What to do with repeated useless posters ?

Unanswered Question
Jul 11th, 2008


there is a small but significant number of people that brings no value to the forum as their post are invariably pointing some unrelated bugs, "this url will help you", or shameless cut-and-paste of NOT applicable material.

They are always the same names. Actually I think they can be the same person...

Does cisco wants to keep them on board ? A warning/block/ban mechanism perhaps ?

I have this problem too.
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Overall Rating: 5 (6 ratings)
Daniel Bruhn Fri, 07/11/2008 - 09:18


NetPro was created for all Cisco enthusiasts and warning/blocking/banning users based on quality of posts defeats that purpose. We have found it's very hard for some users to get the courage to post and having blockers such as these in place will only exacerbate this. That said, we are aware not all posts are of the highest quality and causes some site clutter. This is typical with all communities and I like to think all our members are experts so we keep ours at a minimum :-)

Just as Paolo did in his post, let's be sure to keep this conversation civil. This means if you have a comment please no finger pointing to individual members.


Dan Bruhn

NetPro Community Manager

rob.huffman Sat, 07/19/2008 - 07:05

Hi Paolo/Dan,

Just thought that I might chime in on this topic as well :) As always, thanks for the opportunity to comment.

I know that there have been many answers that I have posted over the last few years that were real "stinkers" - we all have. The freedom to post what we feel may be helpful to the question is part of the beauty of these forums. If we try to restrict this freedom, then we will diminish the overall participation and quality as well!

If any NetPro member feels that their answer is relevant, they should be encouraged to post it. This type of "good faith" should be welcomed rather than rejected in all cases. The positive nature of this platform should not be sacrificed for any reason, as this is what keeps many of us coming back over and over again :) If we allow any negativity to creep in, then the essence will be lost!

We need to keep working to make these Forums better and better. Treating each other with kindness and understanding at every turn is surely the way to do this.

Just my thoughts :)

Thanks again!


scottmac Sun, 07/20/2008 - 06:05

I agree with both of the above, sometimes a little "noise" is just part of the environment.

What I find irritating (and suspicious) is when the best, full, complete, answer, perfectly expressed is not rated, and the junk (wrong, incomplete,incoherent) answer(s) get (at least one) "5".

What we need is a "Bullsh!t" button to express our discontent for those events (j/k, of course).



Kid Dynamite Mon, 07/21/2008 - 08:54

Well.. I do genuinely come on here to try and learn and I do find it hard sometimes but keep coming back and am maybe guilty of posting questions that might be "easy" or obvious to you guys with vast amounts of experience. But I have no real other way of finding things out other than this place sometimes.. so I might be perceived as "useless"

It must be annoying sometimes for you guys but the whole point of a forum is to be a knowledge pool.

I have tried to chip in where I can (very rarely : )) if a post is unanswered if it is a problem I have encountered before and I don't think it has ever been "wrong" so to speak!!

I can understand if you are talking in regards to people that are creating aliases in order to boost their scores however... but don't forget.. there are some genuine people that are trying to help out..

If it was only the clever guys this place would be full of the elite few and what is everyone else without as much knowledge supposed to do?

Just my humble opinion. : D

scottmac Mon, 07/21/2008 - 09:40

I *think* he was talking about "useless" (incorrect, incoherent ...) replies to valid questions; at least, that's the way I interpreted it.

The forums are there for people that need help, I believe the point is that inaccurate, incoherent, incomplete responses would turn off people's interest in coming here for answers.

I could be wrong ... ;-{}

rob.huffman Tue, 07/22/2008 - 09:02

Hey Kid,

I agree with Scott here for sure! (+5 points for your insight here Scott)

These forums are completely open to all who wish to participate and will hopefully stay that way.

I think that as Scott mentioned the reference was to the fact that there are some responses that are less than stellar (I know,as I have put up many!)but that is half of the beauty of this type of platform.

Don't ever think that your participation here is anything less than "welcomed with open arms". The day that changes I'm gone!

