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Forum Moderation - Is it flawed?


Lactodorum
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From a current thread elsewhere in the UK forum:

.........however as this is a geocaching forum surely I am sure a little evidence of how it was related to geocaching in the first post would have elicited a much more positive response.

This set me thinking in more general terms about how we moderate this forum.

 

Forum moderators are "employed" by Groundspeak to use their experience and best judgement to try and strike a balance between a free-for-all in the forums and strict censorship. Different forums have different moderators and different local customs and sensitivities. All these volunteer moderators come from different backgrounds. Then consider that each forum has around 2-3 moderators on average and compare that with the number of people posting on each forum.

 

Is it any wonder that some (many?) people disagree with how a moderator allows some threads and closes others?

 

In that particular thread a simple request from a well established geocacher has elicited an inordinate amount of correspondence, both here and off forum. The request may or may not have been strictly geocaching related but does it harm anyone or bring the forums or Geocaching itself into disrepute? In my opinion, no.

 

Should the moderators police the forums more closely and weed out anything anyone dislikes? I personally don't think so, indeed such an approach would mean the end of such long running and obviously popular threads as the "Pub Quiz" etc. I may be wrong so if you have a problem with the current approach please explain here.

 

I can't promise to agree with everything said but I will certainly consider it.

Edited by Lactodorum
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I think the forums are moderated in a good well balanced manner and certainly have no gripe with any recent or past decisions. The mods do a great job enforcing the rules and as someone much wiser than me once said:

 

"Rules are to be strictly followed by the foolish and used as a guide by the wise."

 

If a mod chooses to close or open a topic I take it as read that they have a good reason to do so and as a fellow forum user there is no need for me to be privvy to that info.

 

Everyone should take a step backward and praise the mods for the job that they do rather than throw teddies into the corner if you have a difference of opinion with one of them. Keep up the good work guys.

 

Edited - I really must learn how to use the Miscroshaft Speel Chucker :huh:

Edited by studlyone
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I have no general problem with the "policing" of this forum and frankly, I am astounded that the moderators have time to do such a good job in between their other roles and "real life".

 

I think the reason said thread generated such an "inordinate amount of correspondence" was the fact that it was so clearly labelled "totally off topic" and then all of a sudden became geocaching related. If it's really geocaching related why was the OP so evasive? Would it not have been better for the OP to say something like "I'm looking for a copy of the Sun yesterday as I've heard there was a great article about <insert-place> where I'm looking to place a cache soon".

 

Other "simple requests" from other geocachers have either been quickly closed or moved to the car boot sale thread and we never did get an answer as to why the forums could not be used to publicise international events.

 

The only improvement I would ask for is a little more consistency, the icing on an otherwise great cake.

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I tend to come and go in the forums but I pretty much concur with Ian.

 

The only thing I would add is that maybe you might want to add some additional moderators for the forum only. As Ian says, it's amazing how dedicated our reviewers are and moderating a forum in addition (almost 24 hours a day) is probably an additional bind.

 

Noticing how little the moderators actually go caching these days, maybe we should encourage finding rather than just publishing :huh::lol::huh::huh::(

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I think sometimes the Mods make a step too far, but usually you are tolerant of post; the example you front, I have no issue with the topic, and would have replied to the poster if I had a copy offering to post it free.

 

If people had not replied to the post it soon would have fallen off the board; In a way that is ourselves moderating our postings; but some jump in and say things like what is this to do with Geocaching, or no sorry not got a copy! Useless to the Op, also keeping the post high up on the board.

 

Yes these are Geocaching forums, but that is a community, and just like neighbours we sometimes need to knock on other's doors for that cup of sugar.

 

I do think there is a particular Mod, who is far too keen to close threads; but maybe that is that persons way; we do have the right in this country to freedom of speech and that is protected by both UK and European law, and as long as we stay within the legal frame work of both these powers, and use the forums with care we can improve the quality of the postings, it is nice here, as we rarely see flame wars, but when we do, I know the Mod team are good at resolving those issues.

