I often see new users make posts which get closed and then their topic gets closed because it’s in the wrong category. The problem is that the mods always close with the same “canned reply”. I’ve even see other users such as regulars use it even though they’re not mods.
It simply gets very annoying to always read the same old canned reply, and it just doesn’t link to the topic at all.
Pretend you’re a new user who wants to make an event but posts it in #live instead of #live:events because they’re not TL2. Imagine that user just spent an hour working on their event to make it look as nice and attractive and possible. Then, as soon as they post it it gets closed and the canned reply is given by the mods. The user will most likely think “what about my topic?”. Like it doesn’t say anything at all regarding the actual topic and the user will most likely feel a bit intimidated as they’ll feel all their work went down the drain.
I’m simply posting this to suggest that mods try to change the canned replies, and when they use, to change it a bit so it looks like the post. So in the example I gave above, the mods could close the topic with something like, “Hey I see you made what looks like a really cool looking event there, but unfortunately I’ll have to close it as it’s in the wrong category.”. I mean, at least the user will see the mods actually took time to read and praise their topic, as well as giving them help.
I don’t think it would require a lot of effort to do small changes like this, and I do think it would make a big difference towards new users.
Not the greatest example, reading the guidlines shouldn’t be too difficult as stated by @Kamryn. Canned replies are the most effective way to guide users towards what they should be doing, rather than what they have made a mistake on.
I remember I saw a post where someone wanted to show their spotting photos but they didn’t have the TL to post in #real-world-aviation:spotting. The topic was closed with the canned reply. In this case, the mods could have closed the topic by saying something like “Hey nice photos, but unfortunately I’ll have to close this as it’s in the wrong category”.
To be honest I don’t mind canned replies. They provide the user with all the basic information they need. I see that the issue you bring up isn’t actually about canned replies, it’s about them being ‘nicer’?
In other words if we just add something like “Heya! Great photos/event idea/bla bla” before posting the canned reply, that’ll be fine?
The easy thing is to utilize the flag feature and let the moderators take action if needed. Many times there is more direct communication via PM that you may not see with topic actions, especially with new users.
To be honest I personally can’t see where there was a canned response there. This is not the first time you have made a topic about a subject somewhat similar to this. While I understand from your point of view you may be raising awareness to some sort of issue or topic you feel needs attention, a lot of the time the things you may talk about have very specific reasons for.
Moderators have a lot on their hands, which I am sure you know you’ve been on the forum for 2 years. So when you have a moderator that has to deal with situations most of the IFC doesn’t know about, VA situations, community support topics, and horrible and nasty PM’s they get harassing them, sometimes it is okay to be straightforward with an answer, especially if that answer takes two clicks to find the answer to.
Just my opinion on this matter, do what you think is important, that is one thing I can tell you for life in general. Everyone’s opinion is important. Just make sure that you really give it a hard once-over before you post it to 50,000 people.
But what you don’t always see is that those canned replies are looked at from time to time and if they no longer make sense, they get updated.
It’s also rare that we just post the canned reply as is without editing, most of us change it slightly to make sense if we choose to use it. Why would we choose to use a canned reply over typing out the message, well thats good question. Canned replies often contain useful information and linked to more useful information that could help a user’s topic be more successful next time.
Additionally, we will sometimes try to write personal closing statements on topics where they are visible to other people. Here are a few examples.
As for canned replies to flags behind the scenes, it’s simply not feasible to make them personal from a bureaucratic perspective. Our time and energy need to be devoted to issues and replies that warrant personal attention from us.