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    Ted Byfied
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    David Farber
    - Overcoming ICANN (PFIR statement)

    A. Michael Froomkin
    - When We Say US™, We Mean It!
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    - ICANN and Anti-Trust (with Mark Lemley)
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    - Ruling the Root
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    - Competing DNS Roots: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?
    - Rough Justice: A Statistical Assessment of the UDRP
    - ICANN and Internet Governance

    David Post
    - Governing Cyberspace, or Where is James Madison When We Need Him?
    - The 'Unsettled Paradox': The Internet, the State, and the Consent of the Governed

    Jonathan Weinberg
    - Sitefinder and Internet Governance
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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    ICANNWatch.org Welcome to Our New Site
    posted by michael on Sunday January 05 2003, @10:58AM

    Today, January 5, 2003, ICANNWatch.org moves to a new host and adopts new software based on Slash, thanks to a generous grant from The Markle Foundation.

    Some of the biggest changes will not be evident from our homepage. All content from our old site will be available on our new site, and all old URLs linking to our content should resolve properly. Our goals are also unchanged: to be a prime site for ICANN news and commentary while enhancing opportunities for people interested in ICANN-related matters to discuss them online.

    Alas, you will need a new password to log into this new site. If there had been a way to seamlessly port your password to the new setup, we would have done so, but it couldn't be done. Your username is still valid, so all you need to do is take a moment now and request a new password. Your new password will promptly be emailed to you, and once you log in with that, you'll be ready to explore some of our new features.

    The Tech Angle
    Our new site is hosted by the nice people at Openflows, and runs on Slash, free open-source software. The job of porting our content from our old site -- including over 10,000 of your comments -- was not a simple one. We didn't want any of this important history of the ICANN process to be lost; indeed we wanted to make sure that all links to our content would survive the massive change from a PHP-based system to a Perl-based system. Writing the conversion script was a major job, but the folks at Openflows did it. In about a month we will be publishing an open-source conversion script in the hopes that other can take advantage of this substantial programming effort.

    The New Site
    Our plan is for incremental change. Thus, our first goal was to replicate, more or less, the old look, while making the site configurable for users and introducing new features such as

    • An optional daily e-mail news letter with our headlines or story summaries
    • Greatly enhanced configuration options (except when it comes to themes, where alas there are only two -- default and lite mode).
    • The ability to stop having polls on the front page (strangely it was impossible to turn them off without causing error messages under Nuke). In the future we may occasionally link polls to specific stories, but they won't be a front-page feature.
    • Moderation and meta-moderation
    More information on these new features appears below.

    How You Can Help Us in This Transition
    A project of this magnitude almost inevitably has bugs -- please click around the new site and let us know if you find one. Or, if you find something that's not clear, drop us a note: most things that were once rigid and inflexible are now configurable.

    Most importantly, however, we can respond to your enhancement requests. So please post stories suggesting things you would like us to do with the site, or email us privately. Be creative!

    New Configuration Options
    If you are logged in, you can configure what appears on our homepage by editing your preferences. The same page allows you to choose our "light" format or exclude certain types of stories (or ICANNWatch editors!). You can decide the content and order of the items in the right hand column, including choosing from several optional headline services.

    The format comments page lets you set a default for how you view comments and how comments you contribute appear. Elsewhere you can review your karma and posting history, or set what information you would like other users to know about you.

    You may want to change your messaging preferences. We can send you a daily email of our headlines, or perhaps you would like a message every time someone replies to one of your comments.

    Moderation: Community Filtering In Action
    One of the best aspects of the Slash discussion engine is the community's power to filter what it thinks is interesting and worthwhile.  Logged-in members of the ICANNWach community get semi-randomly selected to serve briefly as moderators (unless they indicate in their preferences that they'd rather not moderate).  Your chance of being chosen as a moderator depends on your "Karma" level, which is a function of the sum the moderation points your comments have recieved from other users, how many posts you've made in the past few weeks, and how often you visit the site.

    When users become moderators they are given a number of points of influence to play with. Moderators give these points, one at a time, to what they think are the most interesting recent comments. Each comment they moderate deducts a point from the moderator's allocation. When a moderator runs out of points, that's it until his or her next turn. Users cannot participate in the same discussion as both a moderator and a poster. Moderation points expire after a certain period of time if they are left unused. The user's name then goes back into the pool and might someday be given moderation points again.

    Readers take advantage of the moderators' opinions by setting the minimum point total threshold needed for them to see comments.  This makes it very easy for you to immediately see the most interesting material commentary without wading through piles of less interesting comments.  All comments are scored on a scale from -2 to +5.

    • Each comment has a default value of one point when first contributed, but users who have accumulated a high "karma" by posting lots of good stuff find that their comments start with a score of two.
    • Each time a user becomes a moderator he or she gets five points to apply to other users' comments.
    • The moderators read the comments just like any other user.
    • If a moderator particularly likes or dislikes a comment, he or she can given or take a point from that comment.  Each such action reduces the moderator's stock of points.
    • Readers each set their reading threshold, which determines what comments they will see while browsing the site.  Set your comment threshold to 5, and you will only see the rare comment that the community most highly values.  Set it to -2 and you'll see it all, including the junk.  Most people choose to set their level to 1 or 2, but it's up to you.

