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Re^5: Anonymous Monk? (or not)

by tye (Sage)
on Jan 19, 2011 at 02:46 UTC ( #883045=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^4: Anonymous Monk?
in thread Anonymous Monk?

Is PerlMonks better for having Anonymous Monk?

I think that is not one of the right questions.

There are plenty of well-justified explanations around as to why anonymous posting is an important feature of the site. Anonymous posting is never going completely away unless things change rather drastically here. So, your proposed question seems quite useless to me.

Whether Anonymous Monk has been a net positive or net negative influence over the history of the site so far, that doesn't actually determine what should be done. It informs whether "completely get rid of Anonymous Monk" would likely be a net improvement. And even that somewhat side-steps things. What replaces AnonyMonk? What can people read anonymously? Can they post without doing standard registration but without using Anonymous Monk?

Now, I believe that there are lots of potential changes to anonymous access that are worth considering (because there are indeed ways that Anonymous Monk contributes to problems and/or could discourage problems). Indeed, I have pushed for and/or implemented changes to anonymous access over the years.

So questions that I find worth asking are things like: Should we post the source IP of anonymous postings? To what benefit? To what detriment? Should we encourage or require attributed posting by "guests"? To what benefit? To what detriment? Should we publish the hashed first 3 octets of IPs for all postings? Why and why not?

But even better than asking such questions, it would be useful for those with the interest to seriously contemplate a set of improvements and figure out what benefits and problems would result and make and justify a very well thought-out proposal.

Trying to ask questions may help inform some future proposal put together by some careful designer. But the discussion will likely be mostly useless until there is a concrete proposal to focus it.

- tye        

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^6: Anonymous Monk? (or not)
by luis.roca (Deacon) on Jan 19, 2011 at 04:12 UTC

    I appreciate your response. It helped clarify my thoughts a lot more as it's probably apparent that I'm thinking out loud a bit. I would love for the result of all this to be a rough bullet list that someone here can take and apply to improving the reasons many Monks like Anonymous Monk while sifting out what a number don't.

      A few ideas:
    • Only allow signed in users the option of posting as Anonymous Monk while new (non logged in visitors) are simply assigned Guest. No temporary names. It would simply be a way for us, for the most part, to visually distinguish potential new members, keeps the low barrier to entry intact while continuing to allow existing members to post without attribution (and potentially invite retribution).
      * I'm thinking of the submission form where we could have |preview| |create| |post anonymously|

    • I'm sure this exists in some form but I think it would help to have some information/education on the purpose of Anonymous Monk. There have been a number of very well written answers just on this thread. Even if we simply take those answers and list them on a single node. In a similar manner that people post links when someone asks a question that's been asked, we could post a link to the node when someone abuses Anonymous Monk. I realize that may not make a difference to the specific person posting but it would be good for others (in particular newer members) IMHO.

    I realize this is far from a proposal or even the beginning of one. Hopefully your post invites some well thought out ideas that eventually form something we can move forward on.

    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote
Re^6: Anonymous Monk? (or not)
by Gavin (Bishop) on Jan 19, 2011 at 10:23 UTC

    "Now, I believe that there are lots of potential changes to anonymous access that are worth considering"

    tye With your inside information would you care to expand on how you think it could be improved.

      *sigh* Actually, I don't really have any "inside information" about how anonymous access can be improved. The information I have about that came by virtue of paying attention. If you are curious about what is widely considered good and bad about anonymous access, just read some of the threads linked from this thread. I browsed a few of them recently. I was reminded of a lot of things.

      I think it would likely be useful to start building up a list of bullet points about the good and bad of anonymous access. If you want to wait for tye to do it because he knows lots of secrets about that, then you are wrong and you'll be waiting a long time.

      - tye        

        "If you are curious about what is widely considered good and bad about anonymous access, just read some of the threads linked from this thread.


        My interest was in how you thought they could be improved bearing in mind your knowledge of the workings of PM.

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