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Rock Net Now On Full Moderation

Greetings Rockhounds,

I've just implemented a change in the way Rock Net works, targeting some long-standing irritations plaguing us here. I originally designed Rock Net as an open topical resource and wrote the core software underlying its operation a decade ago. The Internet has changed a great deal since, and unfortunately not all for the better. The lowest common denominator among the general population of Internet users seems to be forever reaching new all-time lows.

Effective today, all messages posted to Rock Net will be subject to moderator review and approval prior to publication. This operational change will effectively curb all the spam, vandalistic gobbledygook, unwelcome commercial traffic and otherwise without-a-clue abuse diluting the signal-to-noise ratio of the connectivity here.

This is a change that in hindsight I should have made a long time ago, but have procrastinated implementing for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is the value I place on free speech and my own reluctance to don the censor's hat. Another consideration was the temporal lag that proactive moderation inevitably introduces to the communication process.

For some years now I have struggled at preserving Rock Net as an open resource with an at least acceptable signal-to-noise ratio by developing and implementing increasingly encompassing software idiot filters and anti-spam bots serving as digital dogs at the gate. But I've wearied of the good fight and have finally conceded that "open resource" and "acceptable signal-to-noise" are mutually exclusive terms given the ever degrading Internet user base and environment.

So what we have here now is a form of benign dictatorship and constructive censorship with maximum signal-to-noise ratio as the mandate. Henceforth, anyone whose virtual conduct is judged by me or other acting moderators to be unbecoming a rockhound, or in any other way abusive to or disrespectful of legitimate Rock Net users and the resource is now mute and read-only here.

To this end I have programmed and installed a front end on Rock Net that publishes only moderator approved messages. The moderator's interface and tools are still a bit agricultural, but I will continue developing and refining them to the point that other established Rock Net users who may want to step forward and periodically assist with moderation here are properly and effectively facilitated.

After some additional tweaking and further testing earlier today, I think the V1.00 software implementing proactive moderation on Rock Net is finally good to go. My apologies in advance for any bugs or problems that may rear their heads while these changes in the Rock Net code and user interfaces are being integrated and refined. There are more improvements and enhancements to Rock Net forthcoming, so please bear with me in the meanwhile, and keep on rock'n!

From Bob Keller - November 24, 2007 at 18:28:53

Message: 65578

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Bob Keller