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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  • 3D Robotics

    Wouter: Well put. 

  • And I see that while I was typing my last message I missed some new posts (thanks Ning). I guess that the part I wrote about the commercial blogs can now be mostly ignored :)

  • I think that we should be careful about how much we moderate the site.

    Personally I would not object to the term ("OMFG", if that is indeed what it was). I can however see that some people might, especially in light of his recent reinstatement. I think that we could have let this post by Jake slide by. Over zealous moderating can be a bad thing too.

    I also have to agree with Ellison, (his comments from yesterday), I don't think it should be our task to evaluate the safety of the content of blog/forum posts (apart from things that are way too dangerous or even illegal, of course).

    There have indeed been more commercial posts on DIYDrones, and even though I would love to see the plans for those airframes being free of chare, I can understand that the author of the blog wants some compensation for the time he spent on them. In my opinion the blog post is not more commercial than some I have seen before and we should just allow it to be. However, I suppose Chris would be best suited to tell us how commercial posts are allowed to be :-)

  • Moderator

    @Ellison: I agree, it is not more overtly commercial than others that have been "approved." Please consider these aspects, however: It was not a blog and even if it had been, I would not have deleted it. I did share with him a perspective, one I consider valid, and I made it clear, politely, that it was just my opinion, and my perspective. I offered constructive suggestions for him to contribute in some way. I reviewed all his activity on the site before posting this perspective. He has, in the past, asked questions (back in 2008) but never provided any support and now offers to sell his company's plans for UAVs for $250. As a fellow member, I have seen zero contributions or sharing.

    But I would not have declined to publish, had this been a blog. I would still have preferred to apply some peer pressure by expressing the perspective that this community is about sharing, and I would have offered some ideas for how he might contribute, and that I would be more receptive "personally" (as I expressed in my reply) if he were contributing. 

  • 3D Robotics
    OMFG is okay. Let's not go overboard with the moderating.
  • Moderator

    He PM'ed me again with the same message again, and now a new one. I'm ignoring him. 

    Jake -> me

    Why is it like pulling teeth just to get common courtesy out of people here?  I'd have been happy with any action except a lie about a post that was annonmyously edited.

    OMFG is an acronym.  It can mean more than one thing.  That is different from "foul language".  Even if I had meant it to stand for a foul word it still would not itself be a foul word.

    If you can't understand that you have no business moderating and should come back in 5 years when you're grown up.

  • Moderator

    He had to dig hard for his definition of the term. I use this as my standard for the meaning of the acronym: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/OMFG

    I followed the process established by Ellison in addressing the matter. 

    I'm not going to publicly (or privately) address or acknowledge him again. I sent him a PM, which I will include here for your benefit, and he sent me one at the same time, which I will also include. Please feel free to clean up the nonsense of that exchange, which has no further purpose on the site (or leave it, as you choose.) I only allowed it to play out out of consideration for being transparent in my interaction with him.

    me -> Jake: "Subject: trolling? no, sir. Just doing my job as outlined in the published site guidelines.

    Jake: I'm not interested in trolling you. I wasn't involved in your last suspension, and I do not plan to be involved in your next suspension. You do a fine job all by yourself. You are a force of harmony, not in what you bring to the community, but rather in uniting large numbers of moderators who have never agreed on anything that your behavior is not acceptable here. This is nothing more than the latest example. I will not comment or respond further to you, except to perform my duties here."

    Jake -> me: "Subject: Trolling much?

    I would appreciate you following the rules here. Abusing moderator privileges, libel, trolling, and threadjacking must certainly be against the rules.

    I'm trying my best to turn a new leaf and be more constructive.  You are making things very difficult for no reason.

    I politely asked you to remove your false insinuation that I used foul language and rather than comply you derailed the thread and reinstated your false accusation in an even more offensive manner.

    If you really are offended so much by OMFG then put in the rules that you can't use any acronym or internet slang that can possibly be interpreted as representing a swear word.

    Again, I request that you remove your false accusation against me.  Or edit it to be truthful, or just remove the whole thing."


  • Also I don't find that blog to be commercial any more than others that we've approved.  The guy worked hard to design and proof those airframes, and there's no reason why he should ask a little money to offset his time and development costs.  For us DIYers, it's inspiring just to see these big airframes fly.  It might help us in designing our own, if we have the skills.

  • Ok, from what I gathered this is the comment that was edited:

    "OMFG! http://www.seeop.com/development/spinwing/index.html Check out the "Watch video of conversion." link. Can you share some details of this crazy beast?  With a payload of 60+ pounds it must have a pretty big motor?"

    I guess Mike objected to "OMFG".

  • Moderator

    Ah, but he's at it again!

    Already he's butting heads with Mike Pursifull.  (I didn't see the version of Jake's post before the redaction, but knowing Jake, it's probably a doozie!

    Even his comments before the profanity are anti-DIYDrones. 

    If he does not respect our community, why is he so interested in being a member?

This reply was deleted.

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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1 Reply

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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3 Replies