If executed, this will all lead to a more positive, collaborative community. The internet is a cesspool of snark, trolls, egos and cynicism. CR4 will not become a habitat for this general internet toxicity.
But that means users need to consider how they interact with each other. As corny as it sounds, invoke the golden rule. If you are not looking for an argument, do not be argumentative.
This means you may sometimes need to let a sideways comment go, or ignore someone who is trying to bait you into an argument. This also means not giving cynical answers or purposefully unhelpful replies to users, especially new ones who might not be up to speed on CR4 etiquette and quirks. If you feel a user is too antagonistic or offensive, please remember to report them.
To quote former queen Savvy, “Please remember to be courteous to one another on the forum. If the only response you can formulate is a nasty one, don't post a reply.”
It is a bit hard to define my message any further than “be nice to each other,” but that is the gist.
However, these threads would be valueless without the comments answering questions or continuing the discussion.
Since last week we talked about posting best practices, this week let’s talk about comments.
Thankfully, the majority of parent-level replies to threads and blogs are on-topic and help further the community’s understanding of the topic at hand.
Too often, comments consist of overly simplistic answers, cynicism or off-topic replies. These types of answers discourage posters from engaging with respondents or asking future questions, and are what we want to prevent.
Also, keep the attitudes and arguments in check. It is okay to disagree, and to criticize each other’s ideas. When the conversation turns personal or insulting, that is when it is time for a moderator to intervene.
CR4 is an excellent resource – if you know how to use it.
One of the areas where CR4ers sometimes struggle is with creating high-quality posts. A high-quality post opens a topic for discussion or asks a question that entices readers to participate. There are a few key similarities of high-quality posts.
Provides all information: Don’t make users ask more questions to answer yours. Help them, help you.
Content is clear: The language makes sense and is not too abbreviation- or jargon-heavy.
Media: Pictures or videos always help illustrate questions or data.
Title: Users know what to expect if they continue reading.
Depth: The question requires actual analysis, brainstorming or recommendations.
Moderators will hide low-effort posts from the front page; these threads are not deleted, however. So if you want to create a post that will get a lot of replies and views, focus on creating good, thoughtful threads.
It is always nice when the poster is engaged with respondents, whether it be to exchange ideas or just to say thanks. Posters should also be prepared for negative feedback or criticism – that is part of the deal when submitting ideas or challenges to public judgement.
As long as it is constructive criticism, then fair play. If the criticism turns into berating or personal attacks, a moderator will step in (mash that report button people). Please recognize the difference between constructive and personal criticisms.
There is the awesome report button that appears at the bottom right of each thread, blog and comment.
It’s also found at the bottom left (all the way down!) of the user profile pages. And (double-checking this)…at the right side of each member user group listing? I’m not sure how often you need that actually, but yeah, there it is.
Clicking this will prompt you to offer a description of the offending material and submit the problem. You only have 250 characters, so please be specific and concise! Once you submit this form you do not need to follow-up or notify the user. The moderators will take it from here.
This is the easiest way to get a moderator and admin to respond to content you feel is against the CR4 rules. Moderators have trouble browsing all new content since their last check-in.
The moderator will address it per CR4 policy. We only remove content that breaks one of the CR4 rules. So if something is inaccurate, or you want to remove a post later on, CR4 staff will not intervene.
Moderators enforce CR4 rules by:
Removing or editing prohibited content
Warning users privately
Limiting user functions
Banning users from accessing CR4 completely
You can also reach the CR4 administrators via the admin blog or CR4admin@globalspec.com, but those routes are better for general questions or site bug reporting.
I think everyone by now is aware of the Good Answer function. When a commenter supplies helpful information, and two different users rate the same comment as a Good Answer, a Good Answer is awarded to the commenter. This count is clear, because a user’s good answer count is supplied next to their avatar. (As of 2021, SolarEagle is the all-time leader, with 1,679 good answers!)
Did you know you can also rate a comment as off-topic? When a comment earns two votes as off-topic, it is hidden from the default page view. However, to enable this feature it needs to be activated from the Edit Profile page.
The rating system is designed to help CR4ers find and organize information more efficiently. Good Answers rise to the top; off-topic answers become more obscure.
There is also a way of rating threads and blog entries.
This is a feature CR4 staff would like to see used more. Fellow site users appreciate knowing the quality of a thread before entering it. Enough low-star votes and moderators will likely remove it from the CR4 front page. Star ratings are averaged, so more votes provides a greater consensus on post or thread value.
CR4 is a community that supports good content democratically. When you are enjoying a thread or someone gave a smart, thoughtful answers – vote for it or rate it! The same goes for threads where the poster did not put in enough effort or for off-topic comments.