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

    @Tom -  Yes, I read the thread and it took me that long to comment as I was on a plane from Germany.

    Both Mark and I are making considered comment, not just flying off the cuff.  You may have discussed in between the three of you but it wasn't brought to us or even announced here. I'm sure you realise that the actions of the admin reflect on the mod group as a whole. So please keep us informed.

  • Moderator

    There's tons of stuff I don't see 24 hours after its been posted!

    I did read the thread before commenting here, but even before reading I believed  it was inappropriate to stick a label on somebody's picture without consultation.

    I'm fine with him commenting, just not with the unilateral labeling of the picture.

    Craig, update your linkedin, that's what I used to double-check your position!

  • Admin

    Craig ran his observations and complaints concerning UAS Solutions by Gary and me prior to posting his blog post. I felt that it was worth a blog post to get a dialogue going with the sUAS community concerning UAS Solutions practices concerning Open Source Licensing requirements.

    I am surprised that it took most of you Mods almost 24 hours before commenting on his blog post.

    Have any of you read the entire discussion thread before commenting?


    I do not think that Craig has been Engineering Director of 3DR for quite a while.


  • Moderator

    I totally agree with Mark.

    I will always support your sentiment Craig, but it needs to be done the right way.

  • Moderator

    Craig, while agreeing the conclusions that you draw based on the facts you present, I'm just not comfortable with you just sticking a label on them without discussion among the moderators.  Feel free to do whatever you want in your role as engineering director of 3DR, but (just imho) you shouldn't take unilateral action on something where there might be a range of opinions regarding the matter.

  • Developer

    There are three different licenses involved:
    OSHWA CC-BY-SA 3.0 - they claim to have modified the Pixhawk but do not publish their changes http://store.uav-solutions.com/uav-solutions-pixhawk-avionics/

    GPL on Mission Planner and Ardupilot  - They are obligated to inform their customers that they are using GPL licensed code and to pass a copy of the license onto their customers.  UAV Solutions does not do this

    BSD License requires notification to the customer that the software has a BSD license on it.  UAV Solutions does not do this

    In last 18 months I have complaints from two customers who have asked for code and not received it and have asked me to do something about it, as well as other companies who actually do honour the licenses complaining their competition does not.  I understand UAV Solutions received US gov't money to develop their version of Mission planner as propriety software. 

    I have met with UAS Solutions twice in the last nine months and the Director of Engineering has stated they have no interest in publishing their changes. I don't expect one public statement is going to change their plans but I have said to them that I would work with them to help them with their compliance.  I have even talked to Linux Foundation about legal action and that is a pretty expensive proposition.  

    It is amazing to me the way the community put pressure on BIrdseye to publish their code and it worked. https://github.com/BirdsEyeViewAerobotics

    I would be happy to have UAS Solutions make some demonstration that they are compliant.  They could post their notice that says they are passing the GPL license along to their users, they could post their pixhawk changes.  Anything would be good,

    Calling them out has the support of Michael and Lorenz and other dev team members even though they are staying out of the fray.  As Community Manager I took this on on their behalf.  All of these people want something done about UAV Solutions and if  we are not going to call out the license violators that leaves us impotent. 

  • Moderator

    Remove the badge.  That's appalling and unprofessional.  How can you honestly assign that without discussion first?

  • Developer

    it seems here they are stating that they have no objection to providing the source


    Which is different than actually providing the link to source, but it seems that the thread has maybe moved the process forward to gaining access to the source code.

    Maybe this is a change on tune, but I feel its important to show we are reasonable. Maybe now they realise that this wasn't a sole voice of objection, but the community as a whole

  • Moderator

    I would also prefer that the tag be removed pending further discussion.

  • Admin


    If you can make what you have stated an ironclad quote, for inclusion in the discussion thread, that UAS Solutions cannot refute without publically perjuring themselves, then the badge can stay?


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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