Locked until title edited


I have locked viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5349 because of a totally meaningless title “Newbie looking for some help” and advised the user to edit the title. If he does so, please feel free to unlock the topic and delete this post.

I think, It’s time that we look at those things too, because only at least somewhat meaningful titles make finding information in the forum easy.


I do think that this terse kind of approach on somebodies first post is little a disengaging. It’s not the kinda of welcome i would expect, it’s dumb question for sure, it’s admitted, but thrown in a moderated lock for a first offence is harsh.

We can lead the people to the documentation, but we can’t make them read! :wink:

Bill, you misunderstand :slight_smile:. I locked it because of the meaningless title, not because of the question itself. The title should somewhat reflect the issue, so it’s easier for someone who searches specific infos to skim the forums.
I a support forum, stricter moderation is more important than in a normal community if the forum should develop into a usable information source.

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I haven’t misunderstood your actions. It’s just the wording. for example i would have said the following (the quote below hans’t been posted)

[quote]Your post has been moved to the <place_forum_topic_here> as this better reflects the nature of your request and will help in getting an answer sooner for your questions
Please rename your title to be more descriptive of your question, and this helps to get your issue resolved faster, and improves the new users chances of finding the answer to the same questions in the future

Thanks for your support[/quote]

The above avoids telling a new user off for posting to the wrong forum, then applying a punishment for not doing the correct thing (i.e locking the thread)

I know it frustrating that people don’t read the rules. But we will only build a community if people want to stay around.

I agree with you on the building of a community, but we also have to strict to keep up a minimum quality. In a support forum, 60% or more of all users are usually “hit and run”. They only come to ask questions but don’t stay around and start answering any. Usually, you can also see a connection between this and a certain “carelessness” about the rules and nettiquette. In short, experience shows that users who ignore the rules in the first place, usually don’t become constant and valuable members. As the goal of this forum is “support forum” and not community, in those cases I tend to advocate a strict moderation style to benefit the quality as a source of information.
You also have to take into account that the quality has direct influence on the users’ behavior. A user is less likely to ask “stupid” or redundant questions if the forum is clearly structured and transparent. If (exaggerated) every second post has some meaningless title, skimming the forums for infos is very hard and the user is more likely to give up and ask a redundant question.

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I am with Bill, I think you’re choosing very cold language in your attempt to be a little strict and am fearful it’s going to turn people off. I’m saying this generally and not only in relation to this thread.

With this one though, a simple “can you please update your subject title to something more meaningful” would likely be received much better than “locked until edited”

Just my two cents…

Yes, I do use rather formal language. I always do that in potential conflict situations - maybe an old Military Police habit. For me, using formal language in a potential conflict situation is the only right way, because it’s neither “fraternizing” with the other, nor offensive or hostile. It’s simply stating facts.

Unfortunately, people nowadays are so used to everything being sugarcoated that many feel attacked by a simple and neutral stating the facts.

Anyways, that’s how I see it:
When a user registers, the user is presented with the forum rules. The user has to confirm that the user understands and accepts the rules. So if a user violates those rules, I see no reason to be apologetic towards this user, because it’s not my fault that this user consciously chose to ignore the rules which the user confirmed to accept before.

Again, to my latest information, ardupilot.com is to be a support forum, not a community. The major difference is that people come to a support forum to find solutions for their problems. For that reason, a few things must be enforced very strictly, namely
1.) Reading of the documentation and searching the forums before asking a question
2.) Posting into the right subforum
3.) Opening new topics for new questions
4.) Meaningful topic titles.

If those are not enforced, it will get increasingly hard to find relevant information even for the users which spend an effort to comply with the rules and as a consequence, more and more users will not read before asking a question, so the moderation effort will increase exponentially while the overall quality of the forum goes down in a circle.

Trust me, I have seen this before three times! I’m not playing badass here because I am a badass!
For me it’s an honor that Craig and Chris entrusted me with the admin task in this forum and I am determined to do what I can, to the best of my abilities, to make this forum work and - especially - not go down in a mess and chaos as I have seen this before in other forums!

We can surely talk about details, like putting a “please” here or changing a phrase there - by the way, for some phrases I made BBCodes, so we could discuss about adjusting the word choice a little bit…

But in the core, I am convinced that we must not “soften” the moderation style significantly.
You can never get it right for everybody! And frankly, I’m not sure if we need users who confirm and accept the forums rules and 30secs later violate them in their first post.

Personally, I prefer having a few “lost sheep” along the way and in return a high-quality support forum where the majority of the users easily and comprehensively finds the needed information.

Besides, lack of proper moderation is also one of the major user-criticisms against RCG… And they are supposed to be a community, not even a support forum…