Forum sign-up

Forum sign-up
« on: March 23, 2022, 02:24:36 AM »
Just a bit of feedback concerning the forum: requiring people to answer three random trivia questions about Sequential/DSI in addition to completing a very difficult CAPTCHA (never before have I actually needed to have the letters read out to me) in order to use the search and/or sign up for the forum is excessive and offputting. Why should I as a customer or potential customer need to know e.g. how many LFOs per voice the rev2 has in order to talk to others about Sequential products? Sequential and its customers are sometimes accused of being 'elitist', and this sort of thing doesn't help disabuse anyone of that notion. Just my two cents.

LPF83

  • ***
  • 1465
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2022, 04:32:38 AM »
Just a bit of feedback concerning the forum: requiring people to answer three random trivia questions about Sequential/DSI in addition to completing a very difficult CAPTCHA (never before have I actually needed to have the letters read out to me) in order to use the search and/or sign up for the forum is excessive and offputting. Why should I as a customer or potential customer need to know e.g. how many LFOs per voice the rev2 has in order to talk to others about Sequential products? Sequential and its customers are sometimes accused of being 'elitist', and this sort of thing doesn't help disabuse anyone of that notion. Just my two cents.

I'm fairly certain the reason to do it is to help prevent spam bots and other forms of abuse, and to help prevent the same  newbie questions ("my synth is out of tune what do I do?") from being posted 5 or 6 times each day by making sure the person signing up for the forum both understands the give-and-take relationship required for an effective online community to exist (a good user contributes to the community in the same amounts as much as they expect to extract from it), and also to be sure they don't plan to post incessant questions or rants without bothering to read the manual or using a search engine.  It's been a long time since I signed up so I don't remember the exact questions, but I believe the selected questions at least confirmed the registrant was a human and wasn't too lazy to use google to look up the answer to a couple of simple questions.   

I personally think that is a VERY wise filter to have in place.  The overall tone of the Sequential forum is far more civil and productive than many others, and I believe part of that is that the type of user who signs up with a sense of entitlement expecting the world has been (partially) filtered out.

I have created/administered forums before and I can confirm that lazy users who think the forum is their personal support hotline will completely drain the life out of an online community.   Now, if a company chooses to use an online forum software as their primary mechanism of tech support, that's a different story, but that is not what Sequential is doing here and it's not the purpose of forums in most companies in my experience.   I think that's where a lot of users get confused, they think its a place to connect directly with employees of the company and that's rarely the case.  You might get lucky and have that experience, but its not guaranteed.

The idea of Sequential customers or employees being elitist, I found amusing; I'm guessing that is a rumor created by those who have never owned Sequential gear or spent any time reading these forums.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 04:54:17 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2022, 10:21:21 AM »
Just a bit of feedback concerning the forum: requiring people to answer three random trivia questions about Sequential/DSI in addition to completing a very difficult CAPTCHA (never before have I actually needed to have the letters read out to me) in order to use the search and/or sign up for the forum is excessive and off-putting. Why should I as a customer or potential customer need to know e.g. how many LFOs per voice the rev2 has in order to talk to others about Sequential products? Sequential and its customers are sometimes accused of being 'elitist', and this sort of thing doesn't help disabuse anyone of that notion. Just my two cents.

It's a small inconvenience that helps to resolve a serious problem.  We've seen a substantial increase in forum spam during the last year.  It was getting quite bad.   Moderators were having to remove several spam posts each day, which was a drastic change from the first days of this forum.  That requires checking every post every day.  So, in order to resolve the problem, the moderators were given greater abilities in removing spam and banning the spammers themselves, and Sequential raised the standards for joining the forum.  It's all meant the prevent the creeps from appearing here.

I can understand your frustration while trying to join the forum in having to answer a few technical questions.  But you wouldn't want the alternative, which would be a forum full of rubbish.  The previous DSI/Prophet forum was literally engulfed in spam of the pornographic type.  Literally every thread was full of it.  By happy contrast - and not coincidence - this forum is spotless.  And it's due to a bunch of people who, behind the scenes, are daily vigilant in keeping it that way.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 10:36:38 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2022, 12:58:06 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I'll address a few points to add some more context to the initial impression I shared, just in case it's interesting or helpful. If not, feel free to ignore – I'm not trying to start a debate and don't expect a response, just sharing my impression as a new user.

Of course I understand the need to filter out spammers/bots, but the technical questions just seem an odd choice of method for doing so, and are incongruent with my experience with other forums or similar venues. I'll admit straightaway to being ignorant of the current state of CAPTCHA/bot capabilities, but in all other cases I'm familiar with, either just a CAPTCHA or a CAPTCHA coupled with a single text input answer to some non-technical question (e.g. "what is two plus six?") seems to be enough protection. But perhaps this is no longer the case.

