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General Discussion forum abuse

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General Discussion forum abuse

Postby Huggybaby » 07 Apr 2016, 00:48

Hey folks,

This forum (General Discussion) was mostly unused for years, then we had a few good general discussion topics pop up, but now, consistently, it's people asking questions about specific software.

This forum was not meant to be about specific software, e.g., "Why can't I get (insert program name here) to show pictures?"

So why do people post application-specific questions here, rather than in the forums that are devoted to those softwares? If there is a Forge question (for example), why isn't that question posted in the Forge forum?

There are some things I could try to fix the problem, but first I want to understand how the problem came to be.

I welcome your observations and thoughts, thank you.

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Re: General Discussion forum abuse

Postby friarsol » 07 Apr 2016, 20:52

It definitely seems like it's brand new users who commonly do this. My best speculation is that maybe the registration process kicks users back to the main forum area, and from there they aren't sure where they were so just click the first link/General Discussion?

Looking briefly at the last few people, they've posted once. Their first post is usually the same day as account creation, and many of them haven't really returned.

It would definitely be helpful to have these posts show up in the respective forums, at least that way we could potentially help the new users that might need it.

Maybe for this forum on submission there would be a "submission check" like Gmail has a check when you say the word "Attach" but haven't actually included an attachment. "It looks like you might be asking a question about Forge. Would you like to post this question on that Forum?" Y/N

That might be too tricky though, as it looks like the forum is just using a submit form to handle things, since you'd need to interrupt the submit procedure
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Re: General Discussion forum abuse

Postby silly freak » 19 Apr 2016, 10:14

Most of these questions don't even mention Forge, so that might be hard. Is a general, really visible warning doable? For example, for the first 5 posts of a user, show a big warning: "General Discussion is not for software questions and bug reporting. Please search and post in the forums for specific software."

Okay, that wasn't about the "how". I can't empathize with users that disregard forum structure enough to understand them. It might just be that Forge has the largest user base, and according to Sturgeon's Law, most of these users don't even try to use the forums properly. It might be the post-registration landing page. It might be a bad form of communication in Forge's error reporting/support features. It's hard to tell for me...
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Re: General Discussion forum abuse

Postby Huggybaby » 24 Apr 2016, 17:44

Hmm, actually this is something Goblin Hero should look at. I think there is a way to make rules pop up upon registration, but I don't know much about PHPBB. It would be best if moderators for each program would read other parts of the forum and respond, but it seems most of those types never leave their particular corner of the forum, which is a shame because one of my goals in setting up this place was to encourage cross-pollination of ideas as it were.
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