05 May 2009

Yeah, I know. 4th in 24 hours.

Sorry to start yet another new thread, but I feel like the issue of the format of this place or whether we should move is something that needs to be addressed.  When I started adding others as authors here, I was a bit afraid that chaos might ensue.  But I'm not a control freak and I don't want this to me "my" blog.  That's why I thought maybe a threaded board would be better - anyone who signs up can create new threads and the threads are in a list.  The one that I signed up for as a possible replacement for this place can be seen here.  On the other hand, it does feel kind of cozy here.  Jay had made the suggestion of 2 parallel threads, but I don't see any way to format this place other than the way it currently is -- a column for posts and a column for gadgets.  Threads are listed in the blog archive.  If I move that to the top of the gadget column, would that make it easier for people to keep track of things?  Honestly, if anyone has suggestions or experience with formatting this stuff, let me know, either below here or by e-mail to:

theWildhack@gmail.com

177 comments:

  1. Hey Montana

    I like the threaded forum idea, but I think you are right about the cosy feel of this place. That ambiance could well be lost in forum format. Just my two penn'orth. x

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  2. Im a little scared of a move but if its the only way then we'll have to i guess, as more and mroe people want to write stuff it is getting a bit messy so we need to think of something.

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  3. Well, I've moved the blog archive to the top of the right-hand column to make it easier to find, but I can't see any way of making a second such list.

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  4. I must say I like the look and feel of this place. The thread you set up looks more 'soulless', and I would rather stay here, I think.

    Is there any way here to close a thread for comment at some point? And can there be a limit imposed on new threads opening while, say, maximum two are still running? Or a time limit of some sort on opening new ones? At the moment we've got 5 threads running, all within the last 36 hours or so.

    Perhaps we could make a self-imposed rule that a new thread can only open when the last two have had at least 48 hours to run? It's dificult, I know, but it seems to me that now things are beginning to fragment and lose focus. And we've got the phonebooth as well!

    I dunno, let's hear what folk think and go from there. Whatever happens, you're doing a great job, montana, and you'll be supported by all, I'm sure.

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  5. I sense some needless sky-falling panic.

    First, WHO exactly is confused (at this point)? There are basically five threads "open".

    New Thread is done (so close it - late responses can be delivered on the more up to date threads, with references/quotes if necessary). Really, how many late responses are there going to be? People should be free to ask the same question, or make the same point, again on the subsequent threads.

    Cinco de Mayo de ditto. Ancient history (oh, how frightfully witty). Close it down.

    Who Is This Poster should never have been a thread in the first place. Imagine if we all started threads like that? Let it run its course, then close it down.

    Setting The Tone is the ongoing conversation thread.

    This thread is about site format. People should stick to that topic. although this could have been discussed on the daily thread. I mean, are we going to serialise the archives in the Sunday Times one day? It's a pub! Half the punters are drunk.

    How about one new thread started every day at midnight (London time), with all previous general threads being closed down at that time?

    That would produce one long continuous conversation, and we'd always know where we were, or where we had to go back to for a quote or information, etc.

    I also suggest that all or most thread-starting privileges be revoked and then carefully issued on the basis of genuine need. Perhaps there could be a small committee (with thread-starting ability) to whom "articles" could be submitted. The criterion for thread-startability would be that the committee thought the thing constituted an article (as opposed to some other piece of bollocks). It wouldn't have to be a good article or anything, just a real attempt at trying to say something.

    The last thing you need is everyone starting threads about nothing. Nothing may be adequately expressed in the comments section of the daily conversational... as usual.

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  6. The daily conversational threads would be headed with the day's date, while the "articles" would have a relevant title.

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  7. Billp - I think your suggestions seem sensible and workable. I just had a look at the dashboard and don't see any way to actually close a post to comments - but a big, bold, "THIS THREAD IS CLOSED" message posted at the bottom would probably do the trick, no?

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  8. Yes, it should, especially if coupled with PLEASE CONTINUE TO POST ON TODAY'S THREAD.

    Anyone who ignored the warning would be ignored
    on the thread.

    If you have the ability to delete posts, you could go back and wipe the offenders every so often. Although, it would be better if you could close the threads down. It sounds basic. Is there a blog help section you can point me to?

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  9. Have a look here:

    http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=42537

    It says you can set the blog to "moderate" (premod) comments after a certain time lapse (1 or 2 days?).

    All you'd do is bin the offenders instead of permitting them. They'd have been warned, so if they lost their comment, it would be their own fault.

    A bit jerry-built, but should serve the purpose until an expert can tell you how to close the blogs daily.

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  10. Meanwhile, little by little, Montana Wildhack becomes a blogging expert...

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  11. If you set the moderation setting to have (late) comments submitted to email, you could make the message:

    "If you submit a post by this medium, it's going straight into the bin. You may, however, post directly to the conversation on today's thread."

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  12. Further...

    http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-howdoi/browse_thread/thread/4a09109b8993a97d/e2ec7dc3d92b70e8?lnk=gst&q=close+comments#e2ec7dc3d92b70e8

    In answer to...

    Is it possible to close the comments -- that is, not allow any more comments -- on a particular post?

    says...

    Go to Postings---->Edit Posts---->Click on Edit link of that particular post---->Bottom frame of Post Editor click on Post and Comment options------->Allow New Comments on this post----->No-------->Publish Post.

    Go Montana Wildhack!

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  13. Also...

    Q. Is there a way to lock comments on a post? I don't want to put the moderation on and I don't want to use Hallo Scan. I just want to close the comments on some posts. Wonder is there a widget or anything allowing this?

    A. Open the post for editing.
    Click Post Options link in bottom frame of post editor.
    Turn off comments.
    Publish.

    or...

    Q. Let's say I have a post in my blog meant only for reference (i.e.: a bibliographic list), and as such, comments are not needed. Can this post (and only this one) be blocked from further comments?

    A. when you create a post, at the bottom you'll see options. click on that, it'll expand, from there you can select if the current post should have comments and/or backlinks

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  14. Might be as well to play around with a test thread (with comments) first, so as to not lose any of my gold.

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  15. Thanks Billp - I'll try it with one of the really old posts. Damn! Why didn't it ever occur to me to look at the Help section?

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  16. BINGO! I can close off the comments! Did it to the "The Mods Must Be Crazy" thread back we had back in February.
    So that's that sorted. Now, what shall we say then - one new general chat thread to start at midnight GMT? (That's good for me - 6 pm, I'm almost always sitting right here then) and one topical article, to go for 48 hours from the time it's posted?

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  17. AS I was up late enough last night to comment on the setting the tone thread before it closed and my name was 'put forward' as a BTL moderator for Cif (as if they would ever countenance such a thing!).

    Mendoza i am very flattered but as i actually believe that it is healthier if opinion, however extreme and unacceptable to me it is, is best left standing.

    I have often been upset by posts but soon realise exactly what I am dealing with as I see others get the same (e.g. Ultima). In the end you get mildly irritated at worst.

    And what is 'line by line rebuttal?' Is it taking each point in a post and arguing against it? If so what's so particularly male about It? I do it all the time. (but then according to Simon Baron-Cohen I have an empathic/organising brain which is neither male nor female! so there you go)

    If you don't do this you will be in danger of taking a sentence out of context and completely loosing the point. A lot of posters do this ignoring or missing the 'on the other hand' for example.

    But no I couldn't do moderating - I'd just leave everybody's post up!

    BTW the old fem idea of being intimidated by discussion and 'dominated by men' is daft anyway. You just get in there and learn to speak your mind. The only person who can talk over me or interrupt is my owm daughter!!! I've net a met a man who could even in the labour party and you get really tough old working class TU types there!

    And on line you can't be interupted can you? (You can ignore the post of course...)

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  18. On threaded posts, I'd be in favour of them. You could then choose to comment or not. Perhaps we could decide how long they stay up?

    It could get a bit crazy otherwise!

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  19. No objections if posts are closed as long as we know in advance if its going to happen. It was posted at 3.35pm yesterday and closed at 5:35 this morning - thats less than 24 hours!

    I came to it this morning and scrolled down to comment on Mendoza's kind suggestion. I haven't read the whole thread (yet). I assumed I could post my reply on another thread and have done so. I am concerned if I've posted on the right one!

    I do think that we should have votes on these things

    How long should a thread be allowed to stand?How many open threads allowed at once?Do we need any more questions?

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  20. Bilp, im not sure about the idea of committees and making it hard to publish articles, i think its quite good here that anyone can, though i agree we need to sort something out to organise everything as it has got messy (and you're right, "Who was this poster" should not have been a thread, i am just desperately trying to remember who the git was).

    If we establish rules on articles, on chat, on threads closing, im sure everyone here can abide by those rules and if they dont - so what, we will see genuine Community Moderation - if someones being a pain in the arse they will be told so, and if they post an article with complete disregard to the time scales etc then Montana can just delete it.

    Rather than a committee i would rather a single person was given control. It would have to be someone of decent moral standing, so that instantly excludes you Billp, me, monkeyfish, Hank, Bitterweed, Swifty and Scherfig, and leaves us with the likes of Montana, Kiz, Annetan and AllyF. Since Montana is alreaedy in place i think its an easy choice - Montana should be the fuhrer (and she's done a cracking job with this place so far).

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  21. Is it just my imagination, or have a few comments just vanished? Hope it's just a tech glitch.

    Reposting of previous comment:

    Montana: Regarding the format thing.

    Thanks for bringing it up, and taking the trouble to set up the example.

    My opinion: the basic thing you’ve already set up works just fine, whether by happy accident or deliberate design.

    I’ve looked at your proposed new example thing and I don’t like it at all.

    I would agree with scherfig’s description of “soulless”, as long as I can lose the second syllable and add two of my own – “sucking”. And billp may be too fond of dystopian sci-fi metaphors, but he’s got a good point too.

    Ads are not exactly a plus, are they? (Note previous discussion)

    Once I found my way into your real “own little world”, it was easy find my way around. The bit I found slightly tricky was opening a google account, and then getting it to say “andysays” rather than “andrew**** “, “anonymous” or just plain “andy”. But now I’m there.

    Having the threads listed in the top right hand corner is good – that is a change since I first arrived isn’t it? – because it makes it slightly easier to find stuff, but it wasn’t that hard before.

    As far as the threads question goes, seems like a good plan to have both specific topic threads and general chatting, rambling and posting youtube links threads. And as you and others have already said, if the general ones are titled according to date, anyone can go back and check stuff if they want too.

    Obviously you’re not going to enforce a strict separation policy; who the fuck needs to delete comments just because they’re “off-topic”? Oh actually there are some people just like that, aren’t there!

    annetan42: if you’d leave everybody’s posts up, you’re exactly the type of Moderator CiF needs, in the interests of “balance” and “diversity” obviously.

    The next time anyone chimes in about domination and bullying, please repeat your points here to the assembled audience there. I’d do it myself, but BTH would just accuse me of being a member of the patriarchy. You’ll be OK, as long as you’ve renewed your “I am a woman” card by now.

    Moving over to “Daily Chat 06/06/09”, even though that requires a leap into the future!

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  22. annetan42's points to which I refer above seem to have vanished

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  23. But now they're back; good.

    Q: Am I spending too much time in front of a computer?

