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The so-called spamming stopped

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Raccoon

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You may by now know I posted this message to many newbies... I stopped at mod request.

But the point of the message is not a STATEMENT which leads nowhere but an encouragement for the newbie to ask about something beyond just diaper stuff - to explore the site, meet some like minded people...

And yes, I am committed to answering the questions they raise. I made a promise to them and will do the best I can to fulfill it.

And I encourage anyone else who feels like getting to know a newbie or two to join in.

Hey! Here's a new game: think of anything at all you would like to talk about,

diaper-related?
ADISC-related?
some video game, or computer issue?
Obama?
model rockets?
Afghani-Pakistani diplomatic relations and trade agreements?
How do I become a regular or use a certain feature, like what does an icon mean?
How the heck does someone get to 6 rep in 14 posts, while still a newbie?

ANYTHING!!

- And I will locate a thread that talks about it or find an expert who has the answers you seek or someone into chatting with you about 67 Mustangs, the care and maintenance of plastic pants, how the rep system works, good memes and bad memes, - whatever takes your fancy.

And I can even tell you how you yourself can locate the goodies hidden in out of the way spots on ADISC!!

And not only me, but anyone should feel encouraged to help out with this guy's queries: EVEN FELLOW-NEWBIES!!
I was told nobody likes to be greeted by an impersonal canned answering-machine kind of message. But though my post is in the greeting forum, it is not really a greeting in itself, it is an encouragement to become active, to get the ball rolling, a catalyst. There are over 6 pages of short greetings threads by newbies whose postcount = their thread's postcount; this means their threads got buried and they have been ignored.

A copy/pasted message is worse and more impersonal than being ignored completely? REALLY?

When my message will, in many cases cause and enable newbies to make the trek into regular-hood?

Is it any wonder so many newbs went inactive? Sure some were uncommitted from the start. But I bet what I am up to might lessen the rate of newbies turning inactive; is it not worth trying in any case?

If not enough people are following Moo's advice to look for low post greetings posts, and make personalized answers, or at least don't have the time to get around to the 100th ignored newbie, should we not try something new IN ADDITION?
 

Pojo

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Oh thank God you stopped...It's incredibly annoying seeing so many of those things...I can see what you're trying to do, but you could have just made a thread on the Intro board, or you could have changed your posts, instead of just copying/pasting...

A copy/pasted message is worse and more impersonal than being ignored completely? REALLY?
It depends. It's definitely more impersonal, seeing as your intention was try to get more newbies active, but were you still thinking that after the 20th time posting?

Is it any wonder so many newbs went inactive? Sure some were uncommitted from the start. But I bet what I am up to might lessen the rate of newbies turning inactive; is it not worth trying in any case?
How do you know that newbies aren't posting because their greetings are being "ignored"?
 

Wegs

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Oh thank God you stopped...It's incredibly annoying seeing so many of those things...I can see what you're trying to do, but you could have just made a thread on the Intro board, or you could have changed your posts, instead of just copying/pasting...
I agree. I can see what you are trying to do, but it was really annoying to see the same message in every greeting and intro that has existed within (what I can only assume) the past 2 months.
 

Raccoon

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Oh thank God you stopped...It's incredibly annoying seeing so many of those things...I can see what you're trying to do, but you could have just made a thread on the Intro board, or you could have changed your posts, instead of just copying/pasting...
No, I could not have made a thread on the intro board. That is the whole point. It would have been moved because it was not a bona-fide greeting thread. I tried that before and my thread got moved elsewhere by a mod. He was right to do so in that under our present structure only true greeting threads go in the greetings forum, other than stickies. But I maintain there are newbie specific threads - important ones - like whom should you trust? - that only have homes where newbies will not see them.

I am involving the newbies as well as making a point. Anyone decrying my approach, please hold off for a week, then feel free to tell the newbies I have prodded into activity what a mistake my actions were.

I agree. I can see what you are trying to do, but it was really annoying to see the same message in every greeting and intro that has existed within (what I can only assume) the past 2 months.
6+ pages of active newbies in like the last 3 weeks. The rate of influx is so great that unless a newbie is greeted, maybe the same day, his intro is already on page 2 with no chance of being responded to

EDIT - I have received feedback, not all of it positive; that is all well and good. But if you "simply do not approve" I would very much like to hear why :) - and even better, I would love to hear alternatives.
 
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Dash

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I'm gonna be honest with you, because that's how I am.

