• Re: Moderator Vacancy Investigation: rec.humor.funny and rec.humor.funn

    From Jon Ribbens@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Wed Mar 2 15:51:33 2022
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted
    in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Computer Nerd Kev@21:1/5 to Jon Ribbens on Thu Mar 3 06:47:24 2022
    Jon Ribbens <jon+usenet@unequivocal.eu> wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted
    in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    I mentioned to him that the automatic posts to
    rec.humor.funny.reruns had ceased in 2015. He said:
    "I may take a while to get to it, but thanks for the note"

    It's been quite a while...

    --
    __ __
    #_ < |\| |< _#

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Tristan Miller@21:1/5 to Jon Ribbens on Thu Mar 3 08:41:40 2022
    Greetings.

    On 03/03/2022 15.37, Jon Ribbens wrote:
    Mind you, my post above allegedly dated 2nd March was actually posted
    8th January and took two months to get approved, so maybe there is
    some sort of time dilation effect going on here;-)


    Sorry about that -- as I recently mentioned in another thread, we had
    some further issues with the moderation software that resulted in four
    posts submitted since October 2021 not appearing. Yesterday I rescued
    these four posts, one of which was yours, but with the side-effect of timestamping these posts with the new moderation approval date rather
    than the original submission date.

    Regards,
    Tristan

    --
    Usenet Big-8 Management Board
    https://www.big-8.org/
    board@big-8.org

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Jon Ribbens@21:1/5 to Computer Nerd Kev on Thu Mar 3 08:37:10 2022
    On 2022-03-03, Computer Nerd Kev <not@telling.you.invalid> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens <jon+usenet@unequivocal.eu> wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted >>> in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    I mentioned to him that the automatic posts to
    rec.humor.funny.reruns had ceased in 2015. He said:
    "I may take a while to get to it, but thanks for the note"

    It's been quite a while...

    Indeed. For some reason the post from 2010 showed up as new for me.
    Mind you, my post above allegedly dated 2nd March was actually posted
    8th January and took two months to get approved, so maybe there is
    some sort of time dilation effect going on here ;-)

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steve Bonine@21:1/5 to Jon Ribbens on Fri Mar 11 03:59:44 2022
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted
    in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago,
    my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left. Today,
    removing dead newsgroups is busy work. I realize that by posting this
    article I am including myself in this comment ... but really, are you
    folks so desperate for something to do that the best you can come up
    with is going through a convoluted and time-consuming process, the end
    result of which is the issuance of an RMGROUP that no one will notice?

    And, FWIW, yes, a decade ago I actually did contact Brad.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Tristan Miller@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Fri Mar 11 08:37:50 2022
    Greetings.

    On 11/03/2022 10.59, Steve Bonine wrote:
    but really, are you folks so desperate for something to do that the best
    you can come up with is going through a convoluted and time-consuming process, the end result of which is the issuance of an RMGROUP that no
    one will notice?


    An important part of why we are doing this is to practise the
    procedures, and thereby exercise the associated machinery, to find out
    what does and doesn't still work, and then to fix the stuff that's
    broken. We recently did a group creation RFD that passed successfully;
    we've been monitoring which news servers have implemented the NEWGROUP
    and have been getting in touch with some of those who haven't to find
    out why. And the current deletion RFD has turned up various bugs and incompatibilities in the STUMP moderation software that have since been
    fixed.

    Regards,
    Tristan

    --
    Usenet Big-8 Management Board
    https://www.big-8.org/
    board@big-8.org

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Jon Ribbens@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Fri Mar 11 08:22:39 2022
    On 2022-03-11, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted >>> in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old.

    Indeed, this has become apparent. My apologies. I don't know why my
    newsreader showed me the article as new. It probably doesn't help that
    'slrn' thinks that the Date: header isn't worth displaying, but this
    has finally prompted me to care enough to work out how to configure
    it to be more sensible.

    A decade ago, my opinion was that there was justification for removing
    dead newsgroups because it might funnel traffic into the ones that
    were left. Today, removing dead newsgroups is busy work. I realize
    that by posting this article I am including myself in this comment ...
    but really, are you folks so desperate for something to do that the
    best you can come up with is going through a convoluted and
    time-consuming process, the end result of which is the issuance of an
    RMGROUP that no one will notice?

