View Poll Results: Should post counts be removed from advertising threads?

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  • Yes. Remove post counts.

    36 63.16%
  • No. Keep post counts.

    21 36.84%
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  1. #1
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    Pondering the Perplexing Post Count Problem

    It's been suggested that post counts be removed from the Advertising Forums.

    We'd like to get members' opinions on this.

    This is only in regards to the Advertising Forums that involve posting threads for profit.

    The Reviews, Outages, etc, will continue as they are.
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  2. #2
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    Any chance on an "Indifferent" option, or do you want it to be Yes/No?

  3. #3
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    I think removing them from anywhere would be silly.
    Any specific reason for the request for removal?

    (I think signatures should be disabled from certain forums though!)
    David
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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by DanX
    Any chance on an "Indifferent" option, or do you want it to be Yes/No?
    If you are indifferent then why vote? An indifferent vote is a wash so it really isn't necessary.

    My vote would be to eliminate post count for advertising forums.

  5. #5
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    Just curious. What is the logic behind removing post count from the Ad Forum?

    Vito
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  6. #6
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    I'd like to see the theory behind this, as I see absolutely no reason why it would be an issue in the first place.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps it's an issue because people post in the advertising forums "nice site" "nice design" "good luck!" in order to nab their 5 post count so they themselves can post an advertisement. I assume this is the issue, which is why I voted for the removal of post counts from ad forums.

  8. #8
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    Uhh... I think he means the actuall post count under the profile.

    Basically, someone may think a member with poor posts has more "wisdom".

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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Chris Armstrong
    Perhaps it's an issue because people post in the advertising forums "nice site" "nice design" "good luck!" in order to nab their 5 post count so they themselves can post an advertisement. I assume this is the issue, which is why I voted for the removal of post counts from ad forums.
    AFAIK, you got it...

    I cast my vote to yes... Since it will help us track spammers and suchwhat.
    Dan Sheppard ~ Freelance whatever

  10. #10
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    I always voted yes. Since there is no need to say "Nice design" if you are not planning on buying other then to reach 10 posts to post your own ad. I think that removing the count would only have people interested in it, asking questions etc post instead of mindless dribble.
    Tyler Cole
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  11. #11
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    I voted No. It will do nothing but increase the amount of fly-by-night kiddie hosts we see advertising on the board. I would actually like to see the post count increased to 100.

    My logic behind this is, while you will see some determined folks who will make the post count, just to advertise, it will give more time for the mods to actually identify (or community memebers to identify) these knuckleheads so that their posts can be nuked.

    I think advertising on a forum such as this (much like the membership) is a privilidge, and not a right gained, just by registering.

    My .02 (no refunds!)

    Sirius
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  12. #12
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    Wow, everything old, is new again. We seem to have this post count question (and variations of it) every few months.

    Ain't broke.. don't fix I say.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Pondering the Perplexing Post Count Problem

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    It's been suggested that post counts be removed from the Advertising Forums.
    Sounds good.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Chris Armstrong
    Perhaps it's an issue because people post in the advertising forums "nice site" "nice design" "good luck!" in order to nab their 5 post count so they themselves can post an advertisement. I assume this is the issue, which is why I voted for the removal of post counts from ad forums.
    Originally posted by Tyler
    I always voted yes. Since there is no need to say "Nice design" if you are not planning on buying other then to reach 10 posts to post your own ad. I think that removing the count would only have people interested in it, asking questions etc post instead of mindless dribble.
    Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see how that will change anything. Instead we will have people posting "I agree" or "good post" or something similar in the other forums which count posts.

  15. #15
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    Sirius, unless I'm completely mistaken, the vote is to remove the system that awards people post counts by posting in the advertising forum. Not to remove the minimum post count required to start threads there.

    Maybe you have it right, but from the way I read your post it made me think that you believe they're removing the post count minimum to start threads there.


    Originally posted by sirius
    I voted No. It will do nothing but increase the amount of fly-by-night kiddie hosts we see advertising on the board. I would actually like to see the post count increased to 100.

    My logic behind this is, while you will see some determined folks who will make the post count, just to advertise, it will give more time for the mods to actually identify (or community memebers to identify) these knuckleheads so that their posts can be nuked.

    I think advertising on a forum such as this (much like the membership) is a privilidge, and not a right gained, just by registering.

    My .02 (no refunds!)

