# What don't you like about SFN?

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We had one of these threads a few years ago, and perhaps it's time for another.

What don't you like about SFN? Features, bugs, people, content, staff, whatever. What bugs you?

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That you cannot sign in on the front page.

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That you cannot sign in on the front page.

For this reason I never use the front page. Even from the college computers that delete my browsing history so I have to type in the url, I go straight to the usercp.

I always check my subscribed threads first anyways. Part of the reason is that those are threads that interest me. There's a lot of uninteresting threads; that's unavoidable; but I wish it were easier to find interesting threads.

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I agree, and I think that just displaying a bland forum index to users when they first hit the site sucks. I may try some sort of new front page in IPB that displays the most-participated-in threads of the last day, and so on.

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I think that ability to find interesting pages could easily be a limit to growth of the site. Most-participated-in threads might be a nice idea, but would unfortunately include flamewars too. Might be worthwhile anyways though.

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What other ways of determine if a thread is interesting would you recommend?

There's also "most subscribed to," "most viewed," and so on. A combination of factors could be used.

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I don't like uppity moderators that delete postings because of their own personal issues.

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If you ever believe that happened, let an administrator (like myself) know. Generally, we have a moderation policy that prevents that from ever happening -- moderators consult with each other before moderating, so nobody gets the chance to moderate out of anger.

Now, there may be other instances where you've had a post deleted, but usually those are covered in our forum rules. Any "extra-judicial" deletion is cause for concern.

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I think the only real solution would be to have the content of threads analyzed by a computer. Not that the computer is likely to figure much of anything. I guess it might be able to filter out threads with frustration words (insults, "once again", ...). Most subscribed to is definitely a good choice, especially if people subscribe to the thread without posting to it. If you made thread ranking play a role in thread prominence, us readers might help filter for good threads. A combination of thread ranking with one of the other attributes (views, posts, subscriptions) would probably work nicely.

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
I don't like uppity moderators that delete postings because of their own personal issues.

The moderators here are some of the best I've seen. Except for the politics section, a little, but then again if you compare them to our political leadership they are positively shining examples of virtue.

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I want a color scheme different from all the whites, light blues, and blues.

I want some blacks, blues, and dark blues.

In general, I want the color scheme to be gloomy and dark.

Edited by Genecks
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I suppose a choice of forum skins wouldn't hurt.

Anyway, I was thinking about a more creative approach to troll-management. Would it be possible to confine posters to the speculations forum as a step before outright bans? That would give them a chance to redeem themselves and perhaps appear less hostile than suspension.

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Being locked out of the Philosophy, Religion and Ethics forums by default.

Do I have to prove something first or have a certain amount of posts? I'm not exactly new with 40-something posts but neither would I say i'm well established.

I don't necessarily want to post in these forums all the time but occassionaly there's something I feel I want to comment on.

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Do I have to prove something first or have a certain amount of posts? I'm not exactly new with 40-something posts but neither would I say i'm well established.
Yeah, there's a certain amount of posts and being an active member for a certain amount of time. It's to prevent people from registering exclusively to use/troll those boards. From experience, it's the only workable solution.
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Actually, I recently was allowed to post in Religion after I asked for permission through a PM to and administrator, to whom, I will also say thanks in this post, to do so, but I sympathize with your observation Leader Bee, since I also think that the requirement of 100 posts is really to big if it is for the reasons expressed by the tree, my friends

Imho (very humble, btw), if you want to be sure if any given member could be someone reliable, I minimum of 20 posts (on probation), can give you an idea of how the person is going to behave and if he doesnt, well then you can give him a 100 or more, post requirement.

Edited by Rickdog
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Well, given that I joined in July 2009 and have made only 46 posts, going by that average that would mean I would have access to the Philosophy forums next year if I don't start randomly posting spam to get my post count up.

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Anyway, I was thinking about a more creative approach to troll-management. Would it be possible to confine posters to the speculations forum as a step before outright bans? That would give them a chance to redeem themselves and perhaps appear less hostile than suspension.

