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Should the Suggestions section have specific guidelines?


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Lately, there has been much confusion and frustration with the Suggestions section on this forum. Some people are simply posting a straight package of smileys from google and claiming it’s done, while others just keep posting suggestions that are already created (and many other examples). Thus, I am opening this up to discussion as to whether you guys think if guidelines were put in place, cases like the ones I mentioned would be reduced.

 

The guidelines could be something like this (feel free to add your opinion or any additions):

1.       Read the HOW – TO – SUGGEST thread before posting a thread in this forum section.

2.       Search the forum to ensure your suggestion isn’t already suggested.

3.       Use an existing thread to add your voice to, where possible.

4.       This isn’t the complaint forum. Thinly veiled complaints are not allowed.

5.       Use proper etiquette when posting. This forum is for suggestions to benefit the forum and/or xat. If your post does not add to the discussion of a suggestion, do NOT post it. Posts like “I agree” or “I do not know” are examples.

 

I understand there was a similar thread discussing about comments like “I like” but this is more about general guidelines in the Suggestions forum. Personally, I feel that these guidelines would reduce threads similar to what I mentioned from being created. I also think people would be more serious when posting in this section. The guidelines are viewable from the forums main index whereas the HOW TO SUGGEST thread isn’t as easily viewable.  

 

Let me know your thoughts…

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Honestly, I think you are overestimating the guidelines. Let's be serious, no one reads them. They are obviously still in place and are mainly used by forum staff to direct a user to what they have done wrong. I think if we take some of your ideas and make them into "general guidelines" it will help benefit the forum inside and outside the suggestions section and help users understand some things that are pretty vague at the moment.

 

For the first idea, the How to suggest thread is titled "UPDATED: How to Suggest - Read Before Posting" and is stickied. This should be obvious enough and it's more likely that WILL see this before posting (and before reading the guidelines), whether they choose to read it is a different story.

 

Instead of having "Search the forum to ensure your suggestion isn’t already suggested." as a Suggestions section guideline, we can amend a current general guideline or create a new one to say something like re-creating content that has already been created will lead to it being closed. This is also highlighted by currently general guideline 5 where it (indirectly) states that you can post updated opinions on older threads.

 

Suggestion number 3 is also wrapped somewhere between my previous statement and current general guideline 5 where it is allowed to bump old threads IF you have something useful to add.

 

For number 4, I don't see any complaint posts being made... people use the sections well and this definitely isn't an issue.

 

Number 5 should also be wrapped up generally, for example to amend my suggestion in the "How to become an advanced member" thread, we could have a guideline that says "Forum replies must contain a point of thought or opinion that adds to or suggests improvements to the topic being replied to. There are some exceptions where this does not apply.". The exceptions being in the threads where "post anything to enter" is there or forum games section (there's probably others that I cant think of right now).

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49 minutes ago, Stah said:

Honestly, I think you are overestimating the guidelines. Let's be serious, no one reads them. They are obviously still in place and are mainly used by forum staff to direct a user to what they have done wrong. I think if we take some of your ideas and make them into "general guidelines" it will help benefit the forum inside and outside the suggestions section and help users understand some things that are pretty vague at the moment.

Your idea to combine the guidelines into the general guidelines is a good idea. I like your suggestions to them. 

 

49 minutes ago, Stah said:

For number 4, I don't see any complaint posts being made... people use the sections well and this definitely isn't an issue.

There really aren't that many, but again, guidelines are there for reminders. 

 

All in all, you make good additions. Hopefully could get implemented in the future. 

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To be honest I dont have an issue if people post pics from Google as long as they say where they got them from and give a reference. (smiley makers need some kind of reference to work from, this would save them time trying to find some them self)

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I think what we will do is move actual requirements for suggestions into the Guidelines, and we will leave the "How to Suggest" topic for general pointers on how to make a good suggestion.

 

People should be able to find all the forum rules in one central place in order to avoid confusion.

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56 minutes ago, Five said:

honestly, just approve the threads/posts in the suggestion section. that'll solve all our problems. (meh)

It sucks having to wait for a moderator to approve a thread, though. If people realize they'll suffer consequences for making crappy suggestions, then there won't be a need for moderator approval.

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Maybe add a check button to every "start new topic" at the suggestions forum. I've got this on my mybb forum but perhaps invision power board could do that too or there is a plugin.

 

Example: I've read the How To Suggest guideline and i agree that my thread will be closed/removed, in case it does not meet the guidelines/requirements. - [Check button]

Without checking the box, you wouldn't be able to post the thread.

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9 minutes ago, LaFleur said:

Maybe add a check button to every "start new topic" at the suggestions forum. I've got this on my mybb forum but perhaps invision power board could do that too or there is a plugin.

 

Example: I've read the How To Suggest guideline and i agree that my thread will be closed/removed, in case it does not meet the guidelines/requirements. - [Check button]

Without checking the box, you wouldn't be able to post the thread.

This sounds a good feature before posting a thread, and also it makes the user thinks what are the forum guidelines(because not all users read the forum guidelines.

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I think it's better to push users to change their habits instead of having us adopt to their bad habits by having to review content and then denying it over and over.

 

There's now a section in the guidelines that explains a few important rules. These rules are simple and they get to the point.

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