Before reading the following please understand this is not intended to start a flame war or any great debate. What I express herein is a legitimate concern however minor it may seem. My intent is to present a logical argument and nothing more. Oh sorry ahead of time its a bit lengthy.
I have been using blender for various things for sometime now. Up until recently I have found everything I needed either in a tutorial or in the docs, occasionally I use a forum here and there for research. But now I have been trying to learn how to use the sequence editor and the node editor for video editing and composition. I could not find the information I needed. So following the advice in the community section I went to blenderartists.org as it is listed as a "friendly" forum to get support. After searching for a while I had not found the precise information I was looking for however I did see a post which had not received a reply. I had some information which may have helped this person so I signed up and posted a response. That post did show up. This morning someone had replied to my post correcting me on a point, and that person was correct blender does support 29.97 ntsc as of 2.46 via base fps divisor.
Here is where the problems begin. I attempted to reply to that person thanking him for the info. As I posted I received a message saying the post must be approved by the moderator. I tried a repost thinking it was a session timeout issue, my new post showed up but then vanished after trying to change "tot he" to "to the" via the edit function.
I went to look in the Website & Forum forum under the support section and the first non sticky topic spoke to my problem. I was not the only one in fact there were several other posts about this problem. One such post referenced another thread found here http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=130409 In that post moderator OTO explains the new user policy for posting.
Following those instructions I posted and included a link to the topic which contained my missing posts. Well guess what, that post does not show up either. You can't even post to the support thread about invisible posts. Irony in action. Furthermore that thread indicates that some posts have not been approved and are still missing weeks later. That thread itself dates back to July 17th. What is even more troublesome is we can have no idea how many users are having this problem since they can not even post to get forum support.Hello
new users posts need to be approved now, it's a quite great amount of work!
If you still have posts "invisible", post links here, please!
Yes approving every post is in dead a great amount of work and if they are not up to that task, which would require 24/7 moderation of every forum, they should not use such a policy and find another method for weeding out spam. There are many solutions which do not require a manual touch.
Furthermore there seems to be some inconsistency as some posts show up immediately for no reason, so we cannot be sure it is a policy and not a technical issue which they are unable to identify.
This situation is frustrating at best. The moderators are non communicative. The quote above is the only moderator response in that thread, despite several questions raised.
I cannot begin to tell how much I love blender as a program. I can not use other apps I have problems with the interface since the first 3d app I used was blender. Indeed the interface is intuitive if you have not learned the dogmatic approach of other programs. It is this reason that I am so concerned by the current state of blenderartists.org forums as a recommended source of support and information.
Imagine yourself as a new user of blender and you go to blender artists as suggested. You search and search maybe you find the info maybe you don't or possibly you find it but have additional questions. You go to post your questions only to find that your post may not be visible for week on end and perhaps never. When you try to get help on the forums, your told to post a message that does not show up either. What level of frustration do you think the new user may experience and what outcome will that generate? If I were not a software engineer and instead lets say I was just an artist or animator ect... without a great deal of technical knowledge. I would likely be downloading Maya PLE 8.5 right now and say bye to blender. But I am a software engineer so worse comes to worse Ill just spend some time looking through the source to figure things out. But those without such skills may not have the patience to wait it out.
The purpose of a forum is to communicate. The ability to post does not Guarantee you a response or a solution. But what it does guarantee is the potential for a response. Its the age old question if a tree fall is the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound. In the case of the forum no it does not make a sound nor can you verify the tree exists in the first place. From a design perspective the usability of a system is critical, as a forum it is currently not functional at least for new users.
Just as giving someone a job reference reflects upon yourself, the resources and tools which blender.org recommends to its users reflects back to blender.org and Blender3d itself, regardless of whether or not such a reflection is valid, most people still relate such things. I would hate to see blender lose new users from frustration or just in spite of an interacting with a third party product.
Perhaps at sometime blenderartists.org was a mighty resource for blender. Today it remains a good source of information however the forums are currently not interactive.
As described on this site
As this is in no way accurate for a new user,One of the most active independent user sites, with excellent forums for support.
I would respectfully request either Blenderartist.org be removed from the blender.org site from both the user community heading and the blender.org forum index or both locations have an updated description in bold Warning user of the inability to communicate using their forums and as such the site may only server as a non-interactive source of information, until such a time when the situation is verifiably ratified.
I understand if this is not well received or if it is not viewed as a concern by others, I respect that and do not intend to push this any further than what I have stated.
Thank you for you time.