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 think editing the content is probably out of the range of moderation, but adding a photo where there isn't one is.  The devs need to be made aware of our publishing policies, or their posts simply will not be approved.  It would be unfortunate to delay such critical and important information.

  • Moderator

    @ Ellison, good idea about the disclaimer, but perhaps that's in the footer of the blog/discussion pages?  I would have thought though, that it was in the ToS - it's been a while since I read those.

    @ All - and just a general observation.  The amount of chatter on the moderator group has actually exceeded the normal chatter I receive in my inbox.  I understand if there's an event going on (abusive, inappropriate comments etc), but hopefully this will die down soon and the site will go back to almost self-moderating. Ignoring the bot sign-ups, that's just something we'll have to deal with.

    However, when it comes to normal moderating duties, I feel that the moderators should feel empowered to back themselves knowing they have the ToS behind them.  We shouldn't need to post a comment here and invite a discussion every time someone doesn't abide by them when it comes to posting on the blogs.

    As they say, a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

    I also feel that we're not graphics people and shouldn't be up to us to find a picture for a blog pic.  We should certainly get in touch with the OP, but if they can't take the time to find a picture and update their post, clearly they weren't that passionate about getting their story told and be on the front page of the site.

    And finally, we have 72 people in the group, yet it's the same 5 or 6 people that are around and appear to be doing all the work?  [although, having just said that my inbox was getting flooded, maybe it's good that it's only 5 or 6 :D ].

    Just my 2.5 cents.

  • Admin

    I received this email from Craig Elder (3DR) concering the editing of developer blog posts. I think that it might be wise to ask the blog post author to make moderator requested corrections themselves, before trying to edit a blog post.

    "There is something I would like you to pass on to your moderators. I just learned of this yesterday that the moderators can edit a blog post and the authors are not notified, and there is no indication on the post that it has been edited. I think some of the moderators are being a bit aggressive with edits, particularly with the dev announcements.

    How I became aware of this was yesterday when Julian was editing his post for the PPM release, he saved it as a draft and while we went to lunch it was posted, complete with an added photo. Today the post has been edited again and the author does not get any notification.

    In having a discussion with the dev team there were lots of similar stories.

    If you could pass onto your moderators to please don't publish posts when they are in draft form. I understand the more experienced devs use a technique of setting the date on a draft into the future so it does not get into the publish queue but neither Julian or I was aware of this procedure until yesterday.

    Also, in general my preference would be that the moderators contact the dev team members and communicate editorial changes that should be made and if an edit is made that a message is sent to the dev.

    Thanks very much for your help here."


  • Gary, I was just against having, "Bitch" in the title.  As for his build, I don't think we can filter out post by the quality or merit of people's design, regardless of how bad we think it is.  However, maybe we should ad a disclaimer in all posts regarding the fact that all content are the responsibility of the poster and not that of the site, if we don't already have blanket one, in the TOS.

  • Admin

    Based on Drone_Savant's recent posts, I am beginning to believe that he wants to become the FAA of hobby drones.LOL! Maybe one day we will have to have our drones certified for flight by Drone_Savant! More LOL!


  • Admin

    We need a royalty free picture of a drone for the header for the blog post Pilot Spots Possible Drone 1,500 Feet Above NYC's JFK Airport... FA...

    Any suggestion?. I have pmed the author to add a drone picture to the post header.


  • Admin


    I went to the Corbis Images website for a drone pic for one of the blog posts and found out that they are charging for the pictures.


  • Admin

    OliverD, a Moderator, added a blog post for the sale of a APM2.5. I pmed him to move the blog post to the Buy, Sell, Trade Discussion Forum. As a Moderator he should know better than to post his for sale items in the blog posts.


  • Admin

    Looks like we have one moderator who is approving blog posts without the required picture/video/etc in the header. I have sent pms to the post authors to add the required pictures/videos/etc to the post header.


  • Moderator

    I'm with you on the "Bitch Face" Ellison. Its a horrid build and he will crash that and blame the world. With all the weight people add its no wonder they have issues.

    Is it the sort of thing that should greet people when they land at the most popular UAS site in the world??

    With the JFK near miss being reported today no doubt many people will be arriving from searches and anybody with half an ounce of knowledge will look at that machine and say no wonder they fly away.

    Sorry its a big gripe this one, but when you approve a post here lots of people see it so it should be worthy. It should be an honour to be on the front page. 

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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