This might sound unusual because we all want active networks. However, extremes in anything in life usually tend to have a negative effect.
I have a member who sits there all day liking almost everything posted, posting statuses multiple times, saying hello to everyone in the chat room, etc. Like I mentioned, it was good to me at first until members started complaining about this member. My entire activity feed on the front page is usually just activity from this member as well as my leadersboard. You know, like uploading 5pictures and then liking all of them and commenting on each one of them.
1. I can't figure out a way to control just a particular member's activity showing up on the activity feed. If I choose to reduce the amount of updates that show in the activity feed, it doesn't solve the problem as I'd like to see what less active members do show up as well on the activity feed. if five or more different members like a picture or other content, it looks good on the activity feed but one member likes everything it doesn't look good. Is there a way to control just one member's activity showing up in the activity feed?
2. I can't think of a good way to tell this kind of member to reduce activity. In fact it is okay for the member to be that active, but it just makes the front page look everyday like a one person's network.
Recently, I have followed other members' reactions to this member's repeated friendship requests, comments on profile pages and there has already been a hot chat about it in our chat room.
I can't ban or suspend the member in question for spam for it isn't, and the member is in line with our network rules and regulations.
If you have experienced this kind of situation and know a good way to deal with it please do share.
Have you spoken to him about it? That might help.
I haven't but one of my admins did. It sparked off a hot chat session last weekend.
Thanks for your suggestions John and Damion.
I am figuring out a way to add a section called "About our activity feed" to our rules and regulations page where I will define how the activity feed is moderated.
I have just noticed one important detail: As NC you can delete an item from the activity feed without deleting the item on the root page. For example if a member uploads a picture, it shows up on the activity feed. If you delete that item on the activity it doesn't mean the picture is deleted from the network. It can still be seen on the photos page. This could be a good way to moderate latest activity feed but it doesn't work in the same way with Status Update. When members post a status update it shows both on the activity feed and on the member's personal page. If you delete it in the activity feed it also disappears on the member's personal page.
An easier solution would have just been to delete unwanted items from the activity feed without deleting them from the network.
Sure Denis. I agree with Patrick here... the first thing to do is just talk to him. You ought to find out what's his motivation. Maybe you could give this person something to do on the site, such as a weekly publication. Imagine if he is friends with even more super-users. These can potentially be the people who will enthusiastically engage according to your vision for a social network. Even one can help you take it to another level.
The behavior itself is just full on go for everything. It's a wonderful thing if you think about it. The problem is the number of notices, calls to action, and the common sense about social networking. Some people have things set up in just a way, and if they feel someone is just going through a motion without the right intentions and considerations, then they are going to feel it's a nuissance. One Ning creator I met had close to 10K members, and people would get bombarded with over a hundred e-mails a day, especially new members. He really had to emphasize the use of settings to turn off the e-mail alerts. He also may have put in a good suggestion that it should be a setting that can be made default. So whether it's one person online all day, or a hundred members checking in for the day, activity has got to be at the heart of a social network. This is the kind of stuff that many creators should probably strive for.
So I think all you do is find a way to reward him for it, put him to work so he can put all that energy to better use, and along the way you can figure out what to train him on to help optimize his experience while having only positive encounters on the site. Someone like that could at least drop new members a welcome note, and you could just point out that you never want to overload someone's inbox.
Have him work on some modules where there is only opt-in participation such as discussions. Get him interested in doing something periodically for the site. Tell him what you want people to see when they visit the main page is a balanced mix of activity from different members, and that's a key to growing the site. He could go on about everything he saw happening on the site, what he did, who he met, and that can be featured somewhere "once". He probably would go in on any conversation with you, and it might be very interesting to a lot of people to check out one in a while if unfollowing.
Blogging is the ideal way for an individual to release social energy without reaching out directly and implying participation is needed. Somehow you could get behind him, and he could accomplish something useful- perhaps interviewing anyone that wants to talk about their social networking preferences or positive experiences they want to offer for the monthly newsletter.
This is a way to relieve any awkwardness, thank him for his enthusiastic participation, change the behavior, and so on. If he doesn't respond or isn't interested, then at least it gives you an excuse to put forward to him the points on why what he is doing is affecting what you are doing. If he's not down, then you just say goodbye.
Thank you for your ideas Anthony. You have just given me a new idea. I will ask her (sorry I didn't mention the member was a she) to blog about important happenings on our network. She already wears the Gold star which is one of the highest ranks on our network. We will have an admins small meeting next week and I will bring it up for discussion. It's the reason I posted this here on creators, so that I can take some useful ideas to the table. You understand my worry very well. I really don't want to sent her packing. She is the kind of member many NCs dream for. I just wish I had like ten of them like that. My homepage would be super admirable.
My pleasure Denis- I'll be interested to learn how it works out.
