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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  • Moderator

    Given the way some of the blogs are accepted, I strongly believe there are some moderators who doesn't receive/read the comments found here (may be they stopped following this?). IMHO sending an email to all moderators about this notice might help.. 

    Just my 2c. 


  • Admin

    Please make sure that when you approve a blog post that the relevant picture/video etc can be seen up front in the post. If it doesn't, please edit the blog post to get the picture/video/etc to the top of the post.


  • Admin

    Hi Ellison,

    You have a point there. I am just one of the guys too!


  • Well, like I said that practice may filter out legitimate members. In fact spammers are probably going to cycle through or use random src IP numbers, if they are serious about spamming.

    Also it seems a little too formal to preface every comment here with "Moderators". Isn't everyone on this site already a moderator?  I feel like I reading "letters from the CEO", everytime I see that.  How about we leave that out, or use "my friends", "folks" or something less formal.  Just a suggestion.

  • Admin


    You do have a point there, however in my conversations with Chris, he indicated to me that he was blocking those IPs. Comments?



  • Thomas, the problem is that smart spammers can easily high their IP src using easily available programs.  They will most likely choose a location in the US, and by blocking those IP numbers you may be blocking legitimate members from those locations.

  • Admin


    If you come across a member request that has the two letter responses, don't delete it. I am constantly watching the website and will add the IP of the two letter spammers to our blocked IP list. The longer the list, the less of the chance that a two letter spammer will get to the membership request stage.



  • Chris, I guess it depends on the demographics of your spammers.  They're probably international, where labour is cheaper.  They actually have people dedicated to solving captchas manually.

    Spammer blocking needs to be multi-level.  When I used guizes and manual approval my spammer rate was higher than when I combined captcha  with e-mail confirmation.  Even then, I still need to ban one or two a day.

    I don't think it's too much asking a member to have a valid e-mail address to perform an e-mail validation.  We want committed, responsible members to apply, not people using temporary or having invalid e-mail addresses, imho.

  • 3D Robotics

    Ellison: I tried turning on capchas instead of a login quiz today for an hour. We immediately got a flood of spammers. I guess they know how to solve capchas, but not basic English spelling quizes ;-)

  • 3D Robotics

    Moderators, sorry for the Ning problems today. The site had issues for about 2 hours, from 4:30pm PST to 6:30 pm. Ning was on it pretty quickly, but it caused disruptions in email, forums, MyPages and elsewhere, along with slow page loads. 

    If you're ever wondering if there are Ning issues causing performance hits, you can check the status here: http://status.ning.com/

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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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