To reduce the amount of threads/posts from new members that are here only to post (pointless) threads or posts just to have their signature with spammy URLs underneath it, is it not an idea that the 'Post signature' functionality is only available if a member have posted already a certain amount of posts? Say for example 30.

<admin hat removed> Or just scrap the signature facility altogether for that matter. I'm not personally convinced anyone who is here for the right reasons would actually care... </admin hat removed>

Or just scrap the signature facility altogether for that matter.

That's also an option :)

Allowing veteran posters with good rep to have sigs advertising their forum-relevant skills or business is a good thing I think. I've chosen not to have a signature, but if I linked a computer programming website, people who feel I've demonstrated competence in my posts here might choose to visit it. I see that as a plus, a fringe benefit, a win-win-win for me, the person who clicks on it, and Daniweb. It's relevant content, and earned clicks, with no trickery. My vote is that sigs stay.

Contrast that with folks who join and post nonsense with no value that detracts from the thread purely to further a spam sig, often unrelated to computers. That lowers the quality of the site and there needs to be a policy, such as GentleMedia's idea, to discourage it. Some combination of minimum number of posts, a waiting period between join time and when sigs are allowed, endorsements by non-newbies, positive overall rep, etcetera, etcetera to discourage folks who never had the slightest intention of adding positive value to Daniweb from joining and posting mindless posts to simply achieve a minimum post count.

Without that, spammers galore advertising everything from kitty litter to hot air baloon rides.

To sum up, don't throw the baby (legit sigs from legit posters who don't post simply to spread their sig link) with the bathwater (spammers).

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I think we've been here before. I remember a number of threads on this every few years. Yet to be sorted. What is the purpose of the sig? To place a witty one-liner to try and get a few cheap guffaws? To link to a site (own or other)? To send a message to noobs to give rep if their post was helpful? I've done all of these in my time here. I now have none. The traffic issue alone makes it pretty pointless.

What is the purpose of the sig?

What's the purpose of an avatar? Same thing. Some level of personalization, should one desire to have one. Whatever makes you you that you decide to share. Yeah it could be a witty or not so witty one-liner that gets a cheap guffaw. Could be a picture or your kid. Regarding links and driving people to your business, I imagine it doesn't drive much, though I have known them to have resulted in positive business contacts a handful of times. Not often, and yes to be sure, with the current Daniweb traffic, less likely now.

I wouldn't shed a tear if it left, but if the option was removed purely due to the spammers abusing them instead of at least taking the anti-spam measures mentioned above first, that seems like surrendering to them.

I have a sig myself, and have generally thought that the idea of allowing them by way of a 'reward' for people volunteering their experience to answer questions was a good idea. But given the low traffic these days, and in particular the spam to genuine ratio, I am much less convinced that the sig favours decent members more than it does scumbag spammers. As for 'surrendering' to the spammers, I disagree. If the sig isn't a real benefit to decent members any more, but is a (perceived) benefit to the spammers then taking it away is hardly giving in to the latter. Indeed, it's more a declaration that we won't make DaniWeb a comfortable place for them.

If the sig isn't a real benefit to decent members any more, but is a (perceived) benefit to the spammers then taking it away is hardly giving in to the latter.

We might be arguing right past each other. Not sure. To sum up my opinion...

  1. Very small benefit to a handful of decent members. Most decent members don't care.
  2. Benefit (I believe real benefit, not perceived benefit) to scumbag spammers.
  3. More scumbag spammers use the sig option than decent members.
  4. Current Daniweb policy of no sig restrictions DOES make Daniweb a comfortable place for scumbag spammers.
  5. In a binary choice between the status quo and banning sigs altogether, banning sigs altogether is the way to go. You'll lose few if any decent members, but WILL lose spammers, which is a good thing.
  6. Add a few sig restrictions and you'll lose the scumbag spammers but retain the handful of decent folks with sigs.
  7. Thus go with #6. It costs you nothing, saves you and the mods time deleting spam posts, and it's win-win, albeit a fairly small "win". Let's say that it might add $1.72 to my annual income from added traffic from my sig, which I'll donate to Daniweb if I ever get around to getting a website up and running again.
  8. I could be alone on this, but it's the principle. The option of adding a sig makes me slightly happier, feel slightly more valued, makes the place feel more like a community, and slightly increases the chance that I stick around and post productive stuff. The actual amount of money in increased website traffic is largely irrelevant. I want my nickel and want the option of giving other useful posters a nickel.

Agreed with that. Number six would be my favoured option as well methinks. No sig availability until you've been a member for x weeks/months and made x posts or hit a certain rep level perhaps?

I do find reaching a certain rep level a reaaly good one for this, because someone can post in little time low quality one line questions, such as the ones we see a lot in the Digtal Media forum lately, just to get quckly to those 30 posts that enables the sig. The rep level shows that someone brings value to the forum, so by reachimg a certsin rep level he/she gets rewarded with a sig for that :)

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Maybe. The amount of rep flying around these days is very low though. Posts which used to bring in the masses with their up-clicks, now just bring in the die-hards. Not sure any new user would ever earn enough rep to get a siggy. Likewise, nobody really uses the endorsements any more. Q&A can be piggy-backed with useless posts. Not sure what the answer is. But I think this will be a moot point anyway before too long, if big forums don't get any posts for 3 days at a time.

But I think this will be a moot point anyway before too long, if big forums don't get any posts for 3 days at a time.

This goes full circle back to the idea of Daniweb making a Dazah pivot from "the more members the merrier" approach to the "intelligent matching of members" approach which necessarily requires a core group of stable techies with rep. In that universe the sig might be a match-worthy data point rising in value as compared to now, but it would require a big shift in the veteran to newbie ratio, which is currently too low for a signature not aimed at newbies to be worthwhile from a business point of view.

But that's another thread...