A though on how to deal with OT threads...

Grant Robinson santiago at mr-r.net
Thu Sep 22 09:58:41 MDT 2005

With the off-topic threads recently (and the complaints about them), I 
have come up with what I think is possibly the best solution (and also 
one of the more complicated ones).

The challenge is this (and someone else will need to spearhead this as 
I have neither the time to do it, nor the inclination, as a little 
off-topicness now and then does not bother me):  Write a filter that 
emails going to members of PLUG will be run through.  It would check to 
make sure the email is on-topic (this would of course not be 100% fool 
proof, and would probably need to either be a) trained, b) use Bayesian 
filtering or c) both), and if the email is not on-topic, and does not 
already have [OT] in the subject line, it would add it auto-magically.  
The people who like [OT] threads go on about their business as usual.  
Those who dislike them, or just want to skim them at times, can set up 
filters (procmail, thunderbird, etc) to put the [OT] threads in a 
different folder.

Of course the ideal situation would be to have everyone voluntarily 
mark off-topic posts with [OT] in the subject line, but things which 
require changes to human behavior have non-deterministic success rates. 


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