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

    Sounds good, thanks for the feedback. 

  • 3D Robotics

    @Mario: I rejected that post last time it came up, but agree that the poster actually does seem to engage with the community and doesn't seem like a total spammer. That said, let's not approve more off-topic posts from them. 

  • Moderator


    I have no idea if this qualifies as blatant advertising or if there is enough "information of interest to the majority of DIYdrones users". The poster's history seems to all promote the PCB design website, but he's also actively engaging other people in discussion. I have no intention of doing anything about it, just curious to hear other opinions.  /shrug

  • Moderator
    Absolutely Chris, it's a very interesting thread to read. I'd made the fatal assumption that a picture and a couple of sentences would not be up to scratch- very, very wrong! I've definately learnt from this, quality versus quantity :-)
  • 3D Robotics

    As I'd hoped, that post now has lots of good comments and seems to have resonated with the developers. You never know what's going to strike a chord.

  • Moderator
    Thanks for your thoughts Chris, makes good sense and I will bear that in mind in the future. Sorry for the long time getting back to you, the joys of two sick young children.....
  • 3D Robotics

    I tend to error on the side of approving, unless it's totally off topic, violates the TOS (including no graphic) or is over-the-top promotional. 

    You never know what will peak people's interest, and the S/N ratio here is good enough to allow a little variance

  • Moderator
    I personally feel this blog is not worthy as it stands, http://diydrones.com/profiles/blog/show?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A2242442
    Would appreciate your thoughts.

    I only approve obvious blog posts as per the guidelines despite viewing most submissions. I feel this gives me an idea of what the group considers appropriate and if my judgement is aligned. Maybe this would help the other new mods? I greatly appreciate the mod who took the time to annotate the blog post requiring more photos before acceptance, this avoids incorrect approval and provides a useful learning tool.
  • Developer
    Something that can be a bit confusing is that moderator status does not automatically add a person to this group and new moderatorsite have to reply to or follow this post to see comments. Unfortunately it is all very inefficient.
  • Moderator

    Ah ok understood, just thought I would check in incase you were wanting to check if everyone was setup to receive notifications?

This reply was deleted.

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