should I limit the number of threads a user can start per week (or month)?
The reason why I am asking is that as you may have noticed, we have a very active user these days (@mik3ca) who's been starting many threads in a short amount of time.
Nothing wrong with that, but my main concern here is to prevent 'forum fatigue'.
The greatest strengths of this forum are the quality of the participants (thank you!) and the speed at which questions are being answered.
I fear that if a user asks too many questions in too short a timeframe, it might end up having a negative impact as some of our best contributors might stop paying attention.
If there's active conversation, I don't think there's anything wrong with it inherently. The posts in question certainly aren't spam, which is one of the big forum killers. There seemed to be lots of good conversation (at least in the beginning).
I've personally tuned out (of just those threads) mainly just due to the specific technical content of those threads (optimizing to get every last clock cycle out of an 8015 isn't something I'm personally interested in these days). That being said, if other people are interested in sharing their experiences, etc, then great!
I assume if people aren't interested in the threads, they'll selectively tune them out, but probably won't just give up on the entire forum.
This situation occasionally occurs on all forums like this one. Helpful suggestions encourage additional questions.
I don't think that a blanket policy like that you're proposing is really workable. On other forums where we've experienced similar explosions of questions, particularly those from real newbies, the authorized moderators have taken the lead to address the issue with the poster directly. That has been successful in lowering the number of questions posted, or the negative attention has encouraged the disrupting member to seek other pastures.
Another tack that has proven worth the effort was to create a "newbies" forum. That change to the forum has greatly reduced the occurrence of simple questions in the main threads.
Thumbs up with this reply (also), with one caveat: I would defer creating the "newbies" forum (or sub-forum) for now, as there is only one (so-called) "newbie" to deal with.
@M65C02A, Great reply to the question.
Not related to this thread, but I just wanted to say I love your username. I cut my teeth on the Rockwell 6502 way back when...
I've been coding mostly assembler since '77 and haunt these type forums to teach fishing and glean some tips along the way.
I'll 2nd both M65C02A and bamos: when I get a smell of just handing out fish, I stop responding. That poster started to look too much like either a student or someone wanting a design done for them. I detest the first and consider the second dishonest.
I've given up on answering mik3ca for much the same reasons as given above - same as if the guy was in the same office I'd put on earphones.
But he hasn't done anything 'wrong' and the problem isn't out of control so I think we should let it go.
I second that - imho the questions are mostly basic of nature (how to set up a programming environment ...) or about basic algorithms.
However, the forum was a bit dry until then - and questions are what it's here for, isn't it?
Since mik3ca is most likely reading this, I have a little advice:
- don't be shy to ask, but always ask Google first!
- try to reuse the threads you started if it is the same project (even if it might be a different problem)
- get decent tools :)
Best wishes to all
I'm an 8051 programmer but I haven't done any 8051 stuff for a few years. I welcome mik3ca's posts because they give me a chance to keep my 8051 skills sharp. I don't mind a user posting a lot of questions. If questions are out of my expertise, I'll just ignore them.
Thank you everyone for your feedback.
I won't implement a limit for now, as most of you seem to be fine with a user starting many new threads and asking lots of questions in a relatively short period of time.
Maybe what I should consider is implementing a way to 'un-follow' a user so that when the 'un-followed' user starts a new thread, a notification email isn't sent.
In any event, thanks again for being part of this community.