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

    Did any of you sent back a post entitled "What is going on with 3DR's storefront & support?"  I saw it in my approval queue and wanted to make sure that we had our customer support team review it, but now it's gone. If you happened to send it back to the author as inappropriate for a blog post, can you at least PM me the text so I can respond personally?

  • Moderator

    I was on a plane from Western Australia to Belarus, took me 2 days to get to the place, and 20 hours on the plane to meet my newborn, and yes I able to see the roll call and check in.

    But just because I could doesnt mean someone who didnt check in in a 3 day window is not committed enough.

    It's not as if there is only one moderator position, and who ever gets it needs to be available.

    If I'm on a week long dive trip in Vanuatu and you're doing a roll call with 3 days notice don't expect a response.

    Free help is free help, as long as they are helping.  What ever help someone can give is valuable. Whether that's someone who's only one once  week and checks blogs and approves it.


  • Admin

    @Hai Tran,

    Gary and I gave three (3) days for the Moderators to respond to the check-in. When I was a Moderator, prior to becoming an Admin, I usually spent a few minutes or more each day on the site to determine if there were blog posts or members to approve.

    If a Moderator is so busy elsewhere that he does not visit the website in at least three days or less, then maybe he has too many other commitments to be a Moderator?

    If we are going to have Moderators effectively support the Admins and the website, then I expect them to visit the website sufficiently enough to see that a check-in is in progress.

    Beside, if a Moderator is subscribed to the website, as he should be, he will have received an email notification that there has been something posted on the Comment Wall. If he is not curious enough to review the notice, especially if it has been posted by an Admin, then I feel he does not really have the time to be a Moderator.


  • Moderator

    There are a number of tasks that moderators do, approve blog posts, approve members, liaising with members about blog posts and keeping comments and posts civil.  The first 3 tasks do not necessarily involve posting.

    Like a number of others, I tend to only chime in when sometime important comes up, and it's obvious if moderators are paying attention when these roll calls come up.  The issue is that the period in which to response may not be long enough.

    People do take holidays or can be away with connectivity for week, or two or even 4 weeks.  Whilst I'm virtually always connected to the internet, whether on leave, or taking care of a new born baby, not everyone can respond to this roll calls in the given timeframe.

    Given that moderators do so without any reward, lets that that into account with criticizing or judging moderator's commitment to this site.  As long as moderators aren't doing harm, I don't see why people failing to respond should be given the boot.

  • Admin


    Unlike Ardupilot.com there is no DIY Drones member activity login log. We can only go by the date of posts on a member's profile "Latest Activity" Wall.

    As an example, if a member's latest post on their "Latest Activity" wall was Dec 2014, and they claimed that they are an active Moderator/Member, wouldn't you be a little suspicious as to their claim of activity even as a member?


  • Moderator

    With respect to Moderator candidates.

         Bret C - +1 Level headed, good participation

         "Lazy" - +1 Haven't had any personal experience with his posts, but he                            seems supportive and gives lots of positive short                                        comments.

         Mario  - NA I'm not sure which Mario is being held up as a candidate,                              there are several.

         Visual Micro - +1 Surprised I'm not familiar with this member. reading                                      through his blog history and posts, he appears to bring                                  good content to the community and is an active/good                                    poster.

    I like Sgt Rick don't tend to comment unless I have a strong informed opinion on a subject. That said, I am online almost every day for many hours a day reading and commenting/directing assistance where I see the need. Like everyone I do have other responsibilities and interests that take me away from time to time. I will try to be more active here in the Moderators forum when a request is made for comment.

    With respect to roll calls and last activity; I'm not sure I believe inactivity should be a sole reason to remove a Moderator who otherwise has been a positive contributor. Personally I am far less active in the winter months than the summer months simply due to the fact that the climate isn't conducive to flying. It's difficult to assist others when you yourself can't speak from personal experience. I try to keep up and help where and when I can over the winter, but it is much more effective when I am able to participate in the testing.

    I too am curious about the login stats. I almost never need to login when I am on diydrones. How do the logs report login activity, is it only when a user is requested to login?

    Best Regards to all and happy landings,

    Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

  • Admin


    Gary and I are expecting comments from the existing Moderators concerning the candidate Moderators and the Moderators who did not check-in. I do not want the addition of the candidate Moderators and the demotion of the Moderators who did not check-in to be an Admin only exercise. This is a group effort.


  • Moderator

    I think the blog post by JJ is certainly commercial.. But I feel he should just be advised that it is not really suitable and not have the blog published. My own view of JJ is that his heart is in the right place and he is very enthusiastic perhaps a little too much and judging from private emails he has sent me in the past gave me the impression that perhaps he has read too many Marvel comics?

  • Moderator
    About JJ... His blog post today is beginning to cross the line between informative and commercial don't you think?

    Come on now - how many times have we seen calls for Ten Homeowners Wanted in Need of a New Roof!
    Definitely not an original marketing scheme.
    He even says he can't send them out for free.
  • Moderator
    TCIII,yes I receive the notices and look at the question, but failed to comment unless I had a strong informed opinion.
    I will be more diligent from now on following your comment about how participation makes the decision more equitable.
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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