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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Years ago on most website discussion forums it was frowned upon for members to -- well, pretty much artificially raise their post count by writing one-line responses or engaging in idle chit-chat. On MR, some subforums were set up in a way that posts in those subforums don't and didn't count, such as in the Marketplace, PRSI, etc. The post-count thing probably isn't all important to most people but apparently overall it is important enough that every six months MR has a thread with statistical info carefully laid out showing the top posters, etc., etc.

I have noticed over the past year a pattern where it looks as though there seems to be some of this post-count racing going on, and that has been borne out by the statistical report back in July. Aren't the statistics really skewed and not all that meaningful if someone has deliberately raced to post as much as he or she can in order to score a place somewhere near or even at the top of the list(s)?

Are contributors given more latitude with regard to this sort of behavior? Are threads and posts in some areas of the site given more latitude as well? As a contributor I have noticed a huge growth in one particular thread in the Privates area, and have noted how posting chit-chat and one-liners and such have not only contributed to the growth of the thread itself (which really, from what I've seen, doesn't seem especially meaningful in the first place), but also has significantly upped various posters' post counts. I'm just thankful that the thread in question started out as a new one and that the ensuring conversation did not intrude upon an existing similar but not quite the same sort of thread!

Maybe the administrative/moderators' team needs to take a look at the areas in which posts and their content are actually meaningful and contribute to the overall focus of the site in the first place and at the areas which really include content which, in all honesty, would be quite at home on Facebook.....
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,286
5,533
I believe post counts presently count in the private forum, but it wasn't specifically intended to one way or the other.

Re: chit chat threads. If they are contained I don't see the big harm, though post counts probably shouldn't count.

arn
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
9,538
6,196
the Abysmal Plane
Since I'm the one who puts out the semi-annual post-count statistics, I can confirm that posts in the Private forums do count. There are only a small number of forums where posts aren't counted:

I took over the post-count statistics from @Doctor Q well before I became a moderator. They've always been for amusement purposes only. Other than getting different titles, I know of no benefit that a member gains for having a high post-count. Well, other than appearing in the semi-annual statistics.

If there's a new forum where posts don't count, then it won't affect the statistics, because moving a thread there should adjust the post-count totals that the stats are gathered from. There was an Anomaly one year, but I haven't seen anything similar since.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Thanks, Arn! Something for you and the team to consider, anyway..... To me it would make sense to not have posts which are submitted in the Community subforum or in some of the threads in the Privates count, given their nature in the first place (i.e., chitchat, conversations about what one has had for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or casual back-and-forth bantering among a few people)....and, yes, I've participated in such threads, either in the open forums or the Privates.

Are some of my posts about my daily activities, the weather here, or mentioning some aspect of my enthusiastic pursuit of photography and my struggles therein all that interesting or worthwhile to the point or relevant to MR's overall focus and goal that they have increased my post count over the years? Well, IMHO, no. That's not to say that I don't appreciate the opportunity to have been able to post whatever my daily thoughts or activities of the day have been, but I do question if some of these have added anything of value to the site or why my post count should automatically increase each time I blather on and on about some issue I'm having with shooting photos or what the current weather is......

Looking beyond posts and threads in which I've participated, I again see lots of places where people are just chit-chatting, and that is fine, it develops a sense of connection and community, but at the same time, how relevant is it to MR's stated purpose and function to know that so-and-so had spaghetti for dinner? This is where I'm wondering about maybe how the whole post count thing, since it has been made a big deal by the twice-a-year statistical reports, needs to be looked at and reassessed in terms of which areas are more important to consider with regard to members' post count accumulation and why or why not. Definitely things have changed since the early days of MR and, well, IMHO not always for the better.....

Absolutely keep all of the community and Privates chit-chat threads going, just maybe take a look at whether or not post counts need to be registered in some of these? Just my thoughts here, but this is something that I've noticed for a while and, began thinking about how maybe it is time for an evaluation of what should and should not count when someone is posting in any subforum or thread, and why it may or may not be all that important in terms of the site functioning. If that accumulation of post count is really that important to the individual member concerned, well, that's another issue, one beyond the scope of anyone at MR to try to address.....

Thankfully MR is not my website/forum, not my responsibility, but I'm just providing some observation from the viewpoint of a member who has been around here and other websites for a while.
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
29,486
38,174
In the middle of several books.
A member's post count (in total or in part) is rather meaningless, outside of gaining access to the Marketplace Forum. As Chown said, the 6 month report is meant for fun and nothing more. Asking the staff to further micro manage posts and or forums due to the rise of a meaningless post count seems like a bad allocation of MR staff resources, in my opinion.

