Suggestion from a relatively new user - Waiting Time

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Suggestion from a relatively new user - Waiting Time

Post by mamoru » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:41 am

First the suggestion and then my reasoning:

Suggestion: Please put a 24 hour (at least) wait time between registration and being able to post

I'm relatively new to this forum. I came across it while looking for places to discuss interesting topics in biology, and at first glance, this place looked like it might be perfect. I came here expecting to find discussion about various topics of biology, hopefully with researchers and such, or at least about interesting news and ideas in the biology world. Instead, what I have found is a forum in which the majority of new topics are "post and runs" by what seem to be mostly high school students too lazy to do ANY kind of research on their own (with the possible exception of searching for a place where they get someone else to answer their questions rather than seeking the answer themselves*). There are a lot of topics in the various forums that have a single "request for help" post from a new user who just made the account, and then that user rarely if ever posts any kind of follow up. Not even a thank you if some other user decides to be kind enough to answer their questions.

*As a perfect example of this, there was a topic recently in the Genetics forum from a new user (who had signed up 4 minutes before posting) asking a very basic question that the poster could have answered on his own in no time at all simply by typing the exact question into Google and reading the first or second summary on the search page without even clicking any links (I can only assume that this user found this forum through Google, which makes it even more mind-boggling).

It's almost like what is going through these people's heads when they come across this place is "Ah, I'll just sign up here and see if I can get these people to do my homework for me". I'm almost certain these people aren't reading the Forum Rules and Homework Policy threads. Most just sign up and post their question, most usually giving no indication that they have done ANY work on their own to answer the question. Very few seem to ever post again.

I think having a wait time between registering and posting would reduce a lot of this.

Now, I don't presume to run this site or know what the moderators and administrators actually want users to get out of using this site. If it IS in fact the intention of these forums to be a place for students to ask questions without doing anything on their own or offering anything to suggest that they've tried to understand the information at hand, if this is meant to be a place where people can be spoon-fed rather than actually try to learn and talk about things, then I guess my suggestions and complaints are moot. If that's the case, then no problem. I will simply move on.

However, if this IS meant to be a place for biology discussion, then reducing the noise of such "post and run" topics would greatly increase the signal. People who actually want to talk about biology and learn stuff will be willing to wait 24 hours before posting, and would probably be more likely to spend time exploring the forums and seeing what topics are already here and what people have said about them.

Apologies if I'm coming across as harsh or impatient. It is merely disappointment resulting from the discrepancy between what I thought this forum would be and what it has been in practice. If I am the one out of place here, then no worries. The internet is a big place. :)

After watching a user (crazywolfs) who just signed up merely to spam his website, it strikes me that such a waiting time would reduce the number of spammers who drop by as well. Just a thought.
"Empathise with stupidity, and you're halfway to thinking like an idiot." - Iain M. Banks

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Post by MrMistery » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:55 pm

i actually kinda like this, though I don't know if it will be easy to implement
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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