Odd Pieces
of Info






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by robin-of-lox

Assorted tid-bits of information, history, and archive of the "welcome to alt.discuss" ClubWebTV column.

Tidbits Page 2

History of Moderated Groups

This was a post in news:alt.discuss.config answering a question about the fact that the moderated newsgroup alt.discuss.mod.internet was about to be deleted. It has been generously supplied to be archived here by Return-To-Oz (There's no place like home).

Group: alt.discuss.config
Date: Sun, Mar 7, 1999, 10:53am (MST+1)
From: Return-To-Oz@webtv.net (There's no place like home)
Re: A little "Mod" Groups history

  When we first got individual groups (after the removal of webtv .talk - the creation of the original w.groups that later became alt.discuss), groups were set up manually by request. If the request was reasonable and had had some apparent support, it was set up. For those initial groups, the offer of moderation was made. 3 or 4 people took them up on that offer (the ones I can remember are a religious group, mod.internet and mod.advice).

The person volunteering to moderate dedicated one of their user accounts to the group. Posts made to that group were automatically sent to that address. The person would then read the posts and if approving them, forwarded them to a corp address that was aliased back to the group and they would be posted.

The person who originally moderated mod.internet quit for whatever reason, but it was during the period that there was still manual administration of the groups and another person was set up to handle this (remember, a complete changing of the addresses had to be made to send the posts to and aliased back). After we were switched to the alt.discuss.groups and an automated system (actually, for a while there, there was no mechanism for creating new groups and the person who had been working so diligently with us was removed from doing so), part of the new system was there would not be any more moderated groups. For one thing, there is no way to set up the addresses and aliases automatically, and another, I got the impression that the bosses were not too happy with that particular use of the company's computers in the first place. They were nice enough (and frankly I was surprised) that they allowed the existing mod groups to remain.

The person moderating the religious group left WebTV. No clue what the deal is with the person that was moderating mod.internet. The moderators of mod.advice are apparently still committed and it's our only remaining moderated group.

Given the record of 90%+ of new group proposals are hasty "want it now" and tossed aside after a month or so, the headache of administering moderators would be too much of a mess if they were offered and someone had to constantly set up and change moderator lines. Kinda defeats the automatic thing.

There are MANY free discussion board services that allow moderation and retro-moderation (meaning you can let posts be automatic, but later remove offensive ones) and if you look around, some of them are set up very similarly to the way the newsgroups work. There is even one that lets the most recently posted to thread move up to the top. If you want to have a moderated forum, this is the way you need to do it.

Maybe not what you want, but remember, where we are is a result of subscriber behavior. You can't expect corp to bend over backwards to provide extras to people who have dished out what they have had to deal with for the last 2 years. I think they have been MORE than generous in their resolutions. Not _one_ of the ISPs I have used on my PC offer any kind of group creation.

Enjoy what you have and work with it to make it the best it can be to fit your needs.