    Sirius

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by westcan
    Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see how that will change anything. Instead we will have people posting "I agree" or "good post" or something similar in the other forums which count posts.
    That's pretty much my point as well. What difference is there from someone making fluff posts in Main Forum versus Ad Forum? If someone is determined to pad their post count in order to place an ad, they'll do it in whichever forum is available to them.

    Solution: Require a post count of 100 before they have the privilege of posting in the Ad Forum. Done.

    Vito
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  17. #17
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    People should have to apply to be able to post in the ads forum - this way they would have a qualified reason to be using this forum.
    Removing post counts will have little effect.

    Jord
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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by vito

    Solution: Require a post count of 100 before they have the privilege of posting in the Ad Forum. Done.

    Vito
    I believe there will be another thread regarding the required post count in the ad forums not too far away. But this is another method to try and stop spammers from sole purpose to post in the ad forums.
    Tyler Cole
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  19. #19
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    Wait, perhaps I misunderstood.

    What you mean is actually removing the forums from 'counting as posts'?

    (I would agree to that)

    But if you mean just disabling the posts when viewing users in the forum - then I see no point.

    I'm fairly certain I misunderstood, I'd like to change my vote to yes if it's option #1!
    David
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  20. #20
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    Y'all can throw your rotten produce at me for suggesting this one. I'll now rehash some of the reasoning I put forward privately to the other liaisons and leaders.

    I fully, wholeheartedly support removing postcount in all advertising forums. It solves a bunch of issues for members and moderators alike, and I have yet to see a single disadvantage to it.

    You see these posts all the time: "nice template," "good hosting plans," etc. 95% of the time, these are posted by new members attempting to increase their post count so they can advertise. It's the job of the moderators to enforce the policy against this, and more important, to ensure that the primary focus of WHT is preserved. Hint: the primary purpose is not to give people a place to advertise.

    But tossing out these posts is a no-win scenario. On one hand, you have new members bypassing rules presumably meant to keep people from coming here only to advertise, to keep the quality of conversation up. In doing so, you end up with a lot of useless noise. So, you toss it out, right? Well, that seems unfair to the thread starter, because we might be tossing out legitimate praise! Making it so these posts don't affect post count makes this all a non-issue. As far as I'm concerned, it makes the whole "PM Sent," "Check your email" argument moot as well, another big bonus - less need to moderate, less need to report (there are other reasons for this rule, but I personally don't think they are an issue).

    Also, let's face it. One of the big factors that goes into how we judge the value of members is by their post count. There is a large contingency of people who make their nominal 10-post contribution and then copy/paste the same message in every relevant advertising thread they can find. IMHO, you simply can't equate the quality of advertising posts with the contributions made by others whose post counts reflect their willingness to share knowledge and their ongoing quests to learn themselves. I can write a bot that can do the former! By removing post count increases in advertising forums, you're not stopping people from conducting business on WHT by any means. You're creating more of a separation between the heart and soul of WHT (the general forums, and arguably the lounge), and the area that is a perk of being a member, an afterthought. These two distinct areas do not carry the same importance, and removing post count from advertising forums reflects this.

    So, removing post count makes moderation a lot easier, takes the guesswork out of figuring out the intentions of a new member who's posting two word replies, will eventually cut down on the insincere posts when thread-bombers figure out this strategy doesn't work (signal-to-noise people!) and will more actively reflect the value of the contributions members are making.

    Yes, we will see people move out of the advertising forums and post crap elsewhere. But this is a lot easier to expose and remove - rarely is there a judgment call involved. It may also encourage people who live in the advertising forums to venture out and become more productive WHT citizens.

    Now, with all of the possible benefits, why would this not be a good idea?

    To answer some specific questions:

    Wait, perhaps I misunderstood.

    What you mean is actually removing the forums from 'counting as posts'?

    (I would agree to that)
    Yes, this is what is being proposed. (move one from No to Yes! )

    People should have to apply to be able to post in the ads forum - this way they would have a qualified reason to be using this forum.
    Hmm...

    Instead we will have people posting "I agree" or "good post" or something similar in the other forums which count posts.
    What difference is there from someone making fluff posts in Main Forum versus Ad Forum?
    Fluff is much easier to judge outside of the advertising forums, and the new rules call for suspension of an account when someone violates this rule, as opposed to receiving a simple warning. I predict removing post count will in conjunction with these new rules SWR announced this morning will significantly reduce noise in the long run.

    Ain't broke.. don't fix I say.
    Oh, it's broke! When you see the amount of garbage that accumulates, you come to realize a fix is needed. The reason it may not appear broken is because the mods do a pretty decent job of getting it crap out of there.

