Well, after some consideration and several emails back and forth with some of you - there is now an industry only sub-forum at asa.nevets.net
Currently we will authenticate only people who can validate their email as being from the company domain name that matches their SIA (Security Industry Association) membership, CSAA (Central Station Alarm Association) membership or company BBB listing showing they are in the industry. This does NOT have to be the email address you use in your registration on the forum - you just have to be able to email us for validation purposes.
This may be expanded upon in the future, but for now that is how we are doing it. As this is a sub-forum, you still go to
you'll see the sub-forum "pinned" to the top of the topic list. See the message in the public group for instructions on how you do the validation.
Free/Non company email addresses like Gmail/Hotmail and so forth will not be permitted unless the EXACT email address is the one on the SIA/ CSAA/BBB listing.
A moderated forum is all well and good if you're featuring one on a website which you own and operate. Search engines tend to pick up key phrases and return them in organic results which could prove embarrassing to the site operators. Unfortunately that also makes them a bit "dry" in subject matter. :-)
Because you can't have it both ways. Either it's open to everyone or there has to be a way to validate it which actually proves that the members are professionals in the industry. Although I'm sure all members here are professionals in the industry there is nothing to guarantee that so a blanket allowing of people here into the subforum negates the whole point.
I can see your reasons, however, as for me .............. I (and I'm sure that others) will choose to not participate if I have to expose myself, my company, and my personal life to the vindictiveness of ass&% $* (as you are well aware of such, who have frequented and bullied this group in the past) Although I 'm sure that there is no doubt by those present, that I have been in this industry for many, many years I have remained annonymous for over a decade here .... and will remain so.
I will keep watch to see if other ways to join in the "subforum" in the future become available or ....... if you can think of another way, and think of me, please let me know.
One thing that does make me curious is ..... if the group(s) do thrive, how on earth to you intend to find the time to monitior content so that posts are timely? Seems like a very VERY time consuming job requiring impecable time sensitive diligence. Waiting two or three days for filtering all the comments on a hot topic would likely take the spontaneity out of the subject. Or if someone says something in a response that doesn't get "approved" and is edited out, it could spoil a thread ....... or ..... since I have no experience with a moderated group, .... am I missing something?
For one person to have the responsibility of moderating a group seems like a very constantly difficult task to take on with the expectation that it's going to be consistantly detailed 'forever" Read every post, every day, and decide if it's acceptable or not. Hmmmm! Not something "I'd" want to do, fer sure. I have important things to do in a days cycle and groups like this are simply a "hobby" and passtime while surfing. If I don't read it for a few days ...... no biggie. If I go away for a week or two and only check in a time or two ..... But ..... A moderator has to read it EVERY day in order to keep the threads timely. How does that happen?
More than likely Steve will settle down to something like what I do with a private forum I run. I don't "review" every post but I get an email alert when someone does post something. I've published a TOS (a tad more lengthy than Steve's), and while I don't require anyone to "authenticate" their credentials, I do expect certain things. New applicants get their email and IP addresses "vetted" through a website that tracks known forum spammers but that's about it. The forum software I'm running won't allow them to post anything until I verify they're not going to fill the place up with Viagra and boob enhancement ads. :-)
Nope. The profile only stores your username (which you choose), the email address you enter (for verification and notification emails) and a hash of your password is stored (not the actual password). The profile does not contain any other information.
The information you provide in the verification link is only for verification and not exposed or linked into the forum in any way. Once you are verified it is deleted from my inbox. You can remain perfectly anonymous in the group if you so choose. But other members have the peace of mind of knowing what they are discussing is among members of the industry and not some teenager trying to figure out how to bypass systems.
Sorry .... but events happen and things change, therefore you don't get to know who I am ..... either. This is the Internet and anything can happen ....... as we here in ASA have all been witness to.
Hmmm ..... you're wife must just LOVE being on vacation with YOU ..... ;-)
My entire life, personal and professional, day and night is consumed with "Techie" things. My wife doesn't know where the on switch is for a computer. To keep the peace, I have to sneak away to check E-mail while on vacation. ..... some guys have all the luck!
Your loss then. If we can't verify who you are then no access.
I've known her since she was in kindergarten (I was in second grade at the time). She knew what she was getting into when she married me 20 some years later. And although she's not as techie as me, she knows her way around a computer better than most.
Steve, would you consider letting "us" *in* (the current participants in ASA), without verification? You said you were lurking in the group the whole time, so you have a pretty good idea of who 'we' are as individuals.
I'm not thrilled with sending in company information either. BTW, how are you going to handle installers working for alarm companies that wish to join the Pro area? They can give you all the "association" information you seek, but it won't prove they actually work there (or ever did). As I suggested before, you can use social media to verify a new tech. Using Linked In, you could use it as an un intrusive verification tool. For instance, perhaps a "voucher" for the new technician will come from their already established contacts. If they don't have an account yet, you could instruct them to set one up. If the new guy proves himself to know what he's talking about, maybe you'll accept a minimum of (maybe two or three?) known forum-members, or other industry folks that have made connections with him/her on Linked In. In fact, hmm. Requiring a Linked In account may be the end-all to decide who's full of crap, and who's not. It could also eliminate the need for a company email address (that not all installers have, even if they work for ADT, etc...)
You'll need 'us' (tinu) or another solid base of people with a wide-range of skill sets there to answer questions for the DIY'ers anyway. The forum will not function as a DIY resource until the "knowledge base" is installed. I have a feeling most here won't bother to "prove" they are in the industry, and common sense tells you those who have been posting here anywhere between 1 and 22 years is not "some teenager trying to figure out how to bypass systems", (Or the whack-job from Belgium, he's easy enough to spot).