 

(I bet Lactodorum can’t believe I have said this) :huh:

 

Moote

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I've done quite a bit of forum modding over the years and there are some HORRIBLE forums out there with over-zealous mods who are always moving threads, issuing bans and abusing their power. Good balance on here though, with most stuff getting through :lol: "You can't please all the people all the time" etc comes into play doesn't it :huh:

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IF the thread had been started by a new "face" then I agree that it should have been locked but as it was from an established ambassador of geocaching I think that a little leeway is acceptable. Although by saying that it was way off topic did make it a little awkward.

 

As a confirmed nosey git I must admit I did a quick search to find the geocaching connection as I was sure there would be one :huh::lol::huh:

 

So to answer the question posed by this thread.

 

No I dont think that Forum Moderation - Is flawed.

 

:huh:

Edited by Matrix
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I'm very happy with the moderators for the UK forum: they do a superb job. When you consider how unrewarding the task must be for the amount of commitment required, it's amazing that there are any volunteers at all.

 

My only suggestion would be that there should be more moving of threads to the approprate section. Very often people post here out of habit (it appears) when they should have posted in "Off-topic" or "GPS Units and Software", or "Geocaching Topics" or "Geocaching.com Web Site". A lot of the stuff you have to wade through on here isn't strictly UK-only and it would be nice to have this filtered out. It would help in getting better replies as well: there is much expertise in the world-wide community.

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IF the thread had been started by a new "face" then I agree that it should have been locked but as it was from an established ambassador of geocaching I think that a little leeway is acceptable.

But rules for one and rules for another breed resentment, what should be given if friendly guidance, and not a duel rule approach.

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I'm very happy with the moderators for the UK forum: they do a superb job. When you consider how unrewarding the task must be for the amount of commitment required, it's amazing that there are any volunteers at all.

 

My only suggestion would be that there should be more moving of threads to the approprate section. Very often people post here out of habit (it appears) when they should have posted in "Off-topic" or "GPS Units and Software", or "Geocaching Topics" or "Geocaching.com Web Site". A lot of the stuff you have to wade through on here isn't strictly UK-only and it would be nice to have this filtered out. It would help in getting better replies as well: there is much expertise in the world-wide community.

 

The problem with moving topics over to the main forum ones is that even fewer UK cachers would see them, we have a small percentage of the UK caching community who visit the UK forum. And a small percentage of those ever visit the main forums. To be honest I scan the GC forum and Geocaching one, and never visit the Off Topic One :blink: I've probably only seen about 5 or 6 regular UK cachers who post in here, who have posted in the main forums, and even then it's not on a regular basis.

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It's brill, spot on... If there's a downside, there does seem to an awful lot of Unofficial "Mods" jumping in with, "This thread is off topic", "This topic was discussed in 2003 - please refer to that thread!"

 

Let the Mods we have get on with their job - we don't need any more.

Hear hear. I am quite happy with how the official mods run things - the fact that the topic had been reopened by a mod should have signified in itself that there was a pretty good case for it being allowed to run. If anyone really wanted to know the reason why it had been reopened then perhaps they should have/could have asked the mods directly rather than fill up the thread with unhelpful comments . It was a simple enough request, Let's hope it doesn't put other folk off asking for help on these forums. :blink:

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The problem with moving topics over to the main forum ones is that even fewer UK cachers would see them, we have a small percentage of the UK caching community who visit the UK forum. And a small percentage of those ever visit the main forums.

Indeed: that's why we should encourage more people to visit the main forums. Moving threads more often might help change habits. Or perhaps closing them with a reference to the main discussion.

 

I get annoyed by very little in the geocaching world, but it's irritating seeing threads like "Is geocaching.com down?" or "I have a problem with my GPS" when you know that there's a comprehensive discussion of the topic under the correct forum heading. I'd prefer the UK forum to stick to topics that are primarily relevant to the UK.

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The problem with moving topics over to the main forum ones is that even fewer UK cachers would see them, we have a small percentage of the UK caching community who visit the UK forum. And a small percentage of those ever visit the main forums.

Indeed: that's why we should encourage more people to visit the main forums. Moving threads more often might help change habits. Or perhaps closing them with a reference to the main discussion.

