The ‘Bulletin Board’ section needs a serious second look

Howdy everyone!

Recently, I’ve been spending more time on the DevForum reading and replying than I have in the past few years, and something that I noticed when occasionally checking the ‘unread’ tab of the forum is that the ‘Bulletin Board’ section, an area in which developers should be indulging on their competed/updated projects, is constantly overrun by new users making completely irreverent posts, which are unable to be replied too.

A vast majority of these users are completely oblivious to the rules and standards of the DevForum, and will simpily post in the section as if it’s part of the Lounge or Scripting Support sections (examples) without even batting an eye to the Rules of the Bulletin Board. I beleive that this increase in posting is partially due to the fact that the ranking system for the DevForum was recently automated, and the reccomend way to rank up is to ‘Make appropriate posts consistently’ in the forum sections available to them.

Personally, there is no reason that this section on the forum, which already has a dedicated purpose, should be used as a cesspool for users which aspire to join the forums official ranks one day. An easy way this could be resolved would be to give these new users a dedicated section on the forum to call their own…something which would be controversial in its own right, but would solve the problem at hand, which is only going to increase as the DevForum continues to populate.

Maybe I’m just throwing rocks at a wall that nobodys looking at…let me know what you guys think about this.

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This is what I’m assuming.

I read a DevForum post about Post Approval for New Members (I can’t seem to find that post that explains Post Approval in details, otherwise I’d link it). New Members are required to post their thread to the #bulletin-board and send a message to @Post Approval (correct me on the @) with a link to the thread and the category that the person wants to post in. So, it may look like that users are incorrectly posting in #bulletin-board, but they may be just going through the Post Approval process.

I do not know how long those posts stay in #bulletin-board (maybe until they get approved?), but that’s my hunch.

Edit: I found the article for the Post Approval Procedure.

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The Bulletin Board category was originally used as a replacement for the forums to allow for developers to easily post things like update logs or for groups to post group information for all their members. Therefore, it can mostly be used as a free-for-all for anyone’s purposes.

I don’t really see the point of your post since it isn’t meant to be browsed regularly anyways. Just going off of the rules from the way that I read them.

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While I can agree that the automation of DevForum membership is the reason for users who may not be as mature or attentive to the rules, automated membership is needed - despite its down-falls. The solution here is to push the rules/make them more clear rather than to reverse the automatic membership.

@TheCarbyneUniverse post approval is for new members to post in categories that they otherwise can’t. Posting scripting support questions or off-topic subjects don’t belong.

The point is that the section is not a free-for-all like you stated and has rules like every other subsection of this forum.

The fact that users are openly posting questions to a section in which users cannot reply to them shows the confusion and redundance of what the #bulletin-board section is supposed to be.

Sure, there are plenty of those. What Nate is addressing is that an increasing amount of posts that don’t need approval are going in the bulletin board. I have noticed this trend as well in the past few weeks.

If anything, this points to the fact that automated membership isn’t to blame or else this problem would’ve appeared months ago.

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Ah, I can see where you might be coming from when it comes to confusion, the category is anything but redundant by any means.

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Fair enough, I just think it almost becomes a bad image for the forum when you have a situation where a user is asking a serious question in one of the few public spaces that the forum offers and nobody is able to able to answer it.

Seeing that this is happening in increasing amounts I’m surprised this hasn’t been addressed yet. As @frogg_r pointed out himself, this has been going on for up to a month now, and I’m just now pointing it out.

All users can post in the support channels as far as I can remember. Therefore, it mostly seems to be a common confusion.

I have been PMing users who post here telling them where to move it and also help them if I can. I generally give them a link so they can figure out where to post next time. I have yet to find somebody I’ve PMed make the same mistake.

It’s great that you’ve gone out of your way to of done this, and I’m sure the users you’ve helped have also appreciated it, however, this shouldn’t be something that a normal member should have to ‘take on’ simply because the section is being neglected.

I think your reply here highlights why I made this entire post to begin with. Even simple gestures such as moving posts (which moderators can do) could go along ways for the public image of the #bulletin-board.

adding @LouieK22 to the end of this as his post seemed to have coincided with yours and I’d like for him to be able to reply with his opinion if he wanted.

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You’re not supposed to read Bulletin Board–it’s designed not to be. New Members use this for post approval. If you see a post in there that doesn’t seem appropriate, that’s assuredly why. Other developers use this for update logs and the such, but either way other people aren’t supposed to read it.

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Could you explain a bit about how you ended up reading the Bulletin Board category regularly? We do an awful ton to disincentivize this to begin with. (such as hiding Bulletin Board posts from search queries unless you’re specifically searching in bulletin board)

No, that is not correct. Please review About the Bulletin Board category. You’re not meant to read this category, it’s just a place where people can post stuff that they can link to external users / link in game descriptions, or for post approval.

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The way this was brought to my attention was when I would interact with the ‘New’ tab (not ‘unread’, I should probably correct this) and continuously see both relevant and irrelevant content being posted to the section. Seeing now that the section doubles as both an update panel for developers as well as a post approval process for new members, I can better wrap my head around why some of these posts are made.

Adding onto this, there are also times where I will purposefully click on the #bulletin-board section, which is directly on the home page, just to view whats in it. I find it kind of odd that the DevForum team have gone out of their way to so-called ‘hide’ this section, yet starkly have it presented with the rest of the categories on the front page of the website. It seems that if you didn’t want somebody veiwing the #bulletin-board directly (as I believed it was intended to be, until now), you could just simply hide the category from the front page and the problem of new users accidentally posting content to it would eventually deal with itself.

Could it be possible to hide the category entirely from the website whilst still having users being able to post to it by means of a new topic?

Because that’s not the case by default – the category is muted by default so it will not appear on the home page / will not appear in Latest/New by default. If you are seeing this content in New/Latest and on the home page, then it means you have manually unmuted the category yourself at some point.

Perform these actions to restore the muted state of the category:

After doing that, you should no longer see new Bulletin Board topics in New/Latest, and the category won’t be visible on the home page.

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Never knew this was the case, but it’s great that discourse has a setting built in for these kinds of situations.

Thank you for the dilligent responses!

Update on this one: we found that the Bulletin Board wasn’t automatically muted for a few months earlier on in the year, so we went through and made sure it is now muted correctly for everyone unless you manually go in and set it to a different notification level. This should hopefully resolve any remaining issues that there were with Bulletin Board cluttering up search / Latest / New / Top sorts etc.

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