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Old 06-17-2006, 08:04 AM   #1
Birmingham
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Default why sign up denies popular free webmail services

just wondering why sign up denies popular free webmail services seen as they're generally better quality than paid alternatives...
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:57 AM   #2
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This has been a policy since day one I believe. It certainly reduced the abuse of the rules substantially. As a test, a couple of months ago, we started to allow them again. Because this forum is more targetted to making money, we seemed to attract a boatload of new signups who spammed the forums with their get rich schemes, affiliate links and the like.

It was a moderating nightmare, so we turned them off again. Sure, we still get the odd few who come in with their get rich schemes, affiliate links etc, as all forums will, but needing a non free email address substantially reduces that scenario.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:12 AM   #3
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Instead of blocking of all those email addresses, wouldn't it be easier to actually concentrate on the spam itself?

99% of all the spam messages are made by new users creating a new (their first) thread.

Now what about making a human spam filter? Let's say that if a user has less than 10 posts, all new topics created by the user need to be approved by a moderator/admin before they are displayed in the forums. Wouldn't that reduce the spam to almost zero?

Last edited by Bondings; 06-17-2006 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:37 AM   #4
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Good thinking, but we still need to spend time on moderating the junk. The only plus with that theory is that they don't get their two seconds/hours of glory.
But it delays exposure to the genuine posters who are here for help or genuine contributions.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:19 PM   #5
Larwee

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Bondings, back in March of 2005, I made a suggestion very much like the one you made. My suggestion called for even stronger restrictions. I went into detail on why I thought it was a good idea.

I'm going to post a link to that thread which I feel is one of the best threads dealing with the spam problem sometimes faced here at Geek/Talk. Of course, others have the problem as well.

I ended up making my suggestion twice in the thread. The first time I mentioned it there was not very much said about it. Since I thought it was a very good suggestion and one that would work, I mentioned it a second time and gave more reasons why it could be considered. Something is then said about my suggestion.

It is a very big step which I hope will never be needed and there are other ways to deal with it. But it is stated by Czar in that thread that it would be used only if everything else failed. So far everything else hasn't failed.

The thread was started by Jan during a period of an extreme amount of spam and it was starting to get on her nerves. It is a very good thread which provides some good reading http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=27057
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Old 06-18-2006, 05:56 AM   #6
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This has always been a very delicate balance, but Jan's response does sum up our current position.

Realising that many newcomers to the business use free email accounts, we recently removed the bans that had been in place for years and tried to combat spam using a variety of alternative techniques. While this did immediately boost the number of signups we were receiving daily and while it did ease entry for a handful of quality new members, the increase in spam volume was unbelievable.

Most spam wouldn't be apparent to the casual Geek/Talk observer, because Team Geek and our beloved regulars tend to identify and remove lousy posts within minutes of them appearing, but behind-the-scenes, the increase became too much to bear.

It's our belief that quality members who are looking to make a real contribution to the community and who are serious about web publishing and online marketing are less likely to have free webmail accounts than those who want to flip off a quick application, abuse the community and then move on. There will always be exceptions to the rule and I have manually allowed entry to a number of members who only had access to webmail for one reason or another, but this simple technique helps to protect our members and maintain Geek/Talk's high quality quotient.
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Last edited by Czar; 06-18-2006 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larwee
The thread was started by Jan during a period of an extreme amount of spam and it was starting to get on her nerves. [/url]
That had nothing to do with this topic. With all due respect, that thread was directed at those who couldn't read the rules of that particular forum, nor even bother to check why so many topics were snipped. Also, saying it was getting on my nerves is totally inaccurate. It was more an embarrassment that we needed to ---snip--- so many threads in a short period of time. It was around that time that we started tossing the threads that abused the rules.
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:36 AM   #8
Birmingham
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on finding this forum, first impressions were:

1) clever advertising at top & bottom of screen - forum must be run by smart people.

2) my gmail & yahoo addresses not accepted - forum must be run by picky / snotty / unfriendly people.

there are a lot of people new to the industry who use free subdomains, free web mail only ...etc.

what you're doing is developing a community of experienced and successful webmasters, whilst routing out the newbies with the spam. if you can ethically accept that then ok.

i personally would consider alternate methods because i think the turnover of newbie & small-time webmasters you're rejecting would bring a breath of fresh air to any place. still, i accept the value in the decision u've made.