    A: Yes I am

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  24. I'm strongly against removing any comments, its too 'CIF' for my liking - if someone posts on a closed and abandoned thread then they just wont be responded to as people will have moved on. Im sure we can well agree - if a thread is closed, dont post on it, we're all adults.

    It seems the real problem is the mixing of general chat with specific issues/articles - i think they do need to be separated. We all like casual banter but it would be nice to have separate threads where actual things were discussed rather than general chat - save the chat for the chat thread otherwise it really does get confusing as the chat is everywhere.

    Though maybe, Montana, we dont need separate lists for threads, as long as the general chat is always labelled General Chat - but i also like the idea of anyone being able to open the new chat thread and giving it any opening blurb they fancy, and i would favour the 200 thread marker - when it gets to that point, decide on the board someone to start a new one and do it.

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  25. JayReilly: Glad to see you paid attention to my message on the Daily Chat thread!

    We don’t really need hard-and-fast rules, do we. Montana mentioned the idea of etiquette to me somewhere, which I much prefer.

    It’s only because we’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater on that idea that we think we now need Community fucking Moderators. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m not a fan.

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  26. "A true community moderates its own standards and members"

    No copyright. You are free to reproduce and publish this comment anywhere, without citing its source.

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  27. Yep i like "etiquette", much more civil.

    Anyway, recap - whether we start the General Chat after X amount of hours or X number of comments is a minor technicality, the point remains that we will have a General Chat thread (though maybe we could give it a more imaginative title).

    But the more contentious issue seems to be regarding actual articles. If etiquette is observed, and general chat is reserved for General Chat, i dont see what the problem is with allowing people to post whatever articles they fancy. If there's 10 in one day, i dont see the problem - if Chat rules are observed it shouldnt be confusing.

    We'll have to wait for the rest of the reprobates to arrive to hear their views on all this...

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  28. Ditto this, originally posted on the WDYWTTA thread:

    After the banning of WoollyMindedLiberal and JayReilly
    The Editor of Comment is free
    Had an Editor’s blog distributed in the Comment Section
    Stating that the people
    Had thrown away the confidence of the Head of Community Moderation
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the Head of Community Moderation
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

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  29. “We'll have to wait for the rest of the reprobates to arrive to hear their views on all this...”

    As I’m sure they will and we will.

    Later, Jay

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  30. JayReilly: "Rather than a committee i would rather a single person was given control. It would have to be someone of decent moral standing, so that instantly excludes you Billp..."

    That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

    Jay, I think it is wrong to assume that every person who'll ever join (or post as anonymous) on these boards will be fair-minded and "civil". If prior Daily chat threads are left open, they will be open to abuse, i.e., anyone will be able to post anything they want at the bottom of them. Who needs the headache of continually going back to check that all is well in all the dead threads?

    What's wrong with just closing them at midnight, perhaps with a last post directing people to the current Daily Chat thread. Think of it as just page 2, 3, 4... etc., on a Cif talkabout thread. It's not necessary that responses to comments are made on the same physical page.

    I still say that specific topic thread starters should be submitted to someone (MW would be fine), instead of making it a thread-starting free-for-all. Again, the "article" shouldn't be prejudged for worth, but for articleness only.

    I don't think we should litter the place with threads beginning "New Labour - discuss", etc. The idea should be to herd everyone onto basically one specific topic thread at a time. At least for now, until we can see what's going to happen.

    Anyway, I'm glad there's some debate to this. I'll accept whatever evolves.

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  31. I think the problem with allowing 10 specific threads in one day is that overall quality-level will drop, and some threads may not get many posts, and those things may put people off coming here.

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  32. Well i do know how to flatter, Billp...

    Regarding people going back and writing on old threads though, if no one is there to check then its because no one is reading, so what does it matter if people write there? If it says "thread closed" then it should alert people to the fact that its going to be a bit quiet. Maybe things would get out of hand but at the minute everyone here is pretty civil.

    I agree regarfing the page 1,2,3 etc of chat, but just feel it would be better to start a new one when 200 comments is reached rather than a set time, and i also think people should take turns (not strictly or anythign) opening up the new thread with a bit of blurb.

    Im really not sure about submitting articles to Montana or anyone else for that matter, just feels needless to me - if someone opens something that is either too short or too trivial, whats the harm? If it really bothers people so much they can go and say so - "this was too short for an article" (for example). Or, as the old saying goes, just ignore it.

    But anyway im more than happy with whatever the group decides.

    Interesting point the other day about the friction between democracy and leadership, i think it was you, would make a good article/talking point.

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  33. "I think the problem with allowing 10 specific threads in one day is that overall quality-level will drop, and some threads may not get many posts, and those things may put people off coming here."

    Thats a fair point. Maybe max 2 article per day + chat thread?

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  34. I think we should start out slow and build up the "product" in line with the audience numbers. There's nothing worse than having lots of threads and five commenters total.

    Although I don't like stupid rules, such as rules about what you may or may not opine, I am in favour of order. I believe there should be some quality control over what is posted as an article. Some thought and effort should have gone into its construction, for example. It should attempt to say something.

    In the end, we can have a collection of good, thoughtful pieces, or a pile of rubbish, interspersed with a few gems.

    How we begin will set the standard for the future. It's very difficult to climb out of a bog once your in. Just because it's casual and free, doesn't mean it has to be of low quality.

    Can we not err on the side of order for, say, a month, then loosen the reins, rather than trying to find a middle ground from a starting point of chaos?

    Keep up the debate, and perhaps we can have a vote on a few things at the end. If that's what people decide to do.

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  35. Right, we don't need moderators or deletions. We're not Cif. We don't need articles pre-submitted or restricted. I believe in self-regulation (which has worked perfectly up to now).

    I agree with the daily chat thread - as Jay has said, we can sort out the finer details of that, but one a day seems OK.

    New posts - probably best to have one article on a specific topic running at a time (perhaps two articles?), possibly for two days. I would assume that people here are not going to be so disruptive as to post a new topic 2 hours after one has just opened and hasn't had time to take off. If it happens, I think a reasonable response would be for posters to stick to the first article for a while and ignore the new one.

    I think clear informal rules would be respected by the people here. And why should we worry if drive-by nutters post the odd bollocks? So what? Let's have a bit of faith in ourselves and not turn the whole place into a mess of rules and regulations. Simple is good!

    One final suggestion - how about a permanently open thread where people can post YouTube links - music, videos, Roberto Benigni clips (thx bitterweed) etc. Give a short description + link and people can wander over whenever they want and find great stuff. There's been loads of links posted so far and it's been great fun and much more educational than reading Plutarch's 'Lives' in the original Latin. (Although I would recommend that to everyone). When the thread gets too big, maybe it can be culled a bit?

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  36. Sounds quite reasonable to me but who decides what can and cant go in? If its Montana, what happens if she is away for a few days or something? Also, it is isnt to be judged on quality but rather article'ness, wouldnt a set of guidelines be better? Like, i dunno, min 600 words (thereabouts), clear topic, etc? If it is just article'ness that we want to maintain then maybe guidelines would work better, if some posters kept posting trash then we could revoke their posting rights, or, move them to a sort of premod (prepost?) where their articles do have to be submitted to Montana or the dreaded 'committee' for approval?

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  37. Good points scherfig, a space for youtube clips and links would be good, and i think 2 articles + chat at any one time is good. If people post new articles too soon then the community etiquette dictates they be ignored. Might work fine.

    But, actually, even a youtube/link thread will need culling and reincarnating every now and again, no one wants to trawl 700 comments on a thread to find something, so maybe it could always have the same title and be 'refreshed' as necessary, so there would always be a thread titled General Chat, always one titled Youtube/Links, and then 2 articles at any one time.

    I'd be quite happy with that, i think that'd work.

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  38. Jay, the youTube thread should be easy to administer. When it gets to a certain size, montana could maybe just delete the oldest page. They'll all be very short posts anyway - name + link + maybe short explanation. Very easy to search.

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  39. elementary_watson06 May, 2009 10:37

    About the "safe spaces": I do think that there are good reasons for survivors of rape, sexual abuse, DV or anything other bad to have a "safe space" where they can talk about their experiences without people coming there and questioning their experiences, because I believe that this can cause further suffering for the contributors. I also don't think it is okay to call out such people if the generalize about a group their victimizers belong to.

    However, if people do so (wild generalizations) on an online version of a national newspaper, or if they state they follow political goals, they must be prepared to get challenged by commenters. "Safe spaces" may help individuals deal with their pain, but I do not think fair and unbiased political ideas can come out of them.

    Lastly, I do not think "being a woman" is in itself such a traumatic life experience that it warrants safe spaces on the internet, but then again, I'm a man, and what can I know about this?

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  40. My concern is that "ourselves" will eventually turn into a lot of "strangers", especially if the thing takes off. In response to any non self-regulation they display, someone will have to start inventing a lot of rules.

    You can't run anything successfully without order.

    Order requires stated rules or guidelines.

    Those rules don't have to be stupid or pointless rules, made for rule-making's or control's sake.

    The worst thing about Cif rules is that they are not well-defined or equally enforced.

    The only rule that need be made re "articles" is that they ARE "articles", to be defined.

    Forget "committee". I only sugested that to take the burden off one person.

    Thought: May ultimathule directly post a rant article about JayReilly here? May she post another one the next day? What about the next day?

    We need some kind of control. I mean, it's humans we're dealing with here, not ants and bees.

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  41. I don't see anything wrong with having resource threads, like YouTube recommendations, left open indefinitely.

    However, if there is to be no "moderation", what's to be done about people using such threads for little side chats, or other comments, and ruining the point of them?

    It seems to me that as soon as you move away from general, comment-whatever-you-like threads, you need to implement some kind of control. Especially when there is no bouncer on the site door.

    I'd encourage EVERYONE to speak up now on this topic, rather than bitching later about how they don't like what was decided.

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  42. Billp - of course ultima may post a rant here. Why not? Although I'm fairly sure that that wasn't her. :o)

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  43. Watson - i agree, i think 'safe places' are a good idea for all number of things (particularly victims of abuse etc), i also think its a good idea for people to have somewhere just to let off steam without confrontation (like caths blog - though they seem to manage to find confrontation anyway), but a newspaper certainly is different. It cant survive as a safe place but i suspect the likes of Rowenna Davis and various elements of the sisterhood would quite happily censor any aggressive, but not abusive, content so as to make everthing a nice cuddly environment.

    I also wonder whether this sort of campaign hasnt been quite effective - when you look at articles like Caths, Rowennas etc, they seem to be describing boisterous male posters as some sort of political attack dogs who are just desperate to keep women off the net. When this message is peddled enough, right on wank holes like the Graun perhaps feel the need to clamp down on this sort of bolshy, 'male', 'line by line' comment so as to be "woman friendly". Maybe this is why deletions, bannings and premods have soared.

    Bear in mind, my non abusive "line by line" was deleted on caths article about safe places, and in my recent banning there was a comment in the conditions of my return about "aggression" - not 'abuse', but aggression - i wonder how many of my posts in general were deleted after a sista flagged them for "aggression". So it seems to me the Graun is quite happy to play their game, the censorious dressed as the vulnerable...

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  44. scherfig: "Billp - of course ultima may post a rant here. Why not?"

    No reason. So, how many JayReilly rants (new threads in the form of articles) may she post in a row here?

