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Combine that with the very high incidence of spambots in the community forums at around the same time and a lot of people just stopped coming regularly at all.

Well that's really only been a problem for the past few weeks. DaniWeb declining really started nearly four years ago at this point.

This coming around the same time as a change in the site layout that was far from loved by the oldtimers (the current...) and is pretty hard to navigate (and was even harder initially) and you have the reason many people no longer read what questions are posted.

We have always changed the site layout every 2-3 years for the entire history of the site. It has always been the case that regulars complain when a new layout is launched (people don't like change), then tweaks are made, and then the majority ends up not having a problem with it anymore and seeing value in the improvements.

That was the same as this past time ... DaniWeb started declining nearly four years ago. We did a layout change about a year and a half ago because we were scheduled for a design refresh. DaniWeb didn't start declining as a result of it.

Either way, you think DaniWeb is still hard to navigate??

If they're even there (the people with answers) chances are good they can't see the questions they could have an answer to so those questions go unanswered.

In what way are questions difficult ...

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Why is DW in the current state? What (or who) contributed to it?

The massive flood of homework kiddos dumping their highschool programming assignments verbatim caused many of the regulars to stop even bothering to browse the programming forums.

Combine that with the very high incidence of spambots in the community forums at around the same time and a lot of people just stopped coming regularly at all.

This coming around the same time as a change in the site layout that was far from loved by the oldtimers (the current...) and is pretty hard to navigate (and was even harder initially) and you have the reason many people no longer read what questions are posted.
If they're even there (the people with answers) chances are good they can't see the questions they could have an answer to so those questions go unanswered.

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My general advice for anyone trying to get a job without the "relevant experience" is that you need to make sure that you make up for that deficit by making your NON-relevant experience relevant. If rproffitt is correct regarding the job, you can "fake it till you make it" once you get onto the job. They aren't expecting much in the way of actual relevant experience on the technical side, but rather expect to train you and expect someone to get from 0 to 60 right away. That's IF he's right, which he may well be. Hard to say. They might be a small shop with no time to train and basically want a beginning IT guy who can hit the ground running WITHOUT much training.

Regardless, play up the life experience, general job experience, maturity, and responsibility angles. You know, the intangible, non-technical stuff. Ditto what Agilemind wrote. You're dealing with medical office types. Expect them to know nothing about computers nor have much of a DESIRE to know much about computers. That's YOUR job.

I'd get the phrase "adequate customer service skills" out of your vocabulary and thought process. If you're lacking in the computer experience and only "adequate" in customer service, why would anyone hire you? Also, leave off the "trained to use an SSH client". It only highlights your inexperience. No one WITH experience would point that out unless it was in response to "Have you used XXX SSH client?", in which the response would be ...

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It sounds like the job will mostly involve upgrading the clinic's PCs and laptops to Windows 10, so basically backing up data, upgrading the OS and reinstalling everything then helping people put back all their preferences/settings (or just installing a ready to go image depending on the size/competency of the current IT people). You might have some hassle with installing some niche medical-records software but otherwise pretty standard stuff. I expect patience with people who know literally nothing about computers will be the most crucial skill.

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People skills at par with computer skills. Yup.
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I concur with the accolades being sent your way on combatting this Dani. Well done. How many man hours do you suppose this has cost you (the royal you, meaning including the mods and anyone else helping you)?

This bug was corrected. Banned members no longer show up as "... Joined the Community" in the activity stream.

As of five minutes ago, I'm still seeing it on the main screen. Take this guy... please.

https://www.daniweb.com/members/1143238/fgfhfghjghj-hgh-hf

The only reason I can link him is because of that "Joined the community" link on the first page.

Interestingly enough, Dazah says he has 63.2% Recommendation Strength. And we have 1 mutual connection. Huh? In contrast, Reverend Jim has 61.5% Recommendation Strength. HappyGeek 54.7%.

Am I reading this right? Dazah thinks I have more in common with a low-down no-good spammer than a couple of highly competent programmers? Either I'm reading this wrong or it says something about Dazah, or perhaps more likely, something about me. ;)

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It's all about you. I too saw that % and worry same.
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Mostly for the benefit of others, there is so much money in 800 and 8xx support that they wage campaigns to get their numbers up on google searches. Not much to automate when labor is cheap. I've been to Asia and other places, my partner in many projects has been to many other parts of the world and I hope I can find a picture of the conditions they work in to share soon.

It is indeed manual work over there so the only way this was cut to a trickle was a spambot.

Is yours online and called DaniBot?

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Once they find a spammable site, they invite friends. Thanks for working this issue.

We have been targeted for attacks many, many times over the years. Because we are on a custom platform, any automated bots they come up with have to be specially written for us. It's typically a cat and mouse game of them spamming, us making changes to our platform to mitigate the attack, them modifying their bot to circumvent our changes, etc. However, it's rare that the cat and mouse game goes on for this long before they give up.

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The clue here is the job description. Deployment technicians are not going to need much background beyond "That's a keyboard, this is a PC, here's the instructions to install our ready to go image."

