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Expression Web forum not permitting adding links or images to posts; no link to THIS forum available from EW forum RRS feed

  • Question

  • First, the suggested "Related Topics" have absolutely NOTHING even remotely related to this issue.

    Also, for some reason, in the last few months the forum application has taken to refusing to permit adding either images or hyperlinks until "the account is verified." "Verified?" What is that supposed to mean? How are they supposed to do it? And why has this become a new requirement, when in the previous four years of existence of the forum there was no such requirement? No guidance is given anywhere about "verification," whatever that is supposed to mean, or how it is to be accomplished.

    Also, there is NO link available from the Expression forums to this forum. The only reason I knew how to get here is that I had one of my posts in the EW forum moved here by Lori Dirks, and when it vanished from that forum (with NO link to this forum to explain its absence, I might add), I was able to go into my own profile and check the Activity list to find it. Now, I can understand why one might wish to avoid hearing complaints about this execrable forum application, but how do you propose to address shortcomings if we cannot report them? Kindly add this forum back to the Forums page at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/expression. Thank you.

    Oh, yeah, those "Related Topics" that were suggested? Well, here they are. Tell me, looking at my topic sentence, and looking at these, do you see anything remotely related? Yeah, me, either...

    BTW, you really need to figure out a way to create a stub of some kind when you move a post from one forum to another. As I said, I'm a veteran here, so I knew to look in my profile activity to find where my post had vanished to, but newbies would be clueless, scratching their heads and wondering what the hell happened to their posts. Just sayin'...


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:02 PM

Answers

  • Well, you see, that's a problem, for two primary reasons. First, I don't know where they were experiencing spammers, but we do NOT have that problem at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/web/threads, and never have had.

    I have been an active contributor there for almost five years now, amassing over 21,000 recognition points in that forum alone. I can tell you from my own personal knowledge, having been there every day over that period, that in all that time we might have had a half-dozen instances of spamming. Maybe. I honestly don't even recall that many, to tell the truth.

    Furthermore, our forum may be unique in that we must have access to the visitor's site address in order to be of assistance. This is not an option. In fact, in our Forum FAQs and Guidelines, the very first Guideline states this:

    "If you have a question about your website, please post a link to the page about which you have a question. Without being able to actually see the page and all related files that are involved with your issue, it’s often impossible for anyone to help you.

    If you haven’t published the page you’re having a problem with, you can publish it to the free site that many Internet service providers offer or you can publish it to a subfolder of your existing site. You will then want to include a link to the specific page in your post."

    For four years and eight months, visitors have had no problem with complying. Now, suddenly, they are told that they are not allowed to do so. And, frankly, we are dead in the water until we can see their markup, CSS, images, scripting, etc., in situ, to analyze their problem and resolve it. Almost all of these users come in with no forum experience, and many come in, ask their questions, get their resolutions, and leave, without EVER amassing the 15 points needed to "verify" their accounts.

    You are basically killing mosquitoes with a 105mm howitzer. If you have a spam problem with a forum, apply the fix to that forum. Or find a different way to address the problem. But don't impose such a rule upon a forum that (a) doesn't have a spam problem to begin with, and (b) requires users to post links to their sites in order to get help. Please that this requirement is abated for the http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/web/threads forum. Thank you.


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Monday, January 21, 2013 7:44 PM
  • I am curious why we are getting no input from Microsoft on this. This is supposed to be the forum where issues such as this are addressed (even though there is no damned way to find it from the Expression forums—it is no longer listed on the Forums page at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/expression—leading one to believe that they just don't bloody care to hear from us). Why isn't Ed, or Brent, or any of the other Microsofties who usually respond here taking part? Anybody official, I'm not picky—just someone with "Microsoft" next to their name in the attribution space at the top of the post. What's the matter, guys? You hiding out?

    Our new users are almost universally clueless, often completely inexperienced at using any Web forum, and unlikely to ever accumulate whatever mysterious juice the powers-that-be have ordained they need to have to be verified.

