A group for DIY Drones moderators to discuss best community management practices.

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Moderator Basics

These are the basic instructions for moderators:

Most of what you'll be doing is approving (or not) blog posts and otherwise keeping things running smoothly.

With blog posts, the key things to check before approving are:

  1. Does the post start with an image/video or at least have one very close to the top?
  2. Are videos embedded? (Not a link to a video elsewhere)
  3. Is the post informative, rather than asking a question or a request for help? (Those should be sent to the discussion forum).

Feel free to make modest edits (such as moving a photo to the top, or turning a video link into an embed) yourself. If the post should be in the discussion forum instead, paste the text into a Friend request to the author explaining that and delete the post. (Using a Friend request will hopefully take some of the sting out of having to reject their post ;-) )

When Moderating Comments:

Deletion is really the course of last resort, and tends to cause more trouble than it solves. Instead, we follow this escalation process: 

  • 1st course of action in case of TOS abuse: Gentle note in the comments asking people to play nice
  • 2nd: Edit the comment to remove offending piece and add: "[Moderator: Text edited to comply with site TOS]". It's nice to PM the member with an explanation, warning
  • 3rd: Lock comments. Also PM member with explanation/warning
  • 4th (only in cases of gross abuse): Delete comment. PM member
  • 5th (very rare, and only after multiple warnings): Ban member

Our Culture and Values:

Mark Harrison, one of our star moderators, articulated our culture and policies best with this post, which I'll just quote verbatim:

Here's my general feeling about a lot of things on this site; in fact, it's pretty much my general philosophy for large parts of my life:

        "It's more important to enable good things than prevent bad things"

For diydrones, this generally means:

--Be generous in accepting blog posts. We're not at a point where there are more submissions than can be confortably digested in a day. Likewise, the term "drone" is evolving at such a fast rate it's hard to pin down exactly what it means for everyone. So, I'm happy to lump in quadcopters, FPV, gimbals, RC, artistic aerial videos, electronics, radios... all kinds of stuff that meets my nebulous criterion of "generally interesting to the diy drone community."

Now of course it can be protested, "what if we're flooded by dozens or hundreds of posts on marginally related topic X?" And my response would be, "let's wait until that happens; we'll have tons more context and it will be easier to make a specific decision then than make some globally encompassing set of rules now. We may all even be a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser!"

-- Be generous in approving users. Lots of people aren't comfortable with revealing too much information about themselves, or may not have a particularly cogent reason for joining a site. I'm somewhat of an exception to this case... "Are you asking what I'm interested in? Let's talk about me, it's one of the most interesting topics we can discuss, don't you agree?" But for a lot of people, they may interested in the topic, but not interested in telling you why.

-- Feel free to make mistakes, and be nice when other people are making mistakes. Sometimes the most interesting things happen when things go awry. For better or worse, sometimes the most education things as well!

I think this is pretty much in agreement with how the site has been run historically. It's a site for amateurs, by amateurs (keeping in mind the defintion of "amateur"... from the French "lover of"), and as such has had a pretty wide-ranging scope of what's acceptable. That's served the site well, enabling it to be as relevant (or even more!) in 2013 as it was when it was founded.

Of course there are big exceptions to this "don't sweat the bad stuff" philosophy -- brain surgery, rocket launches, and skydiving come to mind -- but I think it's a useful guideline for a site such as ours.


More instructions:


When is a blog not a blog?

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  • I personally find it very annoying when moderators approve blogs without media, because it makes harder on the rest of us to properly enforce the rule. It is even more annoying when, like in this last case, a comment from a fellow moderator (at the top of the blog!) has been ignored. I really believe that we should be very strict in enforcing this rule. It also makes us look bad when one moderator PMs a user about his blog and then another moderator just approves the blog. I have seen this happen multiple times. 

    On the subject of languages, I know I would find it very annoying if front page blogs where in languages like Chinese or French. I can´t read Chinese and having blog posts in Chinese (on the front page), would, for me, have a very negative impact on the overall viewing experience of DIYDrones. 

    My suggestion would be, that for non-English languages, people use groups instead. Like the German and Italian groups that already exist. 

