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View Full Version : Unregistered posters - Love em or Hate em


Ned
01-18-2006, 07:51 PM
Today, once again, there was another mindless post, this time in "Travel Tip Sheet > By Air". This one, and there have been many like it, merely quoted another post and didn't offer any comment whatsoever. Other times we see anonymous posts from visitors to Tripso in which we can clearly see why the poster has made their post anonymous. They needed to hide behind that screen of anonymity.

Now I admit there are times that I get very passionate about a topic, perhaps too passionate, and tread the line tightly. I can hear the snickers now, can't I. Sometimes I might have been a little too passionate, and if I've offended anyone, I really am sorry. We need to discuss topics not people.

Why I started this topic, and what I'm wondering is, has the time come for Tripso to require posters to register. I know it might hurt the number of users, at least for a time, but registration to post would be a good thing in my opinion. It's painless to register. You don't have to use your actual name, you only have to supply a legitimate email address. You don't really have to say anything about yourself in the profile.

The thing is, when people register for online forums they tend to be a little more circumspect about what they write. Thinking before writing, in my opinion, is a good thing. What do you all think?

Annette
01-18-2006, 08:00 PM
It's interesting that you should bring this up, because I was thinking something similar earlier.

jfrenaye
01-18-2006, 08:20 PM
This is somethign that we also have discussed and initially we did not require registration to bring visitors in hopes that they would register.

There are certain benefits to registering such as being able to vote in the polls and posting in certain forums.

We may be at the point where we ask for registration, but we need to think that over a bit. Maybe a test run is in order for a month and see how the numbers stack up.

Thanks for the post.

Eileen Sellers
01-18-2006, 10:19 PM
Sometimes I might have been a little too passionate, and if I've offended anyone, I really am sorry. We need to discuss topics not people.

You would worry about offending someone who wants to remain annonymous? Why?

Why should you care about offending those who don't want to be identified?

Why would anyone not be proud of their opinions?

If your opinion offends someoone they have the right to offer a different opinion, what's the problem?

It doesn't matter if they identify themselves personally, you can just as easily address a screen name, it is after all a symbol of someone's opinion. And that is a valid conversation.

I don't see any reason to ask people to register. I think that is just a way to
object to their opinion behind the scenes.


The thing is, when people register for online forums they tend to be a little more circumspect about what they write. Thinking before writing, in my opinion, is a good thing. What do you all think?

We may be at the point where we ask for registration

I think you are at the point where you don't really want circumspect opinion, you really want agreeable opinion. And what good would registering do? Would it inhibit the person from expressing their opinion?





ps. I guess I'll go and read the "mindless" post, which until now was unnoticed.

john225
01-19-2006, 05:13 AM
For me, one of the attractions of having people register before they can post is the idea that they have to have a screen name other than anonymous or guest. Those don't say anything about the person. Usually when someone picks a screen name it reflects a tiny bit of their personality, or give us a bit of information about the person. For example, my name, john225.....my first name is John and I live in the 225 area code. So through that you know 2 things about me, that my name is John and I live in Baton Rouge.

tdew
01-19-2006, 06:13 AM
John, and then there's the picture!

Registration gives us a chance to see whether we generally agree with a particular person or not and also whether they are consistent in their opinions.
It allows us to get to know one another without privacy concerns.

missalf
01-19-2006, 06:38 AM
So far there's only been one valuable (in my estimation) anonymous post that I've seen. The registered poster who wished to remain anonymous in her recap of her husband's heart attack wanted to share her experiences, but not be identified. I can understand that, and feel that her words had merit under the anonymous banner.

That being said, however, the other 99 percent of anonymous postings don't carry the same worth -- and if we can PLEASE stop the posts that are just quotes with no additional comment that would be great -- they have absolutely NO value whatsoever.

stephen_s
01-19-2006, 07:43 AM
Regarding the post that just quotes. I think it could be one of three reasons:

1) The poster is expressing the same sentiment as the person he or she has just quoted.
2) The poster is unfamiliar with how this board works.
3) The poster hits ADD REPLY too quickly.

The only way to prevent number 3 is, and I don't know whether it's possible here, to require you to preview a post before actually hitting POST/SUBMIT/ADD REPLY. Another board I'm a member of requires that.

It's good, in a sense, because it allows you to:

1) Preview what you just wrote to make sure it's correct.
2) It gives you a chance to calm down and think rationally if you've just posted a rant or a "hot-headed" response to a topic.

Jeanie821
01-19-2006, 11:35 AM
Definitely, posters should make themselves known.

Anita Dunham-Potter
01-19-2006, 04:55 PM
It's been my experience that if boards are too regimented it tends to keep people from posting. Forums/boards should be fun and entertaining. You can't take this stuff too seriously. IMHO

Anita

Annette
01-19-2006, 06:06 PM
I just checked the registration form for the site, and it doesn't even ask for your name when registering. Username, password, email address and that's it. By registering you agree to play nice and try to get along with others. I can't see that that's a big deal, and it shouldn't be enough to deter anyone from registering.

