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Here is the situation. CiviCRM is a FLOSS CRM. Stack Exchange provides an amazing tool for those of us who know it quite well to give support to others/newbies.

So along comes a newbie and has a bunch of questions. They have searched and not found existing questions/answers. So they want some help. They have five (let's say) distinct questions they want to get help on.

At this point they start hitting reputation limits.

Ah, but we moderators are on hand to help. But we don't know how. Is there some way we can bestow (?) greater powers on this folk, e.g. add reputation (I suspect not), give a badge that lets them ask more questions more often (I guess not)?

Is there anything?

At this point one of us tends to jump on chat.civicrm.org and poke a few folks to (EDIT: read their earlier questions and if they agree they are good) give some reputation to these new users. It works, but it is a pain.

I would love to know that as a reasonably new and unskilled moderator I can do something to make their lives easier.

I had read various threads per below before posting.

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    Who's to say after getting answers to one or two questions the other questions they might have intended to ask won't have significantly changed or become redundant altogether? Having a rate limit encourages proper digestion of answers. – Robert Longson Feb 21 at 0:08
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    Can you explain why you disagree with the reasons given in the pages you linked for keeping these limits in place/not letting users skip past them? You're basically asking for how to help people get past the rate limits, which implies that you disagree with them, to some extent. – HDE 226868 Feb 21 at 0:09
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    "At this point one of us tends to jump on chat.civicrm.org and poke a few folk to give some reputation to these new users" - Hmmm, that sounds a bit...ehh....well, I don't want to use such a harsh word as "fraudulent," but it does seem to be a voting irregularity if nothing else. – n8te Feb 21 at 0:15
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    Y'all... This is a support question, not a FR. It's asked in good faith and an attempt to understand the system. How is it a bad question? – Catija Feb 21 at 0:23
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    @Catija: Because the answer to why we don't allow this is basically stated in many of the links he gave. – Nicol Bolas Feb 21 at 1:58
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    The question isn't why, @NicolBolas The question is whether it's possible for a mod. I'm not sure that those answers specifically say "mods can't override this". I've not read them recently. On many platforms mods do have these sort of abilities. When I was a user on a specific forum, a mod would grant permissions to users similar to our association bonus that allowed posting images and videos. – Catija Feb 21 at 3:56
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    It's completely reasonable for our mods to seek out help to better understand what tools they do and do not have. We don't exactly do an awesome job of it and that's something we need to work on. @petednz, don't hesitate to ask these sorts of questions in the Teachers' Lounge, too. – Catija Feb 21 at 4:03
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    Thanks Catija - i have to say some of the above stuff makes me feel like 'hey why do i bother trying to be a helpful person'! I am trying to say that in the view of the Moderators on this channel there are legitimate reasons for someone to need to ask a bunch of questions as they wade in to CiviCRM. SE does NOT make this easy (or perhaps it does and i just don't know the magic word). So they end up frustrated with the system. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 5:53
  • @n8te - yes you used the word 'fraudelent'. Give us a break please. The other folk i ping are quite capable of being discerning in the process of upping someone's reputation. We want SE to be the online help for a floss CRM and it makes it hard for newbies. i am trying to find legitimate ways of making it easy for them by making it easier for us to help them. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 5:55
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    I did not call your behavior fraudulent. Try reading what I actually wrote. – n8te Feb 21 at 5:56
  • I regret the tone of my 'give us a break please'. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:02
  • Fair enough. Water under the bridge. – n8te Feb 21 at 6:02
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    @RobertLongson - the digestion of other answers i understand. but if they have one question relating to Contributions, another relating to Mailings, another relating to Relationships etc etc, then answers on one are very unlikely to shed light on the other issues they are trying to resolve to be able to get on with using the system – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:06
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    @HDE226868 - in this scenario yes i disagree that not having a way to 'workaround' the rate limit means that legit folk with legit questions are unable to ask their questions and hopefully get answers that will help them to 'get on with their work'. I understand having an automatic limit - i am asking if there is an option for a Moderator to sidestep if they deem it helpful to the user concerned. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:09
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    @n8te I don't want to use such a harsh word as "fraudulent," Look up the meaning of the word paralipsis, it's exactly what you did there. – Ward Feb 21 at 14:55
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No, there is no way for moderators to give users extra reputation or badges without the user earning them. There shouldn't be, either. The posting rate limit exists to prevent spammers. Additionally, it makes new users take more time to write their questions and answers while they're still getting the hang of the site.

You can certainly help new users gain reputation by teaching them how things work on your site, but reputation is never given, only earned. Once a user has earned 125 reputation, it can be assumed they are not spammers and are familiar enough with the site to not have to be rate limited.