Last edited by Birmingham; 06-18-2006 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:59 AM   #9
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Hi Birmingham and welcome to GV Thanks so much for your thoughts. Since I'm the "founder" of GV and Czar/Josh is the owner and Jan is the senior Admin, perhaps I can add some texture to this thread and enhance the great thoughts by Jan and Czar.

1. Running a Community is an "Art" and their are at least 2 ways to do everything. For example, GV permits and encourages compliant signatures which help you network and build traffic. I can think of at least one successfull Webmaster Community who does not permit signatures.

2. In a few months GV will celebrate it's 8 year anniversary and it's Mission Statement has always encouraged and welcomed folks just getting started. In a certain sense, all of us are "newbies" and literally thousands of new folks who chose to stick around and tolerate the inherent minor compramise that all Communities require have gone on to become very very successfull. Naturally, I wish this for you Please don't hesitate to drop me a PM if any of your questions aren't answered to your satisfaction in a thread. I'm confident that any member of Team Geek would provide you with the very same courtesy if your thread doesn't contain enough help for you.

3. First impressions are very important so I appreciate your candor. Iv'e certainly been called much worse than "...snotty / unfriendly people." and I would take strong exception to your thoughts however I do respect and understand your perspective. Point taken and understood about your comment with respect to: "...would bring a breath of fresh air ..." An outstanding thought.

4. "...Picky" actually might apply since GV has a rather unqiue goal which is supported by the mission statement and culture. GV is about "quality" and from where I sit, not about volume. Given the "Art" of running a Community, some folks enjoy 300 posts in a thread that really dosent help the member and wonders (off topic) all over the place and even includes ranting, Spam, cussing, attacks, and other nasty stuff. Other folks enjoy a small number of quality posts that drill down to information that actually helps the member, in a civil and respectfull manner. Some folks actually enjoy both.

Continued best wishes.

Last edited by Steve_S; 06-18-2006 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 06-18-2006, 01:45 PM   #10
Larwee

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Welcome to Geek/Talk, Birmingham.

I have met some people who made a very bad first impression. As time passed and I got to know them better, I found them to be wonderful people.

I have also met some people who made a very good first impression. When I got to know them better I was able to see they were not the good people they seemed at first.

Most of us have experienced this. Chances are you have also. The same can hold true with forums as it does with people. You sometimes need to get to know the forum before you really know how it is.

You expressed your thoughts and I got the impression you are going to stick around for a while. I hope you do and find out how Geek/Talk really is.

I started a couple of threads that I hope you take a look at. The first gives members the opportunity to tell what they hate about webmaster forums and the second allows them to state what they like about webmaster forums.

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=29878

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=29944

People who are new to this field often call themselves newbies so I also use that term at times. There are two types of newbies and it is very important that the 2 types are looked at independent of each other.

As part of my role with Geek/Talk, I am often involved with new Geek/Talk members as well as people who are completely new to this industry. I have put together several posts that were specifically created to help someone who is new and many have found them to be helpful. Depending on what questions you ask I might even point you in the direction of one of them.

I also get to deal privately with a lot of new people who are having problems and need questions answered. I do everything possible to help them and they appreciate it.

In this thread you read posts from Czar, Jan, Steve_S and me. Czar, Jan and myself are all part of the staff, with Czar and Jan being much higher up the ladder than me. Steve_S is the founder. I can tell you that you can contact any of us in relation to any problems or questions you have and we will be as helpful as possible.

This isn't a community of experienced and successful webmasters. While there are many who do fit this description, this is a community that is a mixture. There are also people just getting started as well as many who are in between being new and the experienced and successful.

Don't forget that every webmaster was new to this field at one time. Some who join Geek/Talk are already experienced and successful. There are others who join and know very little. They stay here, ask questions, receive good answers, learn and become experienced and successful. Many of these remain as members to help others as their way of paying back for the help that they received.

