Target audience of the forum is not specific enough, introduce tactical barriers for entry

I completely agree with OP on all of this. Roblox seriously needs to do something about the Devforums, since the quality of posts is slowly going down.

I see more and more twitter accounts every day posting “Devforum memes” with pictures of discussion threads from #development-discussion, which shouldn’t be a thing to such an extent.

While I am 18-, I totally agree with most of your statements encouraging the promotion of higher-aged developers. A lot of the threads posted are usually along the lines of “how do I make a gamepass”, etc… which can be easily solved by going to the Devhub or the Roblox wiki.

The developer forum should be an open place for everyone to discuss development, however there should be moderation and quality control in-place for users who want to post.

But in some countries it is against the law to take info from 18- so I don’t really see how this is done. Also I imagine alot of people don’t want their personal info there secure or not.

although 13+ users can still take it seriously, some do! (As a 13 year old user myself :sweat_smile:), I find the Devforum as a great resource, you discover so many new things! All I think is that they just need to find a better way to verify age and intent!

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I think that tests and quizzes on certain topics to prove that you are qualified to provide help to said topic(s), would make much sense.

I’ve seen more then a couple posts of people that (in my mind) are probably unqualified to provide answers/solutions.

Last thing, maybe members can actually earn their place instead of just joining and being able to post and such

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It’s fine to use those images to give an example, but at least blur the names out. I don’t particularly mind you using that image, but that might not be the case for someone else.

Regardless, we should get back on topic.

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Hey all,

Before I dive into it, I wanted to thank the OP for providing a place for so many people to provide their insight and thoughts into the current state of the DevForum. We really appreciate it when people make their voices heard, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’ve read every comment posted so far, and can appreciate the general sentiment - more experienced Creators are not finding the DevForum as helpful as they’d like it to be. It’s an interesting problem to solve because at Roblox accessibility is super important. The ease at which our players can become creators is uniquely fantastic, and one of the big reasons I enjoy working on this platform so much.

As such, we want the DevForum to be able to accommodate Creators just starting out, Creators with decades of experience (either within Roblox, or elsewhere), and everyone in between. Increasing access restrictions by looking at age or success would therefore only replace one problem with many others, and does not feel true to Roblox’s open-platform vision.

The issues highlighted in this thread have definitely been exacerbated by the last 24 months of explosive growth that Roblox has had, which of course extends to the Creator community as well.
This has put pressure on the processes we have in place, the fantastic DevRel teams who moderate the content being posted, and the DevForum as a technical product itself. I hope that you’ll be happy to know that we’ve been thinking a lot about how the DevForum is useful for all of our diverse community, as more and more users join.

We’re in the research stages of this project, and it’s quite a large undertaking, so we want to take the time and make sure the solution we eventually bring out is robust, and will work very well not just at the current community size, but also scale alongside Roblox’s growth for years into the future.

To shine a quick light on my personal viewpoint right now (and as afore-mentioned ‘research stage’, please don’t take this view as any concrete action plan) - this fundamentally isn’t about ‘poor quality’ content, as any major platform will have that. Instead, it’s that all content is shown to users in equal measure, irrespective of whether it’s what the user is looking for or not. By fixing the discovery of content, we can make sure that the DevForum continues to be open, but experienced Creators, who may want to interact primarily only with other experienced Creators, can do so within the same space. This requires a solution that is a lot more fundamental to the forum as a product, rather than just adding some new mechanism on top.

We’re still at a stage where we’re not comfortable sharing details, or any specific plans of action. But we hear your concerns, agree with the sentiment and are already planning on pushing many resources into creating a great solution that works for everyone now, and everyone in the future.

Thanks

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Im super late to the party but, I like to remain anonymous where possible, so no thank you.

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Yes. I have not been on Studio in a while because I have nothing to do at the moment (the person I work for is out sick) and I have been working on an app to help new developers. I would not like this affecting my DevForum account.

