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Five users banned

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It may be apt, in the context of this upcoming weekend, that BH is risen!
I think that's going a bit far, even for my ego!

Thanks everybody who posted remarks of support, missing my input, welcomes back etc, it is very much appreciated. I did feel as if I was on the front line facing some kind of attack, but that's largely my fault for "living" on here and often being the first-responder! It didn't take much to make me take a break, and I could see it was likely to occupy a lot of my time trying to resolve - which I didn't have available last week (as it was, I became late travelling on the Monday it all kicked off and ended up hitting rush hour traffic I had planned to avoid).

We forum seniors have been sparring with each other for years now, we know what's what. Some time ago I made the comparison with the village pub: old timers in the snug, all bumping along amicably, any arguments well-natured, refined over many years - then some upstart comes along and expects to be welcomed into the circle without first biding his time and watching the lie of the land, all loud and "hail fellow" expecting to get attention. Attention alright: a swift boot up the arse and ejection by the landlord.

I think you all know I have a long background in design engineering - okay, not management but I have plenty of experience of good and bad management (the receiving end)! I'm a hardware man though, so although I can do (and have done) a little bit of software (and rather more firmware), it is inefficient for me to spend my time on it if I don't have to - other people here are much more adept. I can help by documentation and support, so I do, but also by providing systems guidance (like a Section Leader in management terms, providing co-ordination between the different ideas that may be floating around). We are informal, everyone does what they want regardless of suggestions, but I don't think anybody wants to waste their effort on a bad idea.

The best managers I ever had put themselves between the engineers and the customers / higher management. They took the flack and made sure the engineers were not distracted from the intellectual effort of what they were trying to do. That put them (and now me) in the front line.

Anybody who wants to be welcome here is perfectly capable of reading all the primer material and being appropriately informed and deferential. Somebody with an axe to grind will just ignore all the advice even if they read it. I think I have some additions to make in my Newbies Guide though, particularly the "first post please be gentle" idiocy... red rag to a bull!
 
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EEPhil

Number 28
I think I have some additions to make in my Newbies Guide though, particularly the "first post please be gentle" idiocy... red rag to a bull!
On the other hand, if a first poster asks for advice (without properly searching the forum first), it should be the first reaction of us all to gently point them in the right direction - your guides, other threads etc. Then, if they take no notice, get a bit shirty.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Yeah, but my point is we know when somebody is new, and saying "I'm new" is too frequently a poor excuse for not having attempted a modicum of research first.
 
OP
M

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yeah, but my point is we know when somebody is new, and saying "I'm new" is too frequently a poor excuse for not having attempted a modicum of research first.
But as a moderator I would prefer it if you said nothing and let the moderators point them at the appropriate resource. I do think this forum is seen by some new users as a very unfriendly place.
 

RobH1

Well-Known Member
But as a moderator I would prefer it if you said nothing and let the moderators point them at the appropriate resource. I do think this forum is seen by some new users as a very unfriendly place.
Whilst I would agree to a point, I notice that from some of the phrases used by the "new members" that they've been around this forum a long time but only decide to join when a problem arises and help is required.
They then appear to get shirty when anyone points them to the relevant wiki.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
But as a moderator I would prefer it if you said nothing and let the moderators point them at the appropriate resource. I do think this forum is seen by some new users as a very unfriendly place.
For the purposes of debate: this raises a couple of issues.

1. What is the role of a moderator? Ensuring forum rules and standards are not broken and taking measures if they are. I was not aware it includes "welcoming committee" or sensorship. If you want there to be an official forum welcoming committee, let's have a proper democratic process to select who they are instead of allocating that role to a set of unelected appointed-by-no-known-mechanism moderators.

2. As a technical forum, who says we have to be seen as friendly? I don't expect to provide friendship, just knowledgable advice. If anyone want to hold hands with newbies, I'm not stopping them (but perhaps they had better get in quicker).

Do you want several days of wasted time while we circle around a newbie placating their sensitivities before getting to the point, or (controversial I know), how about getting straight to the point as one might expect from a technical forum? Do you want me to hold off potentially providing somebody with an answer within a few hours or minutes of their query while a welcoming committee marshals its resources (and the newbie wonders if they are being ignored)? PC again.

There have been many instances where I don't know the answer to a query, so I have said nothing and waited for somebody else who might. Then a few days later the poster is back wth a dig that nobody has taken an interest. Damned if I do and damned if I don't, and I suspect the camp is divided on this.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Hi there xxxxx. Welcome to our forum. Unfortunately I can't help you with your problem, but no doubt someone who can will be along soon.
And perhaps add a request for any obviously missing vital info.

