chill-lock on the thread: a lock, some message and a counter counting down for 6 hours until the thread is re-opened. But this software isn't really abundant in moderation features.

And there lies the problem. What to one may be a good-natured joke (because some spelling / grammar errors are funny), to somebody else is a personal attack (becuase they studied very hard and long to learn a foreign language). Add to that that moderators need to make a judgement call on whether the comment will escalate or not, and a moderator has a hard decision to make. It is why I typically refrain from spelling corrections completely, except where pertinent to the problem (for example somebody writing IF (...) THAN ... ELSE ... ENDIF; in FormCalc).

To 1st paragraph (thanks Jive for making it sooo easy to break up quotes for a response):

It's not a temp lock, but there's another simple alternative that I've seen used many times in dozens of other web forums: post a warning that the thread may be locked if it continues to trail off into pointlessness.*  If people really want the thread to stay open, they'll get back on topic.

*(To me this means posting random cat pictures, general goofing off, or other 'lounge' type activities. This doesn't include a topic change to an off topic but still productive conversation, as long as the thread creator is okay with it. IMO--leave it up to the original poster to self-police highjack conversations. The point of the forum is to be of service the user/customer, not to make sure they obey all the rules 100% of the time.)

To 2nd paragraph: I understand there's exceptions and that it's a subjective thing, but 99% of the time it's usually pretty obvious whether something is inappropriate.  I guess to some degree you have to understand the mood and atmosphere of the forum's users, which can vary, but IMO as a rule it's best to default to the minimum possible moderation and censorship.

In this forum--there is goofing off.  Too much at times.   But it's going to happen, and after awhile it'll probably seem like too much work to be worth it.  I can understand not having 5 threads on the first page dedicated to completely off topic sea kitten posts or "this place is jived up" complaints (assuming there isn't some specific problem being reported), but I hope this is not going to turn into a police state forum.  Especially considering that honestly, there doesn't seem to be many new "forum comments" left to make, all there really remains is our frustration and a need to make sure Adobe doesn't start to think we've gotten used to this crap forum software.

I don't know for sure if you (jochem) agree with all this (been inactive the last few days or week) and I'm not targeting this at anyone so... I'm just sayin'.

Geez, too verbose. Basically-- a lazy (but not completely inactive) mod is best!

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Ansury wrote:


considering that honestly, there doesn't seem to be many new "forum comments" left to make,

Perhaps there's the answer to the complaint that there hasn't been any feedback from Adobe since May. Nothing new is being said.

all there really remains is our frustration and a need to make sure Adobe doesn't start to think we've gotten used to this crap forum software.

I'm sure Adobe knows there's a group of unhappy forum users. It also sees a great deal of activity the product forums every day. If complaints were coming from new users, it might take more notice. But I've seen no evidence from newcomers that they're unhappy with the system.

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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all that really remains is our frustration and a need to make sure Adobe doesn't start to think we've gotten used to this crap forum software.

Of course the most-quoted part of the post had to be the sentence with the grammatical error in it...

(And for the record I would not have been offended had someone politely pointed it out for me..)

David_Powers wrote:

I'm sure Adobe knows there's a group of unhappy forum users.

But if this forum didn't exist, with all it's complaints and outrageous accusations, would they still know this... or would they have forgotten by now?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Ansury wrote:

But if this forum didn't exist, with all it's complaints and outrageous accusations, would they still know this... or would they have forgotten by now?

Yes, they would know. The same software is being used internally by some Adobe departments. They're fully aware of the problems. I think internal pressure is far more likely to bring change than constant griping by outsiders. But Adobe is a big organization. I doubt if change will happen quickly. It's like turning a supertanker around.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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It's like turning a supertanker around.

More like watching it sink!

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

It's like turning a supertanker around.

More like watching it sink!

http://milbut.org/smilies/roflol.gif

You know what though--yeah large companies are slower at getting stuff done, but they can't be that slow.  It's not like Adobe is a government agency--now that's slow!  Why should it take 1-2 years (as it seems will be the case) to get software like this fixed and/or replaced? 

If management wants something to happen fast, it'll happen fast.  They just don't care enough about their user community to make it a priority.  (I guess I'm role playing Captain Obvious today.)

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Hi all

In addition to what David offered, I'd even go so far as to speculate that to a large degree, Adobe's hands may simply be tied. Just as ours are with the products we deal with.

Think about it for a moment. If we discover a bug or a behavior change in Dreamweaver, Captivate, RoboHelp or (insert your favorite product here), we report it to Adobe for sure. But we also know that depending on the number of folks reporting, we aren't very likely to see any real changes come along until they issue either a service release or a new version of the software.

I'm saying that Adobe is likely in the same position with the forums software, since they are customers and not the software developers. So the frustration everyone expresses here is likely mirrored by Adobe. But screaming and gnashing teeth at Jive isn't likely to help the process along.

Cheers... Rick

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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I think we mostly realize that, but can't they at least... talk about future plans for a replacement down the road, even if it's a year or two from now? That might at least satisfy those of us who completely hate this rubbish, for a year or so..

An apology from Adobe management for their major error would be a nice gesture, too. heh

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Ansury wrote:

I can understand not having 5 threads on the first page dedicated to completely off topic sea kitten posts or "this place is jived up" complaints (assuming there isn't some specific problem being reported), but I hope this is not going to turn into a police state forum. 