I really admire your efforts - if anything we really need that encouragement to have new users open up and feel comfortable when using the forum.

On the other hand, I think the repetitiveness of the post is more of an issue than you think. Yes, it's getting the point across - but when I reply to intro threads I try to give a personal touch wherever I can. Making that insightful link with their initial post says more than just "welcome"... it says:

"I am listening, and I am your friend. I am here if you need any assistance, or even just a chat. I hope you come to like the website and feel comfortable here."

Because that's what I want. I still remember when I first posted on ADISC. Mickal (or Hardcore_Mickal) was the first person to reply, and as I recall he commented on something I said in my intro, and that made me feel more welcome than a simple "hey, welcome, enjoy"

If I thought he copied and pasted that to everyone else in the intros sub-forum, it would feel no different than if he did just post "hey, welcome, enjoy" because there would be nothing personal about it.

To me, it's about connecting with that one user to make them feel welcome.

If I told you I was a DJ in my intro, and you said something like "awesome, you DJ! What sort of stuff do you mix?" - that's enough to make me feel welcome, don't you think? You show that you have listened to what I have to say, and in response have shown an interest in something that is clearly important to me.

It's simply about making people feel like you are really glad they are here and decided to join the forums. Making them feel as if they belong; feel at home. That's what a welcome is, after all.

There's no question about it - that IS the best way to get that ball rolling.

D.


EDIT: Don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of the very simplistic impersonal welcome, too. But now that we've discussed it, I will act on it in future 'welcomes'. :)
 

skinnypuppy

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I make a point of looking at the Greetings area several times a day, and up to now there have been no more than five threads that needed to be looked at each time I go there. As I write this, there are 82.

If I had seen that while it was happening (now it's 5 or 6 hours after the fact) I would have been livid. Now I'm just disturbed.

It is bad enough that a one-liner is added to each greeting by several people. The half-page post is apparently meant to encourage the new member to be an active member. However it is so wordy and over-the-top that it might actually turn the reader off (even the first time read, not to mention anytime after number 5).

I'm not going to contribute anything other than this, my own personal rant, to the discussion. There has been enough stirred up already. But I'm now going to ignore the threads with this post in them, and that might make me miss someone's intro thread, someone with whom I might have otherwise struck up an immediate friendship. My loss. :sad: :(
 

dogboy

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I've been wondering why newbies in their intros don't tell us more about themselves. When I registered, there was information saying what I should tell about myself. I followed the outline. I also looked at other people's posts and tried to do a reasonably good job. So why do so many say, "Hey, just new here. Cool site." or "Whxdeadxp!" and that's it. Then we all respond with, "tell us something about yourself." What part of telling something is so hard or misunderstood? Maybe it's just laziness, but then that doesn't make for a good start.
 

Raccoon

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I make a point of looking at the Greetings area several times a day, and up to now there have been no more than five threads that needed to be looked at each time I go there. As I write this, there are 82.
You are partially right. I take the credit or blame for my actions; I did indeed make replies in many consecutive threads. This was certainly not to see a wall of my name or up my postcount, and I commend both of you for not picking on that; your criticisms were reasonable.

But please click on the home page; half the members active today are bright blue newbies. They all posted a greetings thread and await a response, which they'll probably not get, their threads having become buried 6+ pages deep. So is there a real difference between ignoring a greetings thread that was last posted to by me or by the OP?

If I had seen that while it was happening (now it's 5 or 6 hours after the fact) I would have been livid. Now I'm just disturbed.
It is bad enough that a one-liner is added to each greeting by several people. The half-page post is apparently meant to encourage the new member to be an active member. However it is so wordy and over-the-top that it might actually turn the reader off (even the first time read, not to mention anytime after number 5).
Responses so far have been mixed; one guy loved it, another ignored it completely. Now while there is such a thing as too long or too short, as you rightly point out, "perfect post length" is a matter of opinion; I'll judge that according to all the responses I get.

I'm not going to contribute anything other than this, my own personal rant, to the discussion. There has been enough stirred up already. But I'm now going to ignore the threads with this post in them, and that might make me miss someone's intro thread, someone with whom I might have otherwise struck up an immediate friendship. My loss. :sad: :(
I assume you mean "the threads with the most recent reply being by Raccoon," not "the threads with this post in them." However, note that if I do respond to a newbie prodded into action, my name will still be listed as I am the most recent poster to the thread.

I'm gonna be honest with you, because that's how I am.

I really admire your efforts - if anything we really need that encouragement to have new users open up and feel comfortable when using the forum.

