Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?  [Answered]

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Stardew
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Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?  [Answered]

Postby Stardew » 8 months ago

I don't know about other members, but it really bothers me that I can't edit my own posts at all? I thought it was time limited, but apparently I can't edit a post ever once I post it? :derp: As I understand it, the admin doesn't want content posted on the forums being changed or removed unless it is a privacy concern, but I still think it would be good if we could fix typos, add stuff, reformat, etc. within a certain time frame at least. Maybe the number of edits members can make to one of their own posts could even be limited?

If these abilities won't or can't be added, what about adding a warning somewhere (nothing too fancy or intrusive) that let's you know that you will NEVER be able to edit your post(s) once you press submit? Being able to edit my own posts is something I've come to think of as a standard forum feature, so I didn't really think about it possibly NOT being enabled! At the very least, maybe a warning about its absence could be added somewhere for the newer members who may not be aware at first (like me :-.-:)?

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admin
 
 
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Re: Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?

Postby admin » 8 months ago

Hi,

I really appreciate your valuable feedback and extend great thanks for your time in writing your request to allow posts to be edited by the author.

Please know that I removed this feature after many users began going through and manually erasing their posts entirely--leaving multiple blank posts (and entire threads in some cases) around the site. I still have no idea why someone would take the time to do this to every single post of theirs, but I do know that multiple users did this over a period of time and it just became an issue.

When posts are removed and replaced with blank nothingness it actually damages the site in more ways than most are aware. Not only do users see a post and wonder why it's completely blank but search engines begin de-indexing our pages (and, eventually, our site entirely if it is too common of an occurrence). Right now we primarily rely on search engine indexing to gain our users because our site isn't shared much on social media sites (maybe people just don't have Caregiver/little accounts so it's difficult to spread the word). If our site isn't found in any top search engine then we won't really ever have many, if any, new faces to meet and show around!

I can absolutely understand your thought process--and I've considered implementing the feature again--but I also don't truly see a need for it. I'm not sure why any user wouldn't proof-read their post before submitting it to the site if they were that concerned about needing to edit mistypes later. There is a preview option when posting for good purpose.

I also don't see a need for someone to come back hours or days later and then want to edit their post to include additional details. Why not simply post within the thread you've created with the additional information? It's often an easy-to-follow timeline of thoughts or occurrences then. We're a discussion forum and I'd like to think that most members are reading more than just the initial post but, rather, are involved in a conversation that includes multiple posts within a thread at times.

So, the answer to the idea of having posts be able to be edited after actually being submitted boils down to the fact that I just don't see a need for it at this time. I'm open to the idea if I can be provided some firm ground for why it's absolutely a need.

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Stardew
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Re: Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?

Postby Stardew » 8 months ago

That is so strange :s I don't know why people would be doing that either! Thanks for clarifying more on how problematic it has been in the past when it was enabled (I wasn't aware that it was ever possible). I understand your reasoning now for not re-enabling it again unless it somehow becomes more of an issue to not have it. Thank you for your response! I really appreciate it ::3:

DevotedDolly
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Re: Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?

Postby DevotedDolly » 8 months ago

I'm with Stardew on a "nice but simple notice" and warning...that after a post is submitted it cannot be redone or edited. I do understand the reasoning for removing the edit feature. Although, I can actually shed light on why people would go around and remove all the information on their entire post history. Some people (like me in the past) who are in this lifestyle, as well as have extreme anxiety or personality disorders, want to remove all of everything they've posted once they decide to leave. Even if it's an impulsive decision. I, myself, have had severe anxiety and the need to "start over" even and want all my information I've posted deleted on other forum based sites so nobody can ever read it again. That's not to say that everyone who is removing theirs from here is mentally ill. So, I can relate to, and understand why others do it. I'm not embarrassed to be open about this. I do think, however, that in the future re-adding the edit feature will be necessary. I think you might get more people other than Stardew asking to edit. (Like tonight, someone else did, and this link was posted for us to read and understand why we cannot do it.) Some people will be up late at night and think they've re-read and spelled things correctly, then go back to look and find themselves in shock they messed up the next morning. I know I've done that a million times. Anyway, I do have a suggestion for this problem, so that not just anyone can "delete everything" and take off. Perhaps if you made the edit option available as a feature for Gold Members. The ones that are taking time to help invest in this site and that love it here? I understand there is a "preview" button... I understand all of that. And continuing a conversation within the post itself that you've already created. It's just a suggestion. You've made a website to cater to those who want to be here. If people are willing to contribute to your site to get what they want from their experience here, it could benefit how much you rake in for the expenses. Welps, that is indeedy all I have to say about this. I hope this site continues to grow. I'm glad it's been one year of success so far.
♥Bananabells♥

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Re: Allow members to edit own posts (within timeframe)?

