5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2012 11:51 AM by RJKSolutions

    vCampus IRC channel?

    vegard

      Hey guys,

       

      I just wondered if any of you vCampus users are using IRC during your work hours? Personally I use IRC for both work and private use, and if that is the case with you as well, it might be an idea to start an (un)official virtual campus IRC channel?

       

      Just a thought

       

      Regards

        • Re: vCampus IRC channel?
          MvanderVeeken

          Very nice thought! Nice to see someone else had the exact same thought. 

           

          I've been thinking about this quite often. I see a lot of value in this, but also some hurdles we would need to discuss as a community.

           

          It will increase the value of the community when you have a place to go and chat with your fellow PI geeks. It would be very good for discussions, and will give an extra dimension to the community. 

           

          A few important questions I think we need to discuss

          • Who would be responsible for moderation? If we as the vCampus Team will take part that role, we will have a whole new responsibility which will be pretty time consuming. This isn't an issue in itself, but we do have to take that responsibility seriously.
          • How would access be granted? Would a user have to request access? If we would have a channel on a public IRC server, we would need some sort of authentication in order to prevent spammers/trolls from accessing.
          • How do we handle overlap in functionality between the forums and the IRC channels? The forums are one of the most important parts of vCampus, and my worry is that people will go to the IRC channel for quick answers. That basically means that discussion 'thread' will not be present on the forums, and therefore not available for search/future reference.
          • What would be the channel rules?
            • Re: vCampus IRC channel?
              MvanderVeeken

              Any other thoughts? Vegard?

                • Re: vCampus IRC channel?
                  vegard

                  How would access be granted? Would a user have to request access? If we would have a channel on a public IRC server, we would need some sort of authentication in order to prevent spammers/trolls from accessing.

                   

                  I used to work with Information Security (IS) for the largest ISP in Norway. Whenever we discovered attacks or had any information to share with other parties (whether it was a matter of national security or otherwise), the initial dialog was often done over a secure (SSL) private (password-protected) IRC server, which was under the supervision of the Norwegian Computer Emergency Response Team (NorCERT). Most Norwegian companies that dealt with IS was represented on this channel, and access was given based on trust (i.e. shared password to access the IRC server). As such, most discussed topics was done on a general level, as you could not verify the integrity of the other members on the server. If any serious information required sharing, this was done with public key encryption. Still, the problem of spammers/trolls was taken care of.

                  Thus, a possible solution might be that you (vCampus team) create a private SSL-enabled IRC server with a shared password that only members of vCampus has knowledge of. This will deal with spammers/trolls, and as long as the community keep the password to themselves, you will have some control of who is allowed to access the server or not.

                   

                  How do we handle overlap in functionality between the forums and the IRC channels? The forums are one of the most important parts of vCampus, and my worry is that people will go to the IRC channel for quick answers. That basically means that discussion 'thread' will not be present on the forums, and therefore not available for search/future reference.

                   

                  The way I see it, this will be the hardest part. But as vCampus is partly community driven, the members should be encouraged to share their solutions when they discover a problem that there isn't already a guide for on the forums. The forum will also be the main place to look for information and whenever possible, people who ask questions on IRC should be pointed to the correct thread whenever possible.

                   

                  What would be the channel rules?

                   

                  Similar to the rules used on most IRC channels that deal with Free Open Source Software (FOSS).  As an example, users are expected to be polite. Also, if there is a manual for something, the user is encouraged to RTFM (at least if it is a trivial question). Otherwise, the user should be pointed to the correct forum thread if it exists.

                   

                  Who would be responsible for moderation? If we as the vCampus Team will take part that role, we will have a whole new responsibility which will be pretty time consuming. This isn't an issue in itself, but we do have to take that responsibility seriously.

                   

                  Usually, moderation on IRC is done by bots controlled by super users or people otherwise connected to the project for which the IRC channel is used for. I agree that the vCampus Team should take the formal role here, and possibly extend the access to bots for community members who are more active than others.