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Author Topic: Bitcoin forum is terrible  (Read 5800 times)
Astro
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June 23, 2011, 02:39:59 PM
 #41

The solution has already been proposed and rejected (paid forum), and since that time the forum has become even more useless and is now just a place for bitcoin enemies to collect comedy fodder for regurgitation on other sites.  Financial-based forums ONLY work when they are fee-based.

I find it difficult to believe that users of a forum about a currency would be so violently opposed to direct participation in the economy they want to promote.
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Meni Rosenfeld
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June 23, 2011, 02:48:05 PM
 #42

Personally I do not like referral-programs, I never did. I am more of the opinion that if you create a business online or elsewhere, focus mainly on creating a great service, and customers will come, and they will tell others about your service.
I completely agree! But practically speaking, experience shows you can get more with a mediocre service and good marketing than with a good service and mediocre marketing. People should indeed strive to offer the best possible service, but they would do well not to neglect an honest, respectful yet effective marketing if they do not wish their great service to remain unused. (It's the "respectful" part that some of the referral spammers don't get...)

Your disagreement is noted, and I do understand why. Smiley But that's the way it is, people will have different opinions... I understand other people will have a different view on this, and esp. those who are personally benefiting from the referral links. I am sure you and me would not agree on that particular issue, so let's just agree that we disagree. Smiley
Come on, we're not that different you and I. The main thing that prompted my objection is that my affiliation with Tradehill is actually a step up from being a mere referral whore. So referring to them has some qualities of linking to my own services, leaving me confused if I am allowed to do one but not the other.

PS. I actually also have my own service, which I do not yet link to in my signature for strategic reasons.

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June 23, 2011, 03:50:28 PM
 #43

The bitcoin forum used to be a place of lively discussion of political and economic theories and practices.  Now it has descended into a junk name-calling forum full of irrelevant and ridiculous topics, each topic full of irrelevant and ridiculous posts.  Can anyone suggest an alternative bitcoin forum for me to join?  Is there any?

If only there were an appropriate corresponding sub-forum to post this in ...
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June 23, 2011, 04:29:20 PM
 #44

The bitcoin forum used to be a place of lively discussion of political and economic theories and practices.  Now it has descended into a junk name-calling forum full of irrelevant and ridiculous topics, each topic full of irrelevant and ridiculous posts.  Can anyone suggest an alternative bitcoin forum for me to join?  Is there any?


Look at my sigline.
Astro
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June 23, 2011, 08:31:56 PM
 #45

If only there were an appropriate corresponding sub-forum to post this in ...

Being a moderator sycophant isn't going to score you any points.

Yes, by all means, let's hide this thread in Meta like the retarded stepchild in the attic. 

We want this issue to be discussed and seen, so the only place it should go is in Bitcoin Discussion.
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June 23, 2011, 08:40:36 PM
 #46

I wish the trolls would go away. All they do is hurt the public perception of Bitcoin. They make stupid threads about losing 20k Bitcoins, 400, etc.
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June 23, 2011, 09:06:40 PM
 #47

I wish the trolls would go away. All they do is hurt the public perception of Bitcoin. They make stupid threads about losing 20k Bitcoins, 400, etc.

I agree, if we only had more level headed posters like you this place would be a lot better off.

That, ahem, being said... It's clearly a moderation failure to some great degree. There are plenty of higher traffic forums than this that maintain a much higher S/N ratio. You can think laissez faire works great for economics, but it's a clear proven failure for forums. A little moderation goes a long way, there has to be a broken window theory type process going on here where people see mayhem and shit S/N and decide to contribute to it because obviously nobody cares about the forums very much.

I mean really, there are obvious trolls (no offense imperi), pyramid schemes, rehashed flame wars and hucksters all over the main subforums. Spend a few days with a real editorial policy and suddenly there'd be a lot less of that going on to have to moderate. It seems the main problem is that the moderators are mostly just checked out, maybe nobody's really in charge or they've moved on to greener pastures.
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June 23, 2011, 10:05:02 PM
 #48

I wish the trolls would go away. All they do is hurt the public perception of Bitcoin. They make stupid threads about losing 20k Bitcoins, 400, etc.

I agree, if we only had more level headed posters like you this place would be a lot better off.