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You really aren’t wrong, the Devforum has helped me with many things both GFX and scripting, but I feel like it could still be better. For example, I saw someone’s post say something about loving a girl on their development team. I won’t go further into that, but I think you already know what I mean. Also, Roblox isn’t too trustworthy with personal information as Admin accounts are getting hacked here and there and I don’t want the hacker to get access to all my personal information. Keyword: personal.

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Going to mark solution to the topic to make sure the staff response is easily discoverable (even though the feature request is still open) since there are already 100+ replies.

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Personally I don’t think that this is a discoverability issue but rather the fact that either don’t know or choose to ignore the fact that post they create are already there and DET not doing enough to curb the entitlement. I understand that you guys are overworked but essentially putting blame on the search feature that works really well isn’t going to take the forum far. I do honestly believe that you guys need help from the community in a way that isn’t just constantly flagging down post. I do hope that program such as the Editor program or Post Approval come back because I feel like one of those days, the DET will reach it’s breaking point beyond return where there will be simply too many members for a small team like yours to moderate.

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Hey! Thanks for your thoughts.

To be clear - when I talk about discoverability, I’m not actually referring to the search bar. Right now, content is purely laid out in the time it was posted - whether we’re talking about the order of thread comments, or the order of threads in a section. This means that it’s a lot harder to discover the content more experienced developers want, because the content’s discoverability is purely time-based, and not based on ‘quality’ (I use that word with caution, but hopefully you catch my drift). This means that when users browse the forum, or individual threads, they have to wade through every single piece of content (ordered by time) rather than being able to quickly get all the most useful stuff at the top.

I’m trying to speak about this in abstract terms, because we’re still researching the best solutions for this - but this thread is a great resource for us to inform decision making.

I totally agree with you that more can be done around educating users on not posting duplicate content, and on the fact that a centralized moderation team is not as easily scalable in size as our creator community. As such, I personally expect us to end up leaning more on the community for helping deem ‘quality’ content.

I hope this unpacks my current mode of thinking a bit better - please raise any other concerns or thoughts around this as well! The more we have, the better our internal discussions can be.

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I’m still not sure that’s the real issue at hand here; even sorted by quality isn’t the solution to the problems that are facing here. The problem is many posts may be low quality yet may artificially seem as they are high quality due to certain factors such as likes, views, replies, length, etc. (I don’t know what other criteria could be used here).

Feel free to send me a DM, I’d be happy to share examples of what I mean privately.

The problem with this is DET/DevRel has seemingly done the opposite of what will help the forum so far, when sages/editors were deprecated, that just took away a group of users who could help clean out these bad posts, and this is no more.

I believe the answer lies in having more, anonymous users to help deal with non-moderation details such as moving threads and changing titles.

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Will there be actual engineering man hours into modifying the Discourse engine or providing an alternative forum solution entirely? There are many different ways to remedy the various problems the forum faces, but most, if not all of them require some level of re-engineering at a web development level, not just changes in management and organization.

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I think in the near future, most of Roblox Dev related recruiting will be done through the new hiring and resume searching platform that Roblox has been working on. I can’t remember its name off the top of my head, but I believe this was featured in either RDC or a hack week or something along those lines. Essentially, you can put up your portfolio, categorize yourself based on your skills and specialties, list prices and whatnot; then, when someone is hiring, they can easily search and sort through this database.

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To start off, thank you for interacting with this post. It’s very refreshing to see exchanges between staff and developers.

So you are suggesting a possible implementation of some sort of algorithm like a social media platform, but in this case, targeting users by developer experience rather than what users are looking at/liking. This could definitely be an intriguing procedure. However, I question what would decipher one from being an experienced developer compared to an average user.

And while targeting an audience can get more efficient/collaborative responses, it can also limit posts for those who want to make things for the general audience to see. (For example, my open-source nametag to prevent display name impersonation could be limited in views if I was considered an “experienced developer”, and therefore my audience pertaining to experienced developers rather than a general audience). How would we go about this?