Hell, the only reason I still hang around is to pick up an occasional "Golden Nugget" of information I don't possess. That, and if I'm the first to see a new DIY'er thread I'll always help if I know the answer. Hopefully, I have given more information than received.
Besides the above two reasons for staying, there is one more. This is the only group I know of that Frank participates in. I can't cut the cord now, I wouldn't know that my pal is alive and kickin'. Plus, I'd miss out on what his cats are doing to taunt him, (this week). Sure, I could email or call. But it's just not the same!
There is a point to be noted though, regarding my little attempt to be funny. There is also a social dynamic that still exists, but has dwindled to almost none. I hope that whatever happens, that aspect will not be taken away in a private forum, dismissed as "off topic". I learned more about the business then I ever knew; the first time I reached out and contacted a participant outside of the forum. Since then I have chatted/telephoned/ and emailed enough people to learn quite a bit about the business, more than I could read in any books (not that there are any). That would not have been possible if there were restrictions on "off topic" stuff. I hope you'll allow a certain degree of OT stuff, maybe create a sub-forum just for that?
My first post was exactly 8 years, 8 months, and 18 days ago. Message-ID:
Another idea... most moderated forums are not 100% manually operated. For the sake of getting replies out in real-time to others in the trade, and the end-users; I would highly suggest you use the "white list" method for most of the participants. It benefits everyone, especially you, as the sole moderator.
Which brings up another issue. The very first time you disapprove a post by an ASA "regular", he'll be left feeling alienated and probably won't have much of a reason to hang around. As I'm sure you're aware, common practice is to have a moderation "team". That way, no one person can ban someone on a whim if they are having a bad day. I'm just making suggestions here... your server, your rules. I would suggest you ask 2 'or' 4 additional moderators to assist with the approval process if you plan on manually approving each post. A two-hour lag each way will make it more difficult to get the technical issue resolved in a timely manner.
The forum will operate much better if you solicit volunteers to help with the posting approval, (should you decide to blacklist all incoming posts and require a manual approval) So, what do you have in mind? Were you already going to whitelist "known" posters? If not, I don't see how the forum can function as well as Usenet if you, personally, have to stop 4-8 times a day to approve each post.
If you have more than one Mod. the group will feel better as a whole knowing they have some type of "appeal" process, as is typical in moderated Usenet groups. They usually keep an 'odd' numeral of Mods. so there is no possibility of a tie. (If the team ever has to further discuss a post in question, and decide by voting if it should be allowed.) Or perhaps you can enlist 3 moderators, and you get two votes since it's your system.
Of course, the easier and more efficient way is to moderate "after the incident". Everyone is supposed to read the rules you set for your forum before they make a first post. So if they screw up once, just remove the post and send the "poster" a warning. If they continue, simply ban/suspend them and their IP.
It's much easier and practical if you ask me (which you didn't). :-) It's just going to be a heck of job on you approving posts, but removing "bad" posts is easy and is way less time consuming.
You'll be able to maintain the forum yourself easily that way. No matter how well you're connected at the hip to technology, there will be times when you won't be able to approve posts in a timely manner over the *next* 22 years!
Wow, why are some of you afraid to validate who you are? And automatically allow membership based on "regulars" in this group is laughable. I have been a regular in this group for around 10 years, most of the time I spend lurking for those tidbits of info I may pick up. But just because I have been here for 10 years does not prove to anyone that I am in the industry. In fact this was just questioned the other day when I asked a fire related question.
I agree with SRyckman that ALL users must be validated. I know some of the names of the regulars here, but I have no idea what they do for a living. I am sure everyone here would feel better knowing they are in a secure area to talk about certain topics and that each person in the forum has been validated.
Of course Alt.Security.Alarms is just fine for the usual B.S. but I for 1 am putting my vote in for a "validated" forum where we can discuss best practices, and panel specifics without being afraid someone lurking may mis-use the information.
It's not what you said in the past, it's who you are - really. Industry Only means just that. No DIY'ers, no teenage neighborhood burglars, etc. And as has been said, who really knows who any of you really are?
As stated, it has to be an email address from the same company domain name. So if email@example.com is listed then firstname.lastname@example.org would be allowed. If email@example.com is listed in the company listing then ONLY firstname.lastname@example.org would be allowed (not other gmail accts, etc)
I think OT discussion has it's place and in the open forum will be very loose in that regard as long as it appears useful to the group. Anyone that has dealt with me personally before will tell you that I don't give a damn whether people like me or not.... I'll always do what I think is best based on the situation. My intention is not to alienate people, but some of that comes with the territory.
Posts are not being approved - it's near real time (just like here) - those that violate the rules are just subject to deletion.
Enough said on this topic... either people validate to get in the Industry Only forum or they don't. It's their choice. Of course they can always just stay here as well.
For that matter, someone could start a "security" thread at http://wwwfiretechs/net/forumgateway.asp if they were interested. There's a "private message" function that allows you to share information you wouldn't otherwise do in the more "open" forum. No "personal information" or other form of validation is required. If the email you decide to use is listed at stopforumspam.com though, you won't get in.
Your system of verification is flawed, and your stubbornness to discuss alternatives is noted.
Are you that naive to think I'm a DIY'er or a teenager? Jesus, your late pal RLB posted my employer info all over here, and called them as well. I've never had my credentials questioned by anyone. What does a SIA membership or BBB listing prove that a license# can't? Geeze, I can think of at least 6 better ways to verify. What percentage of all alarm dealers (big and small) do you think hold a membership with SIA?
I see you didn't acknowledge my question/suggestion about LinkedIn, either.
You know what. Please disregard my request to join your "Pro Only" forum, which "I" suggested, BTW.