    I ask in all seriousness.

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  45. "Thought: May ultimathule directly post a rant article about JayReilly here? May she post another one the next day? What about the next day?"

    She certainly could, i would never tire of obliterating her; my loathing has now been sealed for eternity.

    But in seriousness i see your point. So if ultima came along, ignored the various rules on 2 articles + chat or whatever, then it could either be deleted or ignored. I dont see what the real problem is. And before we think of this taking off i think we should concentrate on what we have already, if it ever does explode and we get loads of strangers and fly bys then we can stop and re-assess.

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  46. "So, how many JayReilly rants (new threads in the form of articles) may she post in a row here?"

    I don't know, bill, I haven't decided yet. Do you get it now?

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  47. You can't have a safe place on an online forum unless there is an adminstrator, a membership, and the admin has physically met each member personally... and even then...

    How can you safely discuss your rape with online strangers, who may or may not be what the purport to be?

    Online discussion is for online personae. Any inclusion of real life personal details only weakens the utility of such a forum.

    Of course, I know many people will disagree, WISHING that things could be otherwise. Well, they're not otherwise.

    If you want a personal discussion group, find some flesh and blood people that you can experience with your senses.

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  48. That 2 articles per day wouldn't work. What if 100 people all had an article to post on Tuesday? Do you suppose 98 of them would just wait until tomorrow after the first two showed up?

    If you make a rule, you have to enforce it. In order to enforce a rule, you need some kind of enforcer. Otherwise, you'd be as well not making the rule.

    So, 2 articles per day, posted from a queue of articles, by MW, in the order of receipt? Yes. Two per day, based on a gentleman's "No, after you, I insist" agreement pipe dream? No.

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  49. scherfig, no, I don't get it. Can you just say what you mean?

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  50. I'm unclear as to whether or not different definitions of threading are in use here resulting in people talking past each other. When I think of a threaded discussion it is one where if I reply to a message on the start thread it begins a sub thread. Like the discussions on New Scientist's site (only there is little new to discuss there often).

    So relating it to the recent WDYWTD thread that almost never ended, those posts sticking to the original point and making suggestions would be easy to find whereas that bit where we had fun with Montana's hypochondriac cod would be off on its own and avoidable by those who don't like that sort of thing and you could isolate all Ultima's tedious stuff as well. Discussions like that are one thing I miss since I gave up usenet and moved onto the web. Threaded newsreaders were a major improvement, we need something like that for web discussions.

    On NS you can abstract a sub thread into a new tab and follow it specifically. I can't see that sort of facility on the new page, so I'm not sure about the benefits of a move despite being in favour of a threaded option.

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  51. "What if 100 people all had an article to post on Tuesday?"

    If we get to this point we obviously will change the rules. We are not at this point, nowhere near. We havent got 100 readers let alone 100 articles per day.

    "So, 2 articles per day, posted from a queue of articles, by MW, in the order of receipt? Yes."

    That might work quite well actually, just send everything to Montana and she can organise, but im not too fussed as i just dont envisage this anarchy arising for a long time, if ever.

    "Two per day, based on a gentleman's "No, after you, I insist" agreement pipe dream?"

    Why not, its usually pretty civil and good natured round here. Though it may get tricky to coordinate, admittedly.

    ReplyDelete
  52. For fuck's sake, guys. 100 articles? Queue? Send to Montana? Enforcing rules? I'm sure that montana will be delighted to hear that she can give up her day-job and live on the wages that we'll pay her. It's a small blog, we're having fun, we don't need to make up a load of theoretical problems and beat them one by one one to a small death. Lighten up.

    "scherfig, no, I don't get it. Can you just say what you mean?"

    It wasn't fucking ultima who posted. It was ME! Do you not do humour, bill? Jeez.

    ReplyDelete
  53. If it's all left to Montana, we'll have to pay her a full time salary. As my father once said, I couldn't co-ordinate a bunk up in a brothel, so my suggestions are all based on the idea that someone else would execute them.
    I agree that it could become a little messy and it might be a good idea to run two or three parallel blogs (or maybe a wiki, which offers virtually unlimited pages) with The Untrusted as a feed. You could link to administration, chat, articles and arts, for example. You could even have a rumpus room for people to abuse each other: "right you, rumpus room, 5 minutes"...

    ReplyDelete
  54. Well, it might be civil today, but there is no guarantee that it will be tomorrow. I'm just not a fan of shutting empty stable doors. Looking at the worst case scenario, if a sensible rule SHOULD be in place, it should be put in place at the outset.

    I get the feeling that some would like to have a no-rules forum. I don't think that's realistic while the door is wide open.

    ReplyDelete
  55. "It wasn't fucking ultima who posted. It was ME! Do you not do humour, bill? Jeez."

    So, who was referring to your little joke post?

    "It's a small blog, we're having fun, we don't need to make up a load of theoretical problems and beat them one by one one to a small death. Lighten up."

    Have you ever frequented the Cif pages? The problems are not theoretical. Any tit from there is freely able to come here and do what they do there. Only, if we follow your lead, they'll also be able to post articles.

    In short, it'll soon be a mudslinging match, rife with I/P, Darwin/God, fem/masc, etc., threads with people running around trying to find someone to "regulate" the place. Then, every rule that that person (MW) introduces will be met with at least 50% readership scorn.

    Penance: Read Animal Farm.

    ReplyDelete
  56. What would all be left to Montana would be to closed one page and open another, and post the next days two articles (if any). I'm pretty sure she'll be able to do it all in about 3 mins.

    There won't be a ruleless forum here. Either it will have rules from the outset, acquire them in short order, or fold in short order.

    Some here sound like the type who might say "Wouldn't it be great if there were no police!"

    ReplyDelete
  57. Always the optimst, eh bill? You popped up here a few days ago, have kindly pointed out all that's wrong with the way things work here, predict Armageddon and foresee the folding of the blog in short order.

    Well, if you're right and the place becomes an I/P fem Dawkins battleground, and that doesn't suit you, here's an idea - don't visit the threads.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I think just need to calm a bit Billp, these things could all become problems, but they may not. We dont know if we'll ever get to the point where hordes of I/P ciffers are flooding the site, i doubt we will. But if we do, then we'll just decide what to do as a smallish group, ie the people here now - the originals, and we'll decide what to do about it. There's a lot of needless friction coming in here over things which may or may not arise.

    Bear in mind as well this is putting responsibility on Montana - if she is away or whatever then what? She shouldnt be lumbered with everything. If its so simple to close a thread and reopen then any one of us could do it.

    As for queuing, i dont think people are bursting with articles right now, first come first served - if there's two up already then just make clear on the chat thread that you would like to post one tomorrow or whatever.

    Im confident we can sort this out between ourselves in a civil manner, and if new people come over who start screwing things up then we'll deal with them.


    "You could even have a rumpus room for people to abuse each other: "right you, rumpus room, 5 minutes"..."

    I like your thinking, Martillo...

    ReplyDelete
  59. scherfig, you're not helping. What's all the anger about?

    When I popped up here is immaterial. Are you saying I should wait three months before opining on this thread (have you even read the OP?)? Is that like a rule in disguise? Is it that you don't like overt rules, but prefer to maintain a set in your own head and trot them out when the situation isn't to your personal liking?

    I haven't pointed out all (or anything) that is wrong here. I have pointed out the need for sensible rules, and the enforcement of those rules, and the existence of some kind of rule enforcer, in any society, if it is to survive and thrive. Anarchy can only result in the decline and fall of a society.

    I don't predict anything. I merely seek to head off known problems (see Cif) by encouraging the implementation of sensible rules.

    ReplyDelete
  60. "I have pointed out the need for sensible rules, and the enforcement of those rules, and the existence of some kind of rule enforcer, in any society, if it is to survive and thrive."

    No anger, bill, just my opinion and it won't be deleted by an 'enforcer'. And I would query your use of the word 'need'. We don't all share the same world-view, and here we can say so without sanction. As can you.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Lets calm it down campers, this is all getting very Cif and very un-Refuge.

    Could we at least all agree that something needs to be changed due to the increased traffic here? That would be a start.

    Month by month we had 4, 6, 11 articles, and now we have 8 by the 7th of the month so could well end May with 20+. It has got bigger here. And it is starting to get a tad scrappy as there is random chat all over the shop. We need to do something.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Jay: I think just need to calm a bit Billp, these things could all become problems, but they may not.

    I am calm. Do you have a lock on your front door?

    Jay: We dont know if we'll ever get to the point where hordes of I/P ciffers are flooding the site, i doubt we will.

    Some people can't even discuss the topic in hand calmly.

    Jay: But if we do, then we'll just decide what to do as a smallish group, ie the people here now - the originals, and we'll decide what to do about it. There's a lot of needless friction coming in here over things which may or may not arise.

    Have you read the OP? I didn't write it, or suggest it. I'm just responding to it with practical ideas.

    Jay: Bear in mind as well this is putting responsibility on Montana - if she is away or whatever then what?

    Then someone else can do it. If nobody else will do it, I'll do it.

    Jay: She shouldnt be lumbered with everything. If its so simple to close a thread and reopen then any one of us could do it.

    How many administrators do you suggest we have? If we can all access the controls, what will be the point in having rules? Again, there's no lumbering involved. There's a few simple tasks to do.

    Jay: As for queuing, i dont think people are bursting with articles right now, first come first served - if there's two up already then just make clear on the chat thread that you would like to post one tomorrow or whatever.

    Oh, that's far more simple than what I suggested. I don't see any confusion resulting from that plan at all.

    Jay: Im confident we can sort this out between ourselves in a civil manner, and if new people come over who start screwing things up then we'll deal with them.

    Yeah right, Headline: Cif exiles work things out in civil manner on new blog. So, there's already an us and them mindset among some of the "originals"? I can see how this is playing out. There is no way anyone with an "original member" mindset is ever going to allow freedom of expression on any forum.

    ReplyDelete
  63. scherfig, none of my proposed rules have even hinted at moderation or censorship of opinion. So, there was never any suggestion that your opinion would "be deleted by an 'enforcer'". But you, able to read and comprehend what you read, already know that.

    All my suggestions applied to Articles. None of them involved moderating or controlling the content of those articles (once deemed to constitute articles).

    You can query my use of the word 'need' all you want. I stand by it, in the context it was used. All societies NEED rules, NEED enforcement of those rules, and NEED an enforcer to enforce those rules.

    What other worldview could there be on that score?

    Name one society that has ever existed without these things?

    ReplyDelete
  64. "Lets calm it down campers, this is all getting very Cif and very un-Refuge."

    I thought we were here to escape unfair Cif moderation, not because the tone of Cif was bad.

    I'd like to say that it is amazing how people (many times the most vociferous against censorship) are blind to the censor in themselves, but I can't.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi everyone

    re: whipping this beast into shape.

    Pretty much concur with scherfig

    Posts - hopefully they'll keep coming regularly, and hopefully from many of us, but as scherfig says, perhaps we should respect the previous one that's 'open' and not piss on its parade too soon. (Even if we're miffed someone else only got there five minutes before, ha ha.)

    Every couple of days ?

    Montana ? Everyone ?

    Montana has executive posting rights any old time she cares. After all, she takes the trouble to keep this thing happening for us all...

    And if posting - might be worh slinging Montana an email to see if she's about to post one herself ?

