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Author Topic: Member Cleanup  (Read 2856 times)

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Offline Isk8NYC

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Member Cleanup
« on: October 07, 2015, 01:54:36 PM »
www.skatingforums.com has appx. 2260 members.  It was suggested some time ago that we remove inactive/unused accounts in order to allow the names to be used for people who want to participate.  It will cause the count to drop, but for a site that doesn't advertise, we do fine.

Thoughts?
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Offline rachelplotkin

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 02:00:56 PM »
What constitutes an  "inactive account?"

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 02:17:01 PM »
The no-brainer category of "Inactive Account" is an account that has never been logged in.  The account was registered and approved but has never signed in - the spammers and spambots fall into this group.

The more uneasy category would be those accounts that log in occasionally but don't post.  They lurk and read but don't contribute.  I would remove older accounts like this - say, someone who hasn't logged in in the past year, let's say.  (Just for discussion purposes)  I'd assume these are people who looked around but weren't interested in sticking around.

We do have regular lurkers (you know who you are) that sign in to browse the forums that are open to a no-post account.  Sometimes, I've wondered if they start discussions about our topics on other boards because I've seen threads start here first and elsewhere shortly after, but it could be that the OP started it on multiple boards. Meh, no harm no foul. I don't know if we should consider them active or inactive, hence this discussion thread.
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Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 02:25:01 PM »
I was just looking at some of the "never logged in" member names.  Some are cool names that someone might want to use - Spinner, for example.  Other names are meaningless except to the originator, so no biggie but getting rid of the account makes the member list shorter.

ETA: Just saw that one of the "never logged in" names is a real-life person at my rink, lol.  Fortunately, it's not a name many other people would want.
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Online skategeek

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 09:11:16 PM »
Would it be possible to contact users in advance to let them know that their account will be deactivated if they don't reply to you?  That way if there are lurkers who really want to stay that way they can let you know not to delete them, and it also might just remind some who haven't checked in for a good long while that we exist, and boost activity!

Offline Loops

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 05:45:41 AM »
Spring (or Autumn) cleaning is never a bad thing.  I would second Skategeek's suggestion of sending out a quick email beforehand. 

Offline emitche

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 09:10:42 PM »
I used to be a member of the Republic of Pemberley and they had to do a spring cleaning with users (multiple times). Most recently, since it had been a while since I was there, some things changed. They used to not have user accounts, just names that people claimed and used, but they moved over to user accounts. I didn't mind coming back months or a year later to things being changed and having to register.

Since you all have users' emails, you can think about a policy (say if a user account is inactive for a year, it will be removed), and notify users who fit into this category that if they do not act soon, their account would be deleted. Maybe you can give the user a month to act and email them twice in that month just so they are aware. (If that's not too much work for you all.)

But for the category of people who never went past the first stages of their account, it may be sensible to just remove those accounts, with or without a notice. You can send something like: "Your account has been removed because of inactivity."

And skategeek has good points.
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Offline JHarer

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 01:00:56 AM »
I'm a lurker, I read frequently but rarely post. I'm not a member of any other boards.  So it seems to me that people like me would be at risk of losing their accounts and I don't like that idea at all!!!

Offline Loops

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 04:09:34 AM »
JHarer, that's why we're suggesting sending out the email before removing accounts.  That way people in your situation keep their accounts.

Dunno what the mods final decision will be, but I definitely don't want to lose people who want to be here, but rarely post.  I don't think they do either.

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 08:47:37 AM »
Posting infrequently is different from never posting a single thing.  I have to check with the board owner about emailing members, but we're just at the discussion stage.

To me, the "never logged in" and "never posted" members artificially inflate our member counts.  Is that good or bad?
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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2015, 08:56:08 AM »
I’m a newbie on this forum, but a frequent poster on a career-related forum and an infrequent poster on other hobby-related forums.  In some instances, I have a deep and continued interest in the field (such as, related to my profession and, of course, to figure skating).  In other instances, I have only a fleeting or sporadic interest in the field (for example, seeking recommendations for a one-time product purchase or product repair).  Here are my thoughts.

