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UK only members? (POLL)

Discussion in 'GDF Feedback & Help:' started by Stationery Direct, Oct 23, 2009.


Do we allow members to join from anywhere in the world?

  1. YES, let anybody join

    5 vote(s)
  2. NO, only allow UK IP addresses

    12 vote(s)
  3. Not really bothered

    2 vote(s)
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  1. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Just a quickie, I am slowly starting to realise why so many other forums have sooooo many members, seriously from what I have experienced running this forum 50% (probably more) are just spam accounts. a result over the past 2 months I have only approved accounts with a UK based IP address, this means deleting loads of registrations from people in the United States, the rest of Europe and an awful lot from India etc.

    I was just wondering what you all thought as some of these people from abroad may be looking for designers to do work, they too may be graphic/website designers that want to get involved in the forum.

    There is no other way to police this so we either allow everybody in...opening the forum up to spam posts, discussion on topics which may not be relevant to the UK and possibly dirt cheap quotes, or, carry on as we are ensuring the community is truly UK based. (not something currently available anywhere else)

    Personally I would rather the forum grow slowly with quality members based in the UK than allowing anybody in but this is your forum too, so what do you think?
  2. JMCDesigner

    JMCDesigner Member

    To be perfectly honest I've been on a few other forums and I see general different attitudes. Some are very spammy, some are very unfriendly, some are ok, some aren't very well moderated. But this is one of the better ones I visit, everyone is generally friendly, helpful and professional. Whether that's to do with UK only, I'd like to think so! I personally hate spammery in forums and I have seen it here the least out of all forums I visit. Keep it unique, UK only :icon_thumbup:
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Any other views?
  4. CYoung

    CYoung Member

    I agree with JMC. Keep it UK.
  5. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    As you know, I'm not located in the UK, at least not permanently, and I think UK only is a mistake. It's so old-fashioned to to classify people by geographical location, especially based on IP address. Would you exclude a Cockney from a forum about London just because he happened to have found a job in Wales? Not to mention telecommuting - these days, there must be any number of UK designers working out of the north of France, Ibiza, or wherever. Plus, you are barring students at universities outside the UK, those gaining work experience abroad, gap-yearers, British designers working abroad, British academics teaching abroad, and so on, apart from non-UK visitors attracted simply because you have a forum which works dedicated to graphic design (as you point out yourself, you are excluding a lot of Indian/Asian design talent - can't be a good thing). I feel you are missing the chance to establish this forum as a point of reference in the field.

    Neither do I think the forum's success, seriousness, good behaviour level, lack of spam etc., can be attributed to it being restricted to the UK. Rather, I feel forum members find a high level of professionalism here, and behave accordingly - it's peer pressure that is keeping standards up.

    I do know, though, that it is hard work running a successful forum, and that spam accounts are a damned nuisance. So I have a couple of suggestions:

    - Boss Hog, you work too much. Delegate. Some of the forum vets must spend hours a week here anyway, I'm sure one or two would be delighted to act as moderators (and if not, to hell with the whole thing).
    - CAPTCHA.
    - Spam accounts can be pretty well eliminated by a 'minimum contribution' quota (there may well be a routine built into the vbulletin software for doing this, if there isn't, I expect someone would be able to hack it for you). Essentially, for an account to remain active, that member would have to have posted x messages per y length-of-time, 1 message a month, for example. Inactive or less active accounts woud be deleted. Most forum members would be understanding about the need for this, though a few would protest. The protesters could be told that, if they have nothing else to post about, they can always post a portfolio critique or something equally undemanding. So as well as largely eliminating spam accounts, this would encourage participation.
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    JohnRoss, I understand exactly what you are saying, however....

    Since yesterday I have had the following registrations:

    Islamabad 13
    China 10
    India 14
    UK 3

    From my experience running the forums so far I can probably guarantee you that bar the UK registrations all the others are spammers, or, designers that are prepared to work for next to nothing.

    Obviously my aim as well as creating a friendly community for you all to discuss design related issues is to promote UK designers, if the users above are going to spam the forum or offer design work for peanuts then this is going to cause problems.

    CAPTCHA doesn't work as most of these users are real people sat at a PC somewhere getting paid to spam forums. For the past 2 months since doing this I have not had 1 spam post to deal with and I can only put this down to what I have done with regards to the IP's.

