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Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 16 Apr 2023, 11:58
by daniel_reetz
Hi Folks,

We're looking for someone to help with new user registrations and some moderation decisions. It's not a huge time commitment, but it's important to keep the place going. The people doing the job now need a backup. It's not fair for them or smart for us to continue this way.

If you are interested, email me personally. . Put diybookscanner in the subject line.

For what it's worth, I have paid for and worked on this site for 14 years now (Jonathon handled some of the hosting for a while, too among other things). Lots of help has come and gone and I'm grateful to everyone. I'm not sure what a sustainable future looks like, but it's certainly not one person handling all the forum duties.


Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 19 Apr 2023, 15:40
by daniel_reetz
Folks, I haven't received any interest in helping out around here.

I'm going to start working out a long term plan to archive the forums.

That doesn't mean shutting them down (yet) but a shutdown plan will be part of it.

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 20 Apr 2023, 17:52
by joseph73
What does the process entail?

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 20 Apr 2023, 18:04
by joseph73
Also, just a thought. Maybe post on the welcome screen. Lots of people might have missed this in the forums. It is not that visible. And one last idea: have the welcome screen including current news/updates/ideas/whatever. It could drive more traffic if people see a little new content, even just a blurb of something every once in a while. I stopped visiting when it looked like the forums weren't filled with new posts.
I've got some big certifications coming up to take all my time (I'm in IT) and also moving but in a few months could have more spare time for these kinds of activities. I broke down and bought a commercial scanner which works wonderfully. I still use and am very knowledgeable about the software (scantailor, ocr, etc) on the forums.

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 21 Apr 2023, 11:06
by daniel_reetz
This post is at the top of every single forum - but I'll make an announcement, too.

The job is pretty simple. Log in a few times a week and comb through the new registrations. Most are spammers. Approve new users who are not obvious spammers. But we need someone who will do it consistently.

You mentioned how you stopped visiting because of a lack of new posts. New posts come from users like you. The forums have been quiet for many years. I used to post every idea I had here, develop everything in the open, solicit lots of help, and celebrate the community whenever I gave a talk. I think the volume of posts and enthusiasm helped keep things active (when combined with the insightful and energetic contributiuons from everyone else). I also tried to welcome and thank every single new user so they would feel comfortable. I've never said this in public, but the only reason I spent ~6 years of my life developing and selling kits was to try to attract software developers to the project so we could finally make it fun to use. It was not profitable in a meaningful way and I mostly reinvested profits in tooling, used them to pay for giving scanners away to special projects, and bought cameras & hardware for developers. I'm eternally grateful to everyone who wrote software for this project, but the really integrated software vision expressed here never materialized. Commercial companies are doing it now, albeit poorly.

And it's a different Internet now.

I was unable to post here for a long time (my employers did not permit me to develop optics-related technology in the open - contractually my employers likely would have owned it, against our open source ethos). I fought very hard to be able to create the /archivist/ pages where I shared and detailed everything I knew at the time before that job started. I can't talk about that agreement in public but it was not easy to make that happen and I spent a whole month doing nothing but writing all that up at huge personal expense. I also gave the business away - I didn't sell it - and most of the important business assets with it. That was as far as I could take things at that point in my life.

Now, we have a sleepy community with a few great people still active, a few posts a month. But daily we have way more spam signups than we have active users. And we have one person doing all that work (a situation we've had in the past, BTW). I don't think it's fair or smart to continue like this. And to be real frank, most users here don't talk to me or answer my posts. If they're not willing to have/interested in a discussion, what's the value of a discussion forum? I'd like to hear why people want this place to stay open. Or why there's no interest in doing the minimum to keep it open.

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 22 Apr 2023, 17:32
by joseph73
That sounds ok. I was pretty active on the dpreview forums for cameras, but that is closing/closed down. So...after my move, helping with this site should not take much time. I can help the other guy.
This site gave me the incentive to rig up my own camera-based system, and I scanned 400-500 books using a very crude, basic system--but it took time. I ended up doing a ton of post-processing work to even out lighting, white balance, etc.
Now I found a scanning solution that works well for me and doesn't require the use of wearing out a DSLR. I still do play around with software. Like film scanning, it is kind of a black art, the post-processing side of it. Even that, however, I figured out a system that works very well. It does rely on a mix of open-source software and commercial software in Windows. The resulting book scans I can produce are very professional and clean. I am hoping in the future OCR will begin to incorporate AI. I believe it will happen.
As for why the site is quiet now, maybe things have changed. In the last few years, it is much easier to buy digital books. Any new book you want can be purchased easily. The quality of the product has gone up also. So maybe there's less incentive to scan.

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 23 Apr 2023, 09:51
by daniel_reetz
Hey joseph73, thanks so much for your offer to help out. If you could, send a PM to me with a good email address to reach you and I'll connect you.

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 27 Apr 2023, 11:01
by Konos93a
how many spam email trying to sign up per week ,how many real people?

would sign up from github help the situation?

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 27 Jun 2023, 01:01
by peterZ
RE " many spam email trying to sign up per week ,how many real people..."

Since its been said ... not many posts .... I Would say not many sign ups are from real people , who are NOT spammers - is my guess

Re: Looking for help with registrations and moderation

Posted: 27 Jun 2023, 14:40
by cday
peterZ wrote: 27 Jun 2023, 01:01 RE " many spam email trying to sign up per week, how many real people..."

Since its been said ... not many posts .... I would say not many sign-ups are from real people, who are NOT spammers - is my guess
I would estimate an average of around one new member a week: I know as I took over review of new member applications from scann in early 2019. Many more spam registrations, nearly all presumed automated registration attempts from bots, usually blocked by an effective installed security plug-in, plus occasional registrations from individuals or businesses presumed to be hoping to promote their own interests.

When I took over I had some experience of spam as a moderator on another forum, but soon found that the characteristics of spam on this board were different, and the blocking methods I had used previously were generally not effective. Before the security plug-in was installed daily attempted registrations sometimes rose into the high-30s. Now very few, a varying number sometimes as many as several a week but often fewer, get past the plug-in and most are easily identified and deleted.

Forum registration requires new members to state their reason for joining and emphasises the need to be specific. That requirement is very effective in identifying suspect registrations. Any form of words that could be used on any forum such as 'sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas' is regarded as highly suspect, and there are a variety of resources available for making background checks. But when an application seems genuine and there might be a launguage issue or oversight, I often use some discretion.

The need

The immediate need is for someone reliable who visits the forum regularly, preferably at least several times a week, and is likely to continue to do so, to check that new registrations are being processed. Since taking over from scann I have had very good availability, but there is always the possibiity that I might not be available for some reason either temporarily or for a longer period. Then no-one would be able to register and post if they wished to. A native Engish speaker or at least someone with very good English would be preferable.

At present I am easily managing the workload so there wouldn't necessarily be anything for someone else to do, although they would need to be in a position to take over if needed, and so would need the constrained admin rights that I have. It could, however, be logical to share the existing work in some way.