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So How does PF operate? If you don't mind me asking

  1. Dec 24, 2007 #1
    First off, I love this site. Great work to whomever came up with the idea. I love the PF focus on legitimacy of knowledge.

    I was just curious, have all the mentors met personally or did you collaborate online?

    How do you go about recruiting HW helpers? I assume they are compensated? How does PF generate money to do so? Is it via member contributions and the banner ads?

    I was just curious about your operation. I have noticed little things that peaked my curiosity, like the fact that Dick has over 4000 posts but is not the author of any of them.

    Stuff like that.
    Forgive me if I am prying:redface:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    Electrons and photons mostly. :biggrin:
     
  4. Dec 24, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    This is an all volunteer site. No one gets paid, Homework Helpers help for free out of a love for learning and the kindness and generosity in their hearts to share their knowledge. No one, not the admins, the mentors, nor the science advisors make a cent either.

    PF is a beautiful example of people coming together to create something with the purpose to help, to learn, and to create a sense of community among people that share a love of science and not for monetary gain.

    To answer your other questions, some mentors have met, some haven't. We have mentors around the world.

    We don't recruit homework helpers. We recognize members here that have displayed the characteristics mentioned above.

    When you say that Dick is not the author of his posts, do you mean that he is citing appropriate peer reviewed work that would answer a person's question?
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007
  5. Dec 24, 2007 #4
    I think he means that Dick has never started a thread, but only responed to others', or at least a search would lead one to believe that.
     
  6. Dec 24, 2007 #5

    Evo

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    If he's helping with homework, that would make sense.
     
  7. Dec 24, 2007 #6

    Astronuc

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    Which is primarily the case.
     
  8. Dec 24, 2007 #7

    G01

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    As Evo said, this is an all volunteer site. The origin of PF was, if I know as much PF history as I think I do, as an extra credit project for Greg Bernhardt's high school physics class back in 2003. That was way before my time here, but it's always good to know your roots!

    Greg, along with chroot, are the admins here and they keep the site functioning (as I like to think, they are the ones who constantly keep the server from exploding), and do a fine job at it. The mentors are the ones who keep the forums from exploding into incoherent babble and insult wars. The homework helpers are the ones who keep the Homework forums from exploding into "Do my homework for me" sessions. And last, but surely not least, the science advisers keep the science forums from exploding into "Quantum Physics lets me control things with my mind" discussions.

    In short, PF functions around the common belief that explosions are bad.:biggrin:

    For a list of the people who help keep PF running in their own way, check out the "staff" link at the top of the page.
     
  9. Dec 24, 2007 #8

    Evo

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    By jove, I've think he's got it!!!! :approve:
     
  10. Dec 24, 2007 #9

    G01

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    I believe I just created the "golden rule" of PF!

    Now we can replace that long list of rules members agree to with the following:

    In order to become a member of the PF community you must agree with the following PF philosophy and rules:


    Explosions are bad.


    Agree Disagree
     
  11. Dec 24, 2007 #10

    Evo

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    :rofl: :rofl:

    I think that would have a much greater impact!

    Hey, you survived your Christmas party!
     
  12. Dec 24, 2007 #11

    G01

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    It was tough, but I made it out alive! Whenever someone started to annoy me, I decided to focus all my attention on the Christmas cookies I was shoving down my throat!

    Now I only need to make it through one more party tomorrow!:yuck: At least this one is not at my house.
     
  13. Dec 24, 2007 #12
    Wow, amazing that with 4000+ posts that Dick has not started a thread of his own! He has helped me numerous times with homework questions! Here's to Dick! :approve:
     
  14. Dec 24, 2007 #13
    I'm curious about the evolution of this site. How did it go from a physics class project to what it is today? What was done to keep it on track in the beginning, before the mentors were selected? I'd guess that Greg and Chroot had a much more hands on role then. How were the PF guidelines chosen? How did this site attract the attention of so many knowledgeable people?
     
  15. Dec 24, 2007 #14
    I get paid, I just dont tell anyone. Thank you PAYPAL.
     
  16. Dec 24, 2007 #15
    I was into web design and the internet culture long before my physics project. For a reason lost to me now I decided to stick with it and actually try to make it work. Afterall what I showed my teacher was nothing more than a default install with a couple forums and a few posts lol. Early on I found people like Monique and Phobos. They are the original mentors. However, the forums were not at all on track in the beginning. I even had crackpots as mentors as I didn't have a background in physics or had support to make such decisions. But like I said in Tom Mattson's retirement thread, once he was on board everything started to change. He helped create a structure and philosophy that was quality oriented. chroot was actually recruited from another forum. He was brought on as admin once I recognized he was very good at programming and server management. The guidelines are something that is discussed between the staff. What you see today is the result of a lot of learning and trial and error. Always changed or tweaked with the goal of bettering the site. A site like PF is rare and when someone sees quality like this they tend to tell their friends about it. We also try our best to filter out the jokers and crackpots. You'd be surprised how many members we have banned, all with good reason. So really the only credit I can give myself, is that I'm darn good at surrounding myself with the best advisors around. So the phrase, it's not what you know, but who you know. That is the key to my own personal success in PF :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2007
  17. Dec 25, 2007 #16
    Evo: It does make sense if he's helping with HW. But what struck me as odd and gave me the impression that HW helpers were compensated was that's all he does! He has not started one thread of his own. And sad to say, it struck me as odd. That is, I found it odd that someone, and now I have realised that you all do the same, would willingly volunteer their time helping others and not expect anything in return.

    Unfortunately, IMO, the world we live in does not lend itself to this kind of thinking all too often.

    Well, here's to Greg and all the rest of the crew; I do not know what I would do without you. Merry Christmas! And happy other respective Holidays, whatever they may be.

    Keep up the phenomenal work. Maybe I'll have the pleasure of meeting some of you someday.

    Casey
     
  18. Dec 25, 2007 #17

    Astronuc

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    There is the satisfaction of working with people, particularly in the HW sections, and seeing them be successful. In the HW section, the objective is to work someone through a problem so that not only will they obtain the correct answer, but they will understand the math and physics of the problem.

    In the other forums, it is a matter of providing quality information and exchanging ideas. There are quite a few academics and professionals participating in PF.
     
  19. Dec 25, 2007 #18

    ZapperZ

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    I would consider someone like that as extremely unselfish. Considering the fact that he's here only to offer help to others makes us feel lucky to have someone like that on board.

    Zz.
     
  20. Dec 25, 2007 #19
    Someone who knows Dick should tell him about being complimented here...

    (Hey... cool future PF feature: posts will be scanned against the members list and subscription to a thread will be triggered for members mentioned in it so they know when their ears should be burning. :cool:)
     
  21. Dec 25, 2007 #20
    Here here! (That's what people say when they toast right?)
     
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