Forum rules and how the forums are moderated/managed

Forum rules and how the forums are moderated/managed

Grand MasterGrand Master

    Aug 07, 2011#1

    Hello to all forum members!

    I'm Mofi, the moderator of all USER TO USER forums on this website. I'm not an employee of UltraEdit, Inc. or Idera, Inc. I'm a user like you and I am not paid for managing the user forums. I also don't have access to the PHP code of the forum pages to change something on the layout or improve the handling. If you have suggestions for the forum interface, send the suggestion(s) by email to UltraEdit support.

    My forum rights are as follows:
    1. I can edit all posts.
    2. I can merge topics.
    3. I can split topics.
    4. I can move topics to a different forum.
    5. I can delete posts or even whole topics.
    6. I can see the email addresses of all forum members.
    I use frequently the rights 1, 4 and 5 and sometimes 2 to really manage the forums and not just moderate them.

    1. What do I edit?

    Sometimes the subject of a topic does not do a good job on summarizing what the topic is about. Then I try to find a better one and edit the subject of the topic. I don't think I need to explain why a good subject is important.

    So don't wonder if your recently created new thread has a changed subject. If you think the subject I have given the topic is not better, edit your post yourself or write a reply and tell me what I should do.

    I also edit posts especially when a new user did not know how to use BBCode to post sample text as preformatted text, but it is important to see the sample text in the browser as the author sees the sample text in the program. New forum members, please read my global announcement "help for new forum members".

    Finally, I edit posts when I spot a misspelled word mainly when it is a keyword for the topic (forum search). This is mainly a help for those users whose native language is not English. My native language is German because I'm from Austria (Central Europe). So also my English is not perfect and possibly not as complex as a native English speaker.

    Sometimes I also merge posts from one user within a thread together to a single post when the contents of the posts allow it. This reduces the number of posts and so the thread loads faster and other users get a better and faster overview. When you have new information and no other forum member has written a reply to your last post in a thread (when your post is the last one), then please edit your post and do not add your new information with a reply.

    Note: I never edit posts to change the statement of the user. I'm not censoring the posts, although there are always exceptions. Insults are not tolerated, but they are very, very rare in the forums.

    2. When do I merge topics?

    I merge two topics when both are about the same topic and both contain individual and helpful replies. I always try to collect all helpful answers about a problem or question to a single thread to make it easier for others to find the answers with all possible solutions quickly. I hope you all agree that it is better to have all answers for a question in only a single thread instead of scattered over multiple threads.

    So don't wonder if your recently created thread does not exist anymore. Click on view your posts or use the advanced forum search and search for posts which you have posted by entering your forum user name in the author edit field. You may find your post is now in a different thread.

    It's also possible that I only merge some posts of a thread with another existing thread and delete the others when they are not useful for other users because they are not really related to the topic. Such deleted posts often contain the request of a power user to better explain the problem or what the original poster wants, or give an example, or simply give us more information, so the post is not really related to the topic itself.

    3. When do I split topics?

    I think I don't have to explain when it makes sense to split a topic. It is very rare that I have to split a topic.

    4. When do I move topics?

    I move a topic when it is in the wrong forum. I never leave a shadow of a topic when I move it to another forum, so don't wonder when you suddenly cannot find your recently created topic anymore in the forum where you originally created it. It could be in a different forum now. Use the advanced forum search to search for your topic.

    5. When do I delete posts or whole topics?

    My policy (and UltraEdit's policy) is that the user forums should be as helpful as possible for everyone. We envision a user created database where all information (once added) is easily and quickly accessible. To this end, it is necessary that the very useful information is not buried under thousands of very user specific or redundant posts. So here are the reasons for the deletion of a post or even a whole topic:
    1. The topic was about something which is already discussed/explained/described in another forum topic, in the help of the application, in the FAQs, or in power tips & tutorials.

      I (or another power user) often reply to this duplicate topic with a link to the existing article or the title of the help page.