So what if someone gets a high post count and passes you, me, or others. As long as people are having fun sharing with each other, the rest is just chaff in the wind.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Original poster
Since I'm the one who puts out the semi-annual post-count statistics, I can confirm that posts in the Private forums do count. There are only a small number of forums where posts aren't counted:


I took over the post-count statistics from @Doctor Q well before I became a moderator. They've always been for amusement purposes only. Other than getting different titles, I know of no benefit that a member gains for having a high post-count. Well, other than appearing in the semi-annual statistics.

If there's a new forum where posts don't count, then it won't affect the statistics, because moving a thread there should adjust the post-count totals that the stats are gathered from. There was an Anomaly one year, but I haven't seen anything similar since.

Thanks, Chown! Yep, I remember when you took over from Doctor Q with the statistics -- and that is a big responsibility! You've done really well with this. I'll bet Doctor Q is proud of you! :)

I quite agree, there is no (at least tangible that anyone else can see) benefit that a member might derive from hitting the jackpot or close to it with regard to a high post count. As I mentioned in my other post, that's getting into into territory beyond which anyone at MR can really help, as any particular personal reaction to this is something specific to the member. I do have the feeling, though, that this does bring out the competitiveness in some people.....

Just offering my thoughts and suggestions here.....it's up to Arn and everyone on the Admins/Mods team to do anything with what I've mentioned or nothing with it, whatever.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,871
16,192
Gotta be in it to win it
While in the schema of life (and death) post counts amount to nothing...it's a fun thing that @chown33 does for the community -- which personally I appreciate. It's one of the little things that make MacRumors feel like a community, rather than "just another internet discussion site". Whether post counts are as accurate as an atomic clock or some posters abuse the rules in attempting to up a post count(which hopefully is dealt with as needed), it doesn't matter, to me. The metrics that are posted are just plain fun to read. (And if there is a pattern of rules abuse, we all know the little button that is very pressable)
 

tobefirst ⚽️

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,417
1,891
St. Louis, MO
Related: I find it kind of funny that MacRumors publishes a list of top posters by name, but says they don’t want encourage frivolous posting. And they also post a list of post reports, but without posters’ names, because they don’t want to encourage post reporting.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,871
16,192
Gotta be in it to win it
Related: I find it kind of funny that MacRumors publishes a list of top posters by name, but says they don’t want encourage frivolous posting.
Isn't the community discussion forum the right place for this type of discussion?
And they also post a list of post reports, but without posters’ names, because they don’t want to encourage post reporting.
In my own opinion I believe the post reports are published without user profile names due to a privacy aspect of reporting posts, which I believe I read in one of the threads on S&FF a while back.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Related: I find it kind of funny that MacRumors publishes a list of top posters by name, but says they don’t want encourage frivolous posting.

That used to be more of a concern, when I first started tracking the top posters. These days, it's not possible to "cheat" your way into the Top 50. The post counts are just too high, and the members there have been participating for years, some more than a decade. I doubt very much that highlighting top posters encourages frivolous posting.

And they also post a list of post reports, but without posters’ names, because they don’t want to encourage post reporting.

Post reporting is encouraged, not discouraged. Community input is the best way for the moderators to know where there are potential problems. The stats don't name names for privacy reasons and because post reporters could be targeted by those they've reported.
 

tobefirst ⚽️

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,417
1,891
St. Louis, MO
Post reporting is encouraged, not discouraged. Community input is the best way for the moderators to know where there are potential problems. The stats don't name names for privacy reasons and because post reporters could be targeted by those they've reported.

We don't publish statistics comparing how many reports each member makes, both for privacy reasons and because we don't want to turn post reporting into a competition.
You say you don't discourage it, but according to HexMonkey, you don't want it to turn into a competition. So, you encourage it to a point, but don't want people to do too much of it.

I say, if you really wanted to encourage it, you'd ask those on the leaderboard if they wanted to be revealed, you would list them in a Top 10 and celebrate them the way you do the "Most Posts" threads. That's encouraging. Or, at the very, very least, you would remove the time delay between reports.

Just my opinion. Keep doing what you want. 👍
 

spartan1967

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2019
211
199
Years ago on most website discussion forums it was frowned upon for members to -- well, pretty much artificially raise their post count by writing one-line responses or engaging in idle chit-chat. On MR, some subforums were set up in a way that posts in those subforums don't and didn't count, such as in the Marketplace, PRSI, etc. The post-count thing probably isn't all important to most people but apparently overall it is important enough that every six months MR has a thread with statistical info carefully laid out showing the top posters, etc., etc.

I have noticed over the past year a pattern where it looks as though there seems to be some of this post-count racing going on, and that has been borne out by the statistical report back in July. Aren't the statistics really skewed and not all that meaningful if someone has deliberately raced to post as much as he or she can in order to score a place somewhere near or even at the top of the list(s)?