    A Daily "Chat, Bullshit and Any Other Business" forum. like it.

    Perhaps a thread archived weekly specifically for Movies & Music.

    Don't know if this is asking too much admin ?

    No moderation...

    ReplyDelete
  66. How about the following idea? We could have a moratorium on the question until we have some concrete proposals. Open a philosophy of blogging thread to discuss basic principles but, meanwhile, explore other possibilities.

    these people don't seem to have too many problems. For my taste they're lacking a general chat thread, but you can see there are articles on the main page plus links to other blogs. 'Other stuff' is the arts/literature section and there's also a rudimentary youtube dedicated blog. They started off with one angry, banned GU sports commenter...

    ReplyDelete
  67. I'm here because I heard this was a refuge from the unfair moderation practices on Cif.

    I'd like to know what the rules are BEFORE I get started, not after.

    If there are to be no rules, so be it. I don't really care. All I want is continuity and consistency.

    If there are no rules, I'll post until the thing falls apart. And I'll have fun doing it. I won't be the one who loses my rag or any sleep over other people's comments or opinions.

    In fact, I dare you to go with no rules at all.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Okay, just one rule. Any upstart who arrives after me must fag for me for the rest of the year before assuming posting rights.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I think it's fine as it is. I will say threaded boards make sense to me, because that's what I'm used to, but that's not to say I think that should be done here. If Montana and others decide that's the way to go, that's fine by me. If they come up with something else, fine too. It's the company I'm here for, not the formatting.

    Let it flow, people. Exercise some restraint, use the daily chat area ("I'm thinking about working up a piece on [insert pet subject here], anyone think that's a goer?" etc). No need for a constitution just yet, surely?

    ReplyDelete
  70. billp

    "I am calm. Do you have a lock on your front door?"

    Whats your point?

    "Some people can't even discuss the topic in hand calmly."

    The only person here that seems to be getting worked up is you, billp, and scherfig in response, and now me - again, in response. You're being very bolshy. This isnt CIF. We are trying to decide how to restructure what is still a very small blog with about 25 followers. It shouldnt be a big deal.

    "How many administrators do you suggest we have?"

    We have a few at the minute and its working fine, and i dont personally care if old threads arent shut cos i dont care what people write there. New threads can be started by non admins so im not too fussed - as needs arise, we'll address them. If we get a load of new folk from cif and they arent happy with the admin or whatever, they can fuck off.

    "Oh, that's far more simple than what I suggested. I don't see any confusion resulting from that plan at all."

    Yeah its not perfect, nothing is - giving Montana more work to queue this stuff up and publish and close threads at midnight every night - thats not perfect either.


    "Cif exiles work things out in civil manner on new blog"

    It had been working pretty well...


    "There is no way anyone with an "original member" mindset is ever going to allow freedom of expression on any forum."

    No one has yet been censored in the months this thing has been going, its doing alright. The proposal wasnt censoring newcomers for content but for structure - posting articles out of turn, hardly the bloody stasi is it.


    "I thought we were here to escape unfair Cif moderation, not because the tone of Cif was bad."

    The tone on CiF isnt 'bad', but i think people like having somewhere, like here, that is a bit low key compared to cif, it isnt blazing rows.


    "I'd like to say that it is amazing how people (many times the most vociferous against censorship) are blind to the censor in themselves, but I can't."

    Who are you referring to and what censorship are you describing? Who has censored who?

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am actually feeling a little uncomfortable about this Bill. We've all got different views on what constitutes a community. So far if a thread floats offs onto something that's not my interest like footy or certain kinds of music I just leave them all to get on with it - have other things to do.

    I disagree with a lot of what you say Bill and I think others do too. What I am concerned about is that this will make this a different place a place where people might be confused about where they are allowed to say what. If a poster posts something that you don't think is relevant IGNORE IT -like I ignore the footy!
    (-:

    ReplyDelete
  72. Did you see the match last night, anne? Arsenal were crushed, weren't they? 500 words by 4 o'clock, please. Those are the RULES!

    ReplyDelete
  73. What was the score and who was playing? It wasnt Arsenal v United was it? I feel i have missed some major game.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Arsenal 1 - Man Utd 3. Utd in CL final vs either Chelsea (again) or Barcelona. (That match is on tonight.)

    ReplyDelete
  75. @jay:

    Biggest football match ever according to ITV. Turns out it was some Manc team v some Cockney outfit. And not Leeds Millwall.

    Man U through to Champs League final. It was all over in 11 first half mins, no way back for the Arse (I know) after that. My colleague was there in his capacity as a Gooner, he left when the third goal went in. Straight home in a big sulk, apparently.

    ReplyDelete
  76. billp

    What annetan said!

    (especially about the footie!)

    ReplyDelete
  77. billp: “Thought: May ultimathule directly post a rant article about JayReilly here? May she post another one the next day? What about the next day?”

    My immediate thought on reading this (and not any responses it may since have gathered): Yes, why not, at least eventually? Everyone else is free to ignore it aren’t they?

    I’m assuming there’s no technical reason why we can’t have 100 threads posted here every day, although admittedly that will make it hard to sort the wheat from the, err, chaff.

    I agree with your wider point about starting slow and building quality though; it’s obvious what the main topic of interest to everyone is at the moment, I think. “¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!” was always going to be a minority interest, I suspect (that’s not a criticism Montana, just an observation).

    And that’s just my immediate thought, apparently.

    Back later with more.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Earlier today I suggested that a true community moderates its own standards and members.

    Another way of saying this might be:

    “The only rule is there are no rules”

    If we need to have a founding charter; a constitution; rules on who can post what, when, where, how and why; a hierarchical management structure and all the rest, we might as well stay on fucking CiF.

    If Jay (or anyone else) calls anyone a cunt, we can just ignore them can’t we? Or call whoever it is a cunt back, if we’re so inclined. I’m not inclined to call Jay (or anyone else a cunt myself, but I’d like to choose for myself.

    Example:

    “You’re a cunt, Andy”

    “No you’re a cunt, Jay”

    We’re both still here aren’t we? Jay, are you still there, mate?

    I’ll stop using that word now; it’s not big and it’s not clever.

    We’re The Untrusted, apparently. We need to trust each other and see how we go, is my opinion.

    Others are obviously welcome to hold and express any view they wish...

    To address billp’s specific point:

    “Have you ever frequented the Cif pages? The problems are not theoretical. Any tit from there is freely able to come here and do what they do there. Only, if we follow your lead, they'll also be able to post articles.”

    Any tit from over there IS free to come over here, like I did a few days ago (I hope you’re not calling ME a tit, BTW). They may eventually be able to post articles here; I don’t have any problem with that.

    What they CAN’T do here that they can there is press the report abuse button to call in the powers that be to get someone deleted and/or banned.

    I’d like it if we kept it that way myself. We’ve all seen where that gets us.

    A question that occured to me: Is that report abuse button anonymous?

    Does anyone know the answer?

    ReplyDelete
  79. @andysays:

    Re. the Report Abuse button, it is anonymous, I asked Jay about it the other day. The person who's reported for abuse never finds out who reported them.

    Very cowardly - but presumably makes for a nice "safe webspace"?

    ReplyDelete
  80. Good post Andy, you cunt ;)

    Im fine with people calling me whatever they like as long as i can do the same (unlike CIF, where in the past i have responded to a nasty little comment directed my way only for my comment to be removed and theirs to remain standing).

    By the same token, im happy for whoever to post whatever heinous, despicable rubbish they like as an article, as long as i can freely call it such (unlike CIF, where they often shower us with shit and then stamp on us when we call it such)


    Structure is a different matter - we may need some sort of structure with articles to stop it getting messy but as for content im up for no rules at all.

    ReplyDelete
  81. "Very cowardly - but presumably makes for a nice "safe webspace"?"

    This is one of the biggest problems of CIF - the modding turned nasty when the "report abuse" function was changed to make it much easier to do - complaints must have gone through the roof. And i am 99% certain there are some posters who really do abuse this button and just use it to silence those they are too inadequate to debate with. They really are the lowliest scum on CIF, cowardly little scum...

    But it does make for a "safer" environment, certainly, because a lot of us more 'boisterous' male posters get modded to within an inch of our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Swifty: thanks for that.

    Further clarification requested:

    Do the moderators know who has reported the abuse? I ask because some have come up with ideas about people being allowed a certain number of “report abuse” hits per day or something, which suggests that when the red light goes off in the mods’ office, there’s also a message saying:

    “ultimathule has just reported JayReilly for abuse”

    to pick an utterly arbitrary and obviously unthinkable example.

    I’ve never tried to report abuse, so I don’t know, for instance, if you even need to be logged in.

    That’s a thought, I’ll try it now.

    Which one of you fuckers shall I report?

    ReplyDelete
  83. If you do try it let me know, as you shouldnt be able to report abuse unless you're logged in, thats just asking for abuse. Posters should be limited to 1 or 2 per day. And some posters, ahem, should have the function removed entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  84. elementary_watson06 May, 2009 15:05

    Just tested "reporting abuse while not logged in", and there was no error message.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Well, that was interesting.

    I’ve just reported some bastard called andysays for a comment he made on Hazel Blear’s piece the other day. What do you mean none of you noticed it? It had 8 recommendations, FFS.

    Anyway, for those of you who have never gone through the looking-glass I’ll will describe what I found there in detail (I was logged off, BTW):

    First you are invited to choose a problem, from a list on a dropdown menu. I chose the final option, “other”.

    Then I was invited to leave a comment, to which I replied:

    "I just wanted to see if I could get this poster banned"

    Finally, I was invited to leave my e-mail address, but a big sign stressed that this was optional.

    Haven’t been to check what’s happen to that nasty comment yet; maybe I’ll look later.

    Anyway, what it boils down to is that anyone can report “abuse” completely anonymously. You don’t even have to have a CiF identity, far less leave your name rank and serial number.

    So with the system as it stands, the idea of limiting reports of abuse is completely impossible. Anyone care to comment?

    ReplyDelete
  86. I'll comment, its a disgrace. The report abuse function is itself being terribly abused, that has become crystal clear since the new cif format. They said when they did it that they had made the function much easier to use and they have clearly made it far too easy to use. They should make it hard so that only comments which people feel strongly about will get attention. If people had to email cif for each comment the reports would virtually stop altogether, only the really nasty staff would be reported.

    This really is part of what is ruining cif - it is made too easy for cowardly chumps to ruin debate with their censorious and cowardly antics. You should need a sign in and they should track who is making these reports - it is clearly being abused. I hope someone raises this at the mod thread.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Fuck me, I REALLY don’t believe this.

    I just refreshed the page with my comment, and found this:

    “This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.”

    So if any of you are ashamed of any of your past comments (and you should be, you should be), now you know how to remove them.

    Brief pause for lunch, I reckon

    ReplyDelete
  88. Interesting Andy. Wonder what they'd do about a shit load of anonymous Abuse Reports accusing people of Defaming the Hanseatic League, or Resembling an Otter or such like.

    @scherfig
    "reading Plutarch's 'Lives' in the original Latin. (Although I would recommend that to everyone"
    You'd have to translate it into Latin from the original Greek, though. Not something I'd recommend. If you like Plutarch - and who doesn't - you might like Michael Psellus' Chronographia (Penguin is 'Fourteen Byzantine rulers'; some similarities in style).