      I reasonably expect that a user who asks something is interested in the replies and reads the replies within a working week. If the topic creating user replies and says thanks, then I can immediately delete the duplicate topic. Otherwise it is deleted usually one or two weeks after the last reply.
    2. The topic was about something very user specific and the reply helped the user, but contained information, techniques or methods which are already sufficiently described elsewhere. Such topics are often created in the Find/Replace/Regular Expressions, Macros and Scripts forums, but the other forums can also contain such topics. For the three main forums where such topics are often created I always ask myself the following questions:

      Is the title good?
      Does it contain good keywords so it will be in the results of a forum search (at least for power users)?
      Is this find/replace/regular expression/macro/script topic of general interest because it contains search/replace strings, macro or script code useful for others too, or is it useful only for that specific task of the user?
    3. A user asked something and a power user replied that we need more details and further information to help, but the user did not reply within two weeks. Then I reasonably assume that the user is not interested in anymore on the question.
    4. The topic was about a bug existing only in a beta version or for a very short time (= less than three days) in a public version. Beta versions are not official release versions, and the user to user forums should not be used as bug tracking system. This only confuses the standard users. I have often read in other forums that somebody (often a power user) posted something about a bug in one (or the following) special unofficial version(s), and standard users then often think and ask if this bug also exists in the official version they use (even when used version is months or years of development away from the unofficial version with the bug). Topics about bugs in official releases available for download longer than three days are not deleted by me. Sometimes it happens that a new version is released which contains a serious bug and UltraEdit, Inc. immediately fixes this bug and withdraws the version with the serious bug by replacing it with a bug fixed version. A topic about a bug in such an only shortly available version is deleted also because they would just confuse people not visiting the user to user forums daily.
    5. A user asked something which is simply not possible or not available at the moment. It does not make really sense to build a database of things which can't be done at the moment or about features which are not available at the moment. Such a database would become quickly very large and nobody is responsible for updating it when something becomes available in future. That could result in users have been given wrong information because simply something was not possible in the past, but is perhaps possible now and just nobody has updated the topic in the large database. To avoid incorrect information, questions about not yet available features and not yet possible things are answered, but then deleted from the forums database.
    6. A user asked something and nobody has written a reply within the last six months and I'm 97% sure there will be never a reply to this topic.
    7. The topic was not about any UltraEdit, Inc. product (although I have sometimes also answered such questions before I later deleted the topic).
    8. The topic was about registering an UltraEdit, Inc. product. All questions regarding registering / licensing / activation / registration / silent installation / deployment of a product of UltraEdit, Inc. are not answered in the user to user forums. For registration or license questions please contact UltraEdit support by email. Also general registration questions like
      - Where are the registration data stored?
      - How to change the registration data (re-register)?
      - How to distribute / install with the purchased multi-user or corporate authorization code?
      are not answered in the user to user forums. A few days after a reply was posted with the hint to contact UltraEdit support by email, the topic with such a registration question is deleted by me.
    9. The topic was spam.
    Why do I do that?

    Well, have you ever searched in another forum for something simple and got a list with about several hundred hits?

    If the first five topics found are not containing the information you were looking for, did you continue to look in the other 10, 20, 50, or even 200 topics?

    Or did you simply give up and created a new topic with your question even though this question was surely answered dozens of times?
    PaoloFCantoni wrote:Many forums - especially the popular ones that DON'T enforce the remove redundancy policy are now drowning in their own text. The searches are failing and we long timers can't help the newbies because we often can't even find the posting even though we know they're there - since often we put them there.
    That's exactly what I try to avoid. The power users should be able to quickly find their own replies in previous threads to help newbies. To achieve this it is necessary to remove redundant forum threads as often as possible. When even a power user can't find information which he/she knows was posted in the forum, then the forum is no longer a database of useful information.

    6. Do I send you an email?

    NO! I can see your email address from your profile, but I will not contact you by email. If you want confidential, non-public support then please contact UltraEdit support by email. By purchasing a license, you have paid for that support too.

    7. What do I expect from forum members?
    1. Search before asking.
    2. Read the announcements and sticky forum topics.
    3. ALWAYS tell us once per topic the version you currently use.
    4. If possible, revisit the topic you created (or replied to) daily for the next two weeks to see if there are already replies to your post.
    5. Say thanks if a reply has helped, to let all others know that the reply contains a working solution or useful information. But also tell us if the answer did not help.
    Thanks for reading this article! -Mofi

    Have you found a spelling or grammar mistake or an incorrect statement?

    Yes, please post a reply to this topic and tell me what I should correct in the article.
    If your reply was deleted by me, I have done the modification on the article according to your suggestion.

    Do you want to help me to manage the forums?

    Yes, please write in your reply what I should do (delete (in a few days), merge, split, correct ...) with the topic or a post. Use a word which contains the string part moderat like in "moderate", "moderated", "moderating", "moderator", "moderation". I search with the forum search at least once per week for
    moderat* in all posts in the last month (four weeks) to find those special marked posts. For example if you start with To moderator: I will find your contribution on forum management. I will edit your post and remove the moderation text after applying your suggestion.

    Thanks for your help! -Mofi