 

I get annoyed by very little in the geocaching world, but it's irritating seeing threads like "Is geocaching.com down?" or "I have a problem with my GPS" when you know that there's a comprehensive discussion of the topic under the correct forum heading. I'd prefer the UK forum to stick to topics that are primarily relevant to the UK.

Other forums I'm a member of, have certain sections from their main forum pinned at the top of each board, not sure why Groundspeak do not do this, as it would encourage good posting behavior.

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The problem with moving topics over to the main forum ones is that even fewer UK cachers would see them, we have a small percentage of the UK caching community who visit the UK forum. And a small percentage of those ever visit the main forums.

Indeed: that's why we should encourage more people to visit the main forums. Moving threads more often might help change habits. Or perhaps closing them with a reference to the main discussion.

 

I get annoyed by very little in the geocaching world, but it's irritating seeing threads like "Is geocaching.com down?" or "I have a problem with my GPS" when you know that there's a comprehensive discussion of the topic under the correct forum heading. I'd prefer the UK forum to stick to topics that are primarily relevant to the UK.

 

Its all well and good say that people should explore the main forums and that posts should be spread around, BUT

 

This is why we have a UK forum, if a UK'er has a problem/question, instead of posting it in FAQ or Problem pages where other users using US software which we may jnot have give you back routes of how to do stuff, i would much rather keep posting those things here because this for me is a one stop to all things i need to know

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I've no problem with the mods, or with how they handled the aforementioned thread.

 

That thread was the highlight of an otherwise slow evening on the forum, which is why it probably received a little bit more attention that it usually would - but I agree with the comments that what the thread was about, and then why it was unlocked, was just plain confusing.

 

Regarding the comments about UK cachers posting about gc.com issues, and other threads that should belong in other parts of the Groundspeak forums.

I agree it's a lot nicer to have our little community talking about these issues, rather than the mods moving topics left-right-and-centre - so how about this for a solution.

 

(dons flack jacket)

 

I don't think the pinned "Multiple Pinned Topics" thread really works, and looking through them most haven't been used in a long time, I'd be happy to see a return to a few more standard pinned topics.

How about the mods set the pinned topics to be

 

- Welcome, introduction to newbies (including adopt a newbie, which gps)

- Useful resources (gagb, firefox addons, links to regional forums, paperless guide)

- Congrats

- gc.com website issues

- UK Geocoins

- The UK off topic thread (one thread, and one thread only, where OT is allowed)

 

Opinions?

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Jaz, I think the problem lies with education of new Internet users, I guess many have not stepped into a Forum board until they arrive here, so have no idea of etiquette.

 

Moving threads, merging threads etc works well in other forums I visit, and I know that many of the new posters in one such forum have little knowledge of the etiquette of forums. Personally I'm with HH, and think the Mods should actively encourage users to post in the correct section.

 

But as for the post which raised this, it was best in the UK section as the Newspaper mentioned is primarily UK circulation.

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From the forum guidelines.

 

Respect: Respect the guidelines for forum usage, and site usage. Respect Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, yourself, fellow community members, and guests on these boards. Whether a community member has one post or 5,000 posts, they deserve the same respect

 

However an "established" geocacher is allowed to post off topic, were perhaps a new user would not.

 

At the end of the day though I do think the mods in general do a good job. I may not agree with them at times as I am sure they don't agree with me.

 

I count one of them as a friend, despite heated discussions at times.

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This is why we have a UK forum, if a UK'er has a problem/question, instead of posting it in FAQ or Problem pages where other users using US software which we may jnot have give you back routes of how to do stuff, i would much rather keep posting those things here because this for me is a one stop to all things i need to know

I've always taken the "United Kingdom" section to be for threads about geocaching in the UK, not simply a place for UK geocachers to post.

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I'm glad I'm not a noob on your forums Moote, all those rules and regs would have me scared off in an instant :blink:

 

I never mentioned rules and regs at all; I think you require a reread of what I actually said. But in brief what I have said is the following:

  1. The Mods do a good job
  2. We should not have duel standards for new posters, and that friendly guidance is better, to encourage people in here to post correctly.
  3. That other boards have more viable linking to Main forum topics
  4. The use of merging and moving threads works well elsewhere.