    ReplyDelete
  89. andy - I just did the same, reported myself (does that make me a self-hating Ciffer now?) and got the same options. That's quite a selection they have there.

    Ultimathule's probably got the deluxe version awarded to serial snitchers featuring the options
    "all of the above", "member of the Borg" and "they disagree with me"

    If there has to be such a thing I much prefer the Sueddeutsche Zeitung's more honest version where you've got two buttons, one to "recommend" and one to "petzen" which means snitching or grassing. At least they make no bones about what this is ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  90. @andysays:

    I'm slightly surprised you don't have to be logged in to report abuse. I'd have thought that was a bit of a loophole, to be honest.

    I'm more interested to hear if the mods act on it and delete the comment/ban you on the basis of an anonymous abuse report. That would be a poor show.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I’m beginning to suspect the idea that there are real flesh-and-blood moderators examining the messages and then deciding whether to act on them is a fantasy we have all been encouraged to labour under.

    I left a deliberately stupid comment (see above).

    When I pressed the submit button, my comment was deleted automatically.

    We’re living in the fucking Matrix, maaan!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Update: ah, I see they did. What a rubbish system. Although I wonder whether it's meant to work like that - it means a lot less work for the mods - they don't have to read every post, they just have to delete the ones which are reported for abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Someone asked a few weeks ago if report abuse led to automatic deletion; he said - no irony - "of course not, that would be ridiculous".

    ReplyDelete
  94. Fencethingy: did you get my message about Hatfield Forest?

    If not I can bung it up here, even though it's slightly off-topic

    ReplyDelete
  95. @Fencewalker:

    I should have said:

    "they don't have to read every post, they just have to READ the ones which are reported for abuse and delete them if they contravene the rules."

    Curiouser and curiouser, given we're on the other side of the looking glass at the minute.

    ReplyDelete
  96. It was very odd being here and reading the Whaddya thread the other night. Bit like a DVD commentary.

    Andy: sorry, missed it (have to say, it can be confusing finding the right spot to be reading).

    ReplyDelete
  97. Re-reading that, it might be a bit ambiguous. Let me clarify:

    When I pressed the submit button, my original comment (the one I was complaining about) was deleted automatically.

    I have now logged in again and gone to the latest WDYWTTA thread.

    As I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to hear, andysays is still able to post, for now.

    But for the moment, he’s speechless.

    Is anyone else on that thread?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Ha ha, fencehairsplitter. Fair cop - he was a bubble all right (but a Roman citizen), should have said medieval translation or summat.

    I'll check out the Byzantine stuff - love all that. (Me and Yeats.)

    ReplyDelete
  99. I am (also surfing Amazon and Dusty Groove)

    ReplyDelete
  100. Fencewalker: posted this late last night, on whatever thread was active then. Luckily for you, I kept a copy:

    “I’ve been working at Hatfield Forest since last July. Only part-time voluntary work though; don’t think the National Trust are likely or able to find me a proper position there. That’s why I had to get up at 5.30 this morning, and why I’m so knackered now (nothing to do with staying up till 1.30 chatting over here.

    I’m doing three days a week for the next couple of months as the final part of a college course, but I also need to catch up with a certain backlog of written work from previous terms. According to my girlfriend (who’s threatening to open up on CiF as andysgirlfriendsays), if I’d spent all the energy over the weekend I spent (to be fair she COULD have said wasted, but she didn’t) on these threads I could have finished it by now. And you know, she’s probably right.

    If you get the chance to get over there anytime soon I’d recommend it. The buttercups are just coming out and it looks amazing – it always looks amazing in my opinion, that’s why I’m (almost) happy to travel up there from North London every morning on the train.

    Didn’t see any woodpeckers today, but plenty more Fallow. By the way, I don’t know if your name has any special significance, but I’ve just spent two weeks checking and mending fences, so don’t you go walking on any of them.”

    ReplyDelete
  101. ok, more testing. Just reported abuse anonymously on a comment of mine on Theo Hobson's suicide thread on the grounds that it was "offensive language" (I was replying to someone using the f-word and used it myself) and that the whole thing "offended my sensiblities" (unspecified). As far as I can tell my comment is still there. It'll be interesting to see what happens next. Will it stay, and if it does get deleted, will the original one still stand (using the same word). If it doesn't get deleted then there's only one conclusion - andy, you're being awarded special attention while I am still under the radar.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Happy to oblige Scherfig. He's like a conceited Plutarch gone bad. But good character sketches. Think of Plutarch meets Tacitus and has a fight with Procopius.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Bet it's lovely today by the lake, even if you are shattered (me too). I'm hopeless at flora and fauna, to my great regret. Read Terry Pratchett once saying that trolls only recognised green things as 'oograh' or something. I'm pretty much that rubbish, though I try not to be and occasionally buy books to try and change the fact. Mind you - I can tell a woodpecker from a hawthorn.

    ReplyDelete
  104. That for Andysays.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Update. My comment's still there. Looks like suicide is a no go on Theo's thread...

    ReplyDelete
  106. @pandora:

    Yeah, no dice on my anonymous drive-by abuse report yet either.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Fencewalker: I'm not at HF today, I'm at home. Clues to this state of affairs:

    1. I'd need a laptop with some sort of wireless link wouldn't I? Even an ordinary mobile struggle in the Forest.

    2. When I'm working there, I'm actually working.

    Q. What's the difference between a woodpecker and a hawthorn?

    Pandora: don't think I ever said hello when you turned up the other day claiming asylum.

    My only excuse is that I was still finding my own feet. So welcome.

    And thanks for your rerun of my experiment - maybe a few others could do the same.

    Report one of your own comments, preferably giving a spurious reason why you find the comment abusive.

    Wow, maybe I'm finally getting the "special attention" I've always craved

    ReplyDelete
  108. Can also report that I made two comments on WDYWTTA a few minutes ago, they're still there.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Afternoon all.

    Only skim-read the comments, so apologies if this has already been said, but I think many of these issues could be resolved with one of those blog widgets in the side column with 'Most Recent Posts'

    It would say something like:

    'Ally' has just commented on "Yeah I Know" with a direct link to the comment.

    That way, people can keep arguing for weeks on one thread, and others can follow it if they want or ignore it if they want.

    Also, sometimes people will find a discussion via google and post a comment on a dead thread months later, which is always fun when it happens.

    It seems to me the best way of running lots of simultaneous discussions. Better than a threaded board.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Andy: face red etc. Still, you might have been a super-modern NT chap with a bluetooth 'n' broadband chainsaw 'n'. I see you dialogue's gone cod native "Even ordinary mobile struggle in great green home of longfathers".
    Woodpecker & hawthorn: I'd have to show you with pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hi andy, you're welcome :-) It's the kind of thing I just couldn't resist. I agree, a few more should run the experiment. We need as much data as we can on this.

    What are we going to do about it? Spring it on them when the long awaited moderation thread appears (my guess is that the long wait is because they're still scrambling to find excuses, reasons etc why the bans were justified and desperately trying to rewrite the rules)

    We ought to let the regular Ciffers know about this - your case Andy with the obvious ridiculous reason for complaint will send shockwaves round. I can't wait to see what they will come up with as an excuse. It's the perfect ammunition, really. And if they complain that it was devious of us to test the system this way - what's to say others aren't doing this already, and with much more sinister motives.....

    This is going to be fun.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I have left this message on WDYWTTA. The first para is a quote from the intro at the top of the page:

    “Obviously we are aware that moderation on Cif is a hot button topic. As promised, we will specifically address this issue in a forthcoming thread. In the interim, want else do you want to talk – and read – about

    I seem to remember the promise for this thread being made nearly two weeks ago, two weeks this Friday if memory serves. I also seem to remember that this thread was promised in a matter of days not weeks, but my memory’s obviously playing tricks on me.

    I’d like to talk about the mechanics of the “report abuse” deletion process. Could we have some details as to how it actually works?

    In the meantime, those who are as interested as I am may wish to experiment for themselves.

    I’ll say no more for now.”

    I reckon we should keep our powder dry for the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Seems like we have a headless chickens situation here. V confused. Are we here to discuss stuff we can't discuss on Cif or are we here to discuss legit Cif stuff using very bad language?

    Are we setting up a parallel Cif which responds to The Guardian comments page or are we ignoring it altogether? I have an enormous objection to Cif Belief which makes NO SENSE to me. I am quite interested in discussing the Arts particularly as I think J Jones is pretty hopeless. Actually I'm deeply disillusioned with journalists in general.

    Everyone here seems to be very forceful in their opinions (hardly surprising we've mostly been banned) and have their own very definite agendas.

    We're all keen to slag off the Matt Seatons of the blogosphere but maybe we need our own moderator?

    Maybe we should all put forward subjects we'd like to see discussed and then vote for most popular subjects- most popular subjects get discussed first.

    We have the makings of a very creative anarchic discussion blog here but it'll only work if we're disciplined about it.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Fencewalker: Should have been ordinary MOBILES.

    Like you should have written I see YOUR dialogue.

    I said it to ultimathule the other day, and I'll say it to you now:

    "pot calling kettle black"

    ReplyDelete
  115. Guilty as charged :).

    ReplyDelete
  116. 'it'll only work if we're disciplined about it.'

    That sounds like hard work. Let's not bother. It might work anyway :o)

    ReplyDelete
  117. Dan I don't see this site as being an alternative to anything its a bunch of people who have some similar interests (but not necessarily the same opinions who felt the need to discuss things away from Cif.

    WE express our opinions strongly but personally I don't feel the need for a moderator. That would male this place too like Cif and render the place pointless. if we encounter a real problem I am sure we'll deal with it democratically,

    Sorry if anyone has caused you offence in any way - we are an opinionated lot! But saying we all have agendas is pointless - because everyone on the planet has one even if its only for crosstitch or quilting!!

    ReplyDelete
  118. @dan
    Personally I prefer the "anything goes" option. Why does there have to be a theme, or an agenda?

    Obviously most of us or all of us came here via Cif - so it's perfectly natural that there should be a high level of interest in what goes on at the other place.


    I'm with BB in that I don't really want any rules, or specific topics of discussions, I'll take whatever comes up, chime in on things that interest me and ignore the cricket.

    I'm against any kind of vote for most popular subjects, anyone who puts forth a subject will soon find out if there is interest or not. Just let things run their natural course.

    I've only just wandered in the other day but my preference would be the option to discuss stuff we can't discuss "over there", either because it doesn't come up or because they don't agree with our choice of language/and or the way we voice our opinions.

    I don't see the need to regulate anything beyond structure (daily thread etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  119. i once used the "report abuse" to report my own post so that i could use the email to complain about being deleted,,got my deleted post reinstated too,,

    i second/third/n+1/ the "someone last posted on.." widget,,its on most of the blogs i visit

    love the synopsis of thread over on the other thread that says "we talked,,mostly agreed,,billp
    didnt"

    this site is really good because A:its insane and B:its incredibly active and C:its got Jimihendrixtwanglez


    3p4

    ReplyDelete
  120. For reasons currently known only to himself, andysays has just (06 May 09, 6:18pm) sown a small seed on the WDYWTTA thread.

    He would be grateful if a few kind souls would take the trouble to help him tend it over the next couple of days, with the occasional bit of weeding or watering where necessary. But whatever you do, don’t go trampling all over it with your big heavy boots.

