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Make the Location (where you live) field compulsory at signing up

By RealBlackStuff · 28 replies
Apr 18, 2006
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  1. There are a lot of questions asked all over the forums, where it would be so much handier if we could at least SEE in what country the poster resides.
    Possible to make the Location-field in the user-profile compulsory?
  2. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    I think the proportion of threads,where the location of a poster is relevant,is very small.
    It would be wrong to make something compulsory on that basis.

    Furthermore,it might encourage people to start swapping personal anecdotes and predjudices,and we certainly
    don`t want that on Techspot.:) Optional is best.
  3. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    I agree with RBS. It would make things a lot easier, if we knew the location of the member concerned, before hand.

    I have had to alter many of my posts, because it turned out the member I was trying to help was in another part of the world. Where they have a different monetary system, or different voltage/electricity system. For Example. It`s no use advising someone to buy from newegg, if they live in the uk.

    As for people showing prejudice, particularly of a racial kind. If that ever happens, the person concerned would be banned immediately.

    Regards Howard :)
  4. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    I`ve looked back over your last 200 posts,Howard.I couldn`t find one where location was even
    close to being relevant.I don`t want to sound like a liberal,but you`ll need a stronger case than
    this,before we remove people`s right to be totally anonymous.:)
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I agree with Peddant. Is my location now ok? :p
  6. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    My last 200 posts only go back about 4 or 5 days, so I don`t think that is a fair representation of my 7000+ posts.

    In the Who do you live near thread. Members openly discuss where they are from. As far as I`m aware ther haven`t been any cases of prejudice shown.

    It`s not about removing peoples right to anonymity. we`re not asking for names, addresses or social security numbers, but merely a location.

    Lots of members as you have yourself, give some sort of location without any problems at all.

    Obviously, you`re entitled to your opinon, as I am to mine.

    I just think it`d help to make things a little easier around here.

    Regards Howard :)
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Just my grumpy ¢2..

    I personally am most irritated by compulsory fields in forms (WTF is a webpage asking my maritial status for) and I always fill them with rubbish (a la Ms George Nodsington from Mongolia, street address Branch 2, Tree 3, 12345 Big Woods). (My profile on TS is correct of course)

    I think anyone willing to give out their location usually does so already and the rest would probably be "humorous" stuff like "over here" and "your mom".

    Besides, how would one force the existing members to fix their profiles? And if we didn't, then wouldn't this be discriminatory against new members?
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    c'mon i like my location. :D

    I agree with nodsu. But i do see the point RBS and Howard are making. Though Call...

    Im a yank BTW
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,503

    We could always do a WHOIS on the user's IP, but that's a pain in the proverbial!
    Indicating your country should not infringe on people's rights to be anonymous!
    Anyway, I just tried to be helpful.
  10. Jimbo420

    Jimbo420 TS Rookie Posts: 356

    I see good points on both sides of this discussion. Although I think I have agree with RBS with here even if country is required that information is harder to use to find info about someone then if you have thier IP address. Which given the time you can track down and get all sort of info about a person, and even though it doesn't always come up it would sometimes it doesn make a different as Howard said when suggested where to order parts from or in knowing what kind of power someone is dealing with. Still would be someones choice if they wanted to put something more then just the country in the location field.
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Personally I think it's great when the location feild is filled out. It's useful to know whether there's a language barrier to be crossed sometimes, or for example, if someone's asking a question about broadband, the systems in the UK and US are somewhat different, etc.
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    We could put a kind request in the guidelines, but then again, no one ever reads those :p

    Maybe integrate whois or simple reverse DNS into the forums, so that the location info or domain name is retrieved and displayed alongside the user's IP address?
  13. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    I'm in for having the info, as minimal as it is.
    So many post for help in purchase of componants, not knowing they're in BFE and can not use online sales or have no local shops to send them to.
    Mentioning the third world members, where things get dicey, like Argentina or Venezuela, up to three times the purchase amount to use credit card just in tariffs.
    I believe this is a just cause for helping others better. IMO

    edit: BTW, couldn't that be auto populated by reverse dns?
  14. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,379   +799

    Although under ideal circumstances I would like to have the location field populated as much as you do, here you have two reasons why it's better left alone (not enforced):

    1) If we make the field mandatory at registration, users will feel less likely to register. They may believe the information will be used against their privacy, and ultimately, it would be harder to validate for a valid country and not just rubbish input there.

    2) IP/DNS lookup... requires some CPU time and further coding. It may also be seen as a threat to privacy.

    Finally I believe we should concentrate on keeping this place at its best, making it more appealing for potential valuable members, which will result in increased interest and participation. Neither of you posting here were enforced or told to post your location but you felt it was good in a community-sense kind of thing... that's what we are looking for! :)
  15. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Point well taken for me.
    People do need to know they really are welcome and not threatened by TS.
    I can easily resolve myself to ask when needed, as with other suggestions similar to this.

    What I really like is, TS doesn't even discourage us from making these suggestions. There is a sense of Community.
    I One day, hope to make a useful suggestion, as I know RBS and the rest of you have. For now I will continue making my contributions as best I can.
    Thank you
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I think have an age/gender population would also be helpful. Sometimes it is hard to tell if you're dealing with a juvenile or an adult. Of course this would be voluntary.
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    unless they post their street address, I don't really think there is a concern about privacy..... unless they live in a really small town.

    heck, just listing a city or state is good enough.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Age can be determined by the voluntary information they have in their profile about birth date.

    Its pretty safe to assume the person you are talking to is male. Its pretty rare to have a female appear here, and if one does, its usually clear by their user name or what they put in their post, ex - ".... my boyfriend....".
  19. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I think it should be voluntary for most details, but I have to admit I like the idea of knowing the person's country. If only for helping me type more clearly and not use US/Canada jargon/slang for ease of typing.

    For example if the guy is from Singapore and I say " Open that puppy and feel how hot it is", who knows what he might think.
  20. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I'm not from any Asian country yet even I don't know how to feel. :p

    But seriously, this should tell you that this is the type of language to avoid using a help forum regardless.
  21. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Now that I think more about it, we have alot of members from countries that do not enjoy freedoms we somtimes, tend to take for granted.

    It's one thing to have my nosey *** next door hacking my wan...
    it's quite another to have one's own Gov. doing it. Or even the company they work for.

    I see where real privacy should be guarded for those that need it.
    What the heck, I still ask the easy questions just because I do want to help.
    We do get a lot of 2-10 post hit and runs, and why not?

    I'm liking the even handed manner here much more.
    You guys are showing how much you do care, just with a thread like this..

    prop's to you!
  22. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Member's locations

    Why is it that most people don't tell is where they are? Half the fun of this is the global element and it's not as if we are giving anything away!
  23. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    This was discussed last year, see HERE.

    Regards Howard :)
  24. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Yes, it's annoying sometimes, but you can't force people to fill it in. Besides, it won't really change the way I (most others) answer any questions.
  25. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,379   +799

    I agree that it would be awesome to know the location of members but that along with many other profile info is opt-in, so it will depend on the person and how sensitive he is about his privacy online.

    As poert said, the forum can function at its core without that information.

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