So where was the rules and regs I mentioned, nowhere I think. In essence what I have been saying is that a little guidance by the Mods to both new and old users would maybe help in running these forums better, and prevent the stream of repeat topics and badly placed topics.

 

Moote

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(dons flack jacket)

 

I don't think the pinned "Multiple Pinned Topics" thread really works, and looking through them most haven't been used in a long time, I'd be happy to see a return to a few more standard pinned topics.

How about the mods set the pinned topics to be

 

- Welcome, introduction to newbies (including adopt a newbie, which gps)

- Useful resources (gagb, firefox addons, links to regional forums, paperless guide)

- Congrats

- gc.com website issues

- UK Geocoins

- The UK off topic thread (one thread, and one thread only, where OT is allowed)

 

Opinions?

Sounds like a great idea to me. Having a place to post off topic stuff could certainly clean the board up a bit and allow a little bit of leeway on the topics discussed on here.

 

Usefull resources is also a great idea as it would negate the need to bump some of the very old (but incredibly usefull threads on here).

 

Gets my thumb up.

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I'm glad I'm not a noob on your forums Moote, all those rules and regs would have me scared off in an instant :blink:

 

I never mentioned rules and regs at all; I think you require a reread of what I actually said. But in brief what I have said is the following:

  1. The Mods do a good job
  2. We should not have duel standards for new posters, and that friendly guidance is better, to encourage people in here to post correctly.
  3. That other boards have more viable linking to Main forum topics
  4. The use of merging and moving threads works well elsewhere.

So where was the rules and regs I mentioned, nowhere I think. In essence what I have been saying is that a little guidance by the Mods to both new and old users would maybe help in running these forums better, and prevent the stream of repeat topics and badly placed topics.

 

Moote

 

Rules, regs, guidance, moving, closing, call it what you will, people don't like being pushed around. The best forums are self-moderated.

 

Right, bored... let the mods get on with it. :D

 

This thread can be moved / closed / ignored :cool::blink:

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[snip]I do think there is a particular Mod, who is far too keen to close threads; but maybe that is that persons way[/snip]

Agree.

 

Presume you're referring to the Mod that locked the "newspaper" thread a minute or two after Lactodorum's post #5 enquiring about link to Geocaching? Strangely, that Mod's post locking the thread has mysteriously disappeared...

 

So yes, I do think the moderation is flawed, but only when one Mod does something in haste and then back-tracks and deletes his posts as if it had never happened. Bit like un-publishing a cache. Unfortunately some of us saw the thread-locking post before it was deleted.

 

Clearly this incident has upset Lactodorum, quite understandably as he rightly chose not to lock the thread, hence this thread.

 

:blink::blink::cool:

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I think the mods already do a good job but like everyone (myself included) there's always room for a little improvement. I think the suggestions about moving threads and linking to previous discussions on the same topic is a useful suggestion for instance but I'm not 100% sure how feasible it would be.

 

I do think that if people let the mods get on with their job things would be a bit easier for everyone. There has been a lot of examples of people acting as unofficial mods recently and IMO it's unnecessary and creates a bad atmosphere.

 

As to the other thread I think too many people got too worked up about a simple request and built a huge mountain out of nothing (not even a molehill!). When I see reactions like that it suggests that there is more to it and that people are using a minor discretion to settle an old score. I could be wrong but I've seen it before.

 

Maybe it's just the bad weather but isn't everyone supposed to be out geocaching or something anyway :blink:

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Rules, regs, guidance, moving, closing, call it what you will, people don't like being pushed around. The best forums are self-moderated.

 

On the contrary moving or merging treads works well (I have noted Loctodorum has done this a few times recently), as it directs people to where there answers is most likely found. I do feel that closing valid threads is somewhat annoying; but that might just be my personal opinion. If you have information to the contrary, about moving or merging threads, I'd be happy to hear it.

