Increase of Off-topic postings - stronger measures required?

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Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
189
Especially the "Test & Measurement" forum is seeing a lot of off-topic posting where people start threads about issues and questions that have nothing to do with the topics which are clearly described as "Test equipment selection, measurement techniques, best practices (ie. oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, waveform generators, etc.)".

Another member has already put up a Sticky that reminds people what the topics are in this forum, but this is also being ignored.

So far I've just reported off-topic postings with a request to the Mods to move it to a more appropriate place. However, the question could be raised if this is enough, as people clearly ignore the forum structure which, at the end of the day, exists for a reason.

I therefore suggest that members that create an off-topic post are warned once and that subsequent off-topic posts will result in some form of penalty. Also, off-topic threads should be deleted, not just moved, to give the offender an opportunity to re-post in the correct section.

Opinions?
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,471
Especially the "Test & Measurement" forum is seeing a lot of off-topic posting where people start threads about issues and questions that have nothing to do with the topics which are clearly described as "Test equipment selection, measurement techniques, best practices (ie. oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, waveform generators, etc.)".

Another member has already put up a Sticky that reminds people what the topics are in this forum, but this is also being ignored.

So far I've just reported off-topic postings with a request to the Mods to move it to a more appropriate place. However, the question could be raised if this is enough, as people clearly ignore the forum structure which, at the end of the day, exists for a reason.

I therefore suggest that members that create an off-topic post are warned once and that subsequent off-topic posts will result in some form of penalty. Also, off-topic threads should be deleted, not just moved, to give the offender an opportunity to re-post in the correct section.

Opinions?
The worlds "penalty" and "offender" in your post brought me memories of my past experiences with Stack Exchange where you find those patrolmen (who seem) dedicated just to preserve a sacred Olympic flame... while rejecting all "homework-like" questions (they words).

I admire the regular contributors here that insist in helping those coming to AAC even if they do not show the proverbial schematic.
 

Thread Starter

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
189
The worlds "penalty" and "offender" in your post brought me memories of my past experiences with Stack Exchange where you find those patrolmen (who seem) dedicated just to preserve a sacred Olympic flame... while rejecting all "homework-like" questions (they words).

I admire the regular contributors here that insist in helping those coming to AAC even if they do not show the proverbial schematic.

That is all good and well but then why even have different forum categories in the first place? Just have one and dump everything in that one.

I know this forum exists to help beginners but that help should not be a one-way street, i.e. the least we can expect is that some basic rules are followed. And in my opinion that includes checking that a post goes into the correct category.

You'd think this should be standard courtesy but clearly it isn't.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,904
That is all good and well but then why even have different forum categories in the first place? Just have one and dump everything in that one.

I know this forum exists to help beginners but that help should not be a one-way street, i.e. the least we can expect is that some basic rules are followed. And in my opinion that includes checking that a post goes into the correct category.

You'd think this should be standard courtesy but clearly it isn't.
Starship troopers are not made in one day.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,155
That is all good and well but then why even have different forum categories in the first place? Just have one and dump everything in that one.

I know this forum exists to help beginners but that help should not be a one-way street, i.e. the least we can expect is that some basic rules are followed. And in my opinion that includes checking that a post goes into the correct category.

You'd think this should be standard courtesy but clearly it isn't.
This issue has been around as long as I’ve been here. I remember wondering where my first posts should go. It’s not always easy to choose, from a position of ignorance. And it’s not obvious why anyone cares. I think a question is a little more likely to get feedback when it fits a category, but that may not even be true. I do believe homework is a different animal but otherwise I’m not so sure.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,915
I therefore suggest that members that create an off-topic post are warned once and that subsequent off-topic posts will result in some form of penalty. Also, off-topic threads should be deleted, not just moved, to give the offender an opportunity to re-post in the correct section.
Opinions?
What kind of penalties are you suggesting??
Many, of us put time in here in order to help others who are seeking help, like some who have left already, if I am to be somehow berated or belittled after spending my time trying to help, it would require some second thoughts.
I find the whole quoted sentence rather condescending.
Max.
 

Thread Starter

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
189
What kind of penalties are you suggesting??
Many, of us put time in here in order to help others who are seeking help, like some who have left already, if I am to be somehow berated or belittled after spending my time trying to help, it would require some second thoughts.
I find the whole quoted sentence rather condescending.
Max.
I think it's less the people that try to help that are the problem but some of the people who seek help, so the helpers wouldn't be affected.

And as someone who has here and there virtually lent a hand, I don't want to waste time wading through unrelated posts. And I know I'm not the only one. And if that's not a new problem then I'm not surprised that some people may well have decided it's not worth it.

But I agree that penalties might not be necessary. If the off-topic thread was just deleted (where the poster would get a message saying it was deleted as it was off-topic in this category) then that should be sufficient.
 