Postby admin » 8 months ago

Thank you for your additional feedback, but your points still don't lead me to believe that this is a need. Even if I were to implement the ability to edit posts again I absolutely would not allow someone to go back through their posts months later to outright erase them. I care too much about our community and members to allow that.

What you just told me is that you would be one of the people who would completely erase multiple posts throughout our site when you decided to depart. While I can certainly understand the desire to delete your account data at some point, we also need to keep in mind that keeping the site literally alive, searchable through search engines, and actually active it means not removing posts on whims.

Like I stated before, when users go through a website and basically erase their posts they are causing damage if the site isn't large enough, or fast-growing enough, to recover from the loss. We aren't a huge social media site that can recover when good, helpful content is removed. Search engines literally look at our site and assume we are unreliable and a waste of time to index.

It takes a lot time and effort for a search engine to go through every single one of our pages and posts and index every single phrase to be shown in search results. If this happens often the search engine can literally blacklist us from being searchable for an extended period of time. We can outright disappear from places like Google!

If our site isn't searchable then there are no new members coming in to check us out and join in the fun. If our content is being erased then people aren't able to find reliable, helpful advice for the questions they've come here to find. If our site disappears from Google, and we never get re-indexed back, then we rely solely on the word-of-mouth of users to spread our site to their friends and contacts (--which, honestly, isn't really working so far, but, again, I can absolutely understand that many people don't keep interests like this displayed on their public accounts).

I know you mean absolutely no harm, but you aren't just making yourself feel better by removing your posts. You're damaging the community website and creating an issue where other potential users, who really need answers, can't get real help from knowledgeable people like yourself.

Right now our site is indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and a few other search engines. It's how most people make their way to us--because they see us and our helpful advice in search results. We've made a whole lot of progress in a year with having very limited funds, resources, and community assistance (moderators came about less than two months ago).

We don't get hundreds of new account registrations each day. We don't get hundreds of posts or newly created topics each day. Our links aren't shared hundreds of times through social media sites. We, literally, are working from the ground up--and that's a slow and steady process since we just don't have the funds to dump hundreds of dollars into an SEO expert.

Imagine this situation:

  • You type into Google the phrase, "How do I brush my teeth?"

  • A page of results appears. Only one of those seems to actually talk about the step-by-step procedures on how exactly you can learn to brush your teeth properly. You click on the link and it's a blank post. Disappointing, right?

  • Would you stick around on that site that seemed to lie about having an answer or would you go back to the search engine and try to find the answer to your initial question?

I see absolutely nothing wrong with following up on a post to say, "I meant XYZ, not XZY. Sorry about that mistype! I was super tired last night when I was typing it and since I am really serious about looking for some advice I mis-worded that."

Topics should be conversations. They shouldn't be a black-and-white situation where you see the first post and stop at that point--even if there are 20 replies before you begin typing yours. You will miss incredibly valuable points and feedback other users have made or provided. It's okay to follow-up in topics, clarify things if you need to later, or make some corrections for your own personal peace of mind! Nobody is going to shame you for mistypes. We're not malicious and we're not out to harm you, use you, or cause you distress. We are safe here. It's okay to talk with us because we're not expecting every post to be meticulously perfect. :) We're a real community.

Also, just to make it very clear, we absolutely will remove personally-identifying information in posts. All a user needs to do is flag that post and state specifically what needs to be edited. We care. We aren't out to do anything harmful. We just want to survive online while keeping members safe and happy. If you have personal information--like your name, location, or social media names--in a post then we don't have any issue removing that specific information out!


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