There you go. Totally snowflake-proof, (I think, but you can't even bet on that these days) and a demonstration that OP's post has not totally been ignored.

Friendly? IMHO not necessary, but 'unfriendly' should be out. Please note the deliberate contradiction, so no need for comment.
 

MikeSh

Well-Known Member
Perhaps there should be a "Here be dragons" warning at the top of the newbies section - or even all sections.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Welcome to our forum. Unfortunately I can't help you with your problem, but no doubt someone who can will be along soon.
Does this sort of stuff really help anyone? It seems like pointless platitudes and tedious clutter to me, especially after it's been posted a couple of times for the first couple of newbies.
Maybe someone won't be along soon. Maybe nobody knows the answer.
If it's a reasonable question, then it'll get an answer. If it isn't, then it probably deserves to be ignored.

My 2p worth. FWIW. Which is probably not much.

All our operators are busy at the moment, but your call is important to us. We'll be with you sometime before you die... maybe.
 

trog

Member
I would like to suggest a quarantine area for new members, a place populated by pics of kittens and rainbows where only the moderators can see their posts and the new members can only
view site content deemed as suitable for the faint hearted. After a period of patronising and molly coddling a buddy system would be introduced where they would then also be able to interact with a few other members chosen by the site for being totally unoffensive. If after one year the new member has still not shed a tear and has passed rigorous psychological tests they will then get to interact with Black Hole but only through a qualified mediator.
 
OP
M

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. What is the role of a moderator? Ensuring forum rules and standards are not broken and taking measures if they are. I was not aware it includes "welcoming committee" or sensorship. If you want there to be an official forum welcoming committee, let's have a proper democratic process to select who they are instead of allocating that role to a set of unelected appointed-by-no-known-mechanism moderators.
OK I am very happy to stand down as moderator if that is the consensus view. I never asked or consented to be a moderator but have done the job to try and contribute to keeping the forum running smoothly. I don't see the job as being a "welcoming committee" but I do think that some members (and you are included) don't make allowance for the lack of knowledge of some new users who have joined simply because they have a problem.

2. As a technical forum, who says we have to be seen as friendly? I don't expect to provide friendship, just knowledgable advice. If anyone want to hold hands with newbies, I'm not stopping them (but perhaps they had better get in quicker).
I think these sort of groups work better if we can avoid being unpleasant to new people.

Do you want several days of wasted time while we circle around a newbie placating their sensitivities before getting to the point, or (controversial I know), how about getting straight to the point as one might expect from a technical forum?
No. It is the additional personal comments that you seem unable to resist including that I am trying to get rid of.

Do you want me to hold off potentially providing somebody with an answer within a few hours or minutes of their query while a welcoming committee marshals its resources (and the newbie wonders if they are being ignored)? PC again.
When I have behaved in the way you are suggesting?

There have been many instances where I don't know the answer to a query, so I have said nothing and waited for somebody else who might. Then a few days later the poster is back wth a dig that nobody has taken an interest. Damned if I do and damned if I don't, and I suspect the camp is divided on this.
None of us know all the answers and there are large areas of the custom firmware that I have no experience of. I leave these things to the experts.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
1. What is the role of a moderator? ... let's have a proper democratic process to select who they are instead of allocating that role to a set of unelected appointed-by-no-known-mechanism moderators.
Surely the rules of the forum and who makes up the list of moderators is down to the forum creator and/or the administrator. That is, unless the forum was created by committee - when the decisions would be democratically decided by the committee. Otherwise we could have the lunatics taking over the asylum.
[a] OK I am very happy to stand down as moderator if that is the consensus view. ...[b] but I do think that some members ... don't make allowance for the lack of knowledge of some new users who have joined simply because they have a problem.
[a]Not my view, [b] Agree.
I think these sort of groups work better if we can avoid being unpleasant to new people.
Agree.
However, when the new users severely over-react and appear to be creating/hacking multiple users to campaign against an existing user there appears to be something else going on.
Taking into account your comment earlier about evidence [similar writing styles of some of the banned users], I think you dealt with the insurgents fairly promptly.
None of us know all the answers and there are large areas of the custom firmware that I have no experience of. I leave these things to the experts.
Some of us (me) get the feeling we know none of the answers!
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
but I do think that some members (and you are included) don't make allowance for the lack of knowledge of some new users who have joined simply because they have a problem.
In the recent case I think there was some merit in the suggestion that was made, even though I accept that not all forum members see it that way. I don't happen to use the system solely via remote control but I accept that there are those that do, and if we can make their life easier then why not? However, in this case the shenanigans that ensued mean that I won't be accommodating the request!
 
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