That, ahem, being said... It's clearly a moderation failure to some great degree. There are plenty of higher traffic forums than this that maintain a much higher S/N ratio. You can think laissez faire works great for economics, but it's a clear proven failure for forums. A little moderation goes a long way, there has to be a broken window theory type process going on here where people see mayhem and shit S/N and decide to contribute to it because obviously nobody cares about the forums very much.

I mean really, there are obvious trolls (no offense imperi), pyramid schemes, rehashed flame wars and hucksters all over the main subforums. Spend a few days with a real editorial policy and suddenly there'd be a lot less of that going on to have to moderate. It seems the main problem is that the moderators are mostly just checked out, maybe nobody's really in charge or they've moved on to greener pastures.
Or maybe, they are proponents of free speech and not censorship.  If someone creates a post about a new pyramid scheme they have created, and it is removed, wouldn't that be considered censorship?  Or if someone wants to report that their 25k BTC went missing, but their thread was deleted, would that REALLY look good for bitcoin?

The nature of new people constantly joining up means that conversations and arguments WILL be rehashed.  There are a few trolls who need to be brought under control, but other than that, I see no need for extra moderation.
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June 23, 2011, 10:16:47 PM
 #49

There are a few trolls who need to be brought under control, but other than that, I see no need for extra moderation.

An ignore button would go a long way toward fixing that, IMO.

An up/down voting system with the result of enough downvotes in relation to the upvotes being a TROLL marking, similar to the SCAMMER one (maybe little troll icons instead of coins)?

I'm sure some of them would wear it proudly.

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June 23, 2011, 10:38:43 PM
 #50

There are a few trolls who need to be brought under control, but other than that, I see no need for extra moderation.

An ignore button would go a long way toward fixing that, IMO.

An up/down voting system with the result of enough downvotes in relation to the upvotes being a TROLL marking, similar to the SCAMMER one (maybe little troll icons instead of coins)?

I'm sure some of them would wear it proudly.
Ignore would be great.  Voting system, not so much, as it could be easily abused.  Just think about groups of trolls working in tandem, and how they could really screw things up with a public voting system.
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June 23, 2011, 10:44:23 PM
 #51

Ignore would be great.  Voting system, not so much, as it could be easily abused.  Just think about groups of trolls working in tandem, and how they could really screw things up with a public voting system.

Some sort of rep system could be set up... But I agree it could be abused, if not properly managed or weighted. Might be more work than it's worth.

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SMTB1963
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June 23, 2011, 11:43:20 PM
 #52

That, ahem, being said... It's clearly a moderation failure to some great degree. There are plenty of higher traffic forums than this that maintain a much higher S/N ratio. You can think laissez faire works great for economics, but it's a clear proven failure for forums.

HERESY!  (just joking)  Grin

A little moderation goes a long way, there has to be a broken window theory type process going on here where people see mayhem and shit S/N and decide to contribute to it because obviously nobody cares about the forums very much.

I mean really, there are obvious trolls (no offense imperi), pyramid schemes, rehashed flame wars and hucksters all over the main subforums. Spend a few days with a real editorial policy and suddenly there'd be a lot less of that going on to have to moderate. It seems the main problem is that the moderators are mostly just checked out, maybe nobody's really in charge or they've moved on to greener pastures.

Yeah, this is a real clisterfick of a forum.  When I first visited here, I saw plenty of user handles with "Moderator" underneath - many of them with posts in the "Newbies" section - so I assumed that there were some reasonable posting rules here that were actively enforced.  Turns out, the only rule I subsequently found was this posted by Atlas: "Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules."  Since then, sirius posted a Forum Moderation Policy that has been met with considerable resistance.  It's inexplicable, given the current sorry state of affairs.

To be fair, this forum probably needed very little moderation in the past (I wish I was here then), and the recent tsunami of new users here might've caught the admins/moderators off-guard.  They appear to be addressing the situation, so I'll be taking a wait & see approach.

Or maybe, they are proponents of free speech and not censorship.

It's a matter of priorities.  Seems to me if your primary goal is to promote bitcoin by providing a forum where interested parties can exchange useful ideas and solutions, then "free speech" takes a back seat to that goal.  (at least to some extent)  There has always been tension between Quality Information/Free Speech, and the mayhem observable on this forum confirms that.  Member JohnDoe pretty much covers it in two sentences.