    With regards to UK designers based around the globe, I agree totally that they should be able to join the forums but how do I do implement this? Obviously if they have a foreign IP but register with a UK e-mail/domain then they are approved without question, but, if they are signing up with a gmail account and an IP based in the US what can I do?

    There are already many design forums that are open to the rest of the world and to be honest I did not enjoy frequenting them, silly quotes for design work, poor english, discussion on issues that were to do with other countries that were of no interest to me, spam!.....I thought our USP could be that this is a UK only forum, something different from what is already out there. :icon_dunno:

    As mentioned above, this is your forum so whatever the members choose I am happy to go with, so let's see how the poll turns out in a couple of months.

    Many thanks :icon_thumbup:

  7. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    The main issue I see is a lack of conversation. I've noticed an influx of posters that post once, often asking a question that's been answered numerous times already, or asking for a critique of work, then never coming back. Or worse, they scour the forum for any thread that mentions a term such as "logo" and post a generic reply or put themselves forward for a design job in a thread that's 2 years old. I'm a bit sick of taking time to comment on some threads because I don't think the original poster will even see the reply, or care that it's there. Now I tend to just check in a couple of times a day to clear any spam, etc.

    I don't think this is specifically tied to the users being outside of the UK however. If all those new accounts were form the UK I'd bet a high percentage would still be spammers offering cheap prices simply due to the volume of new accounts. Not everyone joins a forum to contribute, some expect to just be awarded work.

    Saying that though, I originally joined all those years ago specifically because it was a forum for UK designers. I've been on so many multinational forums that it's hard to keep up with the volume of vapid posts, and I didn't feel I could contribute meaningfully to the forum because I was just one reply in a thread of 10+ pages.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  8. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I think it's a bit of a hard one.

    I like that there are international members on here and I'll not name names but some are regular contributors who post work and give valid input.
    It'd be a pitty to lose these just because of their location.
    I regularly visit one another design forum (have done for years) on which I'm one of the only non resident members.
    I'd hate to be chucked out due to my location.

    On the other hand, to work as a forum the amount of spam comments and members need to be managed which must be a ball-ache for the mod's/admin and I'd hate to see it crumble
    for that reason.
    I recall our forum being listed on a few blogs about "Good Design Forums" and I remember the amount of spammy international members increased at that time.
  9. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Being in Ireland, I'm against this, obv.

    I'd hate for a graphic designer/photographer based in China to be unable to post to the forums just because of their geo-location.

    I've been to other graphic design forums where it's open to the entire world to join, and they don't have spammy spammersons.

    I don't know what the answer is, but I'm quite surprised in the results of the vote.
  10. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    "...but we don't want the Irish" ;)

  11. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Brexit all over again....
  12. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps new members could be restricted from creating forum posts until they have 5 replies or something like that?

    That way, spammy spammersons wouldn't be able to generate new threads with spam. And if anyone spots spammy they can hit the report button.
  13. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    why they'd just search for posts to reply in 'relating to their spam'.... I've seen this ALOT
  14. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I've seen it too, but I know from other forums I've moderated that this 5 post restriction before starting a topic helps

    1. Reduce spam
    2. OP searches for related topics and can reply to them rather than starting fresh threads on similar topic

    Other restrictions I've seen is that the OP be restricted to 3 or 5 replies per day...

    Restrict new users from posting for 24 hours.

    Restrict new users from post more than 140 characters?

    Set time limits for new users, so they can reply to a topic but may not reply to another topic for 10 mintues/30m/60m?

    Just spitballing
  15. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    This is actually an old thread from 2009, the IP plugin doesn't work on this new forum platform so anyone can register...and has been able to since the upgrade.

    Putting restrictions in place also puts genuine users off and with it being a niche forum it will kill it.

    We do have spam but nowhere near as much as other forums and this software is pretty good, for example it hasn't allowed 1400 new member accounts to post this month due to being flagged as spam. If 1 or 2 get through now and then we can't complain really.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    @GCarlD likes this.
  16. ash

    ash Member

    Just a general question, I do get the point with allowing only UK IPs. But I do travel a lot in Europe and that would mean my access would be blocked :(
    I have the same issue when wanting to watch BBC iPlayer from Germany :'(
    Would there be another way to filter members? There also are exPats (immigrants) from the UK all over the world, they also would be blocked from the site.
  17. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Thread is ancient . There is no blocking non UK IP.
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