BFB has grown. And with that growth has come complexities, in the form of spam and their attendant spambots and trolls who, frankly, sully the mess outta what we’re trying to achieve and preserve here.
It used to be that people could just show up, enter a screen name/e-mail (which didn’t even have to be a real address) and post away. That became a problem, which led to the intermittent outages many of us have noticed, thanks to (as I understand it) the onslaught of the spambots.
Then came Captcha, which is universally reviled. I hate it, my mom hates it, her mom hates it and so does her cat. Even a simple, 4-character Captcha sometimes malfunctions and when it does, bye bye comment. Not cool. So the matter of registration is under discussion. And when you’re done thinking great thoughts, go and laugh some more at Isaiah’s rockin’ hilarious Banquillo.
Those of you who use message boards already know about registration. But essentially, here’s everything (I think) that you will need to know about registration:
—Everyone will be allowed to register. This is a space for one and all, no exceptions or exclusions. You can even not be Catalan, and over the age of 14 wtih no direct family members related to you and/or fond of squirrels.
—Registration isn’t a done deal. If the family is overwhelmingly against it, we will consider other alternatives. But as it stands, we have two (actually, three) options:
1. No Captcha, which means spam, bots and the inevitable server overload/crash/no BFB joy.
2. Captcha, the present system.
3. Registration, in which you use your e-mail/screen name to in effect sign in to the site, after which point you can post away. This also means no more **//(link) skullduggery. 😀 You’re registered, so you can post links that won’t go into moderation and whatnot.
—Registration isn’t a form of control, or punishment. People are allowed to be free thinkers now. That won’t change one iota. FYI, we can ban people now if we choose, via IP address. We haven’t used that option, because that isn’t what this space is about. I know that some have speculated that users will be banned for disagreeing with the mods and whatnot, which is madness. Never. Never in a million years, or for however long never is, will that be allowed to happen.
—Registration will affect the number of comments. A simple fact is that people who aren’t planning to stay at a site for any length of time won’t bother to register. I know, because I am that way. On the up side, no more posts from people with screen names such as Barcelonablows or ****messi, and no aggressively hostile screeds from people who just want to foment nastiness. Now they can register and post those hostile screeds, it must be said. But then the user has to have a real e-mail address, and if things get too far out of hand, a note from a mod might be in order. On the down side, our glory-making stats will go down, because …. well …. not any all and everybody can just show up and post.
—Registration will make the place easier to manage. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a case might arise where a user is so aggressively hostile and disruptive that they might need to be put on time out. But I can’t think of a situation up until now where that would have happened, to put things in some perspective. The family is very effective at self-management, and I see no reason for that to change.
—The space will not function any differently. Just as you enter a handle/e-mail address now to post, you will need to enter one to post with registration. But once you’re signed in, that’s that. I must add that I’m not sure about avatars, but I don’t see any reason that those should change or go away.
So I think that about covers it all. Any questions, worries, suggestions and concerns should be aired. Part of why this space is what it is and feels how it feels is because everybody matters. And that will never change.