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
    Relying on the comments from Chris, I take the job of a moderator more as a meter maid than a judge and jury.(in a good way)

    Editing content smells of censorship.
    We have tools to moderate those posts that do not conform to the site guidelines such as PMs and suspensions, but we have been advised to limit banning and deletions until group discussion.

    Sure we can help posters by adding graphics or suggesting the author do so.

    Actually I have replaced some overt swear words with special characters, and added the usual moderator notation, but I have given that up as a little Victorian. Now I would PM that person to edit their comments themselves.

    As we have seen in the last few weeks especially, there are 75 different opinions as to how to moderate, so I take a more cautious approach.
  • Moderator

    Over thinking this a little aren't we guys?  There are already guidelines in place. 

  • Moderator
    @Ellison, the military is not the only place with designated levels of authority...without it there would be anarchy and pandemonium.
  • @Sgt Ric, I'm wondering what reasoning is behind why you think the admin is more able to decide about editing a post to conform to the rules? I thought we were all equally able to use our own judgement, within reason. I know in the military, titles gives you higher authority, but I wasn't aware this was the military.

    If my judgement is not to be trusted here, then maybe I'm in the wrong place.

  • Moderator
    But that is part of the reason for my question.
    Generally speaking, the publication of a draft is not intentional.
    The actor does not, typically, intent or realize that they are publishing a draft. They usually end up looking at the pending queue, often to review another submitted story, and proceed to the draft, with the belief that it is another pending, submitted story. The yellow banner that the story is a draft is not seen.
  • Moderator

    I feel that ANY editting should only be done in serious cases and NEVER without a moderator note. 

    Editting for content should be left to the admin or Chris himself.

    Promoting a draft is not anything that I would ever need to do; that is the author's business.

  • Moderator
    Does everyone understand how it happens? The sequence of events that leads to a draft being published, and theories on how it could be prevented?
  • Moderator

    This is not the first time drafts have been promoted and posted live to the forum when the author had not meant them to be.

    In one case I can recall the author was very, very annoyed because first of all he had not completed the editting, and second, he had planned on publishing at a specific time.

  • Yep, best case is the dev is still around, and makes the changes. Worse case is he posted it, and went to sleep, and the critical information is delayed a day.  We can't make exceptions, just because a dev posted it.  It's all about consistent moderations, right?

  • Admin


    I think that we need to work together here with the developers. If a moderator edits a developer blog post, then do the developer the courtesy of informing him that you have done so. Otherwise suggest to the developer the changes that need to be made for approval and allow the developer to do it himself. I had sent Julian a pm asking him to provide a picture at the top of the post header.


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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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3 Replies