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  #1  
Old 19-07-2011, 08:25 AM
Brendan Burgess Brendan Burgess is online now
 
Location: Dublin
Posts: 24,074
Default Posting Guidelines and moderation policy on askaboutmoney

I think that Sylvester3 summarises askaboutmoney very succinctly in this post.

Quote:
I don't think AAM is a forum for regular discussions and tittle tattle - there are some allowances for such in The Depths, but even there, it is heavily moderated with discussions locked if they go on too long or ramble too much. I realised that a long time ago and usually only contribute here if I have something useful to say.

AAM is a resource for financial help, with bolted on extras for other kinds of assistance (home, DIY etc etc). As time goes on its obvious that most questions are going to have been answered at some point, with few updates except with regard to budget or tax changes. People who spend their time answering questions will over time become less inclined to respond to the same thing except to tell people to use the search button.

I agree that AAM has a very different atmosphere to any other forum I have used, but that’s because it has a different remit and isn't a social network and shouldn't be mistaken for such. Once you digest that you will realise that its a wonderful resource, but its best to stay out of discussions unless you really have something useful to add.
We tell people when they register that the Posting Guidelines on askaboutmoney are very strictly enforced. The introduction to the Posting Guidelines says:

Quote:
Most other sites are much more tolerant than Askaboutmoney. Many users find it difficult to adhere to our Posting Guidelines. But if you want to post here, you must adhere to them.


Askaboutmoney is primarily an information site


It’s not a social network.
It’s not a forum for chat.
It’s not a forum for entertainment.

There is nothing at all wrong with social networking, chat or entertainment; it’s just that this is not the purpose of askaboutmoney. Go to another website for these. Come back to askaboutmoney for information.

We try to keep the information/chat ratio high. There are other sites where it is very difficult to get the information you want, because you have to wade through so much rubbish to get at the key information. We actively delete rubbish on askaboutmoney.

The guidelines are there to improve the quality of askaboutmoney for everyone

Using meaningful titles improves the chance of getting a useful answer and allows later users to do more meaningful searches
Asking people to post in the correct forum is for their benefit
Bad language adds absolutely nothing to a post. Some people are offended by it, so why allow something which diminishes the experience for a few while adding no benefit?

Moderation is a thankless task for the moderators
The moderators prefer to be asking and answering questions. Moderating posts takes up time. However, we believe that Askaboutmoney is a better site because of it


Some frequent complaints


The overmoderation is killing askaboutmoney – users are going to other sites
It’s a matter of taste. Of course, many people prefer the chat on other sites to the heavy moderation of askaboutmoney. But we are not trying to be the biggest site in Ireland. We are trying to provide a forum to answer questions in a helpful and respectful environment with little chat.

Many people like askaboutmoney because of the heavy moderation. The problem is that people are much more likely to complain about their posts being deleted than they are to compliment the moderators for keeping askaboutmoney free of rubbish.

Some ordinary users would be much tougher if we are to judge by the reported posts.


Why not just move threads into the right forum instead of closing them and deleting the replies?
Where there is a grey area, we move threads. Where there is no grey area, we just close the threads. Why should the moderators have to do the thinking for users who are too lazy to think about the right forum to post in?

Why not edit the title of the thread instead of posting a request to change the title?
Again, it’s up to the poster to think about how best to summarise the question in its title. The moderators do spend a huge amount of time correcting the spelling and editing thread titles for meaning.

Why not simply edit out the bad language from a post?
Why not simply stop using bad language?

Why not be nicer to new posters? Cut them a bit of slack?
We want new users to read the Posting Guidelines and we encourage this from the start.

Why did you close a thread without letting me answer?
Askaboutmoney is primarily an information site. Where a thread turns into a debate, it becomes very repetitive after just a few posts and we close it. There is no best time to close a thread. If we allow you reply, someone else will want to reply to you and so on.

Some posters are very condescending to new posters!
This is an example of problem the moderators have striking a balance between over and under moderation. We delete abusive posts but there are many posts which we don't like, which we leave.
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  #2  
Old 19-07-2011, 02:49 PM
Complainer Complainer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Burgess View Post
Why not edit the title of the thread instead of posting a request to change the title?
Again, itís up to the poster to think about how best to summarise the question in its title. The moderators do spend a huge amount of time correcting the spelling and editing thread titles for meaning.
I do think AAM would be a lot more welcoming to new posters if mods would help on editing thread titles. I know some mods do this, and I'm sure it is appreciated by the new posters.

If you have one big problem in your life and you're not a frequent user of bulltein boards, then 'mortgage problem' may well seem like an adequete discription of that thread.
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  #3  
Old 19-07-2011, 03:10 PM
Brendan Burgess Brendan Burgess is online now
 
Location: Dublin
Posts: 24,074
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Interesting view. I would like askaboutmoney to be welcoming to new users, especially to people who might not be that internet smart.

Many experienced posters post in the wrong forum and with meaningless titles - presumably we should not tolerate this?

So for first time posters

"I have edited your title/moved your post to a more appropriate forum. please read the posting guidelines as we only do this for first time posters"??
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  #4  
Old 19-07-2011, 04:00 PM
dewdrop dewdrop is offline
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As previously said i reckon many first time posters can feel pretty desperate about some issue and based on some friends advice have come to AAM in the hope of sorting out the matter. Consequently a little gentleness for these as you suggest is appropiate. For frequent posters who fall by the wayside no mercy should be shown!
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  #5  
Old 19-07-2011, 05:03 PM
onq onq is offline
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Location: Dublin
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I think first-timers should be given some slack, especially where they are desperate and seeking advice and no-one has replied, eg during the holiday season.

"Bumping" a thread may be a sign of desperation, not attention seeking, if I can split a hair.

ONQ.
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  #6  
Old 20-07-2011, 10:31 AM
elcato elcato is offline
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Quote:
I do think AAM would be a lot more welcoming to new posters if mods would help on editing thread titles. I know some mods do this, and I'm sure it is appreciated by the new posters.
Agreed. It takes a simple click on the title when you have the post listings page open. I can live with doing this even for non-first time posters.
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