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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Digital Ghost

Is what I plan to be around OPDG for awhile. The group no longer meets my and many others' needs. As a result, many people have pleaded with me to leave and take them with me. While I don't plan to leave OPDG, I am in the process of creating a new newsgroup and recruiting two moderators to help me. I've already gotten agreement from one, and I'm awaiting a response from the second.

I'm pretty certain the new newsgroup will be on Yahoo, site of the current OPDG. I'm not doing it to be malicious. I'm doing it because Yahoo offers some management tools that I can't get on Google. Moreover, by remaining at Yahoo, any member of OPDG can join the new group by simply pressing "join". There will be no new handle to create, no new system to get used to. The ability to have both OPDG and the new, as yet unnamed, group available on the same server is a bonus.

Why a new group? For those who have been around OPDG for the past five or six months, the answer should be obvious. I've stated more than once that I hate political discussions, except on a group specializing in them. The comments on OPDG have deviated into politics to the point that almost any PERS-related discussion gets lost in the morass of politics. The new group will be restricted to PERS and PERS-related discussion. This includes anything pertinent to retirement in general, retirement specifically, Social Security, Medicare, and the myriad of other facets of retirement. Politics qua politics will be expressly verboten and overtly political posts will be deleted without any warning. Members who repeatedly violate *this* rule will be banned from the group. We will also open up the group to drive-by readers so that we can use the wonderful tools available in RSS/Atom reader/feeders. If you don't know about these, no problem. But for those of us who depend on RSS tools as a way to organize our busy lives, this alone justifies a new group. Yes, I do realize that anyone will be able to *read* postings, but only members will be able to post. But that is the small price to pay for the access to these other useful tools.

Once the moderators are in place, the new newsgroup will open. I will publicize it widely on this blog and, indeed, on OPDG as well. It