On the other hand, I think the repetitiveness of the post is more of an issue than you think. Yes, it's getting the point across - but when I reply to intro threads I try to give a personal touch wherever I can. Making that insightful link with their initial post says more than just "welcome"... it says:

"I am listening, and I am your friend. I am here if you need any assistance, or even just a chat. I hope you come to like the website and feel comfortable here."

Because that's what I want. I still remember when I first posted on ADISC. Mickal (or Hardcore_Mickal) was the first person to reply, and as I recall he commented on something I said in my intro, and that made me feel more welcome than a simple "hey, welcome, enjoy"

If I thought he copied and pasted that to everyone else in the intros sub-forum, it would feel no different than if he did just post "hey, welcome, enjoy" because there would be nothing personal about it.

To me, it's about connecting with that one user to make them feel welcome.

If I told you I was a DJ in my intro, and you said something like "awesome, you DJ! What sort of stuff do you mix?" - that's enough to make me feel welcome, don't you think? You show that you have listened to what I have to say, and in response have shown an interest in something that is clearly important to me.

It's simply about making people feel like you are really glad they are here and decided to join the forums. Making them feel as if they belong; feel at home. That's what a welcome is, after all.

There's no question about it - that IS the best way to get that ball rolling.

D.


EDIT: Don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of the very simplistic impersonal welcome, too. But now that we've discussed it, I will act on it in future 'welcomes'. :)
And you are absolutely right - in an ideal world, or more precisely, on a site of ideal size, every newbie would get a personalized reply, and that's the kind of reply I have made to newbies for 3 odd years. In early ADISC I had among the highest postcounts largely from greeting newbies.

But for whatever reason, we have been falling behind, and people who came here expecting to welcomed into the fold got left out in the cold. I am not blaming the newbies for their numbers or members for sticking to their favorite (non-greetings) forums or Moo for inviting them or VIP's for having a snotty attitude towards them. (All of these are gross generalizations anyway and the failings of some should not blacken the name of many.) While I create long and carefully edited posts I am guilty of not greeting newbies either; blame is not only unfair but pointless.

So I sent out an automated post designed to elicit response; I shall reply to those responses with a personalized reply, as I made plain all along.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you have any other ideas please list them. Otherwise, the best we can do is all make a commitment to greet one newbie/session. Unfortunately this is not happening and it is not enforceable. If the regulars, VIP's, and staff don't interact with the newbies enough, the only group left is the newbies themselves - and Raccoon.
 
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Moo

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Better to give a personal reply to two, than an impersonal reply to twenty.

Ultimately, someone who gets no responses may understand, given the busy nature of the forum. Or, they might get one later. Or, they might get a friendly welcome after their second post.

But someone who gets a copied-and-pasted message as their first response... well... personally, I'd prefer to get either a *totally* automatic message (one sent to all newbies, upon signup, automatically) or a welcome by a human being. This hybrid suggests that either the forum is not advanced enough to have a truly automated welcome message, or just doesn't care enough about its new users.
 

Dash

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Moo hits the nail on the head with the last... *counts* nine words there. :)

The best and most realistic solution that I can see, taking into consideration what you (Raccoon) said about the high numbers of newbies coming to the forum at any given time, is to encourage ALL of our regular users - being the "residents" of the forum if u like - to look into the intros forum every now and then and post something insightful. Not all the time, but it's one of those things that if everybody pitches in a little bit, greeting a few people with a PROPER welcome, we could at least make a dent in it.

So how do we encourage our VIPs and regs? Sticky threads. A bit in the newsletter. A straight-up PM to every reg and VIP on the forum! There's a thousand ways to do it. It's just finding the best one.

Point being; the reason regulars and VIPs are given their respective title, is because of their dedication and insightful posts across the forum. With that in mind, there's a bloody big problem if none of us can post a good reply to another user's introduction.

D.


EDIT: Have just noticed the sticky on "how to welcome newbies" or whatever it's called. Perhaps we could post something similar in the regulars' forum as suggested, seeing how part of the problem is actually getting users to even go into the intro forum. Just a thought?
 
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Raccoon

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Yes, automated messages to members might help. These should not be too frequent or too long; they should not have a feel of automatedness but feel like the come from Moo personally. Or perhaps they should come from ADISC itself: the site speaking to its members as if it is alive.
Kind of an ad-hoc newsletter. Congratulation notices, birthday greetings, special occasions like promotions, webmaster PM's on special topics ?
 
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