  • Thank you for your response and answer. "The posting rate limit exists to prevent spammers". In our case we can 'see' the user is not a spammer because they are trying to get support in other media too. When asking a question in 'chat' we often say, hey ask that question in SE so others see the answer and because it is a better repository than a chat channel. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:00
  • And the first I knew of this limit was a user telling us that they were prevented from asking the new/separate question on SE due to the limit. Hence I thought 'ah ha maybe there is a legitimate way for a moderator to sidestep the limit'. Seems not. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:04
  • @petednz-fuzion no, there isn't any way to. The best thing to do is just to support the user as they get to 125 reputation by helping improve their posts and offering help and guidance when necessary. – Pikachu the Watermelon Wizard Feb 21 at 6:06
  • thank you. and in my view, asking some other users to read their Questions and +1 them seems like a way to 'support' them. But it seems that others, while not calling it 'fraudulent' are calling it "a voting irregularity". I have a lot to learn. – petednz - fuzion Feb 21 at 6:12
  • @petednz-fuzion everyone's got a lot to learn. From what I can see on your profile, you are already doing a very good job at moderating your site for being relatively new. – Pikachu the Watermelon Wizard Feb 21 at 6:14
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It sounds very much like you're treating your SE site like a help desk, rather than a means to build a repository of useful knowledge. New users should not be spamming the site with 5 independent questions to begin with, and you certainly should not be voting on those questions for the sole purpose of inflating their rep. Indeed, I find it shocking that a site moderator is not just OK with this sort of behavior, but actively encourages it.

New users are rate limited for a reason, as outlined by the questions you've ostensibly looked through. We want new users to take their time. We want them, like everyone else, to do research before asking questions. It is highly unlikely that a user, new or old, can generate 5 highly researched, well-reasoned questions in a short space of time. That's more in line with a user who tries some stuff, hits a stumbling block, and immediately asks for help.

That's not what SE sites are for. Asking on our sites is supposed to be the option of last resort, not your first step before searching or bothering to debug the problem yourself.

In short, the fact that you want this is the problem.

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    This answer seems unnecessarily harsh towards a moderator who seems to be honestly looking for information. You've accused him of not actually reading the links he gave ("ostensibly") and you've accused the people he's trying to help of not "bothering to debug the problem yourself." – Ward Feb 21 at 1:20
  • Users can take the time to compose their questions in an external editor, and post them all at once. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Feb 21 at 1:24
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    @SonictheWizardWerehog if they can take that time, surely they can also take the time to wait a bit before posting each question. What's the hurry? – Olorin Feb 21 at 1:37
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    @Ward: "You've accused him of not actually reading the links he gave ("ostensibly")" If someone asks a question which is answered in the links they gave, what else am I to assume? Because the basic thrust of both answers thus far is identical to answers in those linked questions. And it's not like those answers are so complex that someone might need things put in a more simple way. – Nicol Bolas Feb 21 at 1:52
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    @Ward: "you've accused the people he's trying to help of not "bothering to debug the problem yourself."" How exactly do you have 5 questions to ask at roughly the same time unless you are not even trying to get the answers on your own? I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that it could happen, but my experience with such people is that the vast majority are in the "unable/unwilling to put the work in" category, rather than the "I happen to have a bunch of really good questions, all about the same thing" category. – Nicol Bolas Feb 21 at 1:57
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    4 of the 5 answers to "why are low rep users limited?" say "spammers" 1 of those 4 also says "to make them take more time." Those answers don't apply to the OP's question because he's asking about a new user he's sure isn't a spammer. The next two links don't say why rate limits apply, and the link to Jeff's blog post also says "spammers." – Ward Feb 21 at 2:03
  • Anyway, apparently most other people don't think this is too harsh, so I'll stop... – Ward Feb 21 at 2:05
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    "Asking on our sites is supposed to be the option of last resort, not your first step before searching or bothering to debug the problem yourself." This may be the case on SO but for a tiny site like this one, it's often not. Many sites are happy to accept simple questions that are already answered elsewhere... If our sites are designed to be one-stop shopping for all your objective [insert topic] questions, we kinda need to cover even the stuff that's documented. I mean... heck, half the answers I've written on sites are based on sourced info the OP could have found by looking for it. – Catija Feb 21 at 4:52
  • The evidence continues to mount that stackoverflow.com's marriage to this network of other sites is more a source of misunderstanding and friction than a healthy union... – Josh Caswell Feb 21 at 16:58
  • @JoshCaswell: We're not married to them; they spawned from us. – Nicol Bolas Feb 21 at 17:00
  • Perhaps we're in the late teenager stage, then. – Josh Caswell Feb 21 at 17:03

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