83

Would DN be better as 'invite-only' again?

over 3 years ago from , UI Designer [Moderator]

I'm curious what other people think about this. I managed to get an account before 'open registration' began, you know, when there were certain moments where registration would be open for a limited time.

Do you think this was a better way of keeping out the spam users? (I'm thinking of this webdesignshare... bloody annoying aren't they!)

So my question is... Open Registration or Invite-Only?

59 comments

  • Denis RojcykDenis Rojcyk, over 3 years ago

    I would rather make it as Stack Overflow operates. Collect karma, even from comments and ...

    0 karma - can only post comments and upvote 50 karma - can post links 500 karma - can moderate

    and basically stuff like that, numbers are made up and I hove no idea if it would even work, but I like stack overflow approach a lot.

    82 points
    • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      +1 to all of this except "500 to moderate". Moderators should be picked intentionally from users who have demonstrated the positive impact they have, and not blindly applied to everyone. That would create a major problem as bots would slowly farm up to 500 then wreak havoc.

      Edit: It's possible that Denis meant the ability to downvote when he said "500 to moderate" and not full moderation tools. If he meant the ability to downvote, I'm in favour. If he meant full moderation tools like deleting and editing posts/comments, I don't think that's a good idea.

      33 points
    • Dan TildenDan Tilden, over 3 years ago

      I personally dislike the StackOverflow approach—it discourages all but "elite" users from contributing anything at all. It's a similar problem to what Digg had years ago.

      20 points
      • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

        I know what you mean, I hate not being able to comment on things that I have an opinion on. One of my dislikes of Dribbble. But I do understand there are benefits to having such system.

        2 points
      • Charlie Williams, over 3 years ago

        I agree, as a newbie in the design and programming world, I find stack users really intimidating and elitist. When I ask for help they give answers as though I should know it already.

        9 points
        • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

          I've had the same on there Charlie. And some responses always seem to come across a bit arsey. Then your post gets closed because they don't think it was a valid question.

          9 points
        • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, over 3 years ago

          I think that is a general people problem, probably not limited to SO :-). The same happens here . . .

          2 points
          • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

            True, but I don't think DN would ever stop someone commenting or close a post because they didn't like it. As long as posts/comments follow DN guidelines, they're allowed!

            If they've been missed, that's just the nature of being human.

            0 points
        • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, over 3 years ago

          If you make that point when they give asshole answers, they usually help or they just leave you alone. Not the best way of dealing with them, but it works.

          I remember experiencing a downvote spree that lasted for about a month. Literally every single question I asked got downvoted. I was furious at first, but then I found it hilarious to the point where I ended every question with, "All set for downvotes!", or something of that nature. Some people are just pathetic.

          0 points
      • Carol SkellyCarol Skelly, over 3 years ago

        I like the StackOverflow reputation model, and don't think of it as "elitist" at all. On SO, users earn reputation over time by providing well thought out answers, and asking good questions that are relevant to the broader communtity.

        Dribbbles model (last time I checked) was to only allow users to post if they're already accepted by an existing member. That seems more elitist, i.e. "It's not what you know, it's who you know".

        1 point
  • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 3 years ago

    Our industry is already enough of a bubble as it is - I don't think there is no need to be even more needlessly (and inappropriately) elitist as we already are.

    I don't even know that "webdesignshare" that you talk about - is it like actual spam, or is it just annoying content? Because I personally see yet another sketch-plugin or sketch-tutorial-video or "why designers should {inset here}" as spam as well.

    21 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

      That's true. Very good point. I'm glad you don't see the webdesignshare stuff. I, along with other mods, try to delete them as quick as possible, similar to other spammy posts.

      I just felt that when it was invite-only, rather than being considered 'elitist', the DN community was full of like-minded users.

      6 points
      • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 3 years ago

        You are doing a good job in deleting them :D

        ... the DN community [would be] full of like-minded users

        This is where I would see the problem. Have different opinions, different views. Imagine everyone would have the same opinion on here. All we would do is massage our egos even more. We already do too much to impress our peers.