    If the seed does well, the resulting plant may blossom in a little while into a flower which will bring us all great pleasure. Or it may just wither and die; let’s wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
  121. No, Annetan, I'm not offended in any way, only concerned that we can have coherent discussion that would attract new people in and no, I'm not keen to have any sort of moderation but I do think it's a good idea to have threads related to current topics.
    I was for avery short time a member of The Young Turks during and after the US election campaign and their forums seem to work quite well (but I felt like a visiting alien) apart from a few well organised right wing trolls and a lot of tedious abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  122. hmmm, if the Graun ignores sensible suggestions on this in the much promised moderation thread then a bit of civil disobedience could be organised along these lines:

    Being not logged in or if IP addresses are worrying using a computer in the library or internet cafe and as quick as we can complain about everything and anything until blocked or RSI prevents it.

    I also wonder if this feature is not behind the apparently random and capricious nature of the modding decisions. If the mods really are relying on us to report abuse then acting automatically then someone malign can have fun. i realise this may let the mods off the hook, sort of, but hey they may not be entirely to blame.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Seed update:

    Germination not yet achieved.

    WDYWTTA thread currently slow moving.

    Hoping for more results this evening, maybe once the cricket’s over/ you’ve all had your tea/ the kids are in bed/ the booze starts to kick in (delete as appropriate).

    Give me a little help here, you lot.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Muscleguy: I’m interested in your idea of “civil disobedience”, though I’d be a little careful discussing such things on an open site if I were you. You never know who might be reading this.

    On a completely unrelated topic, does anyone have any idea when Montana’s likely to open her e-mails? How many hours is she behind us?

    ReplyDelete
  125. andy - 6 hrs behind you I think. US Central Time.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Andysays: I did think about that, but I am only making a suggestion, I am not actually holding a gun to the mod's heads and saying: do what I want 'or else'. All I'm doing is floating a thought I had based on your little experiment with the abuse button. It was supposed mainly to be about how that might explain the capricious nature of the modding but the other one sort of took over.

    Just thinking aloud mods, just thinking aloud.

    Also I think it important to own my words and I have not exactly been hiding behind muscleguy on CiF having given info on who I am with the click of a link. I did it just recently in reply to some twat who refused to accept I was a biologist. Never did get a reply on that one. Mind you the thread closed soon after.

    ReplyDelete
  127. muscleguy - I confess I had the same idea....

    ReplyDelete
  128. Okay, let's summarise what I've suggested so far (as some appear to think it's okay to invent ideas and attribute them to me).

    1. NO MODERATION of the expression of OPINIONS. At all. You can write whatever you want, in either articles or comments.

    (1b. Has anyone given any thought as to comments expressed as alleged FACT?)

    2. Some control over who can post a new article and when.

    2a. A limit to new articles per day. Reason: In order that all articles have a chance to be read and commented upon, and are not ignored due to sheer numbers of reading/commenting options and small numbers of posters (for now - to be revised as we go and the thing grows.) Two articles per day has been suggested as the starting limit. Along with the Daily Chat thread, is it not enough for now?

    2b. "Article" to be defined. Submissions not meeting the definition (I suggest that the piece should exhibit some semblance of thought and effort in actually saying something), to be disallowed or returned for improvement. No other critique to be used, i.e., "quality", "worth", "fit", "standard of writing", etc. Exception: see below.

    2c. In order to ensure 2a and 2b, articles to be submitted to someone for aceptance and queueing. I suggest MW.

    3. Daily Chat thread PAGES to be closed each night for subsequent comments, with the next page being simultaneously opened. Thus providing a web efficient, continuous chat thread.

    That's it. Radical in the extreme, I know.

    On top of the above, since we're dealing with humans, it is more than likely that we'll need some kind of moderation of article submission IF the site becomes more popular. This in no way conflicts with the notion of free expression, as an audience is fully entitled to maintain some control over what it is inflicted with and what is expressed at it.

    Articles describing, say, how the author believes rape is justified and quite good fun, etc., do not deserve to benefit from any community freedom of expression (at least, not this community). At least I think so. Perhaps some think differently.

    Like in my earlier analogy of a world without police (hooray! wait! get out of my house! aaargh!), ABSOLUTE freedom is not all an idealist would crack it up to be, when applied to the real world.

    annetan42: "WE express our opinions strongly but personally I don't feel the need for a moderator. That would male this place too like Cif and render the place pointless."

    I don't believe in moderators or moderation (censors of opinion), but why would the presence of one make this place "too much like Cif"? Cif's problem isn't that it employs moderators as such, but that it's moderation policy errs on the side of censorship (for one reason or another), probably due to the owners and management working from an agenda, along with legal issues and fears. A moderators job is not to censor or restrict opinion, but to ensure flow of discussion. Cif has corrupted the office.

    And why would the presence of a moderator render this place pointless? Isn't the point of this place to be able to express idea without censorship? Why would a real moderator (not that I believe one is needed...yet) negate that point?

    "if we encounter a real problem I am sure we'll deal with it democratically"

    Again, why would anyone see democracy as a viable method for arriving at good sense solutions or reaching agreement on anything. I submit the current poll as Exhibit A. "Should we move to a threaded board?" 19 FOR; 20 AGAINST. Well-thought out voting, or emotion-based kneejerks? Motion denied? Everyone happy? Best option applied?

    Democracy is a stupid way to decide anything. It's a cop-out from critical thinking and evaluating real debate.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to hearing the reactions of a select few here when Seaton and Co provide you with a "Moderation" thread, then summarily dismiss all your 'changes to the status quo' input with something akin to "Well we like having a lot of rules, and we're changing nothing, so sod off!"

    What the select few here will have to do, in order to avoid changes of hypocrisy, will be to eat that up with a big spoon.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Rereading this thread, I've become somewhat confused as to scherfig's position.

    scherfig wrote:

    "For fuck's sake, guys. 100 articles? Queue? Send to Montana? Enforcing rules?... It's a small blog, we're having fun, we don't need to make up a load of theoretical problems and beat them one by one one to a small death. Lighten up."

    However, prior to that, scherfig wrote:

    "Is there any way here to close a thread for comment at some point? And can there be a limit imposed on new threads opening while, say, maximum two are still running? Or a time limit of some sort on opening new ones? At the moment we've got 5 threads running, all within the last 36 hours or so.

    Perhaps we could make a self-imposed rule that a new thread can only open when the last two have had at least 48 hours to run? It's dificult, I know, but it seems to me that now things are beginning to fragment and lose focus. And we've got the phonebooth as well!"

    It almost seems that scherfig wants rules, but wants them whispered abroad.

    "...Oh yes, we're the Anarchists Club, and these are our flag, our badge and our uniform."

    ReplyDelete
  131. Det gøre ikke noget, bill. Hvis du ikke kan forstå det, så glem det. Jeg er ligeglad alligevel. Og det er alle de andre også, vil jeg tror. Slap af!

    ReplyDelete
  132. das hab ich jetzt nicht verstanden, scherfig.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Es ist leicht, pandora. Danisch.

    ReplyDelete
  134. das hab ich gesehen, aber was heisst es, scherfig?

    Je ne parle pas le Danish. Den xero to Danish. Ich kann kein Danish.

    ReplyDelete
  135. scherfig, you wrote: It's all bollocks, bill. If you don't understand, then forget it. I don't care anyway. Neither does anyone else, I think. LAX!

    Hvis man ikke pleje, hvorfor alle klager?

    If you don't care, why all the complaints?

    ReplyDelete
  136. Nice to know that we can all go and do other things. scherfig knows what we think and can post for us.

    ReplyDelete
  137. billp, you make some good points, im not really against making changes here but i dont feel any need for rushing or rowing over it, we'll sort it out.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Fox Lingo doesn't do nuance so well. 'It doesn't matter' is the meaning. 'Bollocks' is something else - I would suggest pjat or lort. Lax is a salmon strangely enough, but relax works.

    'Pleje' is just totally wrong - it means to take care of someone, not 'to care'. Can I suggest 'Hvis du ikke bekymre dig over det, hvorfor brokker du så?' That has a nice ring to it.

    And who said these things were a waste of time? We all get cleverer every day!

    ReplyDelete
  139. “We’re the Anarchists Club, and these are our flag, our badge and our uniform”

    “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.”

    But “I Love a Man in A Uniform” (Gang of Four)

    Night all

    ReplyDelete
  140. I'm not rushing, Jay. The threads appeared asking for suggestions. I didn't either wirte or suggest such threads. I'm offering suggestions. Some people appear to be getting upset that I am offering suggestions.

    I don't expect my suggestions to be implemented against the consensus.

    I don't care if any of them are implemented.

    I slightly care that I am subtly being asked not to offer input. Or so much input. Or that specific input.

    When someone suggests that we should continue with no rules whatsoever, I welcome their input. I may try to rebut it, but I welcome it and respect it just the same.

    Nothing in my limited experience here has gone any way towards persuading me to alter my previous opinion that most people can't handle debate, or even understand what debate entails.

    There is no place for fear in debate, or the search for solutions.

    ReplyDelete
  141. You wrote something to me in a foreign language. I ascertained that that language was Danish via knowledge that I already possessed. I don't speak Danish. I had it translated online and worked out the gist. I responded, in English, germanely and coherently.

    What's your point?

    ReplyDelete
  142. "Democracy is a stupid way to decide anything. It's a cop-out from critical thinking and evaluating real debate."

    Or

    "eat shit: 70 billion (or however many there actually are) can't be wrong"
    as someone scrawled on a wall at Leeds University once.

    There's an interesting debate to be had about that, for those with the energy and desire to participate. Then again, it's probably not necessary here as a prerequisite for reorganisation. It's extremely easy to link to several other blogs from here. I suspect that the principle common ground here is 'no moderation'. If we make that the 'rule', then we can simply ignore those links which sound too organised or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Billp i havent suggested anything of the sort, as i've said you have made valid points, some i agree with, some i dont. Its not your input or ideas that are pissing me off its your bolshy aggressive manner, i dont think its warranted.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Thanks martillo, but exactly nobody has proposed moderation (restriction to freedom of expression) as either necessary or preferable.

    Jay, what's pissing you off is your own brain. You are apparently very easily pissed off, and you apparently have trouble controlling your anger. you also appear to have trouble not posting every little emotion that you experience.

    Why should I give a monkey's what you like or don't like? Or what pisses you off? Who are you?

    Bolshy? You really write unreasonable things sometimes. I SUGGESTED some very minor controls of the publication of articles here, and offered (to my mind) good reasons for implementing them. Those suggestions were all made with a view to keeping some semblance of order.

    I've encourage veryone to rebut my suggestions. Instead, you attempt to marginalise my "right" to make them. Why? Because my style pisses you off.

    Tough titty. I'll write whatever I please, when I please. I'm no JayReilly.

    ReplyDelete
  145. The trouble with democracy is that the demos, in their majority, operate exclusively on feelings, and shun reason.

    ReplyDelete
  146. So, to get back to the "debate".

    Does this site membership (plus anonymous) constitute a society?

    Is it reasonable to have some kind of rules and some kind of government in a society? Not do you WANT that, not do you PREFER that, not is that your IDEAL, is it REASONABLE to have it?