I think you'll find that this already happens quite a bit. The problem is that most of the time these are actual trolls, and not just confused individuals who got ahold of some bad info and need the benefit of some expertise. If they don't break the rules, they aren't banned. Most of the ones that are banned are exiled for becoming belligerent when their ideas are dissected, or repeated reintroduction of a topic that has been closed.

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Being locked out of the Philosophy, Religion and Ethics forums by default.

Do I have to prove something first or have a certain amount of posts? I'm not exactly new with 40-something posts but neither would I say i'm well established.

I don't necessarily want to post in these forums all the time but occassionaly there's something I feel I want to comment on.

I really should make the explanation for that more obvious, shouldn't I?

Religion requires 100 posts, while Ethics and Philosophy require 30. I'll see about putting a more prominent notice in those forums to explain it.

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Being locked out of the Philosophy, Religion and Ethics forums by default.

Do I have to prove something first or have a certain amount of posts? I'm not exactly new with 40-something posts but neither would I say i'm well established.

I don't necessarily want to post in these forums all the time but occassionaly there's something I feel I want to comment on.

This policy was in response to some experiences we've had in the past, where people showed up only to argue in the non-science sections, and were quite disruptive. The rationale here is that someone who is here to discuss science is more prone to rational discussion, as compared to many other places, and someone not so inclined probably isn't going to stick around.

I would like nothing better than to be free to post as a regular member, and not have any moderation duties take up my time, and I strongly suspect that's true of all of my colleagues, too. To that end several functions have been automated (spam filtering being a prominent example; Pangloss linked to an example of how bad spam can be not too long ago), and the thresholds for posting in the politics/religion/philosophy sections are another. To evaluate each newcomer individually, or to clean up after rabble-rousers, would be a large burden on the staff.

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I think I've said before that I think the thresholds should be more consistent. If all the boards with that type of restriction could be in one section, then that section could have the thresholds written right there.

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Actually, I recently was allowed to post in Religion after I asked for permission through a PM to and administrator, to whom, I will also say thanks in this post, to do so, but I sympathize with your observation Leader Bee, since I also think that the requirement of 100 posts is really to big if it is for the reasons expressed by the tree, my friends

Imho (very humble, btw), if you want to be sure if any given member could be someone reliable, I minimum of 20 posts (on probation), can give you an idea of how the person is going to behave and if he doesnt, well then you can give him a 100 or more, post requirement.

The Cap'n set the bar quite high because it's easier to bring down than raise...as he said before elsewhere it's not set in stone. It's good that he's being flexible and not treating it as an inviolable principle like he's shown for you. ......I see nothing nothing wrong with letting people be exceptions if they ask nicely...but woe betide them if that trust is misplaced.

Because of the nature of these particular subforums and the kind of people they can attract (Drive-by Trolls) and the damage they cause, unfortunately, these levels of admittance are necessary IMO and I would like to see those boards become a permanent fixture..the whole breadth of human endeavour and thought is covered now....it looks great.

I will say though, it's very sad that like minded sensible people have to endure this restriction at all..perhaps a better filtering mechanism will evolve with time.

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There should now be a notice in the Religion forum, visible to all members with less than 100 posts, explaining the postcount limit. I hope this reduces confusion.

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I don't like uppity moderators that delete postings because of their own personal issues.
I've come across 2 of your posts that were deleted. Both were smilies with no text at all. While some leeway is given in the General Discussion section on posts like this, they are usually not appreciated in the science sections. It often looks like someone is just trying to pad their post count with contributions like this.

I'm sorry if that seems "uppity" to you. This is one of those "If everybody did this..." situations that I'm sure you can understand would degrade the experience for the majority.

I want a color scheme different from all the whites, light blues, and blues.

I want some blacks, blues, and dark blues.

In general, I want the color scheme to be gloomy and dark.