I want to make sure people feel welcome to ask questions about these forums and won't regret it when they do. I don't think it is necessary to turn this forum into a police state forum to do so. I am actually pretty happy with the way that is turning out so far. Just look at the last 5 threads started with a question about these forums and compare them with similar issues from 2 weeks ago.

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Mentor ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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But we are still not getting any real answers about the forums just a bunch of police state mods trying to shut up a bunch of complaining customers. None of us is any wiser as to Adobe's plans on getting this pathetic excuse for a forum fixed or better yet replaced. neither you or any of the other experts or mods know what Adobe is planning and the longer this goes on the good people will be lost.

I'm coming in less and less I've been around since about 1999/2000 the last fiasco forum change lost over 30,000 of my posts and changed my starting date to 2006, so I do know what I'm talking about. Most of my posts were made in the product forums not the lounge. The fact that this forum has lost so many good people and will lose many more before its over is not good.

So until we hear from someone that is credible and we believe (JC), and that does not include the latest crop of mods, I don't think the regulars attitudes are going to change much. Like I said before we are doing this because we care, but this is getting so bad I'm caring less and less because I have the impression that Adobe does not care. I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Buko. wrote:

I have the impression that Adobe does not care.

I think they do care, but about statistics. If half a dozen valuable posters leave and 10 newbies sign, on that's a positive result to the suits.

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

I think they do care, but about statistics. If half a dozen valuable posters leave and 10 newbies sign, on that's a positive result to the suits.

I don't keep statistics on users, but the quantity of posts has increased since the migration to the new forum.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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jochemd wrote:


I don't keep statistics on users, but the quantity of posts has increased since the migration to the new forum.

You don't wear a suit by any chance do you?   

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Hey John

I know my view of the forums is miniscule when compared to the overall view. But I have to say that for the two I monitor, we didn't seem to lose any of the experienced folks. And they seem just as active as they always have.

Again, my view may be a bit distorted.

Cheers... Rick

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Captiv8r wrote:

I know my view of the forums is miniscule when compared to the overall view. But I have to say that for the two I monitor, we didn't seem to lose any of the experienced folks. And they seem just as active as they always have.

Again, my view may be a bit distorted.

The losses I am talking about are mainly from the Photoshop and Photography forums, where people have gone who didn't get their wisdom from reading a book or passing a test.


Like you I only frequent a relatively few forums. It used to be more but it's too damned slow getting around these days. And I am not talking about Sciatica!

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Captiv8r wrote:

I know my view of the forums is miniscule when compared to the overall view. But I have to say that for the two I monitor, we didn't seem to lose any of the experienced folks. And they seem just as active as they always have.

Cheers... Rick

The Flex forum I monitor (or used to, now it's just a rare visit) definitely lost many extremely active and experienced contributors. And unlike many, they didn't seem to complain at all--they just flat out vanished and probably moved somewhere else. In this case they're lucky because it's a hot enough product that new people are always coming along, so the activity is still there, but... it still sucks.

I also suspect that any 'increased activity' is partly a result of this new "ranking/scoring" jiveware mindset from crummy software that encourages mickey mouse users to stick around and post more often.

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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I needed to test my AIR client for these forums and the simplest way to do so was  to download every single message available on these forums. So I now have a database with about 2 million messages. So don't get your hopes up on Adobe considering the move to these forums a failure.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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2 million messages

I bet 1.9 million were complaining about poor customer support!  

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Engaged ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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I now have a database with about 2 million messages.

A little diversion for you when you've nothing better to do. At http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/all.html is a list of all (most?) of the ACEs showing their area of expertise. Try comparing numbers of postings by these people in their specialist forums from 1 May to 31 July in 2008 and 2009. I know that that wouldn't be any more than an indication, but my own cursory investigation shows that, of the 18 Indesign experts, only three have been active (= more than a handful of posts) in the past three months. They do a splendid job, backed up by half-a-dozen others who richly deserve ACE status, but much of the expertise that was there last year is lost to users of these forums. I put it down to the loss of NNTP support.

Noel

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Hi there

When you refer to ACE do you mean Adobe Certified Expert or Adobe Community Expert?

I would think that if I were Adobe and anyone with Adobe Community Expert designation decided to depart, I would be scrutinizing whether that status should be revoked or not.

After all, a community expert should be working to foster community as well as being an expert in their domain, no?

Cheers... Rick

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Yes, that's an interesting idea.  It would be quite interesting because Adobe's website says:

All Adobe Community Experts are expected to exemplify the program fundamentals of product proficiency, enthusiasm, and professionalism towards Adobe and our customer base. In addition, Adobe Community Experts agree to be active contributors to the Adobe world-wide community by:

  • Engaging in peer to peer support in the Adobe forums
  • Posting information and technical support in their favorite online community
  • Writing articles for professional publications
  • Presenting Adobe product presentations at conferences and user groups

Note the bolded lines above.  I was actually browsing the list a day or two ago, and I recognized approximately 0 of the ACEs from my former-regular product forum...

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Engaged ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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I would think that if I were Adobe and anyone with Adobe Community Expert designation decided to depart, I would be scrutinizing whether that status should be revoked or not.

ACEs (Community types, that is) get their wings in different ways; David Blatner, for example, certainly deserves the accolade for indesignsecrets.com, even though he rarely shows up in the forums. The ones I'm interested in are those who used to post but don't any longer. They've presumably moved on to fresh pastures to continue helping people - but it's still a loss to the Adobe forums. It would be so much better for everybody - Adobe included - if the expertise were concentrated.

Noel

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