My vote (if I had one) would be to allow anyone to read the forum but require registration in order to post. If you want to take part in the group then you might as well belong to it.

travel
01-19-2006, 06:20 PM
Ned's been too passionate? I'm can't imagine. ;) I'm in that same boat, too (of course), but I try really hard to keep my postings on the topic and not let them be a personal attack. Of course there are those times when someone says something so innane and unbelieavable that you just have to say something. And yes, those people are usually unregistered. I think unregistered people should be able to read the postings to gain knowledge or to experience the full benefit of tripso, but I do not think that postings should be allowed by anyone other than registered users. Registering gives people a feeling of belonging. Even though most of us don't really know each other, we kinda do know each other, and even when we don't agree, we respect the others' opinions (no matter how wrong they may be.... :D )

As we say in the alumni business, there are certain things that should be reserved as A BENEFIT OF MEMBERSHIP. Posting should be one of them.

travel
01-19-2006, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Jan 18 2006, 08:51 PM
Today, once again,* there was another mindless post, this time in "Travel Tip Sheet > By Air".* This one, and there have been many like it, merely quoted another post and didn't offer any comment whatsoever.
18109


You can add one more to your list: people who forget to say something, so they post twice.

When I first joined, I was guilty of this. I didn't really understand how it worked and accidentally added a post without my reply. I bet some people also get busy doing something else, haven't finished their post, and click the wrong button. Yep, it's annoying, but some of us have done it on accident.

stephen_s
01-19-2006, 09:56 PM
I'm going to get flamed for this, but I would like to play devil's advocate for a bit. This is long, so you can skip this if you want.
---
BACKGROUND
Let's say I'm a new user to the board. Let's even go so far as this is my first time posting in ANY kind of board, so I'm not sure how this all works. I don't want to register yet because I'm not sure whether this is the board/forum for me, so I'd like to hang around, read the posts and maybe contribute and see how others react.

Scenario 1: (I'm going to paraphrase what travel said in the post before this one)
I find a topic that interests me and I reply with quote. OOPS. I hit ""REPLY and I hit submit before I had a chance to type in my reply. Let me check around the help screens to see what I can find. Maybe I can edit my post later. AHA. That's how you edit.

I go back to the post and I see a reply. What's the reply? "GUEST, why are you wasting time and space by just quoting?" HMM...I can see this is not a very friendly board, so I don't think I'll come back.

Scenario 2:
I find a topic that interests me and I post my reply. I don't quote. I just post my reply. I exit the topic, look at other topics and I come back to the original topic and see what others have said. WOW! Someone replied---Hmmm...An attack that says I'm stupid and my views are incorrect, blah, blah blah. I don't think I want to be part of this board.
---

Believe me folks, this happens. It happened to me in another board. I posted my view about a change in a game (NHL 2K5). What does another member do? He attacks me saying that if I wanted that then I should go somewhere else. I stopped visiting that board for over a year.

Some of you may be saying "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Well, if you're new and you want to learn, you certainly don't want someone attacking you after post number 1. Yes, I admit, I did attack someone once on this board, but that was because he was being pompous and it's someone who thinks he's better than anyone else because he's a million miler.

I think part of what Anita and travel said applies here:

Anita: It's been my experience that if boards are too regimented it tends to keep people from posting. Forums/boards should be fun and entertaining. You can't take this stuff too seriously. IMHO

Travel: I didn't really understand how it worked and accidentally added a post without my reply. I bet some people also get busy doing something else, haven't finished their post, and click the wrong button. Yep, it's annoying, but some of us have done it on accident.

So that's my view. Let the flames begin :D

Ned
01-19-2006, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Jan 19 2006, 11:56 PM
I'm going to get flamed for this, but I would like to play devil's advocate for a bit.* This is long, so you can skip this if you want....
18246

Why should you get flamed for good logic. I've seen exactly what you've described on this board. I think it was my second post on Tripso, after which I was called an idiot in the first reply. I have a pretty thick skin though.

I see it a little differently. Whether you register or not, it's not going to change whether or not you get flamed or snickered at on your first or second post, and if you do, there's a strong likelihood you won't be back, whether or not you are registered.

I agree with Anita that the board shouldn't be too regimented. The thing is, on Tripso, registration is about as care free and unintrusive as any board I've seen and shouldn't stop anyone from registering. The only "real" information you have to put into your registration is your email address. Everything else can be fake or not put in at all. When I first registered I used my real first name with my email address and left everything else blank. Since then, I've put in my state and interests, but nothing else, since everyone can see it. How much easier and unregimented can it be?

