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This week, the View gives the usual stats, offers a couple of neat pages to check out, and talks about signs that Moderation dissent may be waning.

The State of Peer Review

There are 225 entries at the Peer Review page, compared to 281 three weeks ago. Peer Review numbers continue to drop. This means it is still a great time to submit your entry since you're so likely to get a Scouts' attention early on.

There are 208 entries in the Writing Workshop, compared to 147 before. A brief check confirmed that some of these represent new writing attempts, while others represent the 'invisible threads' I have been tracking.1

At the Sin Bin, there are now 110 entries listed. This compares to 169 before. I wonder where the remaining threads went! And there are 26 entries on the What's Coming Up page, up from just 1 three weeks ago. So while things in Peer Review have been a little tight lately, it looks like the Scouts are still finding enough decent content to keep h2g2's front page fully stocked for at least a little while longer.

The University of Life sprang back into action over the past few of weeks. Last week, h2g2 featured a project on the Girl Scouts. Mikey the Humming Mouse and Sue compiled 18 entries on the US and UK girl scouting phenomenon. The week before, three entries on Egyptian royalty from Galaxy Babe were featured.

Besides that, there were the usual 25 entries from Peer Review published last week. The week before, 20 entries were published from Peer Review. And the week before that, no University of Life projects were released but 20 Peer Review entries made it through. (Understandably, no entries were released on the Friday or Monday of Easter weekend.) So in total, h2g2 featured 86 newly Edited entries over the past three weeks.

Places 2Go2

Is h2g2 really two years old? Apparently so! The site was originally launched on April 28, 1999. The site's birthday party is still going on, if you have a mind to attend.

Of course, an even livelier discussion is going on at this week's talking point, h2g2 Site Re-Design. It looks like the new web design guru, Nat, may be busy soon developing a new skin2 with our input. So get involved now! Or don't complain about it later.

And just in case you haven't seen it, there is special place to go if you would like to suggest a major overhaul for one of h2g2's Edited Guide Entries. JimiX is in charge at the Update Headquarters. Whether you want to update your own Edited entry or someone else's, it really is the best place to go. Instructions on how to do this are on the page itself.

Your Name Here

There have been some odd reports over the last few weeks about people whose nicknames were moderated, and they couldn't imagine why. The effect was that their name was listed as Researcher XXXXX, instead of as whatever they liked to be called.

Of course, it is possible to get your name moderated in this way. But it is only supposed to happen if your 'name' utilizes patently adult language or otherwise violates h2g2's House Rules.

Apparently, there was a bug in the automated process used to moderate Researcher names. When an employee try to moderate one name, the bug caused a different name to be moderated instead. So innocent Researchers were getting their names axed entirely by accident.

Peta sends her apologies to anyone this may have occurred to. She told the Gurus that the bug has now been fixed. But just in case, do remember that you can always reassert your name if it complies with the House Rules by clicking on the 'Preferences' button.

Is Moderation A Moot Matter?

The Zaphodistas pages seem to be the last bastion of Moderation protest. The group's new petition, which is designed to appeal to anyone in disagreement with Moderation, is apparently close to finished. And discussions on various Moderation issues and instances continues within the group.

Meanwhile, N2G2 and the Brainstorming Board are seeing much less traffic now. And Moderation discussions aren't taking up space in the Feedback Forums to anywhere near the extent that they used to. Overall, there is less discussion about Moderation and more of it is concentrated within the Zaphodistas.

On the other hand, there have been a few Researcher losses. My RIP list stands at:

Dr. Goof Lithium
Wandrin' star
Duncan Jones

MadMunk?¿ was also about to leave, but a number of Researchers stepped in and convinced him to stick around. Twophlag Gargleblap also said he was inclined to leave a while ago, but he still seems to be around. If you know of anyone else who is no longer with us, do drop me a note below this entry.

Another increasing trend has the placement of ':X' into one's name to represent a censored status. The High Duke of Mars started it, and used the same symbol when he removed Guide entries he had previously written. He is now joined by Bizarre Thing. Freedom and Subcom. Deidzoeb have appended something similar to their names, but haven't removed any content as far as I can tell.

Oy! Politics

In my last column, I discussed the upcoming change in policy due to the General Election. The policy is now listed on the new h2g2 and the General Election page, while the original discussions on the policy are on a page where the content has been removed. The policy is amended to allow light political discussion, while heavy campaigning is still not allowed. The policy will not go into effect until the General Election has been called.

Mark Moxon was kind enough to help get my login dilemma solved so I could join BBC Online's Great Debate page. This is the place where h2g2's Researchers are urged to go in order to debate heavy UK politics. I partook in a little debating to test the site out. I would say that, in general, the conversations are less intriguing and more repetitive there than you might expect at h2g2. The overall feel was less cozy and much more sanitized. But at least I was able to get the service to work.

The Next View

Next week, we'll talk briefly about potential site updates. What are people suggesting for the new skin? What our chances of seeing an update soon? And why hasn't that promised mass email been sent out to all h2g2's pre-Rupert Researchers?

Written by Fragilis the Melodical. Past columns are available here.


03.05.01. Front Page

Back Issue Page

1The invisible threads were written before h2g2's outage, and are being made visible as Moderators troll older threads to make sure they comply with BBC Online's standards.2Skins, like Goo and Alabaster, determine h2g2's look and feel

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