There are a few trolls who need to be brought under control, but other than that, I see no need for extra moderation.

Well, I see a lot more than just "a few" trolls here, but I won't argue that with you on that.  But I would ask how do you propose the trolls be brought under control?  Warnings from a moderator?  And if a troll refuses to heed the warning, what are you left with?  The only other remaining options are suspension or ban - i.e., censorship.  Is there another option I'm unaware of?

I'm kinda glad you chimed in on this thread, Sgt.  You're the proprietor of the forum in your sig, right?  I visited bitcoinforums.net earlier today, and (if I read correctly) you seem to be in the process of working out a posting policy.  Right now, you've listed the following rules:

Quote
Remember to follow the forum rules and expectations listed below:
- Be polite and respectful of other forum users
- Try to search for an answer to your question before asking it - it's very possible your question has already been asked.
- We expect a certain level of poster intelligence. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is encouraged.
- Do not advertise illegal items for sale in the forums. If it is legal in the country you reside in, that is fine, but you may only sell to people whom it is legal to sell it to.
- Do not spam the same text/statements/advertisements in multiple threads.

Seems reasonable to me.  But your list begs the question: what are the consequences for violating these rules?  Damn near every forum worth its salt that I've ever visited enumerates the penalties for violators.  If they don't, you may as well assume that there are no consequences - and therefore no meaningful rules either.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not picking on you, your site, or your rules and expectations.  Quite the opposite in fact, I applaud you for setting out some reasonable rules at your site's inception (which is more than can be said for this place).
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June 24, 2011, 12:17:16 AM
 #53

@TheManOfTown - I may be interested in participating in such a forum.
I disagree about the "no referral link" rule though.

Your disagreement is noted, and I do understand why. Smiley But that's the way it is, people will have different opinions. Personally I do not like referral-programs, I never did. I am more of the opinion that if you create a business online or elsewhere, focus mainly on creating a great service, and customers will come, and they will tell others about your service. I understand other people will have a different view on this, and esp. those who are personally benefiting from the referral links. I am sure you and me would not agree on that particular issue, so let's just agree that we disagree. Smiley

Just for the record, not everyone benefits from referral links. I for one know of a site, www.eurobilltracker.com, that doesn't pay or reward in any way for using referral links. All users gain by referring people is a higher position in a ranking, as in "Wow this guy brought 32 other people here!".

That said, I've never used my referral link to that site Smiley.

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June 24, 2011, 12:24:50 AM
 #54

If someone creates a post about a new pyramid scheme they have created, and it is removed, wouldn't that be considered censorship?  Or if someone wants to report that their 25k BTC went missing, but their thread was deleted, would that REALLY look good for bitcoin?

Original postings wouldn't need to be removed/censored, a simple edition by the moderators would be enough. There's a recent thread that features some red bold letters added by a mod, warning users that the post could be a scam.

We already have a "Report to moderator" link that appears in each and every post. Let's use it.

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June 24, 2011, 01:09:37 AM
 #55

didn't we already try a +/- voting system? IIRC some troll single-handedly killed it by rating everyone and everything into the ground..
a more sophisticated solution was discussed but seems to be difficult to implement with smf.

i think a personal blacklist would help a lot, and some way to have a whitelist and a separate "stream" with only posts of whitelisted people would be really awesome.

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June 24, 2011, 02:33:35 AM
 #56

Or maybe, they are proponents of free speech and not censorship.

It's a matter of priorities.  Seems to me if your primary goal is to promote bitcoin by providing a forum where interested parties can exchange useful ideas and solutions, then "free speech" takes a back seat to that goal.  (at least to some extent)  There has always been tension between Quality Information/Free Speech, and the mayhem observable on this forum confirms that.  Member JohnDoe pretty much covers it in two sentences.

There are a few trolls who need to be brought under control, but other than that, I see no need for extra moderation.

Well, I see a lot more than just "a few" trolls here, but I won't argue that with you on that.  But I would ask how do you propose the trolls be brought under control?  Warnings from a moderator?  And if a troll refuses to heed the warning, what are you left with?  The only other remaining options are suspension or ban - i.e., censorship.  Is there another option I'm unaware of?