    Just my 2 cents,


  • It was pointed out to me a while back, before becoming moderator, that the board was English only.  But, I can't find the link to that now.

    Personally, I think that we need to allow the major languages, Chinese, English, Spanish, French to give us a more international flavour.  Anymore, and we risk becoming a tower of babel.

  • Moderator
    I dot remember any guidelines about language. I asked him for the story in French ... I planned to translate, or at least fix up the parts I don't understand in English. We have an international community and audience, and moderators, I'm not so certain about English-only publishing. I would understand a preference, in the interest of having a lingua francais, a common language that contributes to collaboration, but so long as we have mods to support the discussions, and especially where we have translations it seems to me that the more who can participate the better.whatever the language.

    As a community we do what we can to publish the wiki/manuals in different languages.
  • So whoever approved that article without images, should fess up and prepare to get your knuckles rapped. ;-)

    Seriously, people need to look at the posts, before approving.  You never know what's even in the article.  It might not match with the picture.  You know, now that some members might have a grudge against us.  Be vigilant!

  • Mike, I think to a small degree we can make edits to correct minor issues.  But, we're not professional editors, and with this article, the member really needs to get help with making it more readable before unleashing it on other members.

    Unfortunately, I believe we are not allowed to approve blogs in languages other than English, otherwise I would just ask him to publish in French.

  • Moderator

    @Ellison - it was approved for a couple of hours before the images were added. And much of that time, if not all of it, the moderator's note was published on the front page here along with the image-less story. It's not a huge deal, of course. It just sort of looks bad a bit to have a story on the front page where the first line of the story is something like "[don't approve the story until....]" I'm sure it gave someone a few laughs, at least. So there is that.

  • Moderator

    I'm kind of in a similar boat with the current blog entry in the queue. I might add a photo to that one, and fix up some of the post so that it is more generally accessible to the whole community, the story is hard to follow as it is written, but without input from the author (which I've requested) I'm not intelligent enough to know how to fix it *blush*

  • Moderator

    He (or someone) did go and add some images to it. I might have if I had any idea what sort of images to add. I was somewhat concerned that there are inconsistencies about his age... here he claims to be 13, but at other sites he previously listed his age as 14. And the school he describes typically enrolls persons who are older than this. But I'm not a fact checker, he could easily just be a smart little dude, who am I to question it? Some stories I will edit (and have, recently) to improve the content, add an image ... for this one, I wasn't quite sure how to bring it into compliance, or what sort of image to add to it. But another moderator had already commented on it, asking that it not be published. Then it got published without even removing the mod note.

    So I just wanted to ask us to watch out together for posts that don't meet the standard, and to avoid approving them until we get them fixed up (or if the standard is too draconian, it could be changed; I just want the stories to be fairly published so none of our members has cause to feel unfairly treated.) This because I personally value the contributions of each of our members, especially this group of people, and I don't like the idea of anyone walking away because they don't feel like they are dealt with squarely. We all suffer when we lose a contributor. 

  • There's a picture on it now.  I think it must have been approved after the note was added, but also after the picture was added.

  • Moderator

    I am with Mike on that post, 

    Cheap Scratch-Built Drone from Scrap and Crap (FreePilot) - Part 0 ...

    It has been approved without a valid image yet again it seems cruel to cut it and it will soon be off the front page as its not getting much love. 

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commercial advertisment post

Hi dear moderators, Recently I notice there are some " pure " advertising post from Skywalker / TopXgun ect. Where some of the post being deleted some make it to the blog post. I'm not really sure if this type of " blog " have a place here or we should delete it. As for the Skywalker, I saw their blog being deleted and a few day latter they post again with some minor modification, but still look 100% " advertisement " to me. It seems that they do " NOT " get the message or understand what their…

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Commercial Groups on DIYD

I think we need to discussion about 'commercial' groups like this new one i just noticed (especially since as the site is getting bigger)http://diydrones.com/group/outdoor-roboticsA quick visual search through gave me these 'commercial' looking groupshttp://diydrones.com/group/voltahttp://diydrones.com/group/ugcshttp://diydrones.com/group/uavsaShould we not be thinking that groups created by commercial enterprises require some form of sponsorship of the site or development work in the DiyDrone…

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