        9 points
      • Alaik FAlaik F, over 3 years ago

        Even when the post is deleted it's still delivered to my feedly

        2 points
        • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

          ...and to my Panda feed. But I'm not sure if that's to do with the DN API or the service that's using the API.

          2 points
    • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, over 3 years ago

      It's not annoying content, it's newly created accounts posting uninteresting if harmless design articles (10 best ecommerce platforms, 45+ jquery plugins, 25 interesting hacks, 125 listicles to write). The problem is they post 10 a day, all from the same site. It gets annoying pretty quickly.

      6 points
      • Matt Sullivan, over 3 years ago

        I agree with you. Its getting annoying.

        I’m not sure what the implications of changing this to a invite-only site would be but I’m certain that this awesome site is becoming littered with list-spam like you described. The the best part of Designer News are posts about design, practices, tools, the industry, site redesigns, and questions from designers. the other items feel like ads or spam. But its all about ratios. Currently, it appears that the uninteresting articles are growing. Eventually the ratio may become so bad that people stop visiting.

        0 points
    • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 3 years ago

      Is design really elitist? We don't have a required degree or certification. There's almost zero bar for entry. You get interested in design, and then you can call yourself a designer.

      1 point
  • Ian De DobbelaereIan De Dobbelaere, over 3 years ago

    I don't think invite only is the solution. I think it's just what you get when your site grows. But maybe you could track how much time user X spend on DN and how active he is and then give him the option to post. So you could just filter the accounts out that just exist to post a spammy article and leave.

    10 points
  • Andrew Johnson, over 3 years ago

    Yes.

    7 points
  • Tristam GochTristam Goch, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    I suppose it comes down to what you think this place should be.

    A lot of stories receive comments like, "This isn't news" which would suggest some users want this to be a news site. Post types like Show and Site Design as well as the rise of things like AMAs make this more of a community for others. I've also started to notice more posts from non-designers looking for advice or info, so there's that. You mention invite-only creating the community of 'like-minded' designers, but that starts to be a problem when you consider the lengths we ought to be going to as an industry to foster diversity. Maybe there could be stricter rules around posting and moderation, but that amounts to mods deciding what DN should be, likely cutting out sections of the user base.

    In short: who knows man? But trying to fight spam by closing the doors feels like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    7 points
    • James Lane, over 3 years ago

      That is an epic response, this bit in particular that I didn't even think about when I wrote the post, but 100% agree...

      consider the lengths we ought to be going to as an industry to foster diversity

      2 points
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, over 3 years ago

    You could add a down vote option, and when a certain amount of down votes are reached Mods are prompted to review the offending author. If they're consistent offenders then their account is disabled and can only be reactivated after a telling off.

    6 points
    • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

      Downvoting is (edit: used to be) a thing on DN, but only if you have over 100 karma. IMO, that's the way it should be. There's an inherent respect for the community after you've made 5+ submissions, and people won't simply downvote content they disagree with.

      Reddit has a big problem with users downvoting content they disagree with instead of it's intended purpose (unnecessary/irrelevant/spam), and I think DN's 100 karma threshold is a good way to solve that issue.

      If you don't like something, don't upvote it. If it's spam, report it.

      BTW, with regard to if DN should be be invite-only or open registration: my vote is for open registration. (Not relevant to my reply here inherently, but didn't feel like making another post.) The small spam problem here can be solved in alternative ways.

      0 points
      • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

        The biggest problem I see there is that these voting rings will give themselves karma and the ability to downvote everyone's posts, therefore promoting their own.

        0 points
      • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 3 years ago

        Perhaps you are referring to flagging? I have more than 1,000 Karma and don't have that option to downvote a comment or a post, but can flag them for mods.

        0 points
        • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

          I have 50 karma and can flag, that isn't it. I'm definitely sure downvoting was a thing over a certain amount of karma (which I believe to be 100), but perhaps they got rid of that in the design overhaul?

          If it has been removed, it could be re-introduced. It won't solve the spam problem singlehandedly (which I believe all of this stems from), but it'll help.

          0 points
      • Account deleted over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

        I think because the Karma system is still something that needs tweaking and can be gamed far too easily, it's not quite ready yet to be the measuring stick for something like this.

