In continuation of the discussion started in the Things that make you go hmmmmm
thread, which has now been locked:
OK, I'm going to assume that you're approaching this in a reasonable manner, and will respond as such. Although I will say that locking out threads instead of letting the discussion continue doesn't build much confidence . . .
As anyone who has spent any time at all on this site knows, I am easily the top poster on this board, and have been for many years now. I've seen (and helped) it grow from a simple email list, through several different forum variations, into the premier site for BMW Luxury Touring that it has become. That's something that we can all be proud of.
You claim this is a private forum, which is true enough. It always has been controlled privately, just like it always has been open to anyone with an interest in BMW motorcycles. Forums like these aren't any good without public participation, so censoring and banning long-term contributing members should always be done with the utmost care and consideration, and not by some random spam bot.
You claim that a user complained about being spammed about a new forum, which is what prompted you to add to the spam filter and cause the ensuing mess. And yes, it is quite a mess, as any of the long-term contributing members here will attest.
You may notice that I repeated the phrase long-term continuing members, because I feel that's the gist of the whole problem here. The random spam-bot is banning long-term contributing members, and it is precisely the long-term contributing members that gives sites like this their value. That's what keeps people coming back and logging in, which drives participation and member numbers, which is what makes the site valuable to advertisers, and keeps it in the black.
Lose those long-term contributing members, either by heavy-handedness, or by draconian rule enforcement, and the whole site suffers, driving people away. And cutting into your precious profiteering.
And let me be clear here: the folks that you have indiscriminately spam-banned are exactly the kind of long-term contributing members that this site needs to survive and flourish. Because that's just what they've been doing for the past decade or more.
Andy Pleschutznig, Randy Prade, and Steve Shreeve (Andy, Randy, and Katnappin, which you would know if you spent any time at all participating in this site) have contributed immensely to this community, from back in the days when it was just a small email list. Andy is the master IT guy, who has kept things running smoothly forever, and has done so much for many of our members, myself included. Randy's admin skills are only out shadowed by his excellent technical knowledge, which he shares freely and without hesitation. Steve's sharing of his own technical knowledge is just as impressive, as is his legendary willingness to help out stranded riders.
Those three have helped to make the site what it is, by giving tirelessly of their time, energy, and talents. I'd take those three as contributing members over any 30, or even 300, lurkers who do nothing to help make this a better site. And definitely over one guy who read something he didn't like and complained . . .
Originally Posted by Admin
You tell us what we can do to help and we will do it.
You want an honest answer here? OK . . .
What you can do is respect the members for their contributions. After all, that's why you took over the site, right?
What you can do is review this draconian spam-banning. Look at the facts, and make decisions based on context, not on some random word string that you don't like.
Is one alleged complaint really worth more than three of the pillars of this community (or more - how many others have been spam-banned, or are walking away in disgust)? If so, then that truly is a poor business model.
What you can do is become active participants in this site. Because then you'll understand just what it is that makes this community great, and who are the people that contribute more than their share, and have built up the respect deserving of their tireless efforts.
What you can do is to not lock threads (including this one) when you don't like the direction the discussion is going. We're all adults here, and we can handle a bit of lively debate on topics that we're passionate about.
And remember, it's that passion that makes this site so valuable to you and your precious advertisers.
You recently implemented the Share and Like buttons. The funny thing is, those that you have spam-banned would easily be right up at the top of those Shares and Likes, if you had only left them to contribute just as they have been doing for so many years . . .
I can see how this whole situation has been handled poorly on both sides. But I say that it clearly needs to be reviewed, and not just left up to some random spam-bot.
Because if that's truly the direction that this site is going, then I can't see much reason to stick around, either.
So now, you have a choice:
Let the spam-ban stay, and thus prove that you're only in it for the advertising stats, and care not at all about the community or its members. It's just a job, right?
Or you can review the situation and recognize the immense contributions of our members, showing that you understand our community and wish to be active participants.
It's your call, and the future of this site depends on your actions here . . .
P.S.: Honestly, I think littering the site with banner ads and inserting obnoxious and distracting adverts in the middle of threads is far more spammish and egregious than someone randomly posting about different motorcycle-related forums . . .