PHP Developers Network

Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control
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Author:  omniuni [ Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

Hi All,

I've been away from Devnetwork for a while, and since I've come back, I've seen a significant increase in the amount of threads where the initial post seems to have at least one of the following attributes:

1. Non-Descriptive Title
2. Appears to be typed in a hurry (no or very little punctuation and/or formatting)
3. Requests to simply write code (and not as a job)
4. Very basic questions (not all bad)

I consider these "sort-of-spam" because while they are often legitimate questions, they're hard to understand, or may waste people's time. I think there are a few things that we could try to help this.

First, if we use a tag, as members of the forum to indicate non-descriptive titles, it would make it easy for the admins to find them. For example, simply reply with "NONDESC" in your post subject, to flag it as non-descriptive. Then follow with a better description so that the admin can just copy-and paste.

For example, someone posts "PHP Question".
I could post a response with the title: "NONDESC: Trying to submit form with check boxes"

I also propose a new "Beginner's Questions" topic. Most people have no problem admitting when they're new to this, and they often say as much in their post. Many times, though they don't know what to look up or search for to find their answer. Having a topic like this would cut down on these questions in main topics.

Similarly, a "Code Request" topic would help cut down on the "PLS write this for meeeee..." threads that crop up occasionally. Perhaps it could be run like a challenge of sorts. Each request could have a poll for the number of points, 1-5 that it would be worth, as well as a "Needs to be paid for" option. As you answer, you get the amount of points as voted on. The admin adds it to your score in a sticky on the thread. If it's too much trouble, I still think a "Code Request" topic would be useful if for no other reason than to cut down on the requests in other topics, and would help people determine if the code is complex enough that they need to hire someone.

Now, there are also the not-through-through topics and requests. Honestly, I don't know how to combat that. Any suggestions I'm sure would be appreciated by all.

Well, those are my thoughts. I just want to keep Devnetwork the helpful, professional, and "sort-of-spam" free forum I've always enjoyed.

Author:  Jonah Bron [ Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

These all sound like good ideas. At the very least, we should use the "tagging" thing. Then, all the admins have to do is search for "NONDESC".

Author:  omniuni [ Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

Thanks Jonah! I'm going to start using NONDESC myself, let's see if it catches on.

Author:  daedalus__ [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

hey i was thinking about this and maybe its time to ban third world countries ip ranges. :P

no uh im wondering if this recent spam is coming from a single source? sometimes you can pin it down to a certain range and then implement extra anti spam for just that range.

i dunno.

Author:  Charles256 [ Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

I believe they talked extensively a few years back about a beginners section and decided against it. So long as it wasn't lost in the forum upgrade a search on beginners section or something along those lines might help you find out why they decided against that idea. It was generally felt that it'd unnecessarily divide the community and make it less likely that experienced coders would help out the "newbs" if they were segregated. That's if my memory still works properly. :)

Author:  pickle [ Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

Author:  omniuni [ Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping "sort-of-spam" under control

Thanks for the feedback, Pickle.

They're just ideas, of course.

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