Important XDA Announcement Regarding New Users

Dear XDA Users,

Sorry for the long letter. Please read the whole thing if you’re interested in some important upcoming changes to the site.

XDA is growing. There’s really no way to avoid this. Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous. Android is soaring and Windows Phone is holding its own. By all measures, we have actually grown less than some of the other Smartphone-related sites out there. We’re bigger just because we had a multi-year head start.

We are writing this because, like a lot of people, we constantly worry about the quality of posts on XDA. Some people suggest to us that quality has been deteriorating (or rather, the number of junk posts have been increasing), and honestly, maybe those people have a point. We want to make our developers feel at home. We want to make sure that good members of the community–those who offer to help and even those who respectfully ask for help–enjoy their time here. There is a cost of growth, and that cost is the crappy, rude posts that too often fill the forums.

No matter what we do, some people are going to complain, despite the best efforts of our fantastic moderator team. Some people want us to support all devices (actually, just the device they happen to have purchased yesterday); others want us to focus. Some people think the moderators have too much power; then they complain that certain forums are a mess. XDA has zero full-time employees. It’s a massive challenge running this site, and we do the best we can.

Our stance is that we have a responsibility not to act as dictators. This is not our community… it is yours. We’ve debated shutting the site to new registrations. But really, what gives us the right to turn away the future generation of developers? We’ve debated adding fewer devices. But why should someone be turned from XDA just because they bought a Motorola phone instead of an HTC phone?

We’ve struggled for a long time thinking about how to solve the quality issues here. One way would be to constantly beg users to be nice to one another, always search before posting, etc, etc. We can try this, but realistically, this is the Internet; people act how they want to act.

So what’s the plan? To make incremental changes that will hopefully impact XDA for the better. Our first change is this: only users with 10 posts (or more) will be allowed to post to any development-related forum. Users with 9 or fewer will be able to read, but not post. This change will happen within the next week. We hope it will dramatically cut down on the crap. It takes some small bit of effort to get to 10 posts on XDA. Hopefully those who make it to 10 are among the “better” users here. This will ONLY impact the development-related forums. All other forums will be open to everyone.

The good news: we might be a huge site, but we’re a small team. If this change hurts XDA, we’ll figure it out pretty quickly and revert back. If it helps, we’ll work on other changes. My guess is that these small tweaks will make a big difference.

Thanks to everyone for reading. Happy 2011. And please, please, please be nice to one another =D

Thanks,
Admins and Mods

P.S. Want to discuss this?


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