Now let me talk about one type of new person who joins. This is a person who doesn't know very much but needs help and wants to learn. He or she will ask questions and receive help from the membership. Some might even state that they are embarrassed to ask because they feel their question will sound stupid. They are encouraged to ask their question, because no question is a stupid question.

The Geek/Talk members are great. They have knowledge covering a wide range of topics. They are friendly and very eager to help people who need help.

There have been people who have joined Geek/Talk and learned enough to go on and make a great deal of money as a result of what they learned. Some of these people have remained as members in order to help others and they are very willing to help new people who need help.

A comment that has been made by several people is that they came here and learned a lot and it didn't cost them a penny. Yes, a person can learn here free of charge what could cost them possibly thousands of dollars if they were paying for it.

This first type of new person is encouraged and very welcome. New people do add fresh air and that is very helpful. There are new people joining on a regular basis and many of them stay around for a long time.

Now let me talk about the second type of new person who joins Geek/Talk and why they aren't encouraged.

I am one of the people who looks for spam here at Geek/Talk so I see a lot of it. Some of it is seen over and over. Some of these people probably could end up being good members. Some don't bother to read the rules and don't know they shouldn't spam. Actually some even spam and aren't aware that it is spam. Yes if it would be possible to get past the spam with some of these people they could become good members.

But a lot of people who spam just don't care. They might post the same spam at dozens of forums. Some even include instructions in their spam on how to spam other forums. For a lot of these people their only contribution would be that one piece of spam. Of course there are those who might try to make several spam posts during that one visit.

Some of these people would continue to spam on a regular basis if they were allowed to do so. It would just make it close to impossible for people who want serious help to get it because of all the spam that would be in the way.

Another thing that isn't allowed at Geek/Talk is self promotion. People are not allowed to promote their own products or services in their posts. Members want information that is helpful and bias information isn't helpful.

In a way, the Geek/Talk community is like a large family. It is a friendly group that is willing to help each other. You will get a lot of personal helpful attention here that you aren't going to get in other communities.

No, Geek/Talk isn't for everyone. Yes, there are rules. But those rules are to help make it possible to enjoy their Geek/Talk experience and to make Geek/Talk as helpful to the membership as possible.

Birmingham, stick around for a while. Ask some questions. If you can answer some questions, then please jump in. If you have suggestions please feel free to make them.

After you have participated for a while, I am positive you will see that those who run Geek/Talk are not snooty and unfriendly.

What you will find is that there are some smart people here. You will also find that it is a very friendly group of people and that they are more friendly than what you find in most other forums. The members are very respectful of each other.

Birmingham, it is nice to have you as a member. As time goes by, I am sure you are going to be glad you joined Geek/Talk. Once again, welcome to Geek/Talk.

Last edited by Larwee; 06-18-2006 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:28 AM   #11
Birmingham
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Larwee, you're very polite and I can see that you care a lot about the forum. I can see that you don't like spam, and by the length of your posts I see that you invest a lot of effort into this forum and probably technology in general, and studies/knowledge.

I consider myself to be ethically driven, but my perspective on technology, knowledge and studying is different from yours. I would not feel ethically justified to encourage any of it.

I'm only here because the internet is a habit and I hope to conquer this habbit soon.

Scientists will run around researching the cure for cancer, thinking that it's a good thing, glutted with food in the mean time, not pausing a second to spare a coin to a hungry man in front of them. Rockets to the moon cost billions, while people are dying for lack of a few coins. I'm only here today because it's a habit. I won't break my back with it though.

I think kindness is different from politeness. You're too kind, literally.

Last edited by Birmingham; 06-19-2006 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:38 PM   #12
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You mean like this?

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=31164

and

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=31163



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
This has been a policy since day one I believe. It certainly reduced the abuse of the rules substantially. As a test, a couple of months ago, we started to allow them again. Because this forum is more targetted to making money, we seemed to attract a boatload of new signups who spammed the forums with their get rich schemes, affiliate links and the like.

It was a moderating nightmare, so we turned them off again. Sure, we still get the odd few who come in with their get rich schemes, affiliate links etc, as all forums will, but needing a non free email address substantially reduces that scenario.
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