        My gut tells that something based on the time you've been an active user might be more appropriate. This way people invested in the community are weighted a tad bit more than spam accounts or people who post a couple times and don't really contribute.

        It could be something as simple as everyone who's been active over a month gets the ability to down vote ONCE per day. 6 months, twice...and maybe cap it at 4 down votes a day for 1+ years. This way it can't be overly abused, but the users most invested in the community have a bit of sway to push down things they as a member of the community find spammy, not helpful, whatever.

        0 points
        • Ed AdamsEd Adams, over 3 years ago

          Downvoting must work somehow because this post was on -1 as of me writing this. I dunno how it works, but it's there.

          Some communication from the admins about how downvoting works here would be helpful.

          0 points
          • Account deleted over 3 years ago

            Down voting exists at an admin/mod level for all comments. In the example above, they dinged me. Not sure why, but I don't take any offense to it. Because there are so few admin/mods out there, down voting a comment can't really skew anything.

            0 points
    • James Lane, over 3 years ago

      As far as I know, the admins are constantly discussing between mods and themselves different ways of combatting spam. But if you do have any ideas, feel free to use the little guy in the bottom right corner, they do get seen by the admins themselves.

      2 points
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, over 3 years ago

    Smaller communities have better content. It's been proven by Dribbble while in its beginning, and DN while in its beginning. Being invite-only or not does not address the issue. Once you've gone over a certain limit, things go downhill from there and there's no way of going back, at least, in practice.

    2 points
    • Account deleted over 3 years ago

      For most things there is a "tipping point", but I think much of that has to do with scale and how to accommodate it. Reddit is an example that has scaled well... perhaps it's because it has many niche channels?

      I don't think that's a good thing here... but just saying that just because DN hits a particular size, it doesn't mean it's inevitable that the quality will degrade.

      0 points
  • Alex FerensAlex Ferens, over 3 years ago

    I'M SO SICK OF WEBDESIGNSHARE! I use Feedly to garner all my DN news and it's burning my eyes out, bring back the quality.

    1 point
  • Account deleted over 3 years ago

    I think closing it down is the "easy choice", but will hurt the community in the long run. I've been a member of a few closed boards, and they can get pretty stale (after a while, new posts become more and more infrequent) and a little elitist.There are def pros and cons either way, but the unique thing about DN is that it has great potential to be relevant to both new and veteran designers.

    I would rather see things stay open.

    1 point
  • James Lane, over 3 years ago

    I'm loving the comments being given so far. I appreciate this is a very opinionated topic, and I thought it would be. But I figured it's better to get everyone's opinion on the matter.

    1 point
  • aar hoff, over 3 years ago

    A site I administer started getting ridiculous amounts of spam after reaching a certain level of traffic...and not just the spambot type; like sweatshop staff going around signing up just to post stuff.

    Wound up developing a multiple layer system to ensure every user was legit, including a human check (answer X question), admin/mod approval of new accounts (including a whois check and comparison to existing user known IPs), and then all new users' first couple posts are quarantined pending mod review.

    Maybe overkill for DN, but it had worked for me..Haven't had a single spam post in years.

    1 point
    • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

      Thanks for this, it's a good solution. Like you say, maybe overkill, but a good solution nonetheless.

      0 points
  • Cory GibbonsCory Gibbons, over 3 years ago

    At the very least ban links to known spam sites (read: webdesignshare) If only I got a dollar every time I clicked report on one of their posts.

    1 point
    • Ken Em, over 3 years ago

      This. I'm surprised there isn't a blacklist already in place. Or is there?

      0 points
      • James Lane, over 3 years ago

        There is a known watchlist. As far as blacklist goes, I'm not sure. The admins are always looking at comments and suggestions by users, so maybe something could be in the works. Possible spam solutions have definitely been discussed.

        0 points
  • Xavier BertelsXavier Bertels, over 3 years ago

    Maybe the site should be visible after login only? Or maybe links should have a rel="nofollow" making it effectively less attractive to post spam?

