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


    I am waiting for a response from both Gary and Davidson to my pm's that I have sent to both.


  • Moderator

    And to clarify why I'm (just IMHO!) not comfortable:

    - There's nothing on the site that talks about the policy for how the site handles alleged GPL violators.  I think it's reasonable to discuss what our policy is for this.  Do we even want to be in the GPL enforcement business?  I'm quite happy for everyone to dogpile on a violator, but I'm not sure that the site itself should be involved in judging who is a violator and assigning penalties.

    - As an example, what if I have a disagreement with Craig in the future? Can he arbitrarily assign me the label "pedantic whiner"?  It's true of course, but I object in principle to one person having the authority to make this decision unilaterally.

    - The optics are a bit unseemly... two 3DR employees decide to label a competitor using the "community site" and claiming the moderators' support.  Note that I'm not claiming this is what's happening, just that this is how an inattentive observer might interpret the situation.

  • Moderator

    TC, can you go ahead and remove the label?

    It seems there's a reasonable number of moderators are uncomfortable with the labelling, and regardless of the merits of the dispute it's not a policy we wish to be associated with pending further discussion.

  • Moderator

    Please remove the label!
    I totally agree on demanding companies/people to honor the open source licence. 
    However, IMHO labeling someone like that is misusing the moderator privileges. Furthermore, lets agree on a policy not to do that in the future as well. 

  • Admin

    William Davidson has sent me a pm requesting that Craig's blog post be removed and I responded with the following:

    The discussion thread will not be removed, but will be closed to further comments and the badge removed from you Avatar if you post a comment indicating your willingness to post your source code per your statement: 'With this we are going to post the source as I see no reason for us not to, and others may get some benefit. As well as our company there are others posting that are very aware of the actual requirements(including other developers).'"


  • Developer

    Thank you Randy.

  • Developer

    It's a tough subject and not one that the moderators have had to deal with much before as far as I know.  I think Craig did a brave thing calling out UAV Solutions and I salute him for that.

  • Moderator

    As David said.

    I have some disagreements with one of the factual elements of Craig's post, but he's well within the terms of service to make the statements he did.  And of course I'm confident he'll be able to back up several of the claims he made.

    Please let's reset the label pending further discussion.

  • Moderator

    Blog post, fine.  The avatar label not so fine.

  • Admin


    Craig told Gary and myself that he was going to do a blog post on UAV Solutions concerning their possible violations of the Open Source License. I did not get to see the blog post in its entirety until it was published, just like you.

    As I said before, 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.

    We all have our opinions on Craig's blog post and I believe that both you and Mark have spoken your piece concerning certain aspects of Craig's post.

    Therefore do any of the other Moderators who have not chimed in yet feel as David and Mark do and that the badge should be removed from William Davidson's Avatar?


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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