    I'm not sure who "you folks" are, but it was you suggesting going
    through that process, not me... albeit in the rather distant past ;-)

    And, FWIW, yes, a decade ago I actually did contact Brad.

    Excellent, thank you.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Spiros Bousbouras@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Sat Mar 12 15:16:53 2022
    On Fri, 11 Mar 2022 03:59:44 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny
    was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted >> in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago,
    my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left.

    I don't understand the logic behind this. If a group is a dead then it
    means that people aren't interested in posting in it so its existence
    doesn't act as a distraction from posting in or reading other groups.

    Today, removing dead newsgroups is busy work.

    I don't see a point in removing dead groups. You never know when the topic might be revived again so why eliminate the possibility ? If it's dead ,
    it's not harming anyone.

    --
    vlaho.ninja/prog

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steve Bonine@21:1/5 to Tristan Miller on Sat Mar 12 15:16:53 2022
    Tristan Miller wrote:
    Greetings.

    On 11/03/2022 10.59, Steve Bonine wrote:
    but really, are you folks so desperate for something to do that the
    best you can come up with is going through a convoluted and
    time-consuming process, the end result of which is the issuance of an
    RMGROUP that no one will notice?


    An important part of why we are doing this is to practise the
    procedures, and thereby exercise the associated machinery, to find out
    what does and doesn't still work, and then to fix the stuff that's
    broken.  We recently did a group creation RFD that passed successfully; we've been monitoring which news servers have implemented the NEWGROUP
    and have been getting in touch with some of those who haven't to find
    out why.  And the current deletion RFD has turned up various bugs and incompatibilities in the STUMP moderation software that have since been fixed.

    Creating new newsgroups is rather different than removing dead ones. If
    you can convince yourself (royal "yourself") that there will be activity
    in a new group, creating it makes sense.

    But removing groups? Why? There are hundreds of dead newsgroups in the
    big-8 hierarchies. Issuing removal RFDs and going through the process
    to remove some subset of them is just silly. It was dubious even years
    ago when there was potential for redirecting people to the remaining
    groups; these days it is pointless.

    As for "exercise the associated machinery" . . . for how many months, or perhaps years, was the moderation broken for news.groups.proposals? It
    does not take a removal RFD to see that submissions are not reaching the
    group ... it just takes giving a damn. Why does the group even need to
    exist now? There was a time when separating the discussion of new
    newsgroups from news.groups made sense (although even then it was
    contentious to move it to a moderated newsgroup). These days, with the
    level of activity like it is, making the discussion easier is a goal,
    and a moderated newsgroup doesn't do that. Especially when the
    moderation software is nonfunctional.

    But OK; if this is how you want to spend your time, have a ball.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Computer Nerd Kev@21:1/5 to Spiros Bousbouras on Sun Mar 13 17:25:15 2022
    Spiros Bousbouras <spibou@gmail.com> wrote:
    On Fri, 11 Mar 2022 03:59:44 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    According to Google's archive the last post approved to rec.humor.funny >> >> was on 30 July 2009 and for rec.humor.funny.reruns the last post was
    April 7, 2008 (excluding automatic submissions). Probe messages resulted >> >> in no response for either newsgroup.

    Have you tried to contact Brad at btm at templetons dot com?

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago,
    my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups
    because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left.

    I don't understand the logic behind this. If a group is a dead then it
    means that people aren't interested in posting in it so its existence
    doesn't act as a distraction from posting in or reading other groups.

    On the contrary, if you read more closely you'll see that these are
    moderated groups where the moderator is no longer accepting any
    posts (or, since the thread started, even posting their previously
    regular automated posts to rec.humor.funny.reruns themselves).

    This makes the group precisely a distraction from others because
    anyone who wants to post something to rec.humor.funny may still do
    so, but their post will never appear there. So they'll have wasted
    their time, and if they're new to Usenet then it might discourage
    them entirely if they don't understand why their post didn't work.
    They also might otherwise have found a working group to post in if rec.humor.funny hadn't distracted them.