Are contributors given more latitude with regard to this sort of behavior? Are threads and posts in some areas of the site given more latitude as well? As a contributor I have noticed a huge growth in one particular thread in the Privates area, and have noted how posting chit-chat and one-liners and such have not only contributed to the growth of the thread itself (which really, from what I've seen, doesn't seem especially meaningful in the first place), but also has significantly upped various posters' post counts. I'm just thankful that the thread in question started out as a new one and that the ensuring conversation did not intrude upon an existing similar but not quite the same sort of thread!

Maybe the administrative/moderators' team needs to take a look at the areas in which posts and their content are actually meaningful and contribute to the overall focus of the site in the first place and at the areas which really include content which, in all honesty, would be quite at home on Facebook.....
I can attest this site's admins. have messaged me numerous times on rules I broke when I posted that I had no idea could exist. Some I think are too frivolous, but it's their site, just like it's my click on a URL from a MR post for a great deal they announce or going directly to the source from my app, favorites or Google search. :)
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,871
16,192
Gotta be in it to win it
You say you don't discourage it, but according to HexMonkey, you don't want it to turn into a competition. So, you encourage it to a point, but don't want people to do too much of it.

I say, if you really wanted to encourage it, you'd ask those on the leaderboard if they wanted to be revealed, you would list them in a Top 10 and celebrate them the way you do the "Most Posts" threads. That's encouraging. Or, at the very, very least, you would remove the time delay between reports.

Just my opinion. Keep doing what you want. 👍
Imo, it doesn't make the post reporting system any better to publish the names of post reporters and doing so could just cause acrimony and revenge (which probably will trickle down to false reports for the moderators).

However, you can make your own contribution to this site, by reporting posts (now I don't know if you do or don't, but just discussing the royal you) that you believe fall astray of the rules in some fashion and of course you can request that your name gets revealed during the semi-annual post reports.
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
29,486
38,174
In the middle of several books.
You say you don't discourage it, but according to HexMonkey, you don't want it to turn into a competition. So, you encourage it to a point, but don't want people to do too much of it.

I say, if you really wanted to encourage it, you'd ask those on the leaderboard if they wanted to be revealed, you would list them in a Top 10 and celebrate them the way you do the "Most Posts" threads. That's encouraging. Or, at the very, very least, you would remove the time delay between reports.

Just my opinion. Keep doing what you want. 👍
What would be gained by naming people directly, who have reported possible post violations? There is a report button available with each post. Reporting a post is also spoken of in the MR rules, as well as this forum numerous times (on a regular basis). In my opinion, the staff is already being very open and encouraging about asking for help in reporting possible violations.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
56,023
39,509
The Far Horizon
Over the years, many, if not most, of the posts I have reported have been spam, although, I will say that in recent years this - the appearance of spam accounts and posts - does not seem to have been as pronounced or prevalent as it used to be.
 

HexMonkey

Administrator
Staff member
Feb 5, 2004
2,217
483
New Zealand
We used to see a lot more post padding when there were post count requirements for avatars and the PRSI forum was still around. From memory post counts also used to be more visible (many years ago) so became a bit more competitive. As annk says we still act when we see people posting just for the purposes of increasing their post count, but it's much less of an issue these days.

You say you don't discourage it, but according to HexMonkey, you don't want it to turn into a competition. So, you encourage it to a point, but don't want people to do too much of it.

I say, if you really wanted to encourage it, you'd ask those on the leaderboard if they wanted to be revealed, you would list them in a Top 10 and celebrate them the way you do the "Most Posts" threads. That's encouraging. Or, at the very, very least, you would remove the time delay between reports.

Just my opinion. Keep doing what you want. 👍

We want to encourage post reports, but for the right reasons. If someone makes a lot of reports because they are trying to help the forums become a better place by alerting us to problematic content, that's great, and we really appreciate those who do. If someone makes a lot of reports because they are reporting a lot of trivial violations just so they can get on a 'top reporters' list, that's not so great as it will add noise that slows down our ability to respond to more serious issues.

Over the years, many, if not most, of the posts I have reported have been spam, although, I will say that in recent years this - the appearance of spam accounts and posts - does not seem to have been as pronounced or prevalent as it used to be.
It ebbs and flows due a constant battle between our spam prevention tools and spammers' abilities to bypass them. At the moment spam is under 10% of reports, whereas at times in the past it's gotten up to almost 50%.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
56,023
39,509
The Far Horizon
It ebbs and flows due a constant battle between our spam prevention tools and spammers' abilities to bypass them. At the moment spam is under 10% of reports, whereas at times in the past it's gotten up to almost 50%.
Given that I always used to report spam posts the minute I laid eyes on them, - some days, there would be a veritable deluge of the things, leading to a flurry of reporting activity - but haven't had to do so in what seems like an absolute an age, this seems about right.
 
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