Take care and keep on postin',


sdoremus33 Thu, 10/30/2008 - 17:12

If I am one of the posters out there that you believe is wasting everyones time please let me know. I am only trying to help out and only post when I feel I have knowledge in that area

tsteger1 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 14:35

Your posts seem to be relevant and knowledgable so I don't believe you qualify.

A good example is where someone asks how to force an AV scan from the CSA MC and someone replies with the definition of a host copied from the online help.


sdoremus33 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 10:23

Thanks Tom, I really appreciate your post. I mainly go to Netpro to learn, and if I feel like I can make an intelligent contribution in an area that I know I will, but like I said I mainly comet here to learn from experts like yourself. Take care and Happy Holidays

scottmac Thu, 12/25/2008 - 20:51

It can also help you learn. If there's a topic you're interested in, and a question in that area sounds "interesting," you might find it worthwhile to do a little digging and try to come up with an answer, complete with references.

A part of many industry-related jobs is some level of research ... trying to see what solutions are available, which one fits your intended scenario, configuration changes that will be necessary ... stuff like that.

The questions posted here, and other forums that are similar, are a pretty reasonable representation of the kind of day-to-day information your average network d00d / d00dette have to come up with for projects.

The information you find while you're digging will tend to "stick" better, IMO, because you are searching with some purpose in mind, not just reading random chapters and trying to assimilate them into what you already know.

The other "Good Thing" is based on the "All great discoveries are made by accident" theory; while looking for one answer, you'll invariably find answers to many, many more ... and since they're PDFs (or also available as PDFs) you can download them and built a library of topical information that you deal with / have dealt with and you can mentally connect to when you know you've seen the answer, but you don't remember where ...

Take a shot at a question where you are pretty sure you know an answer, but dig into tit a little anyway and try to come up with some documentation or links ... I absolutely guarantee you'll learn something along the way.

Good Luck


sdoremus33 Thu, 12/25/2008 - 10:24

Thanks Tom, I really appreciate your post. I mainly go to Netpro to learn, and if I feel like I can make an intelligent contribution in an area that I know I will, but like I said I mainly comet here to learn from experts like yourself. Take care and Happy Holidays

Mel Popple Fri, 02/06/2009 - 06:57

How about only allowing the original poster to vote on answers? Just have two options.

* Helpful information

* Answered question/Fixed problem

The forum admins could then remove any posts in a conversation that are neither helpful or fixes after say 12 months. That leaves everybody with a trimmed down useful forum.

Paolo Bevilacqua Fri, 02/06/2009 - 14:02

Since there is no guarantee that the OP will leave a fair rating if any at all, sometime people likes to set the record straight and do ratings as third party. Same for posts that are found by search, it's reasonable to be rated everytime that someone find them useful.

So I don't agree that only the OP should be able to use rating.

And, trimming down posts is always a time consuming and sometime biased activity, do I don't agree to that either.

What I would like to is to see some way to discourage people from posting at random.

marikakis Sat, 02/14/2009 - 16:27


I agree with Paolo that anyone should be able to rate posts. The posts here are not meant to be helpful only for the OP, but for other posters as well, including people who more often post answers than questions. If I learn something from a post or I think it has some general usefulness for people, why not rate it? It is also an indication of appreciation for the contribution of people to the community and an encouragement for them to keep posting (even when not appreciated by OP) so we can keep learning :-). I personally try to avoid saying I rated I post because I don't want the rating to be interpreted as a sign for the other person to rate my own posts in the future and we keep going rating each other's posts for the rest of our lives :-) Still, sometimes a small comment might be appropriate.

Kind Regards,


marikakis Sat, 02/14/2009 - 17:02

Regarding the useless posts, I don't know what can be done in general. Just ignoring something that seems unrelated and post something related could be the least violent approach. You might even document why the unrelated post does not help or which is the correct direction to proceed and why. From my experience, the less emotional the support procedure gets, the better the outcome for everyone.


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