    I voted No. It will do nothing but increase the amount of fly-by-night kiddie hosts we see advertising on the board. I would actually like to see the post count increased to 100.
    Actually, not allowing post count to increase will stop "fly-by-night kiddie hosts" from gaining the privilege of posting advetisements. It will give mods more time to recognize the miscreants, it will make them more apparent, and they will not be able to post fluff in forums that to some degree encourage fluff, allowing what you've identified to take place.

    As for increase in post count to advertise, which a few of you have mentioned...well, that's another thread...suffice it to say I'm on board with that as well!

    There are plenty of reasons to not increase post count based on advertising forum posts. What reasons are there that increasing post count is a positive thing?
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Chris Armstrong
    Sirius, unless I'm completely mistaken, the vote is to remove the system that awards people post counts by posting in the advertising forum. Not to remove the minimum post count required to start threads there.

    Maybe you have it right, but from the way I read your post it made me think that you believe they're removing the post count minimum to start threads there.
    Ummmmm, Hmmmmmm, Ummmmm <looks both ways>, yeah, I knew that....



    Sirius

    P.S. Change my vote from NO to YES!
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  22. #22
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    Originally posted by Chris Armstrong
    Sirius, unless I'm completely mistaken, the vote is to remove the system that awards people post counts by posting in the advertising forum. Not to remove the minimum post count required to start threads there.

    Maybe you have it right, but from the way I read your post it made me think that you believe they're removing the post count minimum to start threads there.
    Actually, it's to make it so post count does not increase when someone posts there
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  23. #23
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    That's what I was trying to say the_pm, I just took the long route

    Originally posted by the_pm
    Actually, it's to make it so post count does not increase when someone posts there

  24. #24
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    I voted yes, but I also think that the post count should be raised to 50 to 100. I would think that would keep the trouble makers out or for a little longer .

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by the_pm
    Y'all can throw your rotten produce at me for suggesting this one.
    Nice post.

    I'll now rehash some of the reasoning I put forward privately to the other liaisons and leaders.
    Thanks for your well-thought-out explanation. It makes sense to me now, and I just voted yes.

    Also, let's face it. One of the big factors that goes into how we judge the value of members is by their post count.
    This might be part of the problem, which is why I'm not convinced that raising the required post count for some rights will solve the problems. But that's for another thread.

    I do agree, though, that not letting posters use the Advertising forums to increase their post counts is a good idea.

    By removing post count increases in advertising forums, you're not stopping people from conducting business on WHT by any means. You're creating more of a separation between the heart and soul of WHT (the general forums, and arguably the lounge), and the area that is a perk of being a member, an afterthought. These two distinct areas do not carry the same importance, and removing post count from advertising forums reflects this.
    Well said.

    Lois
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  26. #26
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    Although I don't agree with everything Paul said, he made enough of a convincing argument that I would have to change my vote to yes (if I could).



  27. #27
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    Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Although I don't much care one way or the other (in fact, I didn't vote because of it), I think someone needs to champion the side of leaving the post counts as they are.

    So, I'll give it a shot.

    The advantage I see of leaving posts as counting in the advertising forums is for the benefit of anyone who does business within.

    Even though the most qualified and/or the best solution may be presented by a certain member, I'm likely to just ignore them if they have zero posts because they've only posted in the advertising forums.

    You can't have a lot of posts in the advertising forums and offer bad service or products. It's just not going to work out.

    Someone with a lot of posts within can, generally, be trusted to do business with.

    Their contributions to the advertising forums can be my ease of mind as a consumer.

    Sure, I should be diligent in learning as much as I can about a member before I hand over my hard earned cash. But, heck; it's the internet. And things are supposed to move fast there.

    I'd much rather just look under their user name and make a quick assessment on whether I should proceed with them.
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  28. #28
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    I voted to leave as is: ain't broke, don't fix.

    if you hide post counts, go ahead and hide the Registered: date, too !

  29. #29
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    Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    I'd much rather just look under their user name and make a quick assessment on whether I should proceed with them.
    You and I look at this differently. Some posters might have thousands of posts, but I'm not necessarily interested in reading what they have to say. Some other posters, well, I like to go to the main page to scan the list of last posters because if I see the username of someone whose posts I know I like, I'll read the thread just because of that poster. I don't pay attention to their post counts; I just know that particular posters are always worth reading IMO.

