Re: How long does it take...

Jim Stutsman

The answer to your question is much like the answer to the old question (and if you know what I'm referring to, you're officially old!) "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?" It depends. I started the list with limited moderation, going to unmoderated after a certain number of posts. That's probably what you're familiar with. A few months in a post came through that linked to malware, from someone who was off moderation. Her computer was infected, and the infection sent the post using her member information. This created problems for several other members, and at that point I put the list on moderation. I definitely don't like it that way, and I probably spend more than half an hour every day reviewing and allowing posts. Even when traveling (Remember when you could do that?) I responded to every notification from to review and clear posts. Several times throughout the day I stop what I'm doing to review new posts. I've probably deleted less than a dozen with malware over the years. More common has been rejecting posts that are abusive, or flame-war inspiring, as well as attempts to use the list for free advertising. You don't come here for that. The downside of this is that sometimes it takes a while for a post to appear after you've sent it. Try as I might, my body insists on sleep, and sometimes I may have periods where I don't have access to a computer, such as when I'm driving.

I would love to drop moderation and just let the chips fall. Unfortunately the malware situation is worse than ever now. It's not limited to email either. Over the course of a week I have received at least a dozen phone calls advising me:

  • The warranty on my 13 year old car is expiring. I need to enroll now to avoid costly repair charges.
  • The "security company" I use for my computer has gone out of business. I need to call now to get a refund.
  • A caller ID of "Doctors Office" wants to update me on COVID-19. Call now.

The result is that I never answer any call that consists of only an area code and a number. I know what they wanted based on transcripts of the voice mail. And this is after signing up for every possible service to avoid annoying calls.

So for now, I'll keep on moderating to keep the list a free and safe place to exchange information. The price of membership is that sometimes it may take a while for a post to appear after you've made it. Differences in option settings may cause some things to appear in immediate posts that don't get into the daily digest, but that's beyond my control. And sometimes I do edit a post if it is replying to a prior post and includes every response in the thread. In the case of these huge posts I will usually trim it so that only the one being replied to is included. This is also the case when someone uses the "Reply" function to start a completely new thread with a new question. I may not always catch this, but I do try.

In summary - think of this list as a neighborhood, and me as Mr. Rogers. (If you don't know who Mr. Rogers is, ask your mother!)

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