PDA

View Full Version : Forum Ch-ch-changes - Blog and Guidelines



Bump
09-14-2011, 08:35 PM
Sorry, no Bowie here; however we are working on a few changes that will becoming more apparent shortly: forum rule changes, small updates to infrastructure, reordering of top-level forums, and some blog-functionality updates as well.

I'm going to touch on the blog-functionality ch-ch-changes at this moment:
We're adding -Categories- to the blogs; categories like Propeller, BASIC Stamp, DIY, Robotics, Engineering, Renewable Energy, Programming and others.

Categories are user selected during blog-post creation (seen as check boxes below the blog entry field) and they function to... categorize content. Whoa! Categories that categorize?

Sarcasm aside, they should help people locate certain content once/if that content is correctly tagged. An example of this would be: creating a blog post about a robot you made with the Propeller chip and tagging it with "Robotics" and "Propeller". Currently everything is marked as "uncategorized", so to categorize those old blog entries you would need to go back and edit your blog posts to include categories.

We will monitor the categories to make sure that they're being used as intended.

I mentioned forum rules too, those are coming very soon.
Here is a sample of one change:

Clearly define your post:
Make certain that the intent of your post is known and can be easily read and understood by others. Your post might be a request for assistance, a question about a particular project, or a delightful musing; please include all necessary information that might aid the audience in a response.

There are a few things to consider when being concise in your posting: ensure the title is clear (ambiguous titles might become targets for moderation), define the elements of your post, and pick the proper forum for posting.
That's taken from the rough draft of the new discussion forums guidelines; individual forums will have additional rules as well, to allow governance over topics per realm.

potatohead
09-15-2011, 05:09 AM
Decided to check out the categories. Let's say I have a display driver. That means, "Propeller", "Programming" for sure. Done. What do we mean by "Art and Display?"

Edit: Well, I think it means a post related to either "art" or "display", and I'm taking "display" in the loose, general sense, not the more precise "display device", like TV, VGA, etc...

Loopy Byteloose
09-15-2011, 10:27 AM
Change is the only constant, so please proceed. There is that old saying about 'try, try again'.
I just fear there is something about websites that makes them subject to perpetual tweaks. What I most fear is that I just can't find the things I most cherish. The bottom line is that i know Parallax really wants to provide us with the best experience possible. Any yet, linguistics are rather insidious and have a way of muddling sound logic.

Heater.
09-15-2011, 11:17 AM
We have blogs here? I thought people told what they are doing on the forum. I must be missing a whole world of propeller action. Actually I don't think I can make time in the day to check even one more thing on the internet. My bandwidth is saturated.

erco
09-15-2011, 04:02 PM
Is it my imagination, or has overall forum participation dropped dramatically with all this recent & somewhat oppressive talk of extra moderation, guidelines & rules started? I feel myself throttling back already. I have more important things to do than pour over new rules and worry about whether I am in the right forum, sub-forum, etc. TTYTT, I thought things were mighty fine as they were.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-15-2011, 04:32 PM
I don't know that a bunch of new rules is going to change anything. For one thing, people will have to read them. Most won't.

The one thing, in my experience, that keeps the forum civil and threads on-topic is simply participation by Parallax employees. By participation, I don't mean moderating, but just contributing to or commenting on a thread. It's Parallax's forum, after all, and we regulars know that they care about the forum participants and what goes on here. But it helps others -- and us, too -- to be reminded from time to time. My sense is that there's been less employee participation in the past year -- particularly from the dev and tech-support crew. I don't mean that as an indictment, and my sense could be mistaken; but if true, I'm sure it's because the entire staff is pressed backs-to-the-wall with new product development. But still, more employee forum participation would not only encourage civility by example and help the forum to gel around a Parallax-centric theme, but it would also help Parallax to keep its finger on the pulse of what people are doing -- or want to do -- with its products.

-Phil

davejames
09-15-2011, 05:06 PM
Is it my imagination, or has overall forum participation dropped dramatically with all this recent & somewhat oppressive talk of extra moderation, guidelines & rules started?

Don't know if that's the reason, but I too have noticed a significant drop in activity. For myself I've been on the sidelines for the last few weeks.

graffix
09-15-2011, 05:22 PM
Depressing a lot of skilled people sitting on the sidelines or offering help like PJ noted.

