Poll

Should new users be required to specify a country?

Yes, with the existing 'black flag' option for users who require maximum anonymity
43 (42.2%)
Yes, and disallow the 'black flag'
23 (22.5%)
No, leave everything as it is
16 (15.7%)
No, but encourage setting a country in the registration agreement
20 (19.6%)
None of the above; I have a better idea
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 101

Author Topic: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles  (Read 9147 times)

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Offline rolycat

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[POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« on: January 12, 2014, 11:54:30 pm »
New users frequently ask for advice about buying test equipment or components without specifying which country they live in. This makes it harder to offer appropriately localised assistance.

Users could be required to set their country when creating their profile, and their posts will then display a country flag. Apparently enforcing this has caused issues in the past, possibly because complainers were not aware that they can select a blank flag.

Should setting this field be required as part of new user account creation?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 11:58:40 pm »
I think this polled a long time and the answer was no, not compulsory.
 

Offline rolycat

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 01:18:55 am »
I think this polled a long time and the answer was no, not compulsory.

Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?

 

Offline Fsck

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 01:23:59 am »
I think this polled a long time and the answer was no, not compulsory.

Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?

well, so far the direction is towards "yes".
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Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 02:19:23 am »
New users frequently ask for advice about buying test equipment or components without specifying which country they live in. This makes it harder to offer appropriately localised assistance.

Forcing them to choose a flag will make it harder for them to get a clue when people tell them they are dumb for not specifying a country when it matters.

Would you rather give prompt buying advice to idiots or try to make them a little smarter first?

My personal privacy policy decrees I don't provide valid personal information to anyone on the internet without it being justified by sufficient personal benefit. If I had to choose a flag I would lie.
 

Lurch

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 02:23:09 am »
If I had to choose a flag I would lie.

What's wrong with choosing the blank one?
 

Offline Andy Watson

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 02:23:49 am »
I think this polled a long time and the answer was no, not compulsory.

Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?
So, what is the difference between not setting a country and setting a blank country?
 

Lurch

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 02:25:37 am »
So, what is the difference between not setting a country and setting a blank country?

It shows up on the left as a black flag rather than a blank space. Shows you at least filled in the info even if you have opted out. Saves all of the 'what country are you in' questions.
 

Offline Andy Watson

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 02:30:33 am »
So, what is the difference between not setting a country and setting a blank country?

It shows up on the left as a black flag rather than a blank space.
I agree.
Quote
Shows you at least filled in the info even if you have opted out. Saves all of the 'what country are you in' questions.
Er, ... no!
It doesn't provide any more useful information other than I don't wish to be identified by country.

 

Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014, 03:21:50 am »
If I had to choose a flag I would lie.

What's wrong with choosing the blank one?

I would consider the information that I specifically chose not to choose a country to be valid and personal.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 03:23:38 am by Rufus »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 10:25:09 am »
Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?

In which case what's the point really?
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 10:32:16 am »
black flag = has something to hide = flagged by NSA  >:D
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline nowlan

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 10:44:40 am »
I would think the server could guess a flag based on IP address (perhaps when registering account).
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2014, 10:57:15 am »
Moderators and admins can see the IP address that a member connects from so yes, it is possible to find out what a members country is (or at least which one they're in when they connect)
It seems that the country display option is not standard with SMF and is a modification that has been installed at some point.
 

Offline rolycat

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2014, 11:28:42 am »
Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?

In which case what's the point really?

Most new users fill in the bare minimum of information through habit or reflex. Later, when they start asking questions, they need to be reminded that specifying which country they are from would be helpful, adding to the noise in many beginner threads.

If not specifying your country were made a definite decision, rather than the default, I suspect the number of such exchanges might reduce considerably.

Identifying your country is not usually a privacy concern and frequently offers real advantages for those reading your posts. If you live somewhere you prefer not to reveal you could either pick a nearby country or choose to leave the field blank.

Whatever the decision, I think it should be made clear to new registrants why stating their country is useful on an international forum such as this.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 11:30:19 am by rolycat »
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2014, 12:22:05 pm »
Perhaps that poll didn't mention that users could choose to keep the country blank?

In which case what's the point really?

Because there is a distinct difference between not setting your flag because you're lazy and not setting your flag for anonymity.
If people who are lazy have to go to the effort of choosing the black flag, they will probably choose their own country instead and those that actively want anonymity will actively choose the black flag.

Cater to those actively making decisions, not the lazy, they've got enough help.
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2014, 02:59:14 pm »
Whatever the decision, I think it should be made clear to new registrants why stating their country is useful on an international forum such as this.

Maybe that should be qualified by addressing only particularly stupid or geographically challenged new registrants.