    You are automatically chosen, on a random basis, to be a moderator by the Slashcode system. It decides by looking at your Karma level (see below), which is basically the sum of all your moderated comments, how many posts you've made in the past few weeks, and how often you visit the site.  It's important to understand that a comment with a low score is not being censored as it is still visible to those who choose to see it by setting their reading threshold low enough. A low score is a reflection of the community's collective view of the value of the post, but anyone is free to disregard that view.

    Metamoderation is a second layer of moderation. It seeks to address the issue of unfair moderators by letting "metamoderators" (any logged-in Slashdotter) "rate the rating" of ten randomly selected comment posts. The metamoderator decides if the moderator's rating was fair, unfair, or neither. In order to be a metamoderator, your account has to be one of the oldest 97% of accounts on the system. This means that once you've created your account, you'll have to wait for anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two, depending on the rate at which new accounts are being created.

    Once you are eligible, you can meta-moderate once per day. Particpation as a meta-moderator can enhance your karma.

    If you want to know more about moderation, you can read slashdot's essay on moderation -- geared to the slashdot.org website, but most of it is relevant to ICANNWatch.

    Build Your Karma
    Your karma is a reference that primarily represents how your comments have been moderated in the past. If a comment you post is moderated up, your karma will rise. If you post a comment that has been moderated down, your karma will fall.

    In addition to moderation, other things factor into karma as well. You can get a fairly big karma bonus by submitting a story that we decide to post. Also, metamoderation can cause your karma to change. This encourages good moderators, and ideally removes moderator access from bad ones.

    Each comment has a default value of one point when first contributed, but users who have accumulated a high karma by posting lots of good stuff find that their comments start with a score of two.

    For more on karma, see this slashdot essay.  (It's for another website, but most of the information applies to ICANNWatch.)

    Again, Thanks For Your Support
    We hope you enjoy the improvements -- and we look forward to your comments and suggestions. This is a community effort.

      ICANNWatch Login  


    [ Don't have an account yet? Please create one. It's not required, but as a registered user you can customize the site, post comments with your name, and accumulate reputation points ("karma") that will make your comments more visible. ]

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  • More on ICANNWatch.org
  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Welcome to Our New Site | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 14 comments | Search Discussion
    Click this button to post a comment to this story
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    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    by tlr (roesslerNO@SPAMdoes-not-exist.org) on Monday January 06 2003, @01:08AM (#10898)
    User #34 Info | http://log.does-not-exist.org/
    Well done.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Nice one!
    by CapnB on Monday January 06 2003, @03:29AM (#10899)
    User #3567 Info | http://www.joel.co.uk/
    Congratulations. Looks a lot slicker.

    CTO, CentralNic Ltd. [centralnic.com]

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Your RSS feeds
    by lextext on Monday January 06 2003, @01:19PM (#10902)
    User #6 Info | http://www.lextext.com
    You also might want to flag for readers who may have been catching ICANN via your RSS feed that the address for the feed has changed. The old feed ended in a ".php" extension. The new feeds, in various formats, are at the bottom of the homepage.

    Congratulations on the upgrade!

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • Re:Your RSS feeds by michael Tuesday January 07 2003, @10:19AM
      • Fixed by michael Thursday January 09 2003, @11:17AM
        • Re:Fixed by michael Friday January 10 2003, @01:18PM
          • Not broken? by michael Saturday January 11 2003, @05:56PM
          • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
        • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Really Good Development
    by Richard_Henderson on Monday January 06 2003, @01:57PM (#10903)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/

    Thanks for all your efforts, developing this site and extending its scope. In the context of an ICANN Board which seems keen to stifle dissenting voices and user representation in the Board Room, ICANNWatch is an invaluable public resource. ICANN has a record of avoiding accountability and open dialogue on a range of detailed issues. This website helps publicise matters of interest and concern, and I really appreciate these most recent efforts to develop it. On these pages the world can discuss internet governance, engage in free and open dialogue, and make up its own mind.

    ICANNWatch maintains its Watch over ICANN, and that must be good. It reminds an autocratic board that although it often does what it pleases, top-down, people are still watching and applying scrutiny to the board's decisions. And it is good that they know that : it may sometimes make them think twice before acting unaccountably.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • One Thing Actually by Richard_Henderson Tuesday January 07 2003, @03:31PM
      • Fixed! by michael Thursday January 09 2003, @11:21AM
    by dpf (dpf@ihug.co.nz) on Tuesday January 07 2003, @11:17AM (#10908)
    User #2770 Info | http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/
    Well done on the upgrade - no small effort was involved I am sure. Icannwatch continues to be required reading for me - not just in its role as a critical eye on ICANN but just as a way to even know what ICANN is doing - I am amazed I find out so much more about what ICANN is doing from this site than from ICANN directly. DPF
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Thursday January 09 2003, @06:53PM (#10939)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    It took long enough for the server change to propagate to the DNS here, but finally I can access your new site... it's nice! I especially like it having meaningful titles on the different pages instead of just "ICANNwatch" on all of them like it used to.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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