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False Arrest is Irresponsible (original topic)


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Just looking back to see why I had so much trouble figuring things out when I first came here, and part of the problem was that there were too many FAQ-type areas <snip> Then there is the spamcop main site, of which this forum is a part (even though this is a peer to peer forum, as it's on the spamcop site it's not obvious at first glance that those who run spamcop don't post here.)

There is not anything that can be done about what is on the 'official' spamcop website. The banner at the top about peer to peer is the attempt to make it obvious that most posters are not paid employees of spamcop. However, rarely, paid employees do post here so one can't say they never do. Someone got sidetracked about the meaning of peer - when there are both posters who run servers and end users who are not technically fluent. So the second version was added. Perhaps you could suggest an alternative? Unfortunately, the subject has been discussed a lot so it is all too likely that there will be a previous objection.

If we could organise the information a bit by, say, user type, and have links through a simple hierarchy it would be good. Along the lines of the material already there, but not repeated in different spots. Perhaps the wiki is the place for it to go, but needs a bit more work. Once there is a single spamcop faq (albeit dynamic) then all the others can be taken down so as not to confuse people.

That's my idea, as you know. Nice to know that someone sees it as viable.

Also, there's a lot of information but it's hard to know what links to follow as there's so much jargon and so many links etc (eg a newbie won't always know what a parsing service is - or perhaps care).

That's where the wiki has an advantage because jargon can be linked to an explanation which can be followed or not. The Dictionary/Glossary was an attempt here to help with the jargon, but people won't edit someone else's FAQ post - though I don't know why not. Of course, only certain people can edit posts than their own. But it is a lot of work to go back and make all those links where it is automatic on the wiki.

And that's where simple, non-technical explanations as the most easily accessed - with no other avenues to distract - might help. All containing links to the more technical for the more fluent to go directly to the more technical, detailed FAQ.

Users are probably:

1. Newbies wanting to decrease their own spam

2. Newbies who have had their outgoing or incoming email blocked

3. People who want to help reduce spam generally (range of experience in email/spam from novice to experienced)

4. People who have set up their own mail servers and are having problems with spam (not large ISPs).

5. Other categories?

The newbies who have difficulty with finding the information they need here, IMHO, fall into two categories: English as a second language and people who, for whatever reason, read certain items in a different way than intended and get hopelessly lost are the first category. Simple sentences with as little jargon as possible are the only way to help them.

Newbies who are already mad and frustrated at having their email blocked by an ISP using the scbl and want it unblocked asap. They don't want explanations; they want the answer! Some of them might be helped by the simple explanations leading to more technical explanations because some of them when they cool down, are really grateful for the explanations - whether it is as an end user or an individual who has set up a mail server. The other category are 'victims' like the OP of this thread who only want to blame someone else or are naturally arrogant, rude people who expect to be 'served' (I am too busy to read the FAQ! attitude) - nothing can be done about them.

If people are just interested in reducing spam, taking time to ramble around the FAQ and reading the threads in various forums is probably not a chore. They probably don't post or if they do, they would post in the proper forum. People who want to reduce their spam probably won't be so patient, but I really don't remember very many comments until after they start reporting successfully and the spam doesn't stop. That probably should be included in the general description of what spamcop is. (i.e. Spamcop won't reduce the amount of spam you receive; the use of the spamcop email service or the blocklist in programs like Mailwasher will keep your inbox uncluttered by spam.)

I've not included ISPs here as I expect they are not the main "audience/participants" of this forum - but I might be wrong about that.

Actually large ISPs are probably not, but spamcop is really for the admins of smaller systems from individuals to admins for companies with a few to hundreds of employees to those who have small email services. I haven't done any research, but most of the regular posters are server admins, I believe. The big exceptions are dra007 and me who are almost technically non-fluent or, at least, learned most of what we know here. There are some others who range from understanding the technical to those who are experienced in many different technical areas, but who don't actually adminster servers.

Also, someone (mod or admin), please let me know if I'm speaking out of turn. As a newbie myself, I don't mean to tread on toes :)

There are no'toes' to tread on as no one person is totally responsible for the FAQ. Wazoo has done a lot of work in setting up the single access FAQ and has also done more work in trying to make it easier for people to find stuff - which aside from the two categories I mentioned has been entirely successful. dbiel is responsible for the care and maintenance of the Dictionary/glossary. Without those two, there would be no 'user created' FAQ or Glossary here in the forum. But everyone is welcome to contribute to the FAQ and many have. This is a 'user' forum so any user can voice an opinion. As Wazoo points out a lot of what you are asking about has already been discussed, but I disagree that a new viewpoint and the discussion therefrom is not useful. Obviously, for the two categories I mentioned, there is still confusion. Whether it is necessary to actually *do* anything to alter the User Created FAQ as they now stand is another question. Note that the 'official' spamcop FAQ cannot be altered, but only linked to here. There will never be 'one' FAQ since the 'official' one and the user created one here in the forum will never be merged. However, there could be one entry, just like the existing FAQ that references both, instead of a multitude of entry points. As Wazoo points out people get to the forum through the official spamcop website (which doesn't give an accurate, clear description of the kind of help in the forum) but also through google and other ways. Depending on how they get here, they may, or may not, be aware of the 'official' FAQ, or see how to find the FAQ easily - thus the different access points.

The only problem that I have with the existing single page access FAQ in the forum is that, IMHO, the 'history' is now unnecessary and should be reduced to an explanation that this is a combination of 'user created' FAQ and links to the 'official' FAQ. Also that the two should be clearly marked so if one has already looked at the official FAQ, s/he can look only at the 'user created' FAQ. And I think that to reduce problems for those who are new and impatient, that pinned items should be reduced to a link to the FAQ and perhaps a link to a post that explains the most commonly asked questions for that forum (i.e. the Why Am I Blocked? FAQ in the Spamcop Blocklist Forum). Or if my suggestion of simple, leading posts was used (with a link to the FAQ in each post so that more knowledgable users could have a short cut) - just that one instead of the FAQ one.

The other posters just have to be lived with and can be answered by using the FAQ as templates (or links) - the original concept.

If the wiki is successful, then the links should be to the wiki instead of the single access FAQ. One of the reasons that people don't take the time to populate the wiki is because the existing single page access FAQ is fine for most people except the impatient or technically non-fluent (who are generally not rude when they post, but are hurt by accusations that they can't understand the FAQ pointing out with truth that they are overwhelming and jargon ridden and sometimes not clearly written - but primarily that they are overwhelming particularly since there is the Glossary to help with the jargon.)

Miss Betsy

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I've found this an interesting discussion. Have received the invitation to log into the wiki and done so. Will explore it all and hopefully add some constructive comments along the way.

Every time I visit I appreciate more and more the amount of work everyone has put into this forum and wiki.

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