By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2005-02-15 Print this article Print

: User Management Tools"> Problem users can always be a headache for community managers but Beehive puts a rich array of tools at your fingertips to deal with them. To change a users privileges in the forum, you can click the wrench icon in one of their messages or you can find them in the Users tool in the admin controls. Once youve clicked the wrench or clicked their name in the Users tool, the menu page will load and you can then begin managing your problem user. "User Status" lets you ban the user outright, worm them, or make them a global moderator. Worming someone simply means that only admins can see the persons messages. To other users, the problem users messages appear as deleted messages. This is an extremely helpful, unobtrusive way of silencing problem users. And the best thing about it is that they dont know that theyve been silenced. They keep posting happily, blissfully unaware that nobody is reading their messages. Over time they will generally depart since they get no responses to their posts from anyone. Weve found this feature to be absolutely wonderful with spammers.
Worming works better than outright banning because the user may just come in and register a new ID. You can ban by IP, but we generally dislike doing this, as routers may mask the true IP and innocent users may be banned. If they are wormed instead, they only waste their time by posting and you are spared having to chase down all of their new Ids. Its a diabolical and quite delicious tool for any community manager to use.
Right below the User Status section is the Folder Access tool. Here you can control everything a user can do in each section of the forum. You can control whether or not they post, if they can read messages, use HTML, reply to messages, edit posts, upload attachments, post a signature, create new threads, or even moderate a folder. The granularity of this tool is terrific; it gives community managers an excellent way of controlling a users actions in the forum. If youve set up user groups and added the user to a group or groups, youll see them listed in the User Groups section. Youll also see possible aliases as well. This is a very helpful if you are dealing with a user that constantly switches IDs in the forum. You also have the option to nuke all of the users posts in the entire forum. This is something that works great for spammers but should be used quite sparingly for regular users. You can also choose to manage any attachments that the user has uploaded to the forum in the Attachments section of the of the user management screen as well. All in all, Beehive provides an amazingly rich set of tools to manage users. Continued...

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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