    "Proceed with them" probably means different things to us. If I'm considering doing business with another poster, I'll do a search for that person's posts and read at least a dozen or so to get an idea of what that person is like. The way the poster responds to other people is of high interest to me. How many posts the poster has doesn't really interest me as long as it's enough for me to get a picture of the person.

    As a mod, you're probably just trying to quickly assess the poster's history. For the rest of us, is post count that relevant? Maybe it is to some people; I don't know.

    I suppose a high post count adds to the sense of accountability the poster has, but I still wouldn't trust a person just because s/he rattles off a lot of posts. Quantity vs. quality, y'know. (For those who write lots of posts and put thought into them, I'll point out that sometimes quantity and quality go together. )

    If we remove post counts from the Advertising forums, will posts posted in the Advertising forums still appear when we do a search for posters' posts?

    Lois
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  30. #30
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    Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    . . . You can't have a lot of posts in the advertising forums and offer bad service or products. It's just not going to work out.

    True be dat.
    Someone with a lot of posts within can, generally, be trusted to do business with.

    True be dat.
    Sure, I should be diligent in learning as much as I can about a member before I hand over my hard earned cash. . . . I'd much rather just look under their user name and make a quick assessment on whether I should proceed with them.
    For those of us who are regulars, we know what's up, who to steer away from, and who to ignore as much as possible. We shouldn't need to search through their posts, as you already know them, if they're a regular. The more posts they've made, the more chance we have of getting to know them, so there is a direct connection between post counts and trust.

    But this thread comes back to a more basic level - that is disbandening the ad forums altogether. Yes, I hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth from those hosts whose business model is 100% dependant on placing free ads in the ad forums. If folks want to advertise here, then buy some banners or other forms of promotion on WHT.

    Oh boy.
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  31. #31
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    Re: Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    But this thread comes back to a more basic level - that is disbandening the ad forums altogether. Yes, I hear the screaming and gnashing of teeth from those hosts whose business model is 100% dependant on placing free ads in the ad forums. If folks want to advertise here, then buy some banners or other forms of promotion on WHT.

    Oh boy.
    It sounds like you're talking about those who advertise their services in the Advertising forums. What about those who need someone to do services for them? Should we have banners saying "Looking for someone to install [something or other]" or "Need tech support people"? And should we eliminate the ability for people to respond with questions about ads online? These ads benefit those looking for work as much as they benefit those who need the services.

    If the only ads were from people advertising their web hosting and related services, I might have a different response. I don't usually look at those ads, though, so I can't really comment on them.

    Lois
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    Re: Re: Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by writespeak
    It sounds like you're talking about those who advertise their services in the Advertising forums.

    Pretty much the hosts who live down there. Fortunately there's only 1 free ad per week, that hosts can post. You should have seen it when the "Request's Forums" were still down there. They were interesting, to say the least. Kinda felt like you were walking in a seedy and dirty part of town.

    But looking at some of those hosting ad forums, they're a ghost town, with scant replies to ads, and very few thread views. That's in the shared hosting ad forum. It gets slightly busier in the ded server ad forum etc.
    What about those who need someone to do services for them?
    Yeah, good point.

    There's a heap of ad forums that are not hosting specific, and I do admit to keeping an eye on a few forums down there, and have picked up some sweet deals.
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    Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    [B]You can't have a lot of posts in the advertising forums and offer bad service or products. It's just not going to work out.
    You mean this might force people who use WHT for little more than advertising to step out and contribute to the rest of the community to prove their value?

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  34. #34
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    Re: Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by the_pm
    You mean this might force people who use WHT for little more than advertising to step out and contribute to the rest of the community to prove their value?

    "Prove their value?"

    Apparently we are looking at the advertising forums through different eyes.

    Mine are shielded by scratched tri-focals.

    Like everyone else on the planet, I enjoy a great deal. And I have gotten quite a few of those within the advertising forums here.

    Surely, that adds value to the community.

    Of course, it adds most value to the advertising forums. But, only in the same way that a thread in Programming adds value to the Web Hosting Forum.

    Maybe the restriction that you must have ## posts to start a thread within certain advertising forum categories, needs to be adjusted so that the posts have to be outside the advertising forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by writespeak
    If we remove post counts from the Advertising forums, will posts posted in the Advertising forums still appear when we do a search for posters' posts?
    Yes.
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  35. #35
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    Like everyone else on the planet, I enjoy a great deal. And I have gotten quite a few of those within the advertising forums here.