Thread Starter

Wuerstchenhund

Joined Aug 31, 2017
189
I remember wondering where my first posts should go. It’s not always easy to choose, from a position of ignorance.
Well, there's "General Electronics Chat" which should fit anything that can't be clearly assigned to one of the other categories. And it should be pretty obvious why for example a RF related question shouldn't go in for example "Digital Circuit Design".

All categories have descriptions that cleary explain what topics go in. It's not rocket science, really.

And it’s not obvious why anyone cares. I think a question is a little more likely to get feedback when it fits a category, but that may not even be true. I do believe homework is a different animal but otherwise I’m not so sure.
Some people like me care because they often are only interested in certain topics so won't read other parts of the forum. That already means that help seekers lose out if the question is in the wrong subform.

Also, with the off-topic traffic increasing, it may well not be worth for helpers to spend time to filter out all the off-topic posts just so they can help those that seek help.

As I said, this shouldn't be a one-way street. If you want help then the least you can do is make sure that your question/problem is at least somewhat related to the subform you're posting in.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,973
I've started noticing more posts that are in the wrong forum and have been moving them. One hope other moderators will start noticing as well. I suspect some users post where they think their post will receive the most attention rather than looking for the most appropriate forum.
 

ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
14,171
hi,
As Dick says when we see or get a report of a 'mis-located' Thread, as Moderators, we move it to the appropriate Forum.
I cannot see any sense in suggesting penalising an offending member for posting in the 'wrong' Forum.

If you are not happy with a particular Thread, use the Report button, Moderation will deal with it as required, its that simple.

E
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
23,915
I assume the OP was triggered by a thread created by myself a couple of days ago.
Apparently I had posted it in 'HIS' forum.
I assume it was reported as the next day I noticed my thread moved, and the OP's rather snide post deleted.
In itself, I had no problem with the re-location.
Max.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
Especially the "Test & Measurement" forum is seeing a lot of off-topic posting where people start threads about issues and questions that have nothing to do with the topics which are clearly described as "Test equipment selection, measurement techniques, best practices (ie. oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, waveform generators, etc.)".

Another member has already put up a Sticky that reminds people what the topics are in this forum, but this is also being ignored.

So far I've just reported off-topic postings with a request to the Mods to move it to a more appropriate place. However, the question could be raised if this is enough, as people clearly ignore the forum structure which, at the end of the day, exists for a reason.

I therefore suggest that members that create an off-topic post are warned once and that subsequent off-topic posts will result in some form of penalty. Also, off-topic threads should be deleted, not just moved, to give the offender an opportunity to re-post in the correct section.

Opinions?
One thing to keep in mind is that dealing with misplaced threads is well down the task list. Taking precedence are spam, threads that are in blatant violation of the ToS/UA, duplicate threads, and homework in non-homework forums (and more or less in that order). Misplaced threads are discussed as they are reported and may take a day or two to be acted upon to give as many mods a chance to chime in as practicable.
 

OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
3,566
I cannot see any sense in suggesting penalising an offending member for posting in the 'wrong' Forum.
I cannot see any sense in it either, especially since there will always be an infinite supply of new members. Inevitably, some of them will not understand the AAC structure and consequently misplace their queries. Punishment may deter the one punished, but will have no effect on those who come later.

No sense in playing severe, punitive whack-a-mole; just move the misplaced threads to the appropriate subforum.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
The worlds "penalty" and "offender" in your post brought me memories of my past experiences with Stack Exchange where you find those patrolmen (who seem) dedicated just to preserve a sacred Olympic flame... while rejecting all "homework-like" questions (they words).

I admire the regular contributors here that insist in helping those coming to AAC even if they do not show the proverbial schematic.

Stack Exchange is in the extreme. I think there is a happy medium somewhere. I do not think it is asking too much to expect people to follow certain standards when posting. Especially those that have been here a while and should know better.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Some people like me care because they often are only interested in certain topics so won't read other parts of the forum. That already means that help seekers lose out if the question is in the wrong subform.

Also, with the off-topic traffic increasing, it may well not be worth for helpers to spend time to filter out all the off-topic posts just so they can help those that seek help.

As I said, this shouldn't be a one-way street. If you want help then the least you can do is make sure that your question/problem is at least somewhat related to the subform you're posting in.

I think the issue goes deeper than that. I have to wonder what on earth people are thinking when they post to the wrong forum. Is it that don't care? Are they simply clueless?

Sometimes it is a judgment call of where it should go you can forgive those too. We probably all though a thread should go one place but mods felt otherwise.

And I think we posted in the wrong forum by mistake at a time or two. You get distracted and it just happens. When I do it and if I catch myself, I usually report my thread to the mods and ask it be moved.

But I think some people just don't care or don't take 2 minutes to read the purpose of the forum. And that kind of gets to me.
 
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