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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  • Admin

    How does this blog post qualify as a sUAS subject Link


  • Moderator

    FYI I'm going away for 3 days, so don't be surprised if I'm not responsive. Probably a good thing that I'm getting away from the conversation for a while because it really has me irritated. If you knew me personally you would appreciate that that's a big deal. It takes a lot to get me worked up. I'm a very easy going, rational and level headed individual who would normally hold back in a situation like this but I really don't care for the tone I'm reading in your comments Thomas. Perhaps it's the same old story that happens all the time in forums. Words can be so inadequate and impersonal that it's easy to read meaning that wasn't intended by the writer (sometimes it is). I hope the "tone" I'm reading isn't real because that would really be a shame.


    Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

  • Admin

    As I stated in a previous comment: "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.

    Based on the statement above, that means that a Moderator does not have to constantly check the website. All he has to do is check his email, which I assume we all do, and follow up on the Comment Wall comment post email.


    Can there be an explanation as to why the Moderators who did not check-in during the three day period still not have checked-in and it has been over five days since I posted the check-in request on Sunday evening of last weekend?


    I am not requesting round the clock vigilance, however a Moderator response to a Comment Wall comment posted by an Admin email alert would seem unreasonable? How many of you don't check your email at least once a day?


  • Admin

    Ok   make it 5-7 days ,  :))   but lets take turn in disappearing for a while.  How?  Just inform the gang in here about imminent disappearing act/day and aprox  reappearing date, else can't send in search party.  BTW U must be lucky one with 3 day week end!!,  mine starts with Saturday evening and ends by Sunday evening :(.  

    Not that every mod/admin needs to chat in everyday or even for 3-4 days, but just drop in once in a while to say hi and  or share a photo of the fun u r having. It feels depressing not hearing a mouse squeak for weeks in end then  all of sudden traffic jam in less than 6 hours...


  • Developer
    I would say a 3 day check in is a pretty short notice. 3 days is a weekend camping with no Internet access or as Hai says a long flight some place. The time frame to report in could easily be a week or 2 without any problem
  • Admin

    IMHO The reason any mod/admin may not jump( falls sleep too long) in every 2-3 days would be his notification mail not being the primary mail ID he uses every day. This may not sound happy answer to every one who want privacy blaw keeping his personal act away from diyd act but IMHO there is nothing private about internet or atleast in here for me.  Even if I don't want to moderate any thing for the day or two , I still have to choose all notifications every 2-3 days & delete( else I end up 500-1k emails in inbox) and while doing so, my eyes finds atleast one interesting notification subject( like this one when I see too much chatter/ traffic in mods group) to comment on or atleast have a look at it( I still may not comment but won't miss any thing)

    Bottom line:-  IMHO, use your primary/second primary act as DIYD notification act and that way no one will be out of loop for very long. I know many DIYD users have created a separate account/fancy account  which they in few months time forget all about and send us issue notice saying theyr't able to log in!!. Simple use a account u check in every few days.

    No point in getting heated up in here  when all the words just  spoken up in last 48 hours on this topic by every one would server one comment/mod for 6 months of DIYD mod/admin time.  Just my 1 cent.



  • Moderator

    There seems to be some heated opinions at the moment and yes I do have to agree that we are all here as volunteers and do have lives, families and businesses that we all must give attention too above anything else.. for anyone to devote too much time would perhaps require being retired? but thats why we have Moderators from both side of the Atlantic and further beyond so that nobody is overworked or things run into disarray, perhaps more people in Admin is what is required, there may be some Mods that no longer check there account or are no longer interested, perhaps get rid of the ones that do not reply and allow them back if they ask to be reinstated within a reasonable period of time?

  • Moderator


    I agree with Hai Tran 100%. People have lives and I'm more than happy to assist in whatever way I can, but if I'm on vacation or under pressure at work to produce the last thing I'm going to think about is "I better check in with DiyDrones"

    If that means in your opinion I'm not an adequate Moderator, that I'm not dedicated enough for your standards; then by all means cut me loose. Last I checked being a Moderator didn't come with any perks.

    This is my way of giving back something to the community and I enjoy it. I do what I can to help others where I feel I can, I was doing that before you approached me to be a Moderator, and I would continue to do it even without the Moderator badge.

    I spend easily 100+ hours on the site a month, granted I'm not actively moderating all that time but I do pay attention to the management of new members/blogs etc. and keep things sane with a voice of reason when needed. I will say that for the most part by the time I get to the blog posts someone else must already be approving/editing it because they vanish before my eyes. Probably one in ten blog posts I look at and edit actually get approved by me. Perhaps I spend to much time reviewing the content of the blog posts and actually read what I'm approving, I son't know.

    I'd like to keep helping where and when I can as a Moderator, but not if my efforts aren't going to be appreciated.

    Perhaps you should put that up top a vote.


    Nathaniel ~KD2DEY

  • Moderator

    @Hai the snag is posts getting approved that we have flagged for discussion here and folks approving new members that never should have been. There are folks that want to be mods and those that deserve to be. Experience has show having dozens of mods does not work. We need to all spend a few minutes checking here before setting off to do stuff to make sure we are all on the same message. Sometimes folks very quickly accuse us of bias or banning and its for things that might happen whilst you or I are asleep if we have no record of why something happened here we can't honestly address the aggrieved member. 

  • Admin


    I was the one who sent the blog post back to the OP to post in the Rants and Raves Discussion Forum.

    I will forward you the pm.


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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