The proposal to enforce AC posting for logged in members only on the main page was promulgated to all staff and members of the board 7 days ago. Thank you to all those who contributed to the earlier discussions and clearly expressed their own views, suggestions and potential enhancements. All are being studied for implementation, if feasible, when staffing and resources permit.
There has been unanimous agreement from all responses received in favour of the proposed restriction. However, it was also apparent that there was a wish that this will be only until other alternative methods of restricting spamming, abuse and other disruptions to discussions can be identified and implemented. This is unlikely to be achievable in the short to medium term; other sites are struggling unsuccessfully with the same problem. The long-term aim remains to include AC posting in all discussions if at all possible
Therefore, beginning immediately, all AC posting on the main site will be limited to registered members who have logged in to their account. We regret that this leaves a number of AC community members unable to contribute as they once did, but anonymity remains a personal choice.
This will not affect discussions in journals which will have no limits and will be open to all.
If there is a demand for it, I will look at alternative methods of publishing a small number of stories each day into a journal.
On a more positive note, there is evidence that because of the recent restrictions on AC posting a significant number of existing accounts have returned and are commenting in the discussions. The quality of discussions (i.e. signal-to-noise ratio) is significantly better than it was several weeks ago. Although we have lost overall numbers of comments, the value of many of those lost comments appears to have been quite low. There has also been a noticeable improvement in moderations being awarded with more positive moderations being given when compared to negative ones. It is too early yet to draw any firm conclusions from other site statistics.
This is exactly why I couldn't understand some of the arguments being made a few weeks ago.
We haven't removed anything. The site is clearly divided into 2 areas where different rules apply. Anybody is free to choose which set of rules they wish to discuss topics under.
Give a journal the same title as the front page story, link to the story itself, and then begin your discussion in a journal if you wish. Anybody can read the main page, but those that want to remain anonymous or like the type of discussion which is less regulated can discuss it under journal rules. The same people can create journals as they could before. Nobody has lost any of the site's moderation, breakthrough or filtering of friends and foes but, if they don't want it, they can simply ignore it.
There is the difference that journals aren't as visible from the main page (with obvious benefits in the situation we've been responding to).
From my personal experience, I've only interacted with journals a half-dozen times in the time I've been with the site. But that might just reflect what I'm looking for from this site.
I am definitely in agreement with you on this. I enjoy a discussion which stays reasonably on-topic and often has insightful comments by people who know far more about the topic than I do. I enjoy a bit of humour, but I do not want to wade through off-topic, argumentative and usually unresolvable claims and counter claims. I am not concerned by usernames - I would welcome the inclusion of ACs if, as the majority do, they join in the discussions and are sometimes equally insightful or demonstrate an level of subject knowledge that I do not have. But the small proportion of ACs who have spoiled the site for the majority are driving many of our community away.
Nevertheless, I can accept that perhaps not everybody views things the same way. The journals have provided a place where others can discuss matters that probably wouldn't make it to the front page but are still of interest to themselves and others. I can think of several journals that are well worth looking at from time to time - hubie, takyon and mcgrew spring to mind immediately. And yet there are others who relish the type of free-for-all that the journal discussions can generate. There are also those journals that I try to avoid unless we are asked to take some specific action or, rarely, it is something upon which I have a genuine view.
Hopefully, things will settle down a little now and people will find on which side of the divide they wish to discuss each topic without being constrained to either one or the other. If not, then we will continue to lose valuable members of our community and that would be a very sad thing to see.