I find this gloomy and dark and difficult to read. If it could be your choice and not affect mine I wouldn't object.

Anyway, I was thinking about a more creative approach to troll-management. Would it be possible to confine posters to the speculations forum as a step before outright bans? That would give them a chance to redeem themselves and perhaps appear less hostile than suspension.
So many of these people are only trolls in the sense that they refuse to go out and study because they grasp everything intuitively, and only have problems with the parts of science that don't just jump out at them. They don't generally have a pattern outside that and we've just been handling them on a per case basis. Sticking them in a cage seems like it would activate their innate sense of martyrdom. They confined Gallileo to the Speculations forum, didn't they?

Religion requires 100 posts, while Ethics and Philosophy require 30. I'll see about putting a more prominent notice in those forums to explain it.
Now might be the best time to reduce the post requirements for Religion to 50, and keep the Ethics, Philosophy and Politics at 30. This was discussed and it's been almost a month since the new sub-forums were opened.
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swansont; I don't think you realize how many people have an interest/passion in science, especially now that baby boomers are retiring. During the 40's thru the 60's and to some degree on to this day, many folks read science articles, without much time or the means to follow up for additional information. We and I do mean myself as one, after retirement and the advent of the Internet, renewed our interest, at the level of these accumulated references from the past. Popular Science, other publications and Science sections in newspapers/magazines were and probably still were/are, well read by us, engaged in other fields.

In turn these people as I did years ago, will google one of these allusive science issue, Astronomy, Biology, Physics or others and find information available with specification unknown to their generations, read or now can listen to specific viewpoints, with the ability to ask questions or reply with their own viewpoint. Television Documentaries are also popular, run and rerun many times, but for the most part are a one way media and as you know, are not always accurate.

To my point; Many of us, older people or today's students, not familiar with today's science method or this unquestionable acceptance of current understandings (really new to us, we distinguished between science law and theory), will read through a forum, many times getting shut down on our first time posting in science or never bother posting, but have a history in other sub-forums, most Science Forums now offer. To carry over that 'Science Method' for acceptance to some social issue, Historic Event or Philosophic/Religious other two-sided issues, is being disingenuous to the poster or potential poster, in my opinion. I don't mean to pop your bubble, but most people knee deep in science, science issues or a science career are NOT going to come here, to learn something. There are just too many other places they can go, if they have that much time, in the first place. If you can ban, censor, delete posters in Science, which does happen from their first post (Megabrain, a reputable English moderator and former NASA advisor, from another Science Forum, thread was dropped to speculation and quit), then you can certainly punish or ban a member on their first or second post on any sub-forum.

To the thread; The simple fact Administration, would ask questions of their active membership is a plus, or the continuous replies to members questions. More often than not, most forums Science/Political or what have you, will simply maintain their original model, hoping for the best...Oh, and I don't have any complaints on the quality of moderation either.

If you continue to have 'percieved problems' in Politics or some sub-forum, I don't think you do, you might consider picking a single moderator for that or any non-science sub forum. Pangloss, seems to get along with everone there, as does ParanoiA and Mr. Skeptic or bascule, seem to be well liked, from both sides.

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You make a good point, and being more welcoming to new and inexperienced members is a great goal. I think we're getting much better at this, but we can always improve.

I hope that by opening up a bit and asking our membership what they think, we can make SFN a much better community. The staff has plenty of ideas, but it's great to get ideas from the perspective of a regular member.

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I find this gloomy and dark and difficult to read. If it could be your choice and not affect mine I wouldn't object.

I too like our light blue theme.

Now might be the best time to reduce the post requirements for Religion to 50, and keep the Ethics, Philosophy and Politics at 30. This was discussed and it's been almost a month since the new sub-forums were opened.

Perhaps better than that would be to simply make it more clear that moderators can make exceptions for people given good behavior and contingent on future good behavior. I seem to recall somewhere that people are happier when someone does a favor to them than when they get booted off a forum they "have a right to" for misbehaving.

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