In any case, the impression the questions made on me was that of not being there purely for the purpose of filtering bots, but rather something more like LPF83 mentioned, requiring would-be users to prove pre-existing knowledge and/or willingness and ability to search out answers on their own. And again, while I understand the desire to promote or ensure a certain level of discourse, this – if it actually is part of the intention at all – seems to be an odd choice of method for doing so. In my mind, having a rule against 'low-quality posts' or something of the like and enforcing it would be preferable to potentially giving new users the impression that they need to prove something before they're allowed to join the club, so to speak. But again I admit ignorance concerning whether or not this is part of the intention and/or how much of a problem such posts have been in the past.

In short, from my position of ignorance concerning the previous issues with the forum (which is the same position all new users will be in) the purpose and/or necessity of the technical questions wasn't clear, which made me wonder what their intended purpose was and if there might be a better way of achieving it. Thanks for 'listening' and thanks to the mods for keeping the place clean.

LPF83

  • ***
  • 1465
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2022, 05:10:42 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I'll address a few points to add some more context to the initial impression I shared, just in case it's interesting or helpful. If not, feel free to ignore – I'm not trying to start a debate and don't expect a response, just sharing my impression as a new user.

Of course I understand the need to filter out spammers/bots, but the technical questions just seem an odd choice of method for doing so, and are incongruent with my experience with other forums or similar venues. I'll admit straightaway to being ignorant of the current state of CAPTCHA/bot capabilities, but in all other cases I'm familiar with, either just a CAPTCHA or a CAPTCHA coupled with a single text input answer to some non-technical question (e.g. "what is two plus six?") seems to be enough protection. But perhaps this is no longer the case.

In any case, the impression the questions made on me was that of not being there purely for the purpose of filtering bots, but rather something more like LPF83 mentioned, requiring would-be users to prove pre-existing knowledge and/or willingness and ability to search out answers on their own. And again, while I understand the desire to promote or ensure a certain level of discourse, this – if it actually is part of the intention at all – seems to be an odd choice of method for doing so. In my mind, having a rule against 'low-quality posts' or something of the like and enforcing it would be preferable to potentially giving new users the impression that they need to prove something before they're allowed to join the club, so to speak. But again I admit ignorance concerning whether or not this is part of the intention and/or how much of a problem such posts have been in the past.

In short, from my position of ignorance concerning the previous issues with the forum (which is the same position all new users will be in) the purpose and/or necessity of the technical questions wasn't clear, which made me wonder what their intended purpose was and if there might be a better way of achieving it. Thanks for 'listening' and thanks to the mods for keeping the place clean.

After I posted my response, I saw your post regarding whether or not MIDI ports on the P10 were powered, so I assume the answer to that question is what brought you to the forum initially.  For questions about technical specifications like that, I could agree somewhat with your sentiment in the sense that being quizzed at forum verification -- or needing to sign up for a forum at all to find the answer -- could be inconvenient.  A better solution to that situation would be if a searchable per-product knowledge base were available outside of any authentication/registration mechanism.  Or, if even answers to questions like were better addressed in the user manual (which of course are viewable without signup).  Sequential is a small company so I think the current preferred method of finding the answers to things not available elsewhere is to simply fire off an email to the support email address.  There are signs that the support process may be maturing somewhat, as I've noticed new troubleshooting guides covering frequent/recurring issues have been posted to the forums, and hopefully those will eventually make their way to the Support section of the public website.  Maybe we will see a nice knowledge base of info one day.  In the meantime just know that the support email address is there, that is (to my knowledge) the "official" way to get any sort of technical support, and most likely if you ever use it you will understand why the notion of Sequential and customers being elitist struck me as funny.

And, this is just my opinion, but I do still think the usage of synth-related questions to gain entry is a great idea (one that may not be right for every forum but works well here).  It differs from a standard CAPTCHA solution not only in the sense that it is harder to defeat by scammers, but it helps ensure the new registrant has at least some passing interest in synthesizers and is willing to invest a small amount of wherewithall toward becoming a member.  I can only imagine how many times that mechanism has filtered out drunk trolls who have convinced themselves they'll never be able to afford a Prophet, so instead they channel their negative energy by ranting about how much better other vendors of downmarket discount synths are, etc.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2022, 06:06:15 AM »
I agree on the filter’s method of making sure people who sign up are willing to do some cursory searching of their own. I have lost count of the amount of times I get asked the same basic questions on a product when the answers are right there in the manual for users to find. (For clarity, this is for a product for which I wrote the (fully indexed and searchable) online user manual, so the answers found there are the product of several hundreds of hours’ drafting, revising and updating and, as such, offer far clearer answers that those I could dash off in a forum response.)

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 10:30:54 AM »
Considering the seventy-five porn posts that I removed today, I think the requirements for joining the forum should be either raised or constantly changing.  Apparently, it's easy enough for a motivated person to find answers to a few basic questions about synthesizers.  But if those questions are regularly being changed, then possibly a spammer will find it just a little too annoying to search for the answers.  After all, I think it's the same few spammers that keep returning.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 10:34:25 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2022, 04:16:43 PM »
Considering the seventy-five porn posts that I removed today, I think the requirements for joining the forum should be either raised or constantly changing.  Apparently, it's easy enough for a motivated person to find answers to a few basic questions about synthesizers.  But if those questions are regularly being changed, then possibly a spammer will find it just a little too annoying to search for the answers.  After all, I think it's the same few spammers that keep returning.