 

Right, bored... let the mods get on with it. :cool:

 

I have not said that the Mods should not get on with it, but I do feel the replies in the thread which instigated this thread were on the main futile and if we as posters kept a controlled and cool head the tread would have fallen off the board quickly. Instead it created this thread where Lactodorum proposed the debate.

 

This thread can be moved / closed / ignored :blink::blink:

 

Now lets not have any more self appointed Mods.

 

Moote

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[snip]I do think there is a particular Mod, who is far too keen to close threads; but maybe that is that persons way[/snip]

Agree.

 

Presume you're referring to the Mod that locked the "newspaper" thread a minute or two after Lactodorum's post #5 enquiring about link to Geocaching? Strangely, that Mod's post locking the thread has mysteriously disappeared...

 

So yes, I do think the moderation is flawed, but only when one Mod does something in haste and then back-tracks and deletes his posts as if it had never happened. Bit like un-publishing a cache. Unfortunately some of us saw the thread-locking post before it was deleted.

 

Clearly this incident has upset Lactodorum, quite understandably as he rightly chose not to lock the thread, hence this thread.

 

:blink::blink::cool:

Actually no it was not that tread at all, and I will not comment to which treads I refer.

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It's brill, spot on... If there's a downside, there does seem to an awful lot of Unofficial "Mods" jumping in with, "This thread is off topic", "This topic was discussed in 2003 - please refer to that thread!"

 

Sums up my thoughts exactly, I agree with all of this.

 

As to the original thread, I don't think I saw it at the time (if I did I probably didn't bother to read it, due to the title - but having read it I would have a very hard job giving a hoot about it being off topic or otherwise.

 

The mods here are as unobtrusive as you could want, but do pop up when required with a stern word here and a thread merge there, or just to clear up duplicate posts. Keep it up thanks.

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I have never had a problem with how the forums here are moderated, and I tend to agree with Rutson generally.

 

There have been times, however, when I think things could be handled differently, for example, not so long ago I was contacted by a reviewer after making a remark and told I could be banned from the forums if I "gave my own opinion"

 

Now, I always thought forums were exactly that... places for opinions, but never mind. Water under the bridge!

 

What I'm trying to get at is that I agree that there needs to be consistancy in the way the forums are moderated....

 

Apart from that - hats off to you....

 

PS: Deci.... I love you reallly xxxxx!!!

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Keep the moderators, they do a great and thankless job, and get rid of the 'Forum Police' . If the posting is in the wrong place the mods. will shift it... if the spellings wrong who cares...... If the topics has been discussed then give them a link to the original post not flame them for not looking

Everyone has the right to their opinion and to post it here (within the rules) but if the minority would give their opinion instead of attacking the OP this would be a nicer place

 

There could be room for a UK Off Topic topic as, I'm sure like many others, I rarely go onto the rest of the Forums

 

In answer to the OP's question You ALL do a great job and if it aint broke don't fix it

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Clearly this incident has upset Lactodorum, quite understandably as he rightly chose not to lock the thread, hence this thread.

While I'm intending staying out of the debate as far as possible for the moment I feel I ought to correct this misunderstanding.

 

I was NOT upset at this "incident". The moderator who locked the thread received further information privately and as a result of that, unlocked the thread again. This was absolutely normal and I can assure you that the moderating team in this forum get on remarkably well. :blink:

 

Thank you for your first forum post and may I invite you now to try hunting for the odd geocache or two as well. Once you've found one you might understand the attraction people find in this pastime.

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As to the other thread I think too many people got too worked up about a simple request and built a huge mountain out of nothing (not even a molehill!). When I see reactions like that it suggests that there is more to it and that people are using a minor discretion to settle an old score. I could be wrong but I've seen it before.

I agree and sometimes a Mod can get unwittingly sucked in. I believe I have seen this happen!

 

No one is perfect and the Mods do a great job of policing this forum (with some mishaps) and they also do a great job of reviewing our caches. Let's give some slack and leave the guys that are dedicated to moderating the forum to do that without others trying to get their tuppence worth in?

 

If you have a grievance over a topic there is a report button at the bottom of each post! :blink:

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Ok Peter you asked for our opinions, so here is mine.

