Saturday, December 10, 2005

Anonymous XODPers Must Now Post to the XODP Blog

For several years now, I have dutifully sifted through the messages posted to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to make sure that anonymous posters and other moderated posters have an opportunity to contribute to XODP discussions. And with rare exceptions, I have allowed most people who post regularly to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to post unmoderated because I often take up to 48 hours to check on pending messages. Beyond that, I have allowed virtually all other posts to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup but the most obvious spam to go through. However, the time to change XODP's posting policy is now long overdue. As such, in a matter of days (if not hours), I will change the posting policy on the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to disallow anonymous posts, thereby requiring anonymous posters to post to the XODP Blog if they wish to have their voices heard.

This imminent policy change will be the next step in an ongoing transition process that is far from complete, and may never be complete. However, a few months ago, I quietly started posting virtually all of my XODP posts to the XODP Blog and then reposting them from there to the XODP Yahoo! eGroup. My objectives were and are to improve XODP's overall noise to signal ratio and to reduce the amount of time that I spend monitoring XODP discussions while making sure that XODP remains accessible to those who wish to use it as a free speech forum. And while there are many advantages that a blog format has over a Yahoo! eGroup, the one that invites this particular policy change is the fact that Blogger has an option for verifying that anonymous posts are not automated spam.

In a larger context, as the founder of XODP, I am informed by one of the guiding principles set forth by Jimbo Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, in his Statement of Principles for Wikipedia. To wit, "Any changes to [Wikipedia's] software must be gradual and reversible," and the same thing holds true for the format of XODP. One of the next steps in the transition from the XODP Yahoo! eGroup to XODP Blog will be the completion of an up to date archive for all XODP Yahoo! eGroup posts on the XODP.NET domain. However, that could take months (or years) to complete, as much higher on my list of priorities right now is the revision of my various USENET FAQs, which have been on the back burner for several years as I addressed the needs of my paying clients. As always, stay tuned for further developments.

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