I hope you know how many of these shops operate as to deploying images. If you know what they mean by deploying images, we're halfway there to you being a deployment technician.

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Their threads may have disappeared but their names (often the name is spam) and their 1-800-BUYSPAM messages were still visible on the front page post-ban.

This bug was corrected. Banned members no longer show up as "... Joined the Community" in the activity stream.

Test for 1-800 phone numbers too. How often does a legitimate post have an 800 number?

We are already doing this.

The result is a full two pages of spam postings on the front page before getting to the real stuff.

A lot more than the first 2 pages!! It's been thousands of posts over the past 48 hours. We're being full blown attacked. I'm still convinced the process is largely manual though. I'm seeing no signs of it being a completely automated process. They're activating their email addresses. Using legitimate useragents (which, of course can be spoofed). Getting past all of our CAPTCHAs and Javascript checks, etc.

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Yeah, thanks. I was about to bail out on the site.
Once they find a spammable site, they invite friends. Thanks for working this issue.
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Oh I definitely noticed a recent uptick of drive-by spammers. What I didn't know was whether it was a bot attack or actual people replying. I'm guessing mostly the latter since they very often seem to be a couple minutes between spam posts rather than seconds or even less apart. The result is a full two pages of spam postings on the front page before getting to the real stuff.

A little feedback for you, hopefully easy to implement, and it appears to be at least partially implemented already. Once you ban them, there are still traces of them and their handiwork, or at least there was yesterday. Their threads may have disappeared but their names (often the name is spam) and their 1-800-BUYSPAM messages were still visible on the front page post-ban. It might be helpful to have a ban button that with one click, all traces of the spammer ever existing disappears: the posts, the community joining announcement, the post announcements, and the member's actual member page gone, including the Dazah page. Poof! Right now they're still getting their message out even after they're caught and polluting the front page.

I'd even go further and enlist the help of veteran posters to flag spammers as such and if so flagged, the mere flagging would make the post disappear till an actual mod could take a look at it, basically a guilty-till-proven-innocent special "Flag for moderation" available only to long time solid posters and only to be used for ...

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The answer is yes, DaniWeb has been under a spam attack (800 support scammers) for many weeks now. All the time I spend on DW has been devoted to banning these accounts (being set up at a rate of many dozens every hour) and deleting posts that get through. The same thing applies to all mods here.

I'm glad you hadn't noticed though, that means we are least keeping this shite away from the membership for the most part.

Dani has been trying various methods to thwart the scammers, but this is a rather devious and determined group it seems.

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Hello everyone, I will take this chance to reintroduce myself to the community. I was a member on the Daniweb forums back in 2006 and 2007. I can see a lot has changed on the site since then, and its great to see that the community is still alive. In the past 10 years a lot has happened in my life. I have started and stopped school several times, eventually earning a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Iowa State University last year. I recently left a job as a machine operator in a factory, and I am trying to secure an entry level position as a desktop support technician. The job is for a part-time desktop support role at a medical clinic briefly summarized as: "Technician responsible for imaging, configuring, deploying, and supporting new desktops and laptops as part of a Windows 10 enterprise deployment/migration"

My question to those who have worked in a similar role, or who hire candidates for roles like this is about my qualifications for this position, and how to best present my skills. I feel very comfortable troubleshooting Windows software and hardware problems, and my customer service skills are adequate. My problem is, I have sporadic training in different technologies that aren't necessarily relevant to this role. For example, I have used imaging software to create and mount .iso files, but I have no experience with Windows SCCM. In college I did well in two Java programming classes, and I was trained to use ...

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I'm not sure if that is all to it.

Personally, I found the old forum layout easier to work/navigate with, so after the switch I didn't visit that often anymore.

No doubt this won't contribute to the bigger part of the leaving members, but it might explain a few.

Also keep in mind, that for a lot of us (me included) DaniWeb is something we do in our spare time. Over time (as it was with me), peoples priorities in life change, and less spare time means less time spent on pages as DaniWeb.

Next to that: the number of fora and online communities helping people out rises considerably, meaning that the amount of people that used to subscribe to one forum, such as DaniWeb, now have the option to choose from a lot more options.

Let's assume that x, y and z are numerical values, amounting up to the number of people who used to subscribe to DW.
Now: x number of people subscribe to DW, y number of people subscribe to DW and to something else, dividing their spare time between the two, and z number of people subscribe to other available sources

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As James says, much of it can be attributed to Google changing the way that it prioritises searches for help. This has seen forums such as ours, and we are far from alone amongst forums that have seen traffic fall dramatically over the last couple of years, drop out of the top hits when people search for help. Dani has tried, and continues to try, to breathe new life into DaniWeb and find new ways to get the word out and people in.

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What James said. If you have questions, ask them. If you know of others with questions, point them here to ask them. If you have knowledge to share, share it here. The DaniWeb community has always been the heart of this forum, and to keep it beating we need to ensure that the community continues contributing - especially so when things appear so quiet...