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Hello Dani, I hear you and if I haven't written so, I feel your pain as I had to many years ago decide what to do with my share of a PC sales+repair shop. I was working 18+ hour days and while it made money I couldn't find techs that had the right skills. That's off topic so back to your burdens.

The infrastructure stuff is rarely what users see. It may be what you see but you are asking for feedback which is great to see. I'm not saying this is some twelve step program.

One of my life lessons about sales, and getting the contract is summed up in one line:

Remove all objections.

The above PAIN POINTS are all great so if the landing page was changed to not feel like you landed on a random page and the login was redone so it wasn't running off to another domain (hint: Powered by Dazah to maintain your investment there) then you may have moved enough for new members to not feel as lost when they first get here.

Hopefully you can put the pain points on cards then assign a cost and benefit value to each one. When I was on larger development teams we did to assess which features we would implement first or another term we used was risk management. While some ideas were great the cost was too high and thus the risk would be higher. If the cost was low and the payback was possible it's risk/reward value made it more likely we'd do that earlier.

When things are borked you know about it soon enough. You have Dazah but for DaniWeb, maybe it's DaniWeb, Powered by Dazah to reach your other goals?

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The infrastructure stuff is rarely what users see. It may be what you see but you are asking for feedback which is great to see.

I get that users don't care where the database is stored or what the schema looks like. However, I'm trying to come up with the best plan moving forward and I'm trying to gauge what the pain points are so that I can figure out the best way to proceed ... and not just pain points for DaniWeb, but pain points for Dazah as well! My goal, after all, is still to figure out a way to increase usage of Dazah because that's where I see revenue headed. I'm focusing so much on requesting community feedback as to how you guys would like Dazah functionality integrated into DaniWeb because, essentially, that would mean that Dazah would be the new DaniWeb.

The above PAIN POINTS are all great so if the landing page was changed to not feel like you landed on a random page and the login was redone so it wasn't running off to another domain (hint: Powered by Dazah to maintain your investment there) then you may have moved enough for new members to not feel as lost when they first get here.

Those things would be simple things that would, at best, take us to where we were right before the Dazah integration. But that wouldn't bring the new revenue streams that I'm looking for. I'm considering Dazah integration into DaniWeb because I need a new revenue stream for DaniWeb. My hope and goal was that DaniWeb members would start using both the daniweb.com and dazah.com domains equally (since they share the same login credentials). Since that hasn't happened, I'm now realizing I'm going to have to bring all of the Dazah functionality into the daniweb.com domain itself ... essentially building on top of the forums. That's why I'm saying that this infrastructure change is much more than a where is the database located type of thing. It's actually fundamental to the functionality of DaniWeb itself.

Edited by Dani: Typo

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And then I thought. OK, Dani wants me to check out Dazah.com which I did moons ago. I went there, I'm logged in and it seems to want to match me with folk and well, I'm not looking for that. Also, it's kinda slow and one second from one person to the next.

OK, what's that panel on the left. Click on the moderator's chat and there's content from years ago. And a post from 2018 about not much action.

Next up is fghfj565 fghgg. Ugg, a spammer. I'm not making much headway here. This isn't drawing me in.

Is there some video that shows me what I'm missing at Dazah?

Third time's the charm. It's my chat with Reverend Jim. Hmm, same think I can get at DaniWeb. OK, off to Dazapp. DaniWeb, Business Network and I'm seeing just 5 users there and 2 seconds from person to person. The final app is well. It is what it is.

Back to DaniWeb I go. Hopefully I'm missing something here. Of course my Facebook is a desert as well. I only have it to keep others from making a fake page about me.

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OK ... now we're getting somewhere :)

On Dazah.com, you see your chat with Reverend Jim. Try messaging him from Dazah and then from DaniWeb. (Or, try messaging me from both, for that matter.) Which interface do you prefer better for messaging other members?

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Daniweb wins hands down. Why? The Dazah page is cluttered with other panels that have not much to do with what I am doing.

Have you heard the story about George R. R. Martin and what he writes on?