    If so, should we act according to reason or feelings?

    That's the crux, right there.

    So far, the consesus appears to be in favour of the latter.

    That's scary, but not unexpected.

    ReplyDelete
  147. "Thanks martillo, but exactly nobody has proposed moderation (restriction to freedom of expression) as either necessary or preferable."

    Quite so, which is why I suggested that the common ground here might be 'no moderation'.

    ReplyDelete
  148. 'I slightly care that I am subtly being asked not to offer input. Or so much input. Or that specific input.'

    bill, speaking personally, and not for some entity or club that seems only to exist in your head, let me put it less subtly. I do not want your input, I am not interested in your input. I am not asking you for anything. Everybody here can post whatever shite they want. There is no 'debate' as you seem to understand it, there is no 'site membership', there is no 'society'. There is just us doing what we want to do when we want to do it. And as far as I'm concerned, if you don't like it, you can fuck off. Or you can stay. Or you fly to the moon on a blue unicorn. There are no restrictions on your freedom of expression. You can even analyse Jay's brain. But I don't give a flying fuck about you.

    Was that too subtle?

    ReplyDelete
  149. Some clarification: the way things stand right now, the only people who can start new posts are the people listed in the right-hand column as contributors. Currently, Jay, martillo, Kizbot and I have admin status (I'm not even sure if Kiz & martillo realise this), which means that we can change the formatting, close off comments, etc. I wasn't trying to play favourites or anything - Jay made some suggestions awhile back about the format and I gave him admin privileges 'cos I thought maybe he could change those things. Kiz & Martillo were the first Ciffers I had direct communication with and the first to be listed as contributors, so I admined them for sentimental reasons, I guess.

    I think I understand now what martillo was suggesting earlier and I think that would work quite well - that is, the parallel blogs. As I understand/see that is that I can start up another blog or two and link them up at the top of the right hand column. We could keep this place for general chat and have, say, a blog for current events/issues articles and one for music/sports (so that's generally where YouTube clips would go, etc).

    Now, I think we all would understand that this would be by way of "gentle suggestion" and that no one is going to be deleted for being off-topic anywhere. The best threads seem to have a way of developping organically. And no, WE DON'T NEED NO STEENKING MODS! So far everyone who's come here has been reasonable and well-mannered. Let's keep things that way.

    Lastly, I have not found taking care of this place to be onerous in any way and am happy to continue. If we move to the interwoven blogs approach and this place is left for general chat and silliness, it might be best if just a couple of people have the ability to start new threads here (and I do like either the "24 hour" or "Up to 200 comments" notion for that) and whoever wants to be included as authors on the topic-specific blogs would be invited as contributors.

    I must confess -- there is a part of me that thinks of this as my baby and I really didn't like the Proboards thing (HATE the ads...) much. Don't really want to move there. Does this sound workable to people?

    ReplyDelete
  150. And yet Bill, these seem to be some of the most ordered, rational bunch of threads I've ever encountered.

    The crux of the matter is whence: "substance". Gravity.

    Hence the necessity for some decent leading posts.

    Therein lies success or failure...

    But things have hardly begun old boy.

    ReplyDelete
  151. "You are apparently very easily pissed off,"

    Funny, i have avoided it for months on here until you showed up. Maybe its not me thats the problem, billp.



    "Why should I give a monkey's what you like or don't like? Or what pisses you off? Who are you?"

    You dont have to give a monkeys, i couldnt give a fuck if you do or dont.


    "I SUGGESTED some very minor controls of the publication of articles here,"

    As explained, in plain English, your suggestions were completely fine.



    "Instead, you attempt to marginalise my "right" to make them. Why? Because my style pisses you off."

    Have i asked you to stop making suggestions? Simple question, have i asked you to stop making suggestions? Have i queried your right to make suggestions? No. Yet you keep claiming this censorious oppression that doesnt exist.


    "I'll write whatever I please, when I please. I'm no JayReilly."

    You're right, i'll go back as JJayRReilly - cos thats principles that is, isnt it, adjusting your moniker and going back for more, get the man a medal...

    ReplyDelete
  152. martillo, we have already established that "no moderation" is an instance of common ground. It was never in question (i.e., nobody ever expressed a different stance).

    ************

    scherfig, you appear to have a problem with comprehension. you wrote: "let me put it less subtly. I do not want your input, I am not interested in your input. I am not asking you for anything."

    That, in response to my claiming that 'I am subtly being asked not to OFFER input. Or so much input. Or that specific input.' {emphasis added}

    I don't care if you do not want my input, only if people subtly ask me not to OFFER any. It's not the same thing.

    "There is no 'debate' as you seem to understand it..."

    I'm beginning to understand that. Still, what are you engaging in here, then?

    "There is just us doing what we want to do when we want to do it."

    Am I included in that "we"? May I do (i.e., write, opine, suggest, criticise) what I want to do when I want to do it? If so, why do you even see fit to opine on my doing what I want to do when I want to do it? Isn't it a given that I can do what I want?

    "And as far as I'm concerned, if you don't like it, you can fuck off. Or you can stay. Or you fly to the moon on a blue unicorn."

    What if I DO like it? What can I do, then? Meanwhile, who do you suppose cares what you canhappen as far as you're concerned? Who are you?

    "There are no restrictions on your freedom of expression. You can even analyse Jay's brain. But I don't give a flying fuck about you."

    Oh, I've never felt so friendless in a social club in all my life. Ow-aaa!

    ReplyDelete
  153. Jay: "As explained, in plain English, your suggestions were completely fine."

    So, what's the problem?

    "Have i asked you to stop making suggestions? Simple question, have i asked you to stop making suggestions? Have i queried your right to make suggestions? No. Yet you keep claiming this censorious oppression that doesnt exist."

    Without going back and digging up quotes... didn't you say words to the effect that I should calm down? Isn't that Christmas Lunch Family Getogetherese for shut it? And, hence, an attempt at censorship?

    "You're right, i'll go back as JJayRReilly - cos thats principles that is, isnt it, adjusting your moniker and going back for more, get the man a medal..."

    You and I both know the truth of the matter, Jay. I've said my piece on that. Go back. Just try not to look too needy.

    ReplyDelete
  154. MW: "As I understand/see that is that I can start up another blog or two and link them up at the top of the right hand column. We could keep this place for general chat and have, say, a blog for current events/issues articles and one for music/sports (so that's generally where YouTube clips would go, etc)."

    Montana Wildhack, can I take it then that there is no real link at all to the Cif goings on at all (even if there used to be, or there was intended to be, at the start)? That any input that touches on Cif moderation policy, or delted posts and such, will be entirely incidental to the progress of the connected blogs?

    I'm not bothered one way or another, I just like to know what's what.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Billp - my intent when I started this place was merely to have a place to be able to carry on conversations that had started on Cif that were truncated due to the Graun's closing down comments after 72 hours. That was my only agenda -- the unhappiness with the modding policy was non-existent for me at that point. I was a newcomer to Cif and my major frustration was mainly that, being 6 hours behind GMT, I would often come home and return to a thread I'd been involved in only to find comments closed. I didn't know who, if indeed anyone, would ever come over here to check things out and participate.

    Happily, people have and the place has been taking on a life of its own. So far, it's been a pretty copacetic place. The mood here has been light and all of the back and forth has been good-natured. A few people have popped in to deride us for thinking that we're the "cool kids" with our own little clique, but those people have tended to come in with the one comment and then leave us alone. I don't think anyone here has ever thought of this place as a clique. It's public, I haven't put any restrictions on comments and I've never deleted a comment (except one of my own the other day).

    We have no agenda and the whole issue of moving to a threaded board was merely for the sake clarity. I still have no desire to moderate anyone's comments and the only reason I've been concerned about more & more people contributing articles is for the sake of being able to follow comments. I don't give a hoot about staying on-topic in the comments below articles -- conversations take on a life of their own and I like that.

    The list of banned & deceased posters was merely a tribute/protest of the Graun's recent rash of bannings. If you don't want "Billplasterer" on the list, I'll take it off.

    ReplyDelete
  156. "didn't you say words to the effect that I should calm down? Isn't that Christmas Lunch Family Getogetherese for shut it? And, hence, an attempt at censorship?"

    Thats it, billp, "calm it down campers" - the dark hand of censorship reveals itself... Cracking point, billp, jesus...

    Your suggestions were fine, its the way you talk to people, the way you seem intent on picking fights, the way you seem completely blind to your surroundings.



    "You and I both know the truth of the matter, Jay. I've said my piece on that. Go back. Just try not to look too needy."

    Thats right, billp, you said your piece and i pointed out how absurd it was. You essentially put a different T shirt on and then go back to be "struck" again, whereas i complained that my striking was unfair, yet you're Mr Principles? Right. No surprise you've "said your piece", you were talking shit and you got called on it.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Billp I've just tried to post and hit a glitch!

    This was the gist of it.

    Nobody is saying that you shouldn't contribute ideas but despite our having quite a wide range of politival views oveer here we are all very 'liberal' when it comes to being able to say what we think without 'fear or favour'.

    I think what made people uncomfortable was the mentions of community rules and particularly the term 'enforcer'.

    I have to say that after many years of attending meetings of various groups within the Labour and Trade Union movement I have found that its a good idea(if you actually want your ideas to be given some consideration) to judge the group dynamics of the meeting before 'wading in'.

    But I suppose its a matter of why you express your opinions? Its more than just 'getting it off your chest surely?

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  158. Its your whole manner billp, not your suggestions or ideas, you're just so bloody objectionable and boorish. Some of your ideas were good but you talk to people like you're the bloody king of the hill. Maybe the mention on the roll of honour has gone to your head a bit...

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  159. Thanks MW, for clearing that up. I suppose I got the wrong idea somewhere, possibly as a result of JayReilly's banning, and the subsequent posting about that. Why though, would you want a "tribute" to people who were banned from Cif? Perhaps some got banned for actually breaking sensible rules. I not sure I understand the tribute thing. Perhaps that's partly responsible for my confusion.

    *******

    annetan: "I think what made people uncomfortable was the mentions of community rules and particularly the term 'enforcer'."

    That's possible, but do people have a right to "comfort" on a forum? The term 'enforcer' was given adequate explanatory context. There is no justification for a reasonable person becomiong uncomfortable with it. Again, my point in that regard was: Every "society" needs rules; every rules needs to be enforced (or it's less than useless), and enforcement or rules requires the presence of an enforcer. Think of it as a primary/elementary school: Rules, enforced, by the staff. Or a home: Rules, enforced, by parents. It's not scary. We live it every day, in many aspects of our lives.

    "I have found that its a good idea(if you actually want your ideas to be given some consideration) to judge the group dynamics of the meeting before 'wading in'."

    Where do you suppose we've all been the last few years (or months)? I already knew the group dynamics. What I'm discovering (and, possibly others are discovering) is individual personality flaws that were no so obvious in the controlled environment that is Cif.

    But I suppose its a matter of why you express your opinions? Its more than just 'getting it off your chest surely?

    My "offending" opinion amount to my suggestions for slight improvements here, and my defending myself when more or less informed that I was out of order in making such suggestions. That I defend myself well, should not make me the bad guy. there was no need for some of the responses to my suggestions offered in good faith.

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  160. "Its your whole manner billp, not your suggestions or ideas, you're just so bloody objectionable and boorish. Some of your ideas were good but you talk to people like you're the bloody king of the hill."