Fxc2hh
09-15-2011, 05:42 PM
I don't know that a bunch of new rules is going to change anything. For one thing, people will have to read them. Most won't.

I went to college and I took a lot of English classes. I don't think asking the users to be more precise in their posts is going to change their skill with the English language.

I think the problem is the competition and users are coming in and talking about different brands and the market is always changing and highly competitive and talk about nonstandard parts is disruptive.

I think the problem last year was a few foul mouths due to moderators being on sabbatical.


Forum moderation is just a "make work" project. It doesn't generate plans to make kits for Parallax to sell. Unless people are submitting their Eagle files to Parallax to make their boards, Parallax isn't earning money for all the help in the forums. Unless people learn by doing, they aren't going to necessarily learn unless they are the pencil and notebook type because they need tutorials and kits.

I think you need more kits to sell the Propeller. Having a forum on Propeller theory is good to help people with their projects but its not generating income. Income comes from people buying chips, breadboards, resistors, cables, transistors, books and kits.

Anyway, they never really defined the problem, explained the problem, specified what they wanted done nor did they give consequences if it wasn't done. Can you chase away your customers and still get them to buy?

If you want to get people to buy, make them happy. Don't overly moderate.

graffix
09-15-2011, 06:36 PM
Well put,Phil and Chuckz.Not all users including myself are very good at explaining problems. Especially when they don't know what they are.Moderation itself isn't bad.It must be difficult to explain things to newer users also,and in a manner that is professional.Another level of difficulty is having to make a post and wait for a reply.I visited the IRC yesterday and went to ustream.It would be a good thing to have help on a more personal level.Idk

Bump
09-15-2011, 06:38 PM
Decided to check out the categories. Let's say I have a display driver. That means, "Propeller", "Programming" for sure. Done. What do we mean by "Art and Display?"

"Art and Display" will count for TV, VGA, and other lightning installations etc. There wasn't enough material either way to make a solid group for one or the other. Although I won't make the argument that Art and display (as in display devices) are similar, they do often cross paths.

The point was to make a reasonable slot for both, if more content for either is created we can split 'em up as needed.


I don't know that a bunch of new rules is going to change anything. For one thing, people will have to read them. Most won't.

The one thing, in my experience, that keeps the forum civil and threads on-topic is simply participation by Parallax employees. By participation, I don't mean moderating, but just contributing to or commenting on a thread. It's Parallax's forum, after all, and we regulars know that they care about the forum participants and what goes on here. But it helps others -- and us, too -- to be reminded from time to time. My sense is that there's been less employee participation in the past year -- particularly from the dev and tech-support crew. I don't mean that as an indictment, and my sense could be mistaken; but if true, I'm sure it's because the entire staff is pressed backs-to-the-wall with new product development. But still, more employee forum participation would not only encourage civility by example and help the forum to gel around a Parallax-centric theme, but it would also help Parallax to keep its finger on the pulse of what people are doing -- or want to do -- with its products.

-Phil

You're right! Simply changing the rules doesn't necessarily bring about change; however with rules in place we have something to fall back on when we have to point out why someone's post is being moderated. The rules are being changed to support more participation on our part.

We had our hands tied recently with a wave of complaints against a particular type of action that we had no ruling against, but that will change. Honestly the problem isn't with civility or being 'friendly' that's not something anyone could instill or force if the subject is unwilling, you're all just as friendly as you are wont to be. You will see a return of a few people though, good participators on the forums.

The other part of your post also brings me into the next quote...


I think you need more kits to sell the Propeller. Having a forum on Propeller theory is good to help people with their projects but its not generating income. Income comes from people buying chips, breadboards, resistors, cables, transistors, books and kits.

Anyway, they never really defined the problem, explained the problem, specified what they wanted done nor did they give consequences if it wasn't done. Can you chase away your customers and still get them to buy?

If you want to get people to buy, make them happy. Don't overly moderate.

Yes, this is another problem we hope to correct. One is the amount of participation from our staff (follow-through and more) and the product line. One depends on one-half of another while still lending to half of what one-half allows the other, wait what?

It is not our intent to just sit back on a chair and dole out consequences to the unruly forum-folk based on the new rules mandate, that would be reprehensible, our intent is to keep threads from being hijacked and ensure that questions asked are receiving the answers required.