While the Dazah message interface is probably considered modern, I'm not messaging all those folk (some are spammers!) on the left, the chat schedule doesn't seem to belong to what I'm doing and recommened users on the bottom right? Never read from them on Daniweb.

Daniweb messaging would be my choice.

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Kudos on the Martin article: I loved PCWrite and the Turbo Pascal editor. Sometimes modern doesn't do the job.
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... the least of my worries right now because that's all cosmetic

... and there is what's wrong. It should be the greatest of your worries. What the user sees is what matters. Nobody gives a flying stuff about the underlying technology. You know that there's a pain point, you say it "can be easily changed at any time, so what do you do? You ignore it.

You are so obsessed by Dazah that you are failing to hear what everyone is telling you.

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Your Dazah thing is as important as the advertising program that you use to the average DW user. Nobody gives a toss. James, has hit it on the head. You want pain points, but then this morphs into more on bloody Dazah, again. It's important as an income stream, sure we get that, but we don't care about it. You have tried to convince us for a long time to create apps etc. Nobody's really bothered, not even those you have known for years and would bend over backwards to do you a favour.
You say SEO is half the problem, well solving half the problem is better than nothing. If you get healthy numbers you may find more income as well.

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_may_ find income stream strikes me like "sweat equity." But I do believe you are onto the focus. We were asked about _our_ pain. I'm seeing a tree.
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And here lies the problem. Not to mention the 11 year old green underlining thread that was just resurrected. The reason people like and keep going back to SO is because you just don't see spam and shitposting like this.

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Just to add, my last comment was made in reference to a spam post advertising holidays that briefly appeared in this thread. On its own it sounds rather prickly!

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Regarding Dazah direct messaging. It eludes me how to squelch a spammer. This one: https://www.dazah.com/users/view/pn2u
I see a Mute button but on hover no explainer what that does. Anyhow, imagine if you had millions of users.

Also I see I can add meta data to this user. Ouch, does that mean anyone can dump meta-trash on user pages?

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One of the pain points I have had with danni web is that there is not a very good turn around time with this site as compared to stack overflow, perhaps your main competition. This is problably not addressable, because your clientelle is smaller for the time being. Some of your admins are also a little bit rude, but I can see that they have had their hands full with students wanting you to do their homework for them. I actually saw this site get steadily worse after I shared the site with some college students at my college. Sorry. The way my interests are moving is more twoard Angular JS, JQuery, C#, ASP.NET MVC (not vanilla ASP tags), and the sql associated with oracle and Sql Server. Frequently people don't even know how to answer my questions. I think the economy of scale Stack Overflow has over you is your main problem. Think about it, more people means they have more heads cracking on peoples questions, more admins, and more vollunteers. I also admit that everybody these days has a schmorgusboard of new technologies coming out, which to an outsider is going to make our tech base appear all over the place. The high end of the scale as far as programming goes however is going to be the dependency injection tip of the spear, and associated Domain Driven Design, Object Oriented Development (object relational mappers), and good design patterns. As clientelle goes up, your pool of skilled workers will go up. They will enjoy these technologies (not necessarily mine, but they will appreciate the good design patterns). I recently figured out that Angular JS Binds more complex objects than the ASP.NET MVC binder will bind. This makes it a good tech. I just JSON serialize the object, and give it to the angular application.

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@Overwraith. Your questions are often deep which is a good thing. As to response time, that improves with more members but when I click on https://www.daniweb.com/articles/latest/unanswered I currently have 30 items and 28 of them are spam. It's probably the same for other mods.

It would be another pain to fix that so all of us could see those unanswered discussions without plowing past the spam. This only afflicts mods.

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I think I suggested a while back that the mods should have a toggle button available to show/hide deleted threads. Surely the logic already exists to show/hide because non-mods are not able to see deleted threads.