    I offer one selected black pot quote from you in response (there are a few in a similar vein):

    "Also, speaking of missing posters, who was that absolute pig, rabid right wing pro life loon, a bloke, whose posts were so far fetched they were actualluy hilarious??? He was like a right wing spoof, really noxious little git, i cant think of any better way to describe him other than comically unpleasant and bigoted, someone please remember, anyone???"

    I'M objectionable and boorish? You were speaking about a person in that quote. A person who had as much right to express an opinion on Cif as you did. Yet "absolute pig", "rabid", "right wing pro life loon", "right wing spoof", "really noxious little git"? And YOU found HIM "comically unpleasant and bigoted"?

    JayReilly, have you had a good long look at yourself recently? You calling other people "boorish"? It would be laughable if it didn't involve a deluded human being.

    "Maybe the mention on the roll of honour has gone to your head a bit..."

    It hasn't. As I've said, I don't even understand it, outside of the (now denied) context of this site being principally about unfair bannings, etc. What am I'm being honoured for? For having been banned from an online forum that, in the grand scheme of things, means diddley squat? Explain it to me. Why the "roll of honour"? and why must a Cif poster either die or be banned to get on it?

    To get back to your original quote, my "manner2 may be the result of the attempts to restrict my freedom of expression. I make no apology for it. If you look bak, you'll notice that it wasn't apparent until after I was informed of my "place" and limited right to an opinion.

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  161. "Perhaps some got banned for actually breaking sensible rules."

    Undoubtedly, but people object to the notion of banning full stop. Since posters, like you, can just come back under a slightly different moniker anyway it seems to achieve very little but it does cause a huge amount of bad feeling and doesnt help the Graun's image as a champion of free speech and liberalism.

    The personality flaw revealed is yours - you cant engage in any other way than the hostile, bolshy manner that you do on cif. But this isnt cif - its quite a relaxed blog where ciffers can talk about what they want. This may change over time, we would like more articles, more views, more people, suggestions for format, but at present its quite a good natured place and your general obnoxious nature isnt going down too well.

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  162. Bill the key here is group. You 'know' (in the internet sense) the individuals but not the group as it behaves in a different environment.

    I am not suggesting that anyone has the right to 'comfort' in that sense. But surely you have to admit that if someone's comment makes you feel 'uncomfortable' you have the right to say so in terms!

    The way you express that depends on personality, experience and long term aims I suppose.

    The role of rules in a society and how they come about and the most effective ways of bringing them about is a subject that we might discuss. I suppose that being a bottom up socialist the word 'enforcer' has very top down connotations and as such i instinctively reject it.

    One of the disasters (and there are many!) of Nulabopur has been the enormous quantity of legislation (and laws are rules are they not/) they have produced. They have not made society any more law abiding.

    Rules and laws need to be created by communities not imposed on them.

    This leads to a situation where communities are policed by consent. These days you can face legal sanction for putting some rubbish in the wrong bin! (a real jeapardy when you are old and a bit forgetful believe me!)

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  163. I see, im a hypocrite because i made unkind remarks about a flash in the pan troll on CiF. I am boorish and obnoxious, frequently, yes, but i try at least to have a concept of "time and a place". So i dont behave in here as i do on CIF because it isnt really what this place is about. If i did behave in here like i did on CiF i suspect i would have got a similar reaction to what you're getting now.

    If i make a suggestion here i try to be reasonable, to listen to others, not to be too overbearing and volatile, to try and maintain the atmosphere we have here, not be a twat basically. You, on the other hand, just charged in playing johnny big balls.


    "JayReilly, have you had a good long look at yourself recently?"

    Oh go on then, no i havent, why - what horrors await me?

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  164. Jay: "Undoubtedly, but people object to the notion of banning full stop."

    That's an untenable position. As I've said, every society needs rules enforced by an enforcer. Cif has some sensible rules. There has to be a stated penalty for breaking such rules, even if it's a circumventable penalty. Cif errs in making unfair and counter-productive rules, and by not (actually) enforcing the rules they lay down.

    "The personality flaw revealed is yours - you cant engage in any other way than the hostile, bolshy manner that you do on cif."

    You contradict yourself there, after earlier stating that I was, on here, unrecognisable, with respect to my Cif persona. And again, I don't swear (except on rare occasion for comic effect), I don't name-call, and I don't personally attack. I'm in no way boorish, although I can see why kizbot might have found me to be "serially annoying". What you call 'hostile', I call 'spirited'.

    "But this isnt cif - its quite a relaxed blog where ciffers can talk about what they want."

    So, what is MY crime?

    "...but at present its quite a good natured place and your general obnoxious nature isnt going down too well."

    YOU'RE obnoxious JayReilly! And you're deluded. And you're a massive hypocrite. You can't justify deliberately trying to offend people by prefacing your insults with the term "right wing".

    I don't know that my input isn't going down too well. I haven't heard from everyone yet. Apart from that, I don't care what anybody thinks about billp. He's just an online vehicle for hearing myself think, and for working out my own precise position on things.

    That is, I have a position on everything, even things I haven't heard of yet. I mainly post in order to tweak that position. I do that by writing, then considering what I wrote.

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  165. If we're just going to get endless bickering between JayReilly and billp about nothing of any importance it won't be long before everyone else turns off. I feel like I'm intruding on some private row. WTF?

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  166. ""Undoubtedly, but people object to the notion of banning full stop."

    That's an untenable position."

    Maybe you could do a better job of refuting it then. You seem to think your opinion so weighty that simply claiming something is untenable, or something is NEEDED, makes it so - it doesnt. If posters can just come back anyway, like you, what is the point of CIF banning people? What does censorship achieve?


    "You contradict yourself there, after earlier stating that I was, on here, unrecognisable, with respect to my Cif persona."

    "Unrecognisable" is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps my memory of you on cif is simply poor, others have said they remember you being equally irritating on CIF so the error is probably mine.


    "YOU'RE obnoxious JayReilly! And you're deluded. And you're a massive hypocrite."

    Maybe when there's a whole group of people telling me this i might listen to it. To my knowledge, you're the first person on this blog i have been obnoxious to. And capital letters are really very adolescent, by the way.


    "You can't justify deliberately trying to offend people by prefacing your insults with the term "right wing"."

    More nonsense. How could i be trying to offend someone that isnt here? This mystery right wing loon is never going to read the comments, so its not about offending him, its simply trying to remember him. So your talk of "offending people" is demonstrable rubbish. If you are trying to paint me as someone that tries to invalidate other people's views because they are "right wing" then you are laughably off the mark.


    "I don't know that my input isn't going down too well."

    Yep, tough one billp, who's to know...


    "That is, I have a position on everything, even things I haven't heard of yet. I mainly post in order to tweak that position. I do that by writing, then considering what I wrote."

    Thats fine, just dont expect people to be as fascinated by your posts as you are.

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  167. annetan: "I am not suggesting that anyone has the right to 'comfort' in that sense. But surely you have to admit that if someone's comment makes you feel 'uncomfortable' you have the right to say so in terms!"

    You have the 'moral right' to OPINE whatever you want, EXCEPT that I don't have a similar right. People said I had no right to post suggestions for forum rules and policies. I vigorously defended my right. They got all crybaby on me. I am not responsible for other people's feelings, or emotional immaturity or instability.

    "I suppose that being a bottom up socialist the word 'enforcer' has very top down connotations and as such i instinctively reject it."

    Then you are reacting on the basis of your feelings, your emotions, instead of your reason (which should tell you that words can't hurt you). You're opinion, under such circumstances, can't be taken seriously.

    In any event, Britain has a Socialist government in power. One that enforces rules by means of an enforcer (itself).

    "One of the disasters (and there are many!) of Nulabour has been the enormous quantity of legislation (and laws are rules are they not/) they have produced. They have not made society any more law abiding."

    I didn't suggest making as many rules as possible. Perhaps New Labour are making stupid rules, or unenforceable ones, or they aren't providing adequate enforcers, or the penalty for breaking such laws is too slight. I suggested some (to my mind) sensible rules. Nobody has disputed their apparent good sense. I am being hounded simply for having made the suggestion.

    "Rules and laws need to be created by communities not imposed on them."

    Did I impose any rules on this society? Did I suggest the imposition of any rules. I made SUGGESTIONS for possible rules.

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  168. Jay, check the phonebooth.

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  169. "People said I had no right to post suggestions for forum rules and policies."

    I must have missed that. I thought you were being a rude twat and people told you to stop it. But poor little bilp was just offering polite suggestions when the nasty sheep rounded on him and "censored" him... pathetic.


    "You're opinion, under such circumstances, can't be taken seriously."

    At least she'll be a bit of company for you then.


    "In any event, Britain has a Socialist government in power."

    Good one.



    Anyway, you're boring me, and this rowing is pissing off other people now, so i will thank you for this tussle and ignore you moving forward unless you have something interesting to say, which on this evidence isnt too likely.

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  170. JayReilly: "I see, im a hypocrite because i made unkind remarks about a flash in the pan troll on CiF."

    No, you're a hypocrite because you called me boorish.

    "I am boorish and obnoxious, frequently, yes, but i try at least to have a concept of "time and a place". "

    What is that 3-letter acronym Pikebishop always uses?

    "So i dont behave in here as i do on CIF because it isnt really what this place is about."

    Who gets to say what this place is about? This place is about whatever it evolves into.

    "If i did behave in here like i did on CiF i suspect i would have got a similar reaction to what you're getting now."

    You act the exact same way here See your posts on both the "noxious git" and ultimathule. you just don't act that way toward the little fireside chat club.

    "If i make a suggestion here i try to be reasonable, to listen to others, not to be too overbearing and volatile, to try and maintain the atmosphere we have here, not be a twat basically. You, on the other hand, just charged in playing johnny big balls."

    Was that your former position? Did I oust you? And you couldn't stand that? So, this is all about you feeling your territory was invaded. That your hallowed ground was defiled. Well, it's NOT your territory. So, get over it. And stop crying.

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  171. Dan, you're free to post something. Whining about the quality of your lurk isn't reasonable.

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  172. JayReilly wrote: "If you are trying to paint me as someone that tries to invalidate other people's views because they are "right wing" then you are laughably off the mark."

    He actually wrote that.

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  173. Sorry, billp, what is lurk when it's at home?

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  174. Dan, a lurk is the act of reading an online forum, without commenting on it. You know that. You earlier told us that you used to lurk on Cif for years. You used some variation of the verb "to lurk".

    Lurking is not a bad thing, in itself. Complaining about the quality of the input in a thread or forum, while not contributing anything much of value yourself (i.e., enjoying a lurk), is, to my mind, unreasonable.

    Weren't you invited to the phonebooth, Dan. Apparently, there's been a fireside pow-wow and a decision taken to ignore me en masse.

    It's not a clique, though. I know, because they said it wasn't.

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  175. Not me, billp, I never said I lurked on Cif- I'm danpearceItaly, or was. Must be some other Dan. And I did contribute something of inestimable value earlier which you might have noticed if you weren't so involved in your tussle with He Who Called Blair a Cunt. And I don't know anything about phonebooths or you being ostracised.
    Am I the only one in the dark as far as this is concerned?

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  176. What did you contribute, dan?

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