    1 point
  • Kemie GuaidaKemie Guaida, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    If the only reason is to prevent spam (and I'm all for that), I think a better solution is a waiting period for posting on new accounts. And blocking spammy urls. Or maybe just blocking any link that starts with a number ;)

    1 point
  • Dana (dmxt)Dana (dmxt), over 3 years ago

    Yes, so I can get dat second invite-only color.

    1 point
  • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, over 3 years ago

    Invite only.

    1 point
  • Nathan NNathan N, over 3 years ago

    I wouldn't mind invite only. If it's good enough for dribbble it's good enough for us. Also I wouldn't mind a comment rating system like the one on slashdot.

    0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, over 3 years ago

    No

    0 points
  • David OngDavid Ong, over 3 years ago

    Perhaps a modification in rules and a reassessment of a content strategy (i.e. what kind of posts to share and upload or even ask) could solve this problem.

    0 points
  • Ankit JoshiAnkit Joshi, over 3 years ago

    Invite Only feels restrictive. Consumption should be free. I agree with incentives to increase participation

    0 points
  • Ryan Van GattenRyan Van Gatten, over 3 years ago

    Even if I didn't have access to the original DN, I think it was better then. Less spam, more actual design stuff, rather this mixed techie-startup links we get today.

    0 points
  • Reece ButlerReece Butler, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    Personally, I thought the quality of the discussions and posts were higher before the open registration.

    Since open registration, it seems, that there has been less discussion and the focus has drifted from being primarily about design (in all of its disciplines) to now being just updates to design tools, development/framework links and startups.

    Which I think is a shame. DN was really the only community online where there was interesting content being shared from across all disciplines. For example, it wasn't uncommon to have discussions about print design and not just web and UX. We can all take some of the blame for this by not being more actively engaged and sharing/voting for better stuff. Going off my post history, I certainly should be more of a participant and will try to be.

    The original registration process had its downsides, but I think it lead to more engaged users. I'm in Sydney, which meant that the registration window was at 4am locally. Not a huge issue for those in the US or on that timezone, but that limited window meant that anyone who wanted to participate had to jump through a few hoops.

    My guess is it will never go back to how it was. This is now someone's business which needs to pay for itself, and not just a side project that LayerVault would run at a loss because they could.

    0 points
  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 3 years ago (edited over 3 years ago )

    I would suggest a "mute" feature where you say which terms/urls you're not interested in and automatically hides them when you visit the site.

    Later on, the system could learn this automatic when you "hide posts" you don't like and it learns.

    0 points
  • Dan DiGangiDan DiGangi, over 3 years ago

    I'd like to see a quasi-Product Hunt / Stack Overflow / Dribble type setup applied to DN.

    0 points
  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 3 years ago

    There seems to be two issues being discussed here: the rise of spam, and negative users. Although the first issue can easily be solved with becoming invite-only, many of these negative users have been here a while.

    I've folllowed DN for quite a while, even prior to starting an account. As DN grew, I feel like there was a sequential growth of users that only ever post negative, snarky, and thoughtless comments. This really changed the previously friendly, welcoming, "Be nice" aura of DN that existed before.

    0 points
  • Roman DavydkoRoman Davydko, over 3 years ago

    webdesignshare is the reason why I deleted DN's RSS feed from my Feedly... Now only visiting DN once a week after an email with top stories comes. Pretty sad.

    0 points
  • Joey Riso, over 3 years ago

    As someone who has only recently joined, I would hope you'd keep it open - with limitations (SO's model doesn't bother me, and I'm on other boards with similar reputation-based permissions). My background is programming, not UX, so I look to resources like DN for good, solid information. If you close DN to others like myself, you cut us off from the opportunity of learning, and the of the possibility that we can, at some point, contribute of our own strengths. And, by the way, I do have a business, and a product - but I'm not here to push it at you. You won't get spam from me.

    0 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, over 3 years ago

      You are actually allowed to self-promote, by all means! The only issue would be if that's the only thing you did. If you weren't seen to contribute to the community, then it would be deemed spam.

      But clearly you are contributing by posting a comment on this thread ;)

      0 points
  • Muhammad Saad Khan, over 3 years ago

    Nominate moderators from the community. And shuffle the moderator-ship after every three months so we can involve as many people contributing to this community. This will encourage contributors and boast the power of community.

    0 points