May-Jun '08 | briefing | mail | interviews | articlespsorchat |  don't say this | flaker creativity | flakers' jargon | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewkesearch | acknowledgments | legal stuff | Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic  | 2008 Ed Dewke

About PsorChat
from Mike B.

Hi Ed:  Loved the Rob Traister interview.

Way back when, Yahoo Groups was quite a bit different from its present form, and took two forms.  There were on-line message boards, and there were “mailing lists” which were essentially one-way and for the purpose of notices and newsletters from the operator.  For true interactive lists, which are standard these days, you went outside to places like eGroups.  You sent an email to the group's address, and a copy was then automatically sent to each member who'd elected to get individual emails.  Yahoo recognized that interactive email was a major failing of their own Groups, and took over eGroups somewhere around 2000, give or take a couple of years.

And I'll agree with Rob (and probably you'll agree too) that as far as I'm aware, the only “keeping the peace” problems at PsorChat have involved spamming.  The group is, after all, a natural target for snake-oil “cures.”  Back before Rob started moderating all new members, we'd periodically get new “members” who'd obviously joined for the sole purpose of spamming.  At the time I suggested restricted membership, requiring a brief intro-bio before permitting an individual to join the group.  Rob adopted a less time-consuming compromise in which he moderates all newcomer posts until he is satisfied their intentions are not product marketing.  [Moderating a post means the group administrator receives it initially and must “approve” it before it is actually posted for the whole group. –Ed]

One unusual security feature Rob didn't mention, which can be a nuisance but is, at times, very useful: Members do not have access to the master list of members, so email addresses can't be harvested that way. –Mike B.


Ed’s Response: Thanks for providing some interesting detail, Mike. You and I (given our age and length of time fiddling with so-called “micro-computers”) are a part of the population of cyber-folk who really appreciate the sophistication of applications like Yahoo! Groups. Others take it for granted, which is natural. We took for granted pasteurized dairy products and, eventually, electric typewriters. I embrace the new communications technologies whole-heartedly (for example, I curse the continued existence of facsimile machines — they are so tiresome).

Not to change the subject, but ... I was finally getting a handle on the concept of “blogging.”  You know, that newer kind of web space referred to as a “BLOG,” which, I’m told, evolved from the words “web log.”  The other day, on my day job, I had the audacity to suggest a blog for a particular application and the person I was talking to frowned.  “No, Ed, not a blog,” she said.  “I think you mean a Wiki!”

Now, Mike.  I had to make my excuses, slither away and surf for such a thing.  Now I sort of know what it means.  Am I going to make your job any easier?  Think again, Mike!  I recommend you start with Google — er — Yahoo!  <wink> -Ed

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