    And we, the contributors on that forum, cannot do our jobs without links to those poor newbies' problem sites. This is an asinine policy; I find it simply amazing that a company the size of Microsoft, with the resources at their disposal, cannot figure out a better way to deal with spam. It's all made even more infuriating because on our forum, WE DON'T HAVE A SPAM PROBLEM, CAPISC'!? In five years of participating there, I can count on one hand the number of spam posts we've been subject to. Jeez...


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:40 AM

All replies

  • As far as verifying an account to post images and links...yes the error message is horrible.  If you want to get the account verified, send and email to fissues at microsoft dot com.  Maybe if you tell them how bad the error message is, they'll change it, but don't hold your breath.
    Friday, January 18, 2013 1:50 PM
  • Well, the problem is, I don't even know what the bloody message is! Those of us who are forum old-timers, contributors, never see it. And since the forum is dedicated to Web development, we must tell new users that we cannot help them with display issues unless we can see the page in situ, with all markup, CSS, images, scripts, etc. in place. Since they cannot provide a link, everyone concerned is frustrated.

    Sometimes their questions involve the EW user interface, where posting of screenshots would be of value. There again, they are told that they must be "verified" first. Apparently (remember, I've never seen the actual message), they are not told how to get verified, or how long it will take, or anything else.

    This is, in a word, ridiculous. For all of the years that the forum was part of the http://social.expression.microsoft.com/Forums hierarchy, no such verification was required. Now that is part of the http://social.microsoft.com/Forums hierarchy, and given that a Passport (or whatever the hell they're calling it now) ID is required to post to the forum to begin with, what kind of "verification" is needed, and for god's sake, WHY!?

    And just out of curiosity, why isn't Brent, or Ed, or someone who actually has an official voice, replying to this thread?


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Friday, January 18, 2013 10:11 PM
  • All the message says is "Body text cannot contain images or links until we are able to verify your account.And no, there are no instructions or anything else.  Apparently it is done this way to stop spammers.  Which apparently works a peach as you can tell from the recent requests to ban them.  One would think that if so many people are complaining about the message being meaningless and causing problems with bonafide users, it would be changed.  Especially if the only reason it is there is failing so badly.  But hey...who am I to judge?  There are so many forums on the web that use captchas, automatic email verifications, etc. to validate users vs. spammers and yet the MSDN forum does this sort of thing.  It makes one wonder.

    Monday, January 21, 2013 2:53 PM
  • Well, you see, that's a problem, for two primary reasons. First, I don't know where they were experiencing spammers, but we do NOT have that problem at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/web/threads, and never have had.

    I have been an active contributor there for almost five years now, amassing over 21,000 recognition points in that forum alone. I can tell you from my own personal knowledge, having been there every day over that period, that in all that time we might have had a half-dozen instances of spamming. Maybe. I honestly don't even recall that many, to tell the truth.

    Furthermore, our forum may be unique in that we must have access to the visitor's site address in order to be of assistance. This is not an option. In fact, in our Forum FAQs and Guidelines, the very first Guideline states this:

    "If you have a question about your website, please post a link to the page about which you have a question. Without being able to actually see the page and all related files that are involved with your issue, it’s often impossible for anyone to help you.

    If you haven’t published the page you’re having a problem with, you can publish it to the free site that many Internet service providers offer or you can publish it to a subfolder of your existing site. You will then want to include a link to the specific page in your post."

    For four years and eight months, visitors have had no problem with complying. Now, suddenly, they are told that they are not allowed to do so. And, frankly, we are dead in the water until we can see their markup, CSS, images, scripting, etc., in situ, to analyze their problem and resolve it. Almost all of these users come in with no forum experience, and many come in, ask their questions, get their resolutions, and leave, without EVER amassing the 15 points needed to "verify" their accounts.

    You are basically killing mosquitoes with a 105mm howitzer. If you have a spam problem with a forum, apply the fix to that forum. Or find a different way to address the problem. But don't impose such a rule upon a forum that (a) doesn't have a spam problem to begin with, and (b) requires users to post links to their sites in order to get help. Please that this requirement is abated for the http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/web/threads forum. Thank you.