    I agree that there is little point in deleting unmoderated groups,
    but leaving these non-functional moderated groups around as little
    black holes swallowing up new posts will only serve to force people
    (especially new users) to the conclusion that Usenet is not only
    dead, but also broken. Of couse the ideal would always be to find a
    new moderator.

    So I, for one, thank the board for doing this work. Though with
    this thread it's a bit of a moot point to make a decade later.

    --
    __ __
    #_ < |\| |< _#

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Steve Bonine@21:1/5 to Spiros Bousbouras on Sun Mar 13 17:25:23 2022
    Spiros Bousbouras wrote:
    On Fri, 11 Mar 2022 03:59:44 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago,
    my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups
    because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left.

    I don't understand the logic behind this. If a group is a dead then it
    means that people aren't interested in posting in it so its existence
    doesn't act as a distraction from posting in or reading other groups.

    It does if there are several groups on the same general topic. At one
    point, with lots of activity, it made sense to provide separate groups
    for different aspects of the topic. As time passed, there were no
    longer enough people to maintain a critical mass of conversation in any
    of the subgroups. It might be that if you removed the subgroups that it
    would concentrate the discussion into one newsgroup, thus creating
    enough discussion to make it a viable newsgroup.

    This logic was weak a decade ago, and today is silly because there
    aren't enough users to concentrate. Back then it seemed worth a shot
    since the effort required was small, but it did not work.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Spiros Bousbouras@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Mon Mar 14 02:49:08 2022
    On Sun, 13 Mar 2022 17:25:23 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Spiros Bousbouras wrote:
    On Fri, 11 Mar 2022 03:59:44 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    Jon Ribbens wrote:
    On 2010-12-26, Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:

    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago, >> my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups >> because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left.

    I don't understand the logic behind this. If a group is a dead then it means that people aren't interested in posting in it so its existence doesn't act as a distraction from posting in or reading other groups.

    It does if there are several groups on the same general topic. At one
    point, with lots of activity, it made sense to provide separate groups
    for different aspects of the topic. As time passed, there were no
    longer enough people to maintain a critical mass of conversation in any
    of the subgroups. It might be that if you removed the subgroups that it would concentrate the discussion into one newsgroup, thus creating
    enough discussion to make it a viable newsgroup.

    What's a viable newsgroup ? A group isn't going to die on its own even if
    there is 0 conversation. So , even considering the worst case of 0
    conversation for a long amount of time , what's the harm ? The only harm I
    can imagine is poor first impression to someone who has recently come
    across usenet. This is a factor but are there others ?

    The danger with removing groups is that say there are groups A and B with
    some common ground but low amounts of discussion in each group. Still , some people may prefer A and others B so if one of the two were to be removed , it would create a winners and losers mentality and might lead to flamewars or passive aggression in the one remaining group , whichever that might be. So
    it would be better to let the users gravitate to one of the 2 groups on their own as opposed to forcing the matter by removing one of the two. If they
    don't gravitate , then they must have their reasons for preferring one of the two so I believe it would be best to let the situation as it is.

    This logic was weak a decade ago, and today is silly because there
    aren't enough users to concentrate. Back then it seemed worth a shot
    since the effort required was small, but it did not work.

    Yes , I agree that the logic is weak. Another problem is that is is
    subjective what counts as "a critical mass of conversation".

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Spiros Bousbouras@21:1/5 to Computer Nerd Kev on Mon Mar 14 02:49:08 2022
    On Sun, 13 Mar 2022 17:25:15 CST
    not@telling.you.invalid (Computer Nerd Kev) wrote:
    Spiros Bousbouras <spibou@gmail.com> wrote:
    On Fri, 11 Mar 2022 03:59:44 CST
    Steve Bonine <spb@pobox.com> wrote:
    The article you're replying to is more than a decade old. A decade ago, >> my opinion was that there was justification for removing dead newsgroups >> because it might funnel traffic into the ones that were left.

    I don't understand the logic behind this. If a group is a dead then it means that people aren't interested in posting in it so its existence doesn't act as a distraction from posting in or reading other groups.

    On the contrary, if you read more closely you'll see that these are
    moderated groups where the moderator is no longer accepting any
    posts (or, since the thread started, even posting their previously
    regular automated posts to rec.humor.funny.reruns themselves).