So I guess I now have two requests

  1. show/hide deleted threads button
  2. autoclose of threads older than 6 months

I'm re-requesting #2 because I just saw another 8 year old thread revived for no good reason.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Ahh, as in operant conditioning, seeing all that spam is negative conditioning. Why did I click that? Ouch.
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Jeese. That's a lot of spam. Why don't you just ban the members who are spamming? Have a domain event for the admins which says flag for spamming. Then the powers that be review the flags, and can the members who did it. What's the turnaround time for creating a new email account to spam from? Button should appear on every post for the forum wranglers. Meanwhile you gain a slowly increasing table with banned email addresses. Also log the IP addresses of the user's last known email address. Add this ip address to the domain object. Block both by IP address and by email credential. I think some other companies have also been mapping TOR exit nodes (Wickipedia did it). Somebody should seriously create a plugin for monitoring it. I think I would implement an IHttpModule. It is also possible to determine via ip address whether a person is using a public server to do it via a whois query. This would reveal abuse email addresses you could automatedly send email.

        /// <summary>
        /// Get the IP address of the remote client. 
        /// </summary>
        /// <returns></returns>
        public static String GetIp() {
            String ip =
                HttpContext.Current.Request.ServerVariables["HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR"];

            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(ip)) {
                ip = HttpContext.Current.Request.ServerVariables["REMOTE_ADDR"];
            }

            return ip;
        }//end method
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We do already have measures in place to deal with spam, and on the whole they are working well. These include a spambot that automatically detects spam and permabans the offenders. Not all spam is caught this way, however, but mods/admins already catch it and deal with it before most members see it. The view of spam that was mentioned is not seen by members, just mods and admins.

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Please never never ban by ip address unless you know for certain that it’s a fixed ip.
A few years ago I had all my emails blocked because someone else had sent a ton of spam and I was the next person to get that ip from Orange’s shared pool.

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I had a fixed IP and was banned by a robot for using a "commercial phrase." IP ban + robots = broken.
Yes. A fixed IP ban should expire quickly. These are tools in the anti-spam war. Choose wisely.
Agreed - rarely ends well
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Why don't you just ban the members who are spamming?

We do. They just create new accounts.

What's the turnaround time for creating a new email account to spam from?

It's just a few minutes. Unfortunately.

Block both by IP address and by email credential.

Doesn't help when the spammer uses a vpn.

Votes + Comments
Much of this shows why a spambot is required with evolving rules.
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You know that there's a pain point, you say it "can be easily changed at any time, so what do you do? You ignore it.
You are so obsessed by Dazah that you are failing to hear what everyone is telling you.

I'm ignoring it this week because I've devoted the next two weeks to focusing on Dazah because I need money, and no one has been suggesting any new ways to make money with DaniWeb.

You want pain points, but then this morphs into more on bloody Dazah, again. It's important as an income stream, sure we get that, but we don't care about it. You have tried to convince us for a long time to create apps etc. Nobody's really bothered, not even those you have known for years and would bend over backwards to do you a favour.

That was what I was getting at, though. Essentially I wanted to see how much of a pain point Dazah is, and what other functions of the platform are pain points. Redoing the homepage ... check. That will be redone pretty soon. The problem with spammers ... well, we have a pretty effective spam bot that kills 99% of it (with the exception of a two day window last week where there was a security hole and spammers were able to bypass the spam bot, but that has been corrected). The problem with newbies ... well, that comes down to what the platform looks like and what it offers. Yes, it goes back to Dazah. The way that Dazah is currently integrated leads to a bias towards certain types of users choosing to sign up versus others. It's all feedback I'm taking in and absorbing and trying to ultimately come up with the best solution. I don't want to just act haphazardly, though, without coming up with a well thought out plan that I can believe in.

Also, we do IP blocks for a variable amount of time. I don't want to disclose the method publically right here, as spammers do tend to custom write bots specifically for DaniWeb.

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I feel your pain: A buck once in a while is nice. Does Zuck-thinking help? Facebook monetizing is a Zen that I don't get.
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I want you to realize that I am hearing you when you comment on the changes needed to the homepage and what's wrong with it. It's not that I'm saying, "oh, that's easy to change," and then so I don't do it. It was first brought to my attention a short couple of days ago, in the midst of research I'm currently doing for an infrastructure change planned for this/next week. I've added it to my todo list to tackle just as soon as this infrastructure change is completed.