 

I think you were wrong to close Wendys thread, OK she should not have put off topic I agree with that and she should have said more on her opening thread to make it Geocaching related, I agree with that, the next few comments were sarcastic and smutty replies then you asked if the topic was Geocaching related to which Wendy replied "absolutely sir" then Deci closed the thread, I asked him to reopen the thread after explaining what she wanted the newspaper for which he did, the next few threads were asking Wendy what she wanted the newspaper for and she replied saying there was an item in the paper she wanted to use to set a new cache, she was asked a few more times what she wanted the paper for after she had already given an answer, as far as I can see a question was asked and a reply was given, lots of useless, snide, and sarcastic comments were thrown in too, which there was absolutely no call for and her thread was closed because of the these.

I honestly think the Mods of this forum are way too soft, if someone asks a question should a decent reply not be expected? instead of all the catty comments and useless information, or "is the search facility broken or Google it" I think the Mods should have a copy and paste for these situations that simply says "that comment is not constuctive/helpful to this thread and your comment has been deleted"

I have been on the end of many of these comments and I find them rather nasty and hurtful, so what a newbie feel like?

I have had my wrists slapped twice this week once from a UK Mod and once from a remote Mod, (all 3 UK Mods know about this so I will not divulge) for 2 very innocent incidents/misunderstandings, but I never went out of my way to make the mistakes I did, some folks do it over and over again and never seem to get checked, the forums rules must be the same for all members and all must be treat the same.

I agree totally about the self appointed "forum police" let the Mods do their jobs.

 

If people had not replied to the post it soon would have fallen off the board; In a way that is ourselves moderating our postings; but some jump in and say things like what is this to do with Geocaching, or no sorry not got a copy! Useless to the Op, also keeping the post high up on the board.

 

 

It's brill, spot on... If there's a downside, there does seem to an awful lot of Unofficial "Mods" jumping in with, "This thread is off topic", "This topic was discussed in 2003 - please refer to that thread!"

 

Let the Mods we have get on with their job - we don't need any more.

 

Hear hear. I am quite happy with how the official mods run things - the fact that the topic had been reopened by a mod should have signified in itself that there was a pretty good case for it being allowed to run. If anyone really wanted to know the reason why it had been reopened then perhaps they should have/could have asked the mods directly rather than fill up the thread with unhelpful comments . It was a simple enough request, Let's hope it doesn't put other folk off asking for help on these forums. :blink:

 

I think the mods already do a good job but like everyone (myself included) there's always room for a little improvement.

I do think that if people let the mods get on with their job things would be a bit easier for everyone. There has been a lot of examples of people acting as unofficial mods recently and IMO it's unnecessary and creates a bad atmosphere.

 

As to the other thread I think too many people got too worked up about a simple request and built a huge mountain out of nothing (not even a molehill!). When I see reactions like that it suggests that there is more to it and that people are using a minor discretion to settle an old score. I could be wrong but I've seen it before.

 

 

Keep the moderators, they do a great and thankless job, and get rid of the 'Forum Police' . If the posting is in the wrong place the mods. will shift it... if the spellings wrong who cares...... If the topics has been discussed then give them a link to the original post not flame them for not looking

Everyone has the right to their opinion and to post it here (within the rules) but if the minority would give their opinion instead of attacking the OP this would be a nicer place

 

There could be room for a UK Off Topic topic as, I'm sure like many others, I rarely go onto the rest of the Forums

 

In answer to the OP's question You ALL do a great job and if it aint broke don't fix it

 

I totally agree with all the above.

 

OK so now I am going to get slated, ripped to bits and belittled, but I had the "guts" to stand up and say what I think, if you dont agree with me let me know and we can have a civilised "adult" discussion, without snide and sarcastic comments.

 

M :blink:

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OK, as your reply is clearly directed at me Mandy, I'll reply.