(1)  If the only motivation to cleanup the membership list is to freeup cutesy names such as “Spinner”, then I don’t think the effort is worthwhile.  I mean, do people really care that they’re “Spinner123” instead of “Spinner”?

(2)  On the other hand, if you need to reduce disc storage space, then cleanup is certainly warranted.  It doesn’t appear you have reached that stage.  Is that correct?

(3) To register, all you need is to create a unique username, provide a legit email address, and pass a spam test.  That’s it.  There is no vetting.  On email systems such as gmail, anyone can create multiple accounts under different aliases and different logins.  So registration does not serve to actually identify the user.  So what does registration serve?

(4)  Functionally, the main purpose of registration is to attach a unique username to a post.  This is essential in exchanges when referring back to previous posts.  Some blogs allow anonymous comments.  Each post is then tagged simply by “Anon”.  When you have multiple posts tagged by “Anon” (some of whom are the same poster, some of whom are different posters), the exchanges get confused real fast.

(5)  So there is a need for registration and login for posting privileges.  I don’t  understand the rationale for registration and login for reading privileges ... given that there is no vetting during registration, what exactly does a “Members Only” section protect against?

(6)  Some forums, including another one devoted to figure skating, allow a person to read only N (typically 3 – 6) posts without registering and logging in.  This can be overwritten by closing the browser, clearing the cache, and re-accessing the site.  But I’ve noticed these forums all run ads.  My guess (strictly a guess) is trying to force all users to register is tied to ad revenues.

(7)  So back to your question, Who cares what the member count is?  If you are competing with other forums for ad revenues, there may be some selling point in having 100,000 vs 10,000 vs 1,000 members. Especially if you’re selling mailing lists.  Otherwise, from a marketing perspective, you can track different IP addresses and duration of activity.  But if this site has no commercial links, member counts are irrelevant.  Does anyone care which skating forum has bragging rights to the largest number of members?  If a forum serves a useful purpose to a sufficiently large number of people, there will be sufficient activity (whether posts or views) to justify its existence.  Otherwise it will die on the vine. 


Online AgnesNitt

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2015, 04:38:54 PM »
Well, I'm neither here nor there, for cleaning up the membership list of people who log in once and never again. Basically, they're probably potential spam accounts if they haven't logged in in a year.

However, there are soooo many lurkers, that the forum is headed to being an encyclopedia. Maybe 20-40 people post and the rest just use the forum to look up stuff. A forum is supposed to encourage activity because it allows you privacy. I'm in numerous skating groups on Facebook and it's just a handful of people posting. It's tiresome. People should post, even if it's only jokes, or games (anybody remember forum games?), it's not a community if people don't use it.

I like the Members Only area. It keeps Google from scanning the posts. Some posters have provided significant personal information that other posters have been able to figure out who they are. These people are almost always ranting about a coach or another skater (sometimes BY NAME) and having those posts in Members Only keeps that kind of stupidity from getting out on the web and back to the people being ranted about. It's a speedbump, not a guarantee, but if the forum was completely open, those posts would exist forever.


And for those of you who have been around for a number of years, I really really miss Mrs Redboots' posts. So sorry she didn't make it to the new forum. If anyone knows her, say hi! from us.

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Offline riley876

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2015, 05:05:39 PM »
In real life, it's not polite to listen in on a group conversation for any length of time without ever contributing your voice in at least a token fashion.  In fact it's bordering on creepy.   The best forums on the internet are those that emulate real life social dynamics (and vice versa).   I'm quite fond of this place, for that reason.   Real people with which to have real conversations.   

So, I say, simply blow away all the "never posted" lurkers.  If they really want to contribute, then they can rejoin.   Though maybe with an email notification saying this.