    Surely, that adds value to the community.
    Absolutely. There's no question about this. What I'm saying is that the responses people give to advertisements do not demonstrate their abilities as professionals, only that they are capable of responding.

    Responses given in the general forums display people's knowledge, willingness to learn and ability to synthesize information. While not every post is like this, that is a general goal of the general forums. Advertising forums are not meant to display someone's ability. You're not sharing knowledge, you're setting up business to be transacted offline. That brings quality to the person who gives and the person who receives, but it doesn't benefit the community as a whole. That's why post count increases based on someone trying to score new customers is a false indication of their ability, while posts demonstrating their knowledge is more indicative.

    Yes, certain advertising threads do display one's talent, since people will share their portfolios, testimonials and programming expertise. I'm saying that those factors should be what determines quality and post count should only reflect one's participation in general forums, because sharing in the advertising forums is inherently driven by each individual's personal business agenda, and WHT general forums are specifically governed so individual agendas are not welcome.

    Either way, it ends the debate about whether to throw out false praise posts (or how you even recognize them), and as far as I'm concerned, you can toss out the rule about not posting "check your mail/PM sent" messages
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  36. #36
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    Originally posted by the_pm
    . . . you can toss out the rule about not posting "check your mail/PM sent" messages
    Not to go off on a different subject . . .

    I've mentioned before that I don't like that rule. With, or without, a post count; I don't like it.

    But, it wasn't initiated because the statements unjustly add to one's post count total. It was made because those that had subscribed to the thread thought it was unfair that they had to get notice that someone posted, only to find it was, "You got mail," or something similar.

    /just wanted to clear up why that rule is there.
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  37. #37
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Not to go off on a different subject . . .

    I've mentioned before that I don't like that rule. With, or without, a post count; I don't like it.

    But, it wasn't initiated because the statements unjustly add to one's post count total. It was made because those that had subscribed to the thread thought it was unfair that they had to get notice that someone posted, only to find it was, "You got mail," or something similar.

    /just wanted to clear up why that rule is there.
    Oh I know. That would just eliminate one facet of that rule, not the primary one. I also happen to believe the primary reason for the rule is pretty thin too
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  38. #38
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    Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Even though the most qualified and/or the best solution may be presented by a certain member, I'm likely to just ignore them if they have zero posts because they've only posted in the advertising forums.
    I've been thinking about this. So the fact that someone has posted offering their services 100+ times in the Advertising forums increases their credibility to you?

    You can't have a lot of posts in the advertising forums and offer bad service or products. It's just not going to work out.

    Someone with a lot of posts within can, generally, be trusted to do business with.

    Their contributions to the advertising forums can be my ease of mind as a consumer.
    They don't ease my mind. I just looked at the Shared Hosting Advertising forum, and I recognized the names of only a few thread starters. Some of them (I looked at only a few) have well over 100 posts and have been here for a couple of years or more. For all I know just by looking at the post count, they might have posted almost exclusively in the Advertising forum to advertise their services.

    As for working out, some of the offers are of the non-sustainable (too-low pricing) type that people comment about in other forums.

    Should I trust someone who offers $1/month hosting just because s/he has a high post count? OTOH, should I discount someone who's offering what looks like a reasonable deal just because s/he has fewer than, say, 20 posts?

    If a poster has 15 posts in other forums and 5 in the Advertising forum, those 15 posts can indicate a lot about that person. 100 posts just repeating advertising offers say almost nothing about the poster, however.

    Interesting thread. I'm enjoying reading the different points of view, presented clearly without any arguments, just good discussion.

    Lois
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  39. #39
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    Re: Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by writespeak
    . . . 100 posts just repeating advertising offers say almost nothing about the poster, however. . .
    I would say that it says they conduct an honest approach if they've repeated the same advertising thread a hundred times with no complaints.

    It's easy enough to go to the Search page, plug in their user name and search by posts in the advertising forums, if someone really wants to know how often a member posts in the advertising forums.

    hmmm . . . am I fighting against myself?
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  40. #40
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    Re: Re: Re: Someone's gotta do it . . .

    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    I would say that it says they conduct an honest approach if they've repeated the same advertising thread a hundred times with no complaints.
    But the rules (rightly so) don't allow posters to post negative comments about other people's ads. And maybe there are complaints about advertisers in other forums. I don't see how the post count "says they conduct an honest approach."

    hmmm . . . am I fighting against myself?
    Go for it. It'll be an interesting fight.

    Lois
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