GrabCAD Community User Group

Created by Anna Skopenko on 10 January, 2018

Any word on the September 13-16 discussions? Any changes or improvements we can look forward to?

I wasn't able to attend due to a class. I'll post my suggestions below. Maybe other members had input for the meeting they'd like to share?

GrabCAD has been in slow decline for a decade.

I feel GrabCAD peaked back in 2012 or so when Hans de Ridder was active in the Questions section. Intelligent questions were asked. Detailed articulate answers were supplied. Sometimes there was additional dialog to better define the issue/solution. But Hans eventually stopped answering questions as the quality seemingly went down. It was around then that I started answering a lot of the questions. But as I said, the quality of question posted has only gone down.

A possibility for a decrease in content quality could come from more mobile users. Many posts have little more than a broken sentence posted but they are for subjects that could require paragraphs of answer. If people can't be bothered to write a complete thought and supply screenshots or models, I can't be bothered to write a reply let alone a long reply. No doubt some comes from a language barrier in some cases. GrabCAD could implement a built in translation option?

There's confusion on GrabCAD regarding the Question section and the Groups section. There's a lot of overlap between the two. Even more with Groups now prompting where a post is a question or a discussion... How do users decide where to post anything? Spam and self promotion (got look at the tutorial/model I just uploaded) need to be stopped. Cross posting to multiple groups needs to stop. Posting to unrelated groups needs to stop. A lot of this is up to moderators/owners to fix but a lot of them are now absent I suspect.

Tutorials are mostly turned to garbage. They are mostly a redirect to YouTube. Other tutorials have broken or very basic information.

The Library is GrabCADs best asset but it is also filled with a lot of crap. Not to mention dozens of duplicate models as someone models and uploads the same tutorial made by 100 previous members.

Then there are GrabCAD systems like badges that have been broken for years. Different text editors used between the Question and Group sections. The ability to upload files to Questions and some Group posts but not all Group posts... Overall it comes off as a collection of half implemented systems with no plan for how they interact with each other.

How does it get fixed? Hopefully the meeting next week will bring up some suggestions.

I feel there's a wide difference between the goals of GrabCAD and the users of GrabCAD.

I suggest a method to "approve" content for posting. Take a Tutorial for example. All submissions end up in the Tutorial section by default. You get good, bad, and spam all day long. Instead send the content to a "buffer" where it needs to acquire X number of "approvals" before it travels to the Tutorial section proper. A site like Imgur uses such a system. You can browse the user submissions and vote them up/down. Or you can browse the curated content and not wade through as much garbage. No doubt fake accounts will be setup to approve spam and other crap but that's perfect. When content with conflicting up/down votes are found the content can be reviewed and the accounts upvoting spam/garbage can be removed at the same time. Or at a minimum their voting privileges are revoked.

The same system can work for the Library and Question sections. Hopefully as people submit crap and discover it is not being posted to the site they'll work to create better content which will get through the "buffer".

Groups are the wild west at this point with absent moderators. I think there needs to be a mechanism to purge groups with no posts in 6 months. Moderators need the ability to delete their own groups too. Groups are weird. I see a value for them but feel changes are needed to better distinguish them from the Question section (or remove the Question section).

That's some thoughts on the topic. I hope improvements can be made as GrabCAD was a site I'd visit daily. Now I visit once a month or so. I've seen other members like TrinitySCSP delete their account(?).

One of 9,000,000,000 isn't a big deal but that member count needs to be examined and broken into active users, real accounts, and dead accounts. I think the majority are dead accounts but there's no telling until it is examined. In my estimate you lost one of your top 10 members when TrinitySCSP left.