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Thanks for clearing that up.
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I just also want to point out that, of course, infrastructure changes need to be completed first, or I risk having to redo everything else both before and then again after the infrastructure change.

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Actually, you could probably cache or write to a table as far as banning by static ip address. If you get a threshold for repeated spamming ip addresses you can just ban that one.

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Perhaps there is another solution.

When new members make posts, hide them by default until admins have marked them as being a non-spammer. Once they've been greenlit, show them.

Pros:

  • Most spammers will fall into the trap and their spammers and their posts will vanish without the average user (me included!) being aware
  • The new user/spammer will think everything's normal
  • It's probably not hugely complicated to write and there are plenty of prior examples of this kind of functionality
  • If their post looks kind of ok but has some slightly-worrying signs, this would provide an opportunity for an admin to tidy the post/remove spammy links before it is made

    Cons:

  • New code would have to be written and tested
  • Another field (probably boolean) would be required on the user table
  • Extra work is required from admins in greenlighting new users

Edited by pty: There's a bug in the markdown renderer that's wrongly-indenting my 'Cons' subheading

Votes + Comments
I like the idea, but fear what I hope would be insignificant: Normal users falling into the trap somehow. Also it's a ton of moderator work.
All good ideas. The ideas of gaining points to post is out there but pain point? Will this bring you back? Mods feel the spam pain for now.
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I wonder whether we are getting wrapped around the axle with spammers and lazy users wanting homework done. True, they neither contribute to the cause nor help in search engine results. I see the same thing on other sites, though, and some seem to be thriving. I think some suggestions get to the heart of the matter, though, and it seems to be "content prioritisation."

Content Prioritisation with User Views (developer views?) is good: To do it for search engine hits sounds like a mistake, but if it's what people want, will it get better search engine rating or rank? I fell that Google doesn't even ask that question lately. It seems their answer is "You contribute to our revenue stream, and we'll contribute to yours." Their results are everywhere -- even in other search engines.

Somehow these posts that annoy you (plural) need to filter down, while other, more productive, useful content needs to filter up. I don't know how you address One man's meat is another man's poison. I do know that everybody seems to agree on what is not useful. I usually have a set of utilities that run the gambit from archive to delete, erase, purge, expunge, extirpate and eradicate. Aging does seem to be a pretty good path to extinction. Something marked as a technical solution probably should be exempted or moved to a more appropriate area. That, too, would create a certain amount of pain, but it would beat eradication.

I don't know how you turn that into money quickly. But, from what I'm reading, it needs to be done.

Edited by ernie.cordell

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Also it's a ton of moderator work.

I know it's a lot of moderator work, but I don't think there's a way out that won't require it.

I wonder, over the last week, how many

  • threads with leigitimate questions asked by real people were created?
  • how many spam posts were there?

Once people have been deemed non-spammers, one would hope that as a cohort, their posts need less moderation in the future. So in theory, acting as a quality gatekeeper keeps the forums clean in the present (iffy posts will never be visible to normal punters) and in the future (the dross has been skimmed and what remains are, hopefully, non-spammers).

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I have a plan in place to do the Dazah/DaniWeb integration, in such a way that I'm hoping will contribute to revenue. We'll see what happens, but everything is in motion now. I'm feeling really good about this.

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Sorry to raise this again. WebDev today - 30 threads listed on page 1 - 9 of them there due to necroposting (30% of the listing is ballocks, in other words). Looks really bad as well. Seems ike DW doesn't get any new threads/posts. Time to autoclose? Was almost excited to see a new post over the weekend, only to realise it was a 5 year old thread.

Votes + Comments
Let's hope this can be done. There are pros and cons, but sorting by recent only looks to be a problem.
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I’m super busy working behind the scenes to completely relaunch the entire DaniWeb brand focusing on Dazah functionality. Stay tuned. I took all your feedback into consideration.

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I really hope that you do also something against these sig posters, because they're posting meaningless questions/answers and dragging up old threads from the death, just to have some backlinks in their sig.

Votes + Comments
Maybe a minimum quality score to enable sigs?
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