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 am keeping the catch all section filtered. My divorce is going to crap but I still empty it out ever other day at least.
  • Just to chip in on the "it's always the same 4 or 5 people" doing the moderating thing.

    I joined this group a few weeks back, hearing that you could do with some help, but every time I get a notification about something needing moderating I check the queue and its clear.

    So, you guys are doing an incredible job of keeping on top of the posts, but if you're feeling weary of it just ease off on the gas pedal a little, there's plenty of us waiting to jump in to help if you were to leave the queue unattended for more than a few minutes.

    Having said that, a roll call isn't a bad way to filter the mods group down a little.
  • I think a lot of us read the conversations on the group but some moderators here get a little vicious if you go against their views. Maybe they just don't feel comfortable posting in here.
  • Moderator

    @Sgt Ric - I have long suspect that it's someone that doesn't read the moderator group.  If it wasn't the 4 or 5 of us that are regularly talking here, that has to be it.

    Perhaps a roll call is in order...  One part of being a moderator is of course checking out this group for what's happening!

  • Moderator
    No one has admitted to it yet, and this has only served to give DS more ammo to add to his personal web site devoted to all things critical of this community.
  • Admin

    Did Chris Lovett remove his flyaway post himself or was it a Moderator action?


  • Admin


    I was a Senior Principle Engineer at Raytheon Co. before I retired recently. Even though I was an IPTL, I still had to follow corporate and program management policy/direction that was flowed down from above. As long as I adhered to to those guidelines I was able to run my own show. It was not very often that my decisions were overruled and then for a good reason. In the Aerospace Industry corporations there is a definite chain of command that is adhered to by the employees.


  • Admin

    I approved the "This is fun" video blog post. However, given where the author flew, he might just want to delete the post as it could get him in trouble with the city of Santa Monica, CA. But, that is up to the author and not us moderators.


  • I'm not talking about changing the content, just moving images around to conform to our posting rules.

    Are you saying that moderators don't have the required intelligence to make such a decision that it has to be deferred to a higher authority?

    Many of us have university degrees, and some of us have graduate degrees.  We've most likely worked in the high tech environment, where hierarchy is not the rule.  It's more of a meritocracy.  Everyone can use their own judgement, and there is no anarchy.

    We volunteer our time to make this site better.

  • Admin

    Wise words Sgt_Ric


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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