Which then brings up the how and why of the one-half of one versus part of another... nonsense spurted out in that scenario above... we're adding some internal moderators and a few more eyes to answer questions. One of the best ways to 'keep the peace' is not to slap a hand for being errant but rather participate to keep the hand from going errant in the first place; the answer to that is staffing. That one will come in time as per Phil's note above, we're busy internally.

I was on the forums for a while helping when I could and then I had to get swept away for other projects, for that I apologize, a few others around here met the same fate; good for the business bad for our presence on the forums I suppose.

I hope I answered the questions; if I failed in that task let me try to answer again. Don't fear the reaper! We're not trying to impose our rule over you, just bolstering the rules to help aid us against those that mean to derail yoooooooooou. :zombie:

Fxc2hh
09-15-2011, 07:15 PM
It is not our intent to just sit back on a chair and dole out consequences to the unruly forum-folk based on the new rules mandate, that would be reprehensible, our intent is to keep threads from being hijacked and ensure that questions asked are receiving the answers required.

Which then brings up the how and why of the one-half of one versus part of another... nonsense spurted out in that scenario above... we're adding some internal moderators and a few more eyes to answer questions. One of the best ways to 'keep the peace' is not to slap a hand for being errant but rather participate to keep the hand from going errant in the first place; the answer to that is staffing. That one will come in time as per Phil's note above, we're busy internally.

Its not nonsense because it is from my English Interpersonal Communication Class and we remember it from the acronym "DESC" and it is right from my textbook. I went to an accredited college, my instructor has a doctorate degree and she was on the mayor's commission for literacy.

Bump
09-15-2011, 07:23 PM
Its not nonsense because it is from my English Interpersonal Communication Class and we remember it from the acronym "DESC" and it is right from my textbook. I went to an accredited college, my instructor has a doctorate degree and she was on the mayor's commission for literacy.

I wasn't doubting you, I was referring to my own nonsense.

"One depends on one-half of another while still lending to half of what one-half allows the other, wait what? .... Which then brings up the how and why of the one-half of one versus part of another... nonsense spurted out in that scenario above"

Publison
09-15-2011, 07:52 PM
I wasn't doubting you, I was referring to my own nonsense.

"One depends on one-half of another while still lending to half of what one-half allows the other, wait what? .... Which then brings up the how and why of the one-half of one versus part of another... nonsense spurted out in that scenario above"

Wow! That actually made sense after two pints of Back and Tan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_Tan.


Sometimes a pale lager is used instead of ale; this is usually called a half and half.

Jim

Microcontrolled
09-15-2011, 10:50 PM
@Publison: Back and Tan? Isn't tanning something you typically do to your back? :) (couldn't help catching the typo)

Publison
09-16-2011, 12:32 AM
@Publison: Back and Tan? Isn't tanning something you typically do to your back? :) (couldn't help catching the typo)

Touché Corb,

As you have been scrutinized before for spelling errors, I hereby appoint you to an official Central Scrutinizer (http://www.science.uva.nl/~robbert/zappa/albums/Joe_s_Garage/01.html) for the Forums. I mean it sincerely since I have seen you come from your early posts to a very well worded poster with many very cool and well documented projects. Even Phil gave the thumbs up, and that can't be taken lightly. :)

Back to topic. Bump, I think a little more participation by Parallax personnel would be sufficient. It would not be moderation as such, but just directing people the the correct forums and

Jim

ElectricAye
09-16-2011, 12:49 AM
Odd, but I seem to recall somebody else making an announcement recently about a change of forum rules... and the discussion quickly careened into a frutile exercise:

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?134084-Parallax-forum-etiquette-to-be-increased-with-new-rules&p=1030923&viewfull=1#post1030923

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-16-2011, 12:52 AM
... and the discussion quickly careened into a frutile exercise

What's "frutile"? A quantum superposition of fruitful and futile? :) e.g. "It was frutile to raise any hope for Schroedinger's cat's survival."

-Phil

ElectricAye
09-16-2011, 02:37 AM
...A quantum superposition of fruitful and futile?....


Good one!

http://www.wabashunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/agnew1.jpg

Peter KG6LSE
09-16-2011, 04:19 AM
that poor cat .It never catches a break eh ..