 

I totally disagree that the mod was wrong to close the thread in question. It was, by admission of the OP "totally off topic". It's my opinion that it was wrong to re-open the thread. It is my understanding (from comments I have received off-board) that the article is, in fact, not geocaching related at all. I firmly believe that if it WAS geocaching related that Wendy, being an intelligent and articulate person, would have stated this in the post, in fact, she chose to state it was "off topic". The issue of whether off-topic posts should be allowed is another matter altogether.

 

As for my use of the phrase "is the search facility broken" being "not constuctive(sic)/helpful", OK, I can see your point. I am a sarcastic person, I have never denied that. What you fail to mention is that on both occasions I used that phrase or a derivative last night, I followed it by a link gleaned from the search facility in order to (help to) answer the question. My point, as I've made MANY times in the past is that it's generally quicker and easier to Google/search for the answer to one's question than to compose a forum post. I stand by my tactics here. How does the old expression go... "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.". I Googled that as I couldn't remember it exactly.

 

I do however agree with you Mandy on the point: "the forums rules must be the same for all members". Earlier in this thread it was stated that more experienced users should be allowed more leeway. I disagree. If anything, those who are more experienced should know better.

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OK, as your reply is clearly directed at me Mandy, I'll reply.

 

I totally disagree that the mod was wrong to close the thread in question. It was, by admission of the OP "totally off topic". It's my opinion that it was wrong to re-open the thread. It is my understanding (from comments I have received off-board) that the article is, in fact, not geocaching related at all. I firmly believe that if it WAS geocaching related that Wendy, being an intelligent and articulate person, would have stated this in the post, in fact, she chose to state it was "off topic". The issue of whether off-topic posts should be allowed is another matter altogether.

 

As for my use of the phrase "is the search facility broken" being "not constuctive(sic)/helpful", OK, I can see your point. I am a sarcastic person, I have never denied that. What you fail to mention is that on both occasions I used that phrase or a derivative last night, I followed it by a link gleaned from the search facility in order to (help to) answer the question. My point, as I've made MANY times in the past is that it's generally quicker and easier to Google/search for the answer to one's question than to compose a forum post. I stand by my tactics here. How does the old expression go... "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.". I Googled that as I couldn't remember it exactly.

 

I do however agree with you Mandy on the point: "the forums rules must be the same for all members". Earlier in this thread it was stated that more experienced users should be allowed more leeway. I disagree. If anything, those who are more experienced should know better.

 

Thanks for your opinion Ian and a respectful reply :D

 

I will stress again the topic was Geocaching related, Wendy wanted information from the paper to set a forth coming cache and she said this in reply to your question.

 

I will admit if yourself/anyone else says use Google or is the search broken I do feel a little bit inadequate as yourself and many others know I am not a techno wiz :blink: but if a newbie asks a question and that reply is given they must think well they arent very helpful in here are they, yes your comments were followed by useful links last night, I dont mind if you pull the pee out of me for being a computer numpty if a useful link follows, I have used the forums for over 3 years now and I have encountered much help but also my fair share of put downs. :cool: I really do think if you have nothing constructive to add to a thread then dont say anything in it, and certainly dont be rude/sarcastic, you dont see me going into any technical threads and giving any advice as it is all way over my head, I can just say manage to put co-ords into my yellow :blink:

 

I totally agree with your "fish" quote, but.....do you remember last year when I was doing the calendars you skitted me for being able to do large writing, change colours ect but I could not do a link and you learnt me how to do links which I managed to do, well if I wanted to do a link now I would not be able to do it as I have probably not done one since last year and I could not remember how to do it again, if you do something over and over it becomes the "norm" if you do it once a year you forget, well I do especially with tecnical things.

 

The thread I wrote above was not aimed at you imparticular Ian as I have seen "search button" and "google" said to me and to others by a few people.

 

I dont want to turn this into a personal slanging match with anyone, we were asked by Peter to give our opinion on a subject and this is what I did.

 

M :D

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Really truly isn't complaining BUT I'd suggest the problem is that the UK Thread has got too big for it's own good. It really needs some Sub Forums.

 

I'm the first to confess I rarely venture from the UK Forum and I guess that's true for many UK cachers.

 

I'm sure it won't happen - even though it's a few clicks of a mouse button to make it work.