One solution is to post rules about the overuse of certain areas, it's actually called flooding and it is outlined in the TOS. I limit my users to 5 blogs per day, commenting on profiles is usually good but I have had members in the past who would post up to 5 comments a day on people's profiles so I had to limit that as well. The limit didn't include a back and forth commenting pattern but it did include the over posting of random comments. The same limits apply to flooding the videos and images section as well, no more than 5 images per day.
For me, the best solution was to lay out clear rules about the site and then if they do not comply with them after they are pointed out then you're dealing with a member who thinks they are above the site rules and bluntly, they need to find a new social network if they refuse to comply with your rules.
I hope this helps a little.
You know what, Starrfire? Some great points!
How did you address "random comments" in your rules?- I was wondering. I think that is also covered somewhat in the TOS under something like harrassment or unwanted solicitation. Still, I think it's important to spell it out in some kind of policy or guideline. Certainly there are the controls built into the site, but controlling the qualitative substance of engagement is another kind of dynamic.
One of the ideas I have been working on is the development of more comprehensive "social media profiles". Not really talking about the user module, but rather a document that profiles the social networking preferences of the end user. Nutshell- like on Linkedin people will say they are open networkers interested in consulting work, etc. Profile questions are one way I've considered, but I'm thinking of something more comprehensive. It could technically be automated into the user modules too, but I would think needs to have more flexibility than anything we've got on profiles now.
So it starts for me with a one-on-one e-mail interview. I have to get across a common goal to optimize the end-user experience for every member, and that means having a good reason to engage them, doing your best for a positive encounter, and respecting their social networking preferences. Perhaps everyone tends to assume their view is common sense, but it's very easy to cross the line on other peoples' comfort zones- they vary by personality and purpose.
One thing I have asked people to do in the past was keep a journal of their experiences, reactions, and thoughts about social networking on my site, something they could check in on with a few lines whenever online- a weblog. It was quite an interesting experiment in social transparency. Now what I do is just talk to people on a substantive qualitative level. If they can show me that type of engagement is what they are signing up for, then we won't have any problems we can't handle with open lines of direct communication, a level of intimate cooperation, and shared goal to optimize the mutual end-user experience. However, once that culture of community is established, better to let the pursuasion of patterns specify behavior so you don't have to burden people with too many specifications.
So the simplest thing to do is just inform them how the behavior violates the standard TOS or your custom policy. Starrfire is right on it. -A
Thank you Anthony!
I've been doing this now for five years on Ning, a lot of the rules admittedly came through experiencing the issues firsthand of members abusing basic features of the site. When establishing rules, I keep it nice and simple, yet detailed enough that's it's easily understood. Whereas some may be more authoritative with their rules, I'm more friendly yet, if they're blatantly broken and ignored after nicely calling it to their attention (usually privately unless it's a really public display), then I have no issue with the member's removal. The majority of people will be fine with a nice message or asking that it cease, others who will not comply are likely, problematic and their behavior will likely not change, if anything they will probably always be problematic if it goes against what they want to do.
I do always keep in mind that people have bad days and it will effect their reactions and actions, which is why I always "ask nicely" verses "demand" - besides, I hate dealing with demanding overly authoritative people, so I try to be what I wish to encounter with others.
When setting new rules (members hate that...lol) I keep it really friendly and even make it humorous at times, if people scoff at the rule or disagree with them, I still respect their opinion (they're allowed to disagree with me) and remain friendly, yet I maintain that the rule is necessary for community.
When I dealt with too many random comments on profiles, I addressed it in a manner similar to the below:
People love receiving comments, myself included but too many comments is problematic and considered flooding, not to mention when people receive multiple notifications in their email inbox it can become rather annoying. Bottom line, feel free to leave a comment on all your friends page but keep it to one per day, unless you are carrying on a back-and-forth conversation w/ your friend via your comment section. This ensures that you can leave your hello comments etc. everyday but it won't be seen as problematic in the sense of flooding people's pages or overflowing their inboxes.
My members definitely know that I'm fair (overly so sometimes...lol), I don't react based on emotion in a situation, I look at all sides of things not just what's in front of me and I will always work toward a resolution if it's possible, rather than a banning. I rarely ban people and I have over 43k members on my site and I'm the only member problem solver...lol. I just know that people prefer being talked to in kind and not talked at or down to; I do not like that mode of authority and so I don't do it to other people. It's always worked well for me in both upper level corporate management as well as social network management.
I think I went way off topic *sorry* :)
Not at all, that's all beautiful and very relevant in my opinion!
I agree with you on that one Price. Good rules are the key to the success of every network. I just didn't think of flooding at the time I made our site's rules but I am going toedit that page and send out a broadcast message to that effect.
The feature that is abused the most on our network now is the status update and the like feature. Sigh