And yes, I’m aware this isn’t a concrete plan yet. However, I feel that a calculated bonanza could maybe solve the problem but then add the new problem of limited attraction for those who want to target the average user in places such as #resources.

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Thanks for your thoughts! I’m trying to keep what I’m talking about in the abstract because we’re talking about the best approach to solutions, rather than the solutions themselves (as we’re still thinking about this internally). Assuming we can get a correct signal to calculate ‘quality’ (whatever that ends up being), this then wouldn’t be a problem. Were we to pursue this avenue, we’d therefore know that we need to be able to calculate ‘quality’ without users gaming the system. I hope that makes sense.

Interestingly, I think a centralized team will still have the same long-term scalability issues, no matter if they’re made up of DevRel members, or community members - it’s still a centralized team. This is why I think (emphasis on think, this isn’t indicative of anything) our approach should be to leverage all users of the platform to help highlight ‘quality’ content. Discourse starts to vaguely do this with the likes button, but as you say, this can be gamed by users, and also doesn’t actually really change discoverability of content.

When I say ‘resources’, I am referring to design, engineering and product, in conjunction with DevRel.

So I’m not necessarily suggesting that, as I’m only talking about our approach to solving this. Something like this would go in that direction though, yes - although as you rightfully say, also bring other problems with it. A great example of why we’re making sure in this research phase that we have the best possible solution - something that doesn’t bring other problems along with it.

Thanks for all the questions and additional thoughts everyone! Gonna be stepping away from the thread for a bit, but please continue to let your voices be heard. It’s all helpful for us internally as we work out how to resolve these pain points, and ensure DevForum is equally helpful for everyone now, and into the future.

Thanks

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No thank you. As someone who has been in both this resolves no problems and adds more problems instead. It is also very mentally taxing going through hundreds of requests (a good amount of them were nonsense) and in certain cases receiving rude responses to feedback.

Post approval is not scalable for a forum of this magnitude and it is counterproductive against Roblox’s vision of accessibility which has been mentioned many times including in this thread. Additionally, there’s a lot of subjectivity around post approval - part of which is understanding current ambiguity about forum use. I can count a number of times where one of these three happened:

  • I had to ask a Sage for help and they knew what to do.
  • I had to ask a Sage for help and they didn’t know, so they gave me a best case scenario.
  • I had to interpret rules/category guidelines myself as best as I could to handle a request.

Post approval has been talked back and forth about why it’s bad so I’d rather it be left to those threads. I don’t want to bring this thread too far off topic by going on a drone about post approval, but I just want to make that comment since it was raised in the thread at all.

As for the Editor program, likewise, solves nothing. The only thing we did was recategorise and rename threads to a more appropriate fit. This is a non-solution to the problem that is raised in this feature request and is just meant for SEO/organisation purposes. We still have to flag problems, as do Sages (even if they receive privileges to close threads and more).

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Thanks for responding to us. I really appreciate that we can finally hear something from Roblox staff since it has kind of felt like they have mostly been out of the picture on the devforum for a while.

I don’t think any of us are directly looking to prevent new developers from having a place to communicate, it’s just that we want to be able to have a place where more serious and advanced developers can have more serious and high quality discussions.

I can understand there are a lot of potential solutions to the issue and that Roblox wants to ensure they make the right decision.

I think the two most important things are to prevent users (especially users who may not actually be developers at all, or may be underage) from posting low quality posts, and to provide a sectioned off space for the more serious and professional developers to have more serious discussions. There would also need to be some form of requirements to be participate in said space. For example, veteran small developers and big time front page game devs should both be able to participate.

That would be beneficial to both experienced developers and to new developers as each would have a place to communicate with each other without, and not have to sift through a tremendous amount of spam.

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Good to know that the team is working on this. I can’t find related and worthwhile topics without coming across an irrelevant post that could be solved with a quick google search.

I think @Fluffmiceter said it best. These types of posts are not bad, but are low quality and especially harmful to #development-discussion.

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