If a registered user goofed and merely put in a quote, I think I'd be more forgiving and ask if I could help them navigate the forum rather than say "So why the quote and no comment" which I have done to guests. The thing is, I've not noticed any registered members do that. Hey I've goofed myself and usually quickly edited my mistake. Once I put a new Topic in the wrong place and asked John to delete it so I could then put it in the right place. He did and I was grateful. Another time I goofed and duplicated a topic which had been started the same day which I missed seeing. I asked Chris to delete my topic which he did and I was grateful. I've found the registered members of Tripso terrific. Clearly we don't always agree, but as Mahatma Gandhi said, "Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress." I've also found the Tripso administrators to be outstanding.

Registration for some will always be "onerous", but for me, at this point at Tripso, I'd require it to participate by posting. Let anyone poke around and read the posts, just not post until registered.

weblet
01-20-2006, 08:12 AM
In reponse to stephen s's (is that gramatically correct?? :huh: ) scenarios, I try to remember to look at the poster's info before I respond. If they are new to the board I can be forgiving. But with a guest you really don't know if this person is new, or just refuses to register and is just being obnoxious. I, too, think that posting should be a benefit of membership. Lurking on a board can certainly give any guest an idea of what goes on here. In fact, I'll bet this particular discussion is being followed closely by non-members.

Since we are looking for meaningful dialogue here and not flame-fests, I don't think it's asking too much to have people register before posting...

Arkstfan
01-20-2006, 06:30 PM
As one who runs a number of web forums, the registration process here isn't a burden. Most of the sites I run require that you have a working email address. A friend has a site that requires you have a working email address from a non-free account (ie. no Yahoo, no hotmail, etc).

If someone can register with a throw-away email address that's about as anonymous as it gets, in fact it is just as anonymous as a guest poster who is still traceable via IP address.

jfrenaye
01-21-2006, 03:37 PM
OK--I am going to give a few things a try and keep an eye on the enrollments and so forth.

The permissions have been changed to not allow guests to post replies or begin any topics. However, they can view all public areas and topics.

Currently we do not require validation of email addresses. You can put in [email protected] and as long as it has an @ sign, a dot and a recognized suffix (com, org, edu, net, etc.) it will be fine. Validating might be a next step where the system sends an email to the address (insuring it is a good address) and the new user needs to reply back.

There is a further step that we can take to prevent any access to any guest. I do not see the need for this, but as we grow...who knows.

So for now, the guests and anonymous posters will not be able to post or reply. If our enrollment levels drop, I will revert back and see if that was the cause.

John


PS
Again to reiterate, the private forums (Travel Agent and Correspondent) are still private and NOT viewable unless you have had your permissions modified in your individual profile!

Ned
01-21-2006, 04:40 PM
Thanks John.

I hope it never becomes necessary to either go forward with more restrictions or drop the requirement either. I also hope this has the effect we all seem to desire.

AaronK
01-21-2006, 05:58 PM
I had been avoiding replying to this one, as I help administer another "forum" and we are considering adding a forum such as this to it. Right now, we have a BLOG that accepts comments from anonymous users, after they put in the magic letters in a graphic. One of the issues we have discussed if we went to a forum route was whether or not to require registration. From what I've seen here, there haven't really been any major issues with SPAM/Advertising/etc that haven't been remedied quickly. And the issues that have occured, most of them were registered users.

Lets see where this goes. However, if the only reason this was done was because we are tired of seeing people just repost quoted replies with no response, I wonder if this was a smart move.

stephen_s
01-21-2006, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by AaronK@Jan 21 2006, 03:58 PM
However, if the only reason this was done was because we are tired of seeing people just repost quoted replies with no response, I wonder if this was a smart move.
18374


Yup, since I have seen registered people do the same thing.

weblet
01-22-2006, 07:28 AM
if the only reason this was done was because we are tired of seeing people just repost quoted replies with no response

No, while this is bothersome, I get more annoyed by those who post rather inflamatory remarks, but then won't take ownership of the post. I feel there should be some rules here, and one of them should be that if you want to post, we want to know who you are. Yes, I realize that all the info currently asked for can be totally made up, but registering makes a guest take a couple minutes to think about what they want to post before they do it (take a deep breath and count to 10...).

And for those guests who are posting constructive comments, we want to welcome them to our community and hope they will stay!

missalf
01-22-2006, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by weblet@Jan 22 2006, 08:28 AM
... registering makes a guest take a couple minutes to think about what they want to post before they do it (take a deep breath and count to 10...).*

And for those guests who are posting constructive comments, we want to welcome them to our community and hope they will stay!
18386


Well put, Weblet!

travel
01-26-2006, 05:21 PM
Thanks, John. I think this is a great idea. If you're looking for more members on your site, that's one way to do it...give them something for their membership that they can't get without it. It's a very positive change!