I'm kinda glad you chimed in on this thread, Sgt.  You're the proprietor of the forum in your sig, right?  I visited bitcoinforums.net earlier today, and (if I read correctly) you seem to be in the process of working out a posting policy.  Right now, you've listed the following rules:

Quote
Remember to follow the forum rules and expectations listed below:
- Be polite and respectful of other forum users
- Try to search for an answer to your question before asking it - it's very possible your question has already been asked.
- We expect a certain level of poster intelligence. Use of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation is encouraged.
- Do not advertise illegal items for sale in the forums. If it is legal in the country you reside in, that is fine, but you may only sell to people whom it is legal to sell it to.
- Do not spam the same text/statements/advertisements in multiple threads.

Seems reasonable to me.  But your list begs the question: what are the consequences for violating these rules?  Damn near every forum worth its salt that I've ever visited enumerates the penalties for violators.  If they don't, you may as well assume that there are no consequences - and therefore no meaningful rules either.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not picking on you, your site, or your rules and expectations.  Quite the opposite in fact, I applaud you for setting out some reasonable rules at your site's inception (which is more than can be said for this place).
I suppose I was being inappropriately sarcastic regarding my free speech comment.  Being that this forum is a second stop for many people interested in finding out more about what bitcoins are all about, we do need to be at least somewhat careful with what is posted.  Make a good first impression and all of that.

How to deal with trolls here?  If it were me, I'd give a warning for each instance of obvious trolling.  3 warnings = a ban.  They can write up a ban appeal to possibly get unbanned if they want, and the moderators would review it and vote on whether they believe the person would correct their behavior and should be given a second chance.

Thanks for pointing out that I need more information for my own forum's procedures for dealing with rule breakers.  That should definitely be specified, at least to some extent.  I imagine the procedure will end up similarly to what I just stated above.
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June 24, 2011, 02:39:08 AM
 #57

You think this forum is horrible, the MTGOX support forum is like a seething hellish troll slaughter orgy trainwreck.
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June 24, 2011, 05:12:43 AM
 #58

Report obvious trolling and off-topic posts.

You may specify more strict rules in your OP, and moderators should moderate according to these rules as long as the rules are reasonable and very clear. For example, you could ban certain words (though you must specify the words).

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June 24, 2011, 05:15:31 AM
 #59

Yes the forum is terrible. It has been proposed many times to improve it to focus on customer support and development (see also the "Kill the politics forum" thread) and kill the trolling parts. But the admins simply choose to ignore this, it seems.

Note that the forum admins are an almost completely distinct group from the bitcoin devs so don't rail on the devs please because of this Smiley

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June 24, 2011, 04:26:58 PM
 #60

How to deal with trolls here?  If it were me, I'd give a warning for each instance of obvious trolling.  3 warnings = a ban.  They can write up a ban appeal to possibly get unbanned if they want, and the moderators would review it and vote on whether they believe the person would correct their behavior and should be given a second chance.

Thanks for pointing out that I need more information for my own forum's procedures for dealing with rule breakers.  That should definitely be specified, at least to some extent.  I imagine the procedure will end up similarly to what I just stated above.

Your approach seems very reasonable, and certainly in line with what I read after a quick search on "forum moderation best practices".  I might just have to go over to bitcoinforums.net and register (if you'll have me!)   Cheesy

You think this forum is horrible, the MTGOX support forum is like a seething hellish troll slaughter orgy trainwreck.

ROFL...I'll be looking for ways to use that phrase in everyday conversation.  Gotta suck being a mod @MtGox right now.

Note that the forum admins are an almost completely distinct group from the bitcoin devs so don't rail on the devs please because of this Smiley

Excellent point.  Although it kinda makes you wonder who's in charge here, because IMO this forum is a liability for bitcoin adoption.  It's bitcoin.org for christ's sake!  Since the devs have as much (or more) skin in this game as anyone, I'd expect them to be the most vocal proponents of cleaning up this place.  (not publicly on the forum, of course)

EDIT: Har!  We're in Other/Meta now!  Be careful what you ask for, eh?  I'll take it as a good sign, though.
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