Paul W. Schleck <psch...@panix.com
>"Adam H. Kerman" <a...@chinet.com
>>Tristan Miller <tmi...@big-8.org
>>>This is an official communication from the Usenet Big-8 Management
>>>Board. Please note that followups are set to news.groups.
>>>In March 2021, the Board joined Open Collective Europe
> in order to make all of its
>>>financial activities transparent.
>>You spend, what, a few hundred bucks a year on Web hosting and related
>>stuff? Of all the issues with respect to the Bambies, the possibility of
>>embezzlement at no point entered my mind.
>Having a practical and reputable fundraising vehicle is more than just
>about transparency, and transparency is more than just protection
Sure. Waste and abuse, too. I wasn't concerned given the amount of money
involved. It can't hurt, though.
>More money can enable the Board to do more practical, useful things
>to support Usenet.
The role of hierarchy administration is extremely limited in supporting
Usenet, and the Big 8 isn't Usenet anyway.
>Transparency can give useful feedback to the Usenet community how the
>money is being spent, and encourage volunteers to contribute their time
>and labor to pursue projects that can be accomplished with more money.
This doesn't make a lot of sense. If someone wishes to propose a
project, then he should propose it. If people it's worthwhile, they
might contribute monies to it. They can report back to donors how the
monies were spent but that's hardly the key factor in having the ability
to raise dozens of dollars.
>I'm not currently a Board member, nor do I have insight into current
>Board activities beyond what's posted to the newsgroups and in the
>meeting minutes at big-8.org
. Conference travel was one thing mentioned
>in this thread, but I recall other ideas being kicked around by previous
>iterations of the Board with the caveat of "if only" (if only we had the
>volunteers, if only we had the money.) Things like:
> - Switching moderation bot accounts from retail individual accounts at
> Panix to a Board-managed and configured "colocation" or "co-lo"
> server in a data center.
I think you're talking about a virtual server on a server farm somewhere
that might cost hundreds of dollars in fees a year.
"Co-lo" is telephony terminology for a telephone switch physically
housing termination equipment of a CLEC. I don't see how we're talking
about any significant amount of special connectivity needed to receive
proto articles to be gated upon approval to Usenet.
Besides, panix is hardly the only option for a moderation account which
some moderators provide their own equipment for anyway.
> - There might still be value to incorporate to limit liability for
> Board members. A corporation could also carry, and afford the
> premiums for, liability insurance (it is unlikely that the Board
> would be held criminally liable for the acts of others on Usenet, but
> civil liability from libel/defamation suits was mentioned).
You had Bob Rudd as a Bambie. If that didn't trigger liability issues,
I'm trying to see how you could possibly raise funds to buy E&O
insurance. I predict no one at all would donate monies for this.
> - Running a robust and trained newsgroup mentoring program.
You're hysterical, Paul. You aren't serious, and if you were, it
wouldn't cost money.
> experts that could shepherd proponents through all phases of the
> newsgroup creation process, as well as assist with the challenges of
> running a newsgroup. Too many proponents got discouraged and quit
> due to challenges with having to write a properly-formatted RFD and
> respond to vexatious criticism during the proposal process.
The Bambie-required format is stupid. alt.* proposals have no
boilerplate at all. It works just great.
Too many proponents have zero interest in promoting the proposed
newsgroup. There's just no fix for that. In fact, it's a mistake to
encourage a proponent in any way who has zero interest in promoting the
proposed newsgroup. I think I've said this a few hundred times to you,
but you're not listening.
> created, many newsgroups failed due to challenges like having to
> budget expenses like moderation site hosting,
No one has proposed a group for which moderation would have solved an
actual problem in years.
> having the volunteer labor to run a newsgroup day-to-day,
Not the proponent's job.
> and building an audience with posting activity containing useful
> threads of discussion.
That's the first thing you've said that's the proponent's job. No third
party can do the proponent's job for him. If he's too lazy and too
disinterested in promoting the newsgroup, then Bambie blundered in
newgrouping it, didn't it.
> All of
> this while getting little to no useful feedback, even from the Board.
If you had asked me, that's what I'd have told you, but I'm sure I'm not
> - It would be easier to recruit membership for a Board if it was a
> working Board, and doing useful, practical things for the betterment
> of Usenet.
I would prefer that Usenet be left to its own devices and the Big-8
Board stick to nothing but hierarchy administration.
> The last iteration of the Board just gradually stopped
> carrying out its duties more and more until it finally died.
It kind of doesn't matter. With newsgroups already created for every
conceivable topic, there was nothing to newgroup.
I suppose you failed to notice that someone sent three newgroup messages
for alt.* groups to take over from the non-Usenet News site that mozilla
took down. Those three groups are alive and the proponent did actual
work promoting them, but that was a special circumstance.
I have no idea how you think you, an unmotivated third party, could have
done it better than a motivated proponent on a deadline. I sure as hell
don't know how you think monies need to be raised for this.
> Recruited Board members quickly got bored, saw their only role as a
> target of criticism, and left. Some remaining Board members got into
> distractive arguments and talking past each other, advocating
> impractical blue-sky proposals unlikely to be implemented, while
> leaving the actual practical, day-to-day work of processing the RFD
> and MVI queues unattended.
The MVI process was abused. That needs to be never used again, ever. For
gawd's sake: Skirv declared an MVI for a group for which he was
moderator, instead of just transferring duties to someone else.
You've always ignored what I've said over the years that there needs to
be a moderator succession plan per newsgroup from the start, that gets
updated from time to time as the moderator team changes. Then there's
no reason for the MVI process as the first step.
RFD queue? I think a proponent would have mentioned it in news.groups if
he was being ignored.
>I welcome the enthusiasm, foresight, and work-ethic of the new Board to
>help solve some of these problems, and implement some of these
I think you're exaggerating the nature of the problem.