Online icedancer

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2015, 06:29:54 PM »

(1)  If the only motivation to cleanup the membership list is to freeup cutesy names such as “Spinner”, then I don’t think the effort is worthwhile.  I mean, do people really care that they’re “Spinner123” instead of “Spinner”?


Well, you can put me in the small group that wanted a different name.  I wanted "icedancer" but it was taken... for years - and I believe I asked several times if I could be icedancer (as I was icedancer2 - basically a 2nd class citizen LOL) - so at some point the admins saw that the original "icedancer" had never posted and so I got the name.

A small victory but still... not unreasonable.

So yeah, free up some other great names!!!  I'm all for it.  I doubt that anyone would be that offended - I've been dropped from some groups for lack of participation that is for sure.  You have to kind of expect that - and really how mad could someone get??

 ::>)internet rage ::>)

Oh and Mrs. Redboots?  I see her over on Facebook - where a lot of the former participants of this forum have migrated - or people like Manleywoman (Alison Manely) who does the "Manleywoman Skatecasts" - she used that handle here but have not seen her on this forum in a long time.

jazzpants, sunnyskate... sexyskate... all over at Facebook y'alls.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2015, 07:52:46 AM »
Well, you can put me in the small group that wanted a different name.  I wanted "icedancer" but it was taken... for years - and I believe I asked several times if I could be icedancer (as I was icedancer2 - basically a 2nd class citizen LOL) - so at some point the admins saw that the original "icedancer" had never posted and so I got the name.

A small victory but still... not unreasonable.

So yeah, free up some other great names!!!  I'm all for it.  I doubt that anyone would be that offended - I've been dropped from some groups for lack of participation that is for sure.  You have to kind of expect that - and really how mad could someone get??



I stand corrected.  So some people do care.  You're right, if no previous posts have ever appeared under a particular username, no harm in recycling it.  If previous (even if only a few) posts have appeared, however, it would not be wise to have more than one real person associated with the same username.

Hey, maybe the admin can raise support funds by auctioning off trendy usernames.   ;)

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2015, 08:03:09 AM »
However, there are soooo many lurkers, that the forum is headed to being an encyclopedia.

Is that a bad thing, though?  If someone has a narrow focus ("Hey, anyone try Ice Flies?" or "Hey, do spinners work?"), and they can gain useful info from simply reading posts, then this forum provides a good service.


I like the Members Only area. It keeps Google from scanning the posts. Some posters have provided significant personal information that other posters have been able to figure out who they are. These people are almost always ranting about a coach or another skater (sometimes BY NAME) and having those posts in Members Only keeps that kind of stupidity from getting out on the web and back to the people being ranted about. It's a speedbump, not a guarantee, but if the forum was completely open, those posts would exist forever.

Ah, the invasive Google probe.  Good point.  Though, I hope people don't get lured into a false sense of privacy and develop bad habits.

Offline beginner skater

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2015, 01:34:02 PM »
I learnt an awful lot by browsing this forum, and only found skating fora by googling equipment questions.It's a really useful service for lurkers!

 I don't feel I have a lot to contribute, since I havent been skating that long.

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2015, 06:31:08 PM »
I currently can't access the email account connected to my SF account. Ugh. I changed email accounts after I remarried (didn't want to keep using the ex's name) and can't currently access it.  I would love to change my screen name since the one I use is my real first name and middle and (then) last initials. And chosen career.  However, ever since "Christy" joined, I'm startled every time I see it. Nothing against you, but the too-similar-name briefly confuses my old lady brain.

I have no problem purging as long as the accounts haven't been used.
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Offline dlbritton

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Re: Member Cleanup
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2015, 03:27:14 PM »
I'm a lurker, I read frequently but rarely post. I'm not a member of any other boards.  So it seems to me that people like me would be at risk of losing their accounts and I don't like that idea at all!!!

If it is based on "logged in" then lurkers that rarely or never post should not be deleted if they at least log in once a year ( if I interpret what is being asked about correctly).

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