August 22, 2008

Forum Musings

Photo courtesy of Freezlight (Used under a Creative Commons, Attribution/Share-alike licence)

You can always tell the nature of a forum by how they treat newbies

As you know I have a site which is focused on Free Video Editing software. In order to promote this site I tend to hang around various PC and video related forums. From time to time I get a question along the lines of "I'm looking for a free or cheap video editing software: what can anyone recommend?"

Usually I will go in on the post and add a reply which will identify some of the currently available tools along with my recommendation for which one would be suitable for the poster. I finish off with a sentence along the lines of "If you want any more information please visit my site ...." with the URL

I did this recently at a PC's Question and Answer forum (No names....!) and checked back the following day. I had received feedback from the poster that he had looked at the site and was considering which one to use. He thanked me for the information.

Later that day my post was removed by a moderator with the comment "Post removed. Marked as Spam"

I sent a quick note to the moderator asking on what basis this decision was made and received a very courteous reply which effectively said that a number of the members had flagged the post as 'spam' using the 'alert' option on each post and therefore he had removed it. It appears that he hadn't actually checked the website itself to see the nature of it: "I simply lack the time to run detailed investigations of new posters."

So what was the learning point;

Since I have used very similar approaches on other forums with minimal, if any, problem, I can only assume that the issue was with the other members of the forum rather than with anything I, personally, did. Couple this with an overzealous moderator who has no time to actually check what he is doing and I came out the worse off. (The amusing thing is that I have since posted a further response which actually has embedded links to my site in the text and nobody has bothered about it!)

You live and learn.

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