When I see calls to force others to provide personal information I can only think that it is because those that have already provided personal information feel better about it when everyone else is forced to.
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2014, 04:17:47 pm »
When I see calls to force others to provide personal information I can only think that it is because those that have already provided personal information feel better about it when everyone else is forced to.
Good thing we don't want to force people to provide personal information.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2014, 04:25:03 pm »

[/quote]
So, what is the difference between not setting a country and setting a blank country?
[/quote]

One is opt in and the other is opt out. Opt in is more user friendly and considerate in general.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2014, 10:47:48 pm »
Maybe I am missing something here, but how is providing country of origin, personal and private information?  No one is asking for name, address, social security number( where applicable) bank account numbers, credit card numbers or the size of your "package".  I wish I had a dollar for every OP I have read that was looking for information that having the proper flag shown, would have gotten prompt, courteous responses.  Instead, there is a certain amount of sarcasm involved in reminding the OP to do so.  If not showing your country of origin is due to real or perceived security concerns, maybe those who feel that way should not use the internet so they don't get nailed and shipped to the gulag.  Or maybe find another blog that gives more anonymity.  Or, please don't get riled up when you don't get the answers you want, or get the sarcasm.  It probably boils down to a certain amount of naivete on my part, being from the US, where that kind of thing really isn't a concern.    Besides, I have had so many background checks done over the years for my job, that the powers to be already know everything about me :).
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 

Offline smashedProton

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2014, 11:01:21 pm »
People who choose the black flag are pirates.   :-+
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Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 12:14:17 am »
being from the US, where that kind of thing really isn't a concern.

Because half of Americans don't know there are other countries anyway?

Of course one small piece of information alone doesn't matter much. If someone is trying to correlate information then something as small as which country might reduce a 1000 possible matches to one.

If you plaster the internet with small pieces of information they are there for anyone to find forever. I'll wager there is all kinds of shit on the internet which people will deeply regret posting in the future and all those little bits of personal information are what will make it almost impossible for them to disassociate themselves with it.

So I will continue not to post personal information when it is not in my interest to do so and making life easier for morons who can't understand that country information is required to answer their question is not in my interest.
 

Offline rolycat

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2014, 02:17:38 am »
So I will continue not to post personal information when it is not in my interest to do so and making life easier for morons who can't understand that country information is required to answer their question is not in my interest.

Fine, but this poll is not about your interests but the best interests of the majority of users.

Inexperienced users on this forum are not necessarily morons, even those who don't immediately appreciate its international character.

 

Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2014, 03:10:19 am »
Inexperienced users on this forum are not necessarily morons, even those who don't immediately appreciate its international character.

Being unable or uninterested in perceiving a question from the perspective of the person who is being asked it is a trait of morons.

If people don't think this is an international forum (excepting some Americans who don't know there are other countries) what country do you think they think it is local to? The one they happen to be sitting in? Are they really that dim?
 

Offline zapta

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2014, 03:23:12 am »
Being unable or uninterested in perceiving a question from the perspective of the person who is being asked it is a trait of morons.

If people don't think this is an international forum (excepting some Americans who don't know there are other countries) what country do you think they think it is local to? The one they happen to be sitting in? Are they really that dim?

Dims? Morons?

No need to make a big drama.  If you don't like somebody's question, don't answer it. It's that simple.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline rolycat

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2014, 02:13:55 pm »
Being unable or uninterested in perceiving a question from the perspective of the person who is being asked it is a trait of morons.
In your opinion.

If this were solely a forum for engineers such as yourself, I would agree that a higher standard of awareness should be expected. However, Dave intended this to be a welcoming environment for enthusiasts as well as professionals, and enthusiasts may be young, unfamiliar with the forum, unobservant, or many other traits not necessarily synonymous with moronism.

Quote
If people don't think this is an international forum (excepting some Americans who don't know there are other countries) what country do you think they think it is local to? The one they happen to be sitting in? Are they really that dim?

They may not have thought about it very much at all, but that doesn't mean they are incapable of thinking, particularly if they are encouraged to do so by a reminder or a selection process when joining the forum.

 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2014, 04:08:55 pm »
Rolycat, zapta, don't waste your time.  Getting him to see any view but his own is like trying to teach a pig to sing.  It frustrates you and annoys the pig.  I learned long ago that when people denigrate others, it's to cover up their own inadequacies.  If Rufus feels the need to call Americans dim and morons, let him.  We are all probably supremely indifferent as to what he thinks, I know I am.  I, for one, will ignore him going forward.  If everyone else did, maybe he will just go away.
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2014, 04:52:25 pm »
I learned long ago that when people denigrate others, it's to cover up their own inadequacies.  If Rufus feels the need to call Americans dim and morons, let him.

I took the mick out of Americans for being geographically challenged as demonstrated by your ex-president George W Bush asking a Welsh singer what state Wales is in (maybe that demonstrated how phenomenally dim he is - you can choose).

My dim and moron accusations were otherwise fully international.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2014, 04:59:01 pm »
I took the mick out of Americans for being geographically challenged as demonstrated by your ex-president George W Bush asking a Welsh singer what state Wales is in (maybe that demonstrated how phenomenally dim he is - you can choose).

It just demonstrated that Charlotte Church made up a stupid story and was able to get it published.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: [POLL] Setting the country in new user profiles
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2014, 05:25:16 pm »
I took the mick out of Americans for being geographically challenged as demonstrated by your ex-president George W Bush asking a Welsh singer what state Wales is in (maybe that demonstrated how phenomenally dim he is - you can choose).

Last time I checked, an American company provides the most popular map in the world.

https://www.google.com/maps

(not trying to start a my-country-is-better competition, just providing Rufus with a humbling counter example).
Drain the swamp.
 


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