 

Whilst it is possible to have sub-forums with the software Groundspeak uses for this forum, I highly doubt they would agree to it, as they aren't in use anywhere else.

 

Hence my suggestion of expanding the pinned topics to cover some of the most frequently repeated topics.

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frequently repeated topics.

 

Frequently repeated topics are not frequently repepated topics to a newbie. We will always get the same question asked over and over again, but is that not good? as it means new people are joining the game/passtime/hobby/madness. :D

 

People will always go for the main threads before the pinned topics :blink:

 

I went to another Geo forum just last week posted a thread got a smacked wrist and did not know what I had done wrong :cool: I am staying here now not venturing off to new pastures, I do agree I dont htnink many read the main forums :blink:

 

M :D

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the UK Thread has got too big for it's own good. It really needs some Sub Forums.

Aargh! - does no-one listen? The UK forum IS a sub-forum (and a very small one at that - there's only a handful of regulars here).

I'm the first to confess I rarely venture from the UK Forum and I guess that's true for many UK cachers.

Which is why we get these arguments - it gets too insular at times. There is a world outside these shores you know! I suspect a lot of people get put off the UK forum because of its cliquey and self-centred nature.

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Which is why we get these arguments - it gets too insular at times. There is a world outside these shores you know! I suspect a lot of people get put off the UK forum because of its cliquey and self-centred nature.

 

When I set up the regional Yorkshire forum, I did get a few messages from people with words to those affect.

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frequently repeated topics.

 

Frequently repeated topics are not frequently repepated topics to a newbie. We will always get the same question asked over and over again, but is that not good? as it means new people are joining the game/passtime/hobby/madness. :D

 

People will always go for the main threads before the pinned topics :blink:

 

I went to another Geo forum just last week posted a thread got a smacked wrist and did not know what I had done wrong :D I am staying here now not venturing off to new pastures, I do agree I dont htnink many read the main forums :cool:

 

M :D

 

I agree - at the risk of going off-topic :blink:

 

Another problem is when I know something was covered in a thread but I can't remember which one

 

The search facility on these forums is pretty pathetic, so I have certainly asked questions on these forums that I know have been answered before

 

Some forums have a wiki, or at least an FAQ

 

As to the moderating policy I have done some moderating in the past - on a forum that was a lot rougher than this :D

 

The key is:

 

1. A light touch

2. Consistency

3. Humour

 

All 3 mods seem to exhibit this and do a good job IMHO :D

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I personally think that the forum moderators do a first class job considering that (a) they also have a private life (:blink: review our caches in timely manner © probably do not have the luxury of using the "ignore" feature that I make copious use of and (d) must get bored witless with some of the drivel they have to read!

 

Being impartial is extremely difficult and fence sitting as not as easy as some folks think it is. The problem would appear to arise when two moderators have a different opinion and fall on each side of the fence, as appeared to happen with the "Sun" posting yesterday. From my recollection one moderator posted, letting the thread continue, whilst another, obviously writing at almost the same time, closed it.

 

Posters to the forums do not help the moderators by wandering off topic and I think it is in those threads that things tend to generally get a bit heated. Heated debate is good provided that it does not decline to personal attacks and insult swapping. I would tend to let the threads go until that level was reached.

 

The (possibly) bigger issue in this case is "what are these forums for?" In the post that kicked this thread off the OP said it was off-topic so why post it on these forums? It then later appeared to transpire that the issue might have been on topic but the reason why was evaded by "those in the know". I look at the forums now and again to get a feel as to what is happening in the Geocaching world but do not mind using the "ignore" option to pass something that does not interest me.

 

Finally, the other thing that occasionally happens on the forums, and could possibly embarrass the moderators, are postings that poll for opinions as to whether something may be allowed or not. If I have a query, I contact my local reviewer and let him know what I am planning. I always get a response in reasonable time and I always take his advise on board - simple! No confusion from several posters giving their often polarised views. When a private response from my local reviewer takes a day or two I know that he has entered into discussion with the other reviewers. As Lacto said in his opening post, they are chosen to do the job for their experience.

 

Thanks guys - keep up the good work.

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