Yes. And a few more porn site post have been added recently that need cleaning up. Is there way to see where they are being posted from and blocking that IP address?

LPF83

  • ***
  • 1465
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2022, 05:17:08 PM »
Also, are these spammers actually making it past the synth question filter each time or is it a one-time authorize thing?  It's been a while since I signed up so I don't even remember what the questions were or how it all works.

I do deal with this to some extent in my day job and sometimes the request come from AWS cloud which makes it harder to block the IP, but it seems unusual that a spammer would go out of their way to research the synth questions just to make an effort to focus on this forum.  I know AI is getting better, so I guess figuring out HOW much better is part of the reason I ask.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2022, 06:54:51 PM »
Maybe the AI overlords are just trying to help... "But we thought you liked synth porn..."

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2022, 07:37:10 PM »
I don't know how these porn spammers are getting through, but I've removed about 250 posts in a twenty-hour period.  This is like a part-time job.  And there are more to remove right now.

LPF83

  • ***
  • 1465
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2022, 04:07:33 AM »
I don't know how these porn spammers are getting through, but I've removed about 250 posts in a twenty-hour period.  This is like a part-time job.  And there are more to remove right now.

Thank you for all you do.  I think a lot of folks don't realize how much work it can take just to keep the riff raff posts out of an online community.  I totally relate to the "part-time job" syndrome, and honestly if Sequential is not compensating you for this, then they should.
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2022, 10:09:25 AM »
Thanks for the appreciation, LPF83.  It's another day, and this forum has a heap of porn spam.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2022, 05:08:50 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

jg666

  • ***
  • 557
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2022, 01:11:59 PM »
I feel your pain. I used to moderate on a UK audio visual forum and I know what it’s like!
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

jok3r

  • ***
  • 342
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2022, 02:43:36 PM »
Worked as a scientist at a German university in AI, especially in Natural Language Processing, for the last 7 years. Answering simple questions like during this registration process (at least as I remember them) should be no problem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Watson

Watson won Jeoparty over a decade ago. There was a lot of hardware and engineering needed for this project. With todays transformer based methods and pre-trained models you can do this with a consumer pc that has a mediocre gpu installed. In fact, Question Answering is one of the main tasks on which the NLP community evaluates the developed systems.
Prophet Rev2, Moog Matriarch, Novation Peak, Arturia DrumBrute Impact, Korg Kronos 2 88, Kurzweil PC 361, Yamaha S90ES

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2022, 05:09:04 PM »
This is a serious issue.  The old pre-2015 DSI/Prophet forum eventually became buried in pornographic spam, and in the end there was no one moderating it.  It destroyed the forum, which had invaluable information from the first DSI years. But every thread was filled with the rubbish, which made it too much of a nuisance to wade through.  Such a loss
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 05:39:39 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

jg666

  • ***
  • 557
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2022, 01:47:23 AM »
I assume you've been in touch with Sequential/Focusrite about it? Would it help if some more of us got in touch with them about it too?
DSI Prophet Rev2, DSI Pro 2, Moog Sub37, Korg Minilogue, Yamaha MOXF6, Yamaha MODX6, Yamaha Montage6

LPF83

  • ***
  • 1465
Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2022, 03:21:04 AM »
This is a serious issue.  The old pre-2015 DSI/Prophet forum eventually became buried in pornographic spam, and there was apparently no one moderating it.  It had invaluable information from the first DSI years. But every thread was filled with the spam, so it became too much of a nuisance to wade through it.

Is there a way to put a waiting period on new signups, so that even with questions they can't post right away?
Prophet 10, OB-X8m, Prophet 6, OB-6, 3rd Wave, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Korg Polysix, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase/Ableton/Akai MPC

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2022, 05:35:40 AM »
I assume you've been in touch with Sequential/Focusrite about it? Would it help if some more of us got in touch with them about it too?

Oh yes.  They're looking into it.  It could only help the cause if you added your voice.

Sacred Synthesis

Re: Forum sign-up
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2022, 05:43:23 AM »
This is a serious issue.  The old pre-2015 DSI/Prophet forum eventually became buried in pornographic spam, and there was apparently no one moderating it.  It had invaluable information from the first DSI years. But every thread was filled with the spam, so it became too much of a nuisance to wade through it.

Is there a way to put a waiting period on new signups, so that even with questions they can't post right away?

I'm sure there is.  But the problem is that legitimate people start complaining about how annoying it is to try to join the forum.  We've already had complaints from members who have said they just barely got on.  Obviously, not everyone who wants to be a member here has a thorough knowledge of synthesis or DSI/Sequential facts.