    I took the phrase "removing dead newsgroups" to be about newsgroups in
    general , including unmoderated ones , rather than just the 2 groups
    which are the subject of this thread. So my comment was about newsgroups
    in general.

    This makes the group precisely a distraction from others because
    anyone who wants to post something to rec.humor.funny may still do
    so, but their post will never appear there. So they'll have wasted
    their time, and if they're new to Usenet then it might discourage
    them entirely if they don't understand why their post didn't work.
    They also might otherwise have found a working group to post in if rec.humor.funny hadn't distracted them.

    I agree that there is little point in deleting unmoderated groups,
    but leaving these non-functional moderated groups around as little
    black holes swallowing up new posts will only serve to force people (especially new users) to the conclusion that Usenet is not only
    dead, but also broken. Of couse the ideal would always be to find a
    new moderator.

    Yes , I agree with all this.

    So I, for one, thank the board for doing this work. Though with
    this thread it's a bit of a moot point to make a decade later.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Tristan Miller@21:1/5 to Steve Bonine on Wed Mar 16 12:12:50 2022
    Greetings.

    On 12/03/2022 22.16, Steve Bonine wrote:
    Creating new newsgroups is rather different than removing dead ones.  If
    you can convince yourself (royal "yourself") that there will be activity
    in a new group, creating it makes sense.

    But removing groups?  Why?


    We're mostly concerned with moderated groups where the moderator has
    gone AWOL or is no longer willing or able to carry out their duties. It
    can be frustrating for users when their submissions to such groups
    disappear into a black hole with no explanation. Obviously we would
    prefer in such cases to appoint a different moderator, but that isn't
    always practical. Converting the group to unmoderated status is an
    option but one that we have been repeatedly advised against.

    As for "exercise the associated machinery" . . . for how many months, or perhaps years, was the moderation broken for news.groups.proposals?  It
    does not take a removal RFD to see that submissions are not reaching the group ... it just takes giving a damn.


    It had been working under the tenure of the new Board as recently as
    October 2021. We did not immediately notice the breakage in part due to
    the somewhat convoluted setup we inherited, which relies on two
    different third-party services. (Boring technical details are
    available, as always, in our published meeting minutes.) We're now
    working on simplifying the setup and putting some monitoring systems in
    place to ensure that the system doesn't go down without our being
    actively warned.

    Why does the group even need to
    exist now?  There was a time when separating the discussion of new newsgroups from news.groups made sense (although even then it was
    contentious to move it to a moderated newsgroup).  These days, with the level of activity like it is, making the discussion easier is a goal,
    and a moderated newsgroup doesn't do that.


    You're not the first person to have raised this issue with us. We
    didn't want to make any changes to the existing procedures without
    having run through them a few times ourselves to assess the technical
    and operational issues. Our postmortem of the current RFD (that is, the
    one for comp.software.shareware.*, discussed in another thread) will
    include a discussion of whether there is any sense in keeping news.groups.proposals as the discussion venue for RFDs.

    Regards,
    Tristan

    --
    Usenet Big-8 Management Board
    https://www.big-8.org/
    board@big-8.org

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Tristan Miller@21:1/5 to Computer Nerd Kev on Wed Mar 16 12:37:19 2022
    Greetings.

    On 14/03/2022 00.25, Computer Nerd Kev wrote:
    On the contrary, if you read more closely you'll see that these are
    moderated groups where the moderator is no longer accepting any
    posts (or, since the thread started, even posting their previously
    regular automated posts to rec.humor.funny.reruns themselves).

    [...]

    So I, for one, thank the board for doing this work. Though with
    this thread it's a bit of a moot point to make a decade later.


    Yes, the discussion for rec.humor.funny and rec.humor.funny.reruns is
    currently moot, though there's another thread active here [1] where we
    are discussing the removal of two other moderated groups: comp.software.shareware.authors and comp.software.shareware.announce.
    I'm about to post (somewhat belatedly, due to illness) the Last Call for Comments (LCC) but there's still time to contribute to the discussion.

    Regards,
    Tristan

    [1] news:str09s$2k1$1@dont-email.me

    --
    Usenet Big-8 Management Board
    https://www.big-8.org/
    board@big-8.org

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)