From Usenet Big-8 Management Board

Present: RL, JE, TM

  • Administration
    • TM reported that the LCC for comp.software.shareware.* RFD was posted on 2022-03-16, so the Board must now vote. The meeting discussed the RFD at length. There was no support for keeping the groups in their current state (i.e., with no functioning moderation) as this would be confusing or frustrating to posters. There was likewise no support for the Board or its members taking over manual moderation (no members expressing enough interest in the newsgroup topics to justify the workload) nor in running a robomoderator that approves all submissions (since the Board and its hosting company would become liable for spam). There was no support for converting the groups to unmoderated status as it was recognized that news servers would apply this change inconsistently, and in any case would likely not result in a revival of activity on the groups. It was recognized that the previous moderator had already determined that there was no interest in reviving the groups, and that the current RFD had also failed to arouse any interest in reviving the groups. JE and TM voted to remove the groups, with RL abstaining. TM agreed to announce the result to Usenet and to the ISC.
  • Finances
    • TM reported that Panix has sent our annual hosting bill in the amount of $100, which will be charged on 14 April. TM agreed to post the receipt and corresponding expense claim to Open Collective.
  • Infrastructure
    • TM reported that JK's STUMP instance for news.groups.proposals sends a confirmation to submitters that directs people to the n.g.p. charter at http://www.big-8.org/~ngp, but that this URL is no longer valid. Rather than asking JK to change his STUMP configuration to use the current URL, it was agreed that TM would add an HTTP redirect on our web server; this will ensure that anyone coming across the old URL in an archived message will be able to follow it and get the correct page.
    • TM reported that, per our request arising from the last meeting, JK has updated his STUMP instance to send moderator notices to the Board's e-mail address, but the Board members haven't been receiving those notices. JE determined that our mail server had indeed received the e-mails but for some reason did not forward them on to the individual Board members. JE to investigate further.
    • TM reported that JK's STUMP instance is still sending accept/reject notices to the ngp-mods Google Group. TM to ask JK to send these notices to the Board's e-mail address also.
  • Publicity
    • JE reported that his conference submission for CarolinaCon Online 2, "Tales from the Usenet", has been accepted. The date and time will be announced when they are made available. This will be an online-only event.
    • TM reported on his talk at LibrePlanet 2022. It was impossible to tell how many people attended the talk, though the IRC chat room had several dozen visitors, with several asking questions. Two audience members subsequently wrote to the Board offering to volunteer (see below).
  • Board organization
    • TM reported on volunteer requests from two individuals who attended the LibrePlanet 2022 talk. One has competence in C++ and the other in cybersecurity. TM has written back suggesting that they might work on STUMP, or as newsgroup moderators, or on third-party Usenet clients such as KNode.
    • Having now performed various administrative tasks (appointing new moderators, adding a group, removing groups), the Board agreed that there was insufficient work to justify the existence of subcommittees. It was agreed to abolish the subcommittees and that TM would update the How to volunteer or donate with more relevant and realistic volunteering suggestions.
    • The meeting discussed the size of the Board. While not opposed in principle to adding further Board members, the meeting felt that, given current activity levels on the Big 8, the current Board members were already able to handle the workload. It was nonetheless felt that, having succeeded in revitalizing the Board and establishing regular and productive meetings, it was now time to reinstitute membership terms and periodic calls for volunteers. It was agreed that JE would draft a revised Adding Members to the Board policy for discussion at the next meeting. Once the new policy is adopted, the current Board members would begin staggered terms (one each for 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months).
  • Misc
    • 1 April meeting tentatively cancelled due to unavailability of TM
    • 15 April meeting cancelled due to public holiday