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Monday, January 21, 2013 7:44 PM
  • Hey, if it was up to me, this would have been changed a long time ago.  Or more likely never implemented in the first place.  But I am not a Microsoft employee, just a doofus user.  :0P
    Monday, January 21, 2013 8:18 PM
  • Many moderators, myself included, spent many hours flagging the occasional flood of messages as spam, or if we could, deleting the messages. We then spent more time reporting the users for banning. It would not happen in all forums, but when we got a flood, there would be pages of spam, making the forum unusable. Legitimate questions got lost. It seems the new policy has eliminated the problem, for which many of us are grateful.

    Still, the message needs to be improved. The new user is automatically verified after a certain unknown amount of activity. Only recently have we been told that the user can email fissues at microsoft dot com to be verified. Because these are new users, it is especially unfortunate that their initial experience can be confusing.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:13 AM
  • May be at least to the Expression forums we need another way of SPAM prevention as these forums require links and images.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:10 AM
  • I am curious why we are getting no input from Microsoft on this. This is supposed to be the forum where issues such as this are addressed (even though there is no damned way to find it from the Expression forums—it is no longer listed on the Forums page at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/expression—leading one to believe that they just don't bloody care to hear from us). Why isn't Ed, or Brent, or any of the other Microsofties who usually respond here taking part? Anybody official, I'm not picky—just someone with "Microsoft" next to their name in the attribution space at the top of the post. What's the matter, guys? You hiding out?

    Our new users are almost universally clueless, often completely inexperienced at using any Web forum, and unlikely to ever accumulate whatever mysterious juice the powers-that-be have ordained they need to have to be verified.

    And we, the contributors on that forum, cannot do our jobs without links to those poor newbies' problem sites. This is an asinine policy; I find it simply amazing that a company the size of Microsoft, with the resources at their disposal, cannot figure out a better way to deal with spam. It's all made even more infuriating because on our forum, WE DON'T HAVE A SPAM PROBLEM, CAPISC'!? In five years of participating there, I can count on one hand the number of spam posts we've been subject to. Jeez...


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:40 AM
  • I love this. Three days without a reply. Well, Ed, and Brent, or whoever is supposed be addressing these issues, this isn't going away. How about a reply... ?

    <bump>


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Friday, January 25, 2013 10:05 PM
  • Maybe they are too busy trying to fix the still existing frequent inability to post to the forums with IE (and for some with Firefox and other browsers) because of an "Unexpected Error".
    • Edited by KathyW2 Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:11 AM
    Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:11 AM
  • Heh, heh... yeah, there's been an ongoing problem with that. Apparently, it has been even worse for some forums than what we have experienced over on EW. See

    More and more "Unexpected Error"s in the forums

    which has been active—and unresolved—for three months now. I still get them occasionally when using Firefox, though not as much as during the holidays, and more regularly when using IE. Unlike the experience in that thread, I haven't had noticeably better results using Chrome, as seen here:

    You would think that they might spend more of their time addressing issues that make the forums unusable for everyone, like this, than in imposing needless, pointless restrictions on new users of the EW forum.

    <<shrug>>


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Saturday, January 26, 2013 8:11 PM
  • <bump>

    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Monday, January 28, 2013 12:56 AM
  • I love this. Still no reply. Well, Ed, and Brent, or whoever is supposed be addressing these issues, this isn't going away. How about a reply... ?

    <bump>


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:02 PM
  • <bump>


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Friday, February 1, 2013 10:33 PM
  • I love this. Still no reply. Well, Ed, and Brent, or whoever is supposed be addressing these issues, this isn't going away. How about a reply... ?

    <bump>


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Hello. I don't work on the forums team. I work on SQL Server. And Brent is not working at Microsoft anymore.

    If you'd like to submit an issue, you can submit it to fissues at Micorosft.

    This is not a support forum. It's a discussion forum. We only answer in the sense that we make sure the forums team is aware of the issue. And they are super super aware of this issue.

    Check out the sticky note in this forum. You have a few options for support.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:15 PM