www.whyville.net Jul 3, 2005 Weekly Issue

Times Writer


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Once, long ago, the BBS was like an underground Whyville. It was based loosely around science, but WAY off track. Nobody seemed to care too much, though, because back in ye oldbie days, there were no clam beggars, not as I recall them. The BBS was too often taken up by people making dating services that we didn't like, but most of us just ignored the threads titled with "I Need a BF" or such and so forth.

BabyPowdr here, reminiscing on BBS good times.

There were some issues, mostly with HTML being used to make fancy text and such, so they changed that. Eventually everything went downhill with misuse and all, and the BBS was shut down.

Then, City Hall added a beautiful new BBS. A BBS system within the Times! It was used mainly for debating the articles and giving praise or critique. Words were slung, feelings hurt, articles degraded, fights started, love lost and KABAM... you had a thread with 67 posts, all of which were actually based on the article, as mean as some of them may have been.

Now it seems like the clam craze and lust for an online significant other have once again taken over the sacred ground.

I really like BBSing. I recently joined an online forum my friend made and I find it great fun. I wish that Whyville could have a site-wide BBS or even sparse little sections across the site so that Whyvillians could chat with one another this way. Even if you never see each other in the chat rooms, you can build great friendships this way. Intelligent friendships, even....

But then the problem is, all it takes is to hit a button to create a new thread, write up a title -- "I need CLAMS", and huzzah, it's happening again. Unless there were a filter to stop these threads from being made (which would only be avoided), I don't think you could stop these people.

And anyway, is poverty such a problem in Whyville? I never noticed...

If only it were true that 911 reporting the offending posts would get rid of them; but imagine how many thousands of 911 reports they already get, and I'll bet half of those are not serious or legit.

Maybe the middle ground is to create a SPAM report tool, for another group of City Workers to check over? I don't know if that could work; just more work for the workers.

I just know that over on the forum I go (not in Whyville), there are MODs (Moderators) and ADMINs (administrators) who can run around editing and deleting posts that are... garbage, shall we say? Now, we all know that people abuse titles on here, but maybe if there are still some decent people left on this site after all the years (read: safety patrol kids, veterans, Y-mail helpers from before the Stone Age, Times Writers...), they could receive titles like MODs for the BBSes?

I figure if you select a few individuals, test them with some kind of admittance test, review the results and then program in new features, the problem could be solved. Then, however, you have the difficulty of finding time for the City Workers to make these changes, write up the test, review who all is still around that they would like to see do it, contact them, test them, review the results, yadda yadda....


But Rome wasn't built in a day...



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