What should I do if I believe users are just saying things to make me look bad? This happened with NoneOfYourBuisness and now it's happening with me. I don't want to delete my account because I want to help people. What should I do?
I'm Grace Note, a Stack Exchange Community Manager. I'd like to address the portions of this question that have yet to be addressed by the community... which is to say the whole of it. Let's dispense with specifics of an individual and march onwards to the inquiry given!
I want to start off that at its core, our model behaves like an adaptation of the golden rule of debates - Never target a person, always target the argument. In our case, we'd sub "argument" for "contribution", being questions and answers. Users themselves only have reputation, which can only exist in a positive value. Votes can only be applied to contributions, and the reasoning behind votes should likewise follow suit. The first response to receiving downvotes should be to check if there is work to be done to reverse them. Most users on the network operate within our guidelines.
For the above reasons, thus, personal defamation isn't all that tolerable. In some cases, if not meant to be explicitly malicious, users may go overboard in their treatment without realizing the harm they're causing. If, be it in comments or chats, you feel that users reach a point where they are attacking not your content, but you as a person, then this is not appropriate. What are reasonable approaches to this?
Our focus as a network is on content, not people. But this applies to how the mechanics of the site work, and while we're in the realm of the mechanics, we all do our best to follow this. But when we're outside the realm of the mechanics, we're still a community, and one of people. We all have the capability of offering each other due respect, so let us exercise this in our engagements, on both sides of any of these kinds of encounters.
I'll be blunt: I've noticed a pattern with your contributions, and I don't like what I see. You tend to post several questions and answers within a very small period of time. This means your overall quantity is high, but your average quality is incredibly low. If the serial downvoting script is getting triggered because a single user is posting such quantity of low quality contributions in a short period of time, I'm of the opinion that we, as a community, need to do something. My view is that the problem is your contributions.
You also like to answer bounty questions with answers that don't source anything, and very often turn out to be wrong. That tells me you're not here to help, but to gain rep. This is not the focus you should have, as rep will happen organically with high quality contributions. It will come even faster, actually, than just flooding the site with lots of low quality questions and answers.
I've taken the liberty of going through a few of your contributions to give some critique on them:
I honestly have no idea if this answer is correct or not; I haven't voted on it at all. I've tried to point you in the right direction, but you seem to focus more on appeasing the commenters than providing correct information.
You then deleted it and re-posted it, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. Your duplicate answer I did downvote, because you didn't re-post it to make it better. You reposted it to get rid of the downvotes already on it. That's a straightforward abuse of the system, and a classic example of bounty hunting.
This one's kinda borderline. You've shown what you've tried, so that's good. What's bad is that you've repeated the title in the body, and without that, your question is a one-liner. We like a little more context and effort shown than just that. It doesn't need to be much, but if your entire question can fit into a single line, that's usually a good indicator that you need to flesh it out a little more.
This one I did downvote, because I see no usefulness at all to it. Add in the lack of effort prior to asking, and we have the reason why this is at a negative score. Doing a little bit of research before asking would've prevented this.
This one's alright. It displays a misunderstanding of how the system works, which gets resolved in the answer. We specialize in ensuring people get their facts straight when they misunderstand them. You could flesh this out a bit more, but adding more details would've probably indicated that what you think is happening, wasn't.
This one is out and out wrong. You did barely any research before answering, and didn't provide a source for your information at all. Most likely because I believe you didn't actually do any. If anything, this answer should be deleted.
You answered this question with zero research. You don't play the game at all, as the answer makes rather obvious. This, too, was a case of bounty hunting.
For the most part, you ARE gaining rep, in spite of your contributions. If you want to be a valued member of the community, try to follow these steps:
All of this boils down to investing effort into your contributions. We WANT users that spend time making the best answers they can. We DON'T want users that answer stuff solely to gain rep.
For the record, I like you. You seem to be a pretty decent member of this community, you actively try and find out what it is that you're doing wrong so you can fix it (such as this question here), and you seem to love minecraft, which in my books is a big plus :).
However, as other people are saying, your questions & answers could use some improvement. I'm going to lay out how I write questions and answers as an example - there are other ways to phrase your Q&As, but generally this is what works for me:
Example (bold are links):
How do I do the thing?
In Awesome Game Title 2: Extreme Edition, there is a section of the level where X happens. You can get here by opening 3 doors, talking to Mr Z, and performing a somersault into this wall.
Here is some stuff online, that relates to the question about the thing. I've also tried blorking the thing, sporking the thing, and even torqing the thing, but to no avail.
Even knowing XYZ about the thing, it still doesn't Blork correctly. Is there something I'm missing?
As a real-world example: Is it possible to stop the Madman from escaping his yacht?
Generally, I try to remember that we are trying to solve a problem the user is facing. Even if the answer is "No, it's not possible", I at least try and find a workaround solution that may help them. In some cases, it even may be exactly what they're after anyway, and they just couldn't phrase it that way in the question themselves!
Again, this can be a lot like writing an essay (Introduction, Body, Conclusion), however, if the answer boils down to Yes/No, I generally put that in the first sentence. After all, that's what they're after. In any case, just make sure to back up your answer with links, and quotes (and links to the quotes). Images and videos are nice, but should only add to your answer, not be the sole source of it.
Examples (bold are links again):
You've got to have the Sword of Neverending Awesome before attempting to Blork the Thing. Otherwise, Mr Z won't open the fourth door, which is key to all of this.
To get the Sword of Neverending Awesome, head to QwertyTown, and order a mead from the local innkeeper. Perform 5 somersaults, one on each table in the Pub. You'll get the achievement "Move your body" (If you haven't already), and one of the QwertyTownians will present you with the sword.
Here is a short video, detailing the process: (Video embed)
(This question technically calls for a Yes/No answer)
Yes, it is possible. You'll need the Boots of Extreme Comfiness, and need to have levelled your charater's Springiness attribute to 11.
(Most people would stop here, however, as I mentioned earlier, we're here to solve a problem the user is facing. I would then continue:
You can get the boots from the Shopkeeper in QwertyTown on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here's the wiki link for the boots.
As for levelling your character's springiness, I've found it easiest to complete the training grounds in the Krazy Kaverns first (an instant +5 to both Springiness and Awesomeness). The rest you can gain through side quests. See the attributes wiki, which lists ways to increase stats quickly
Every answer is different of course. This is just a general guide.
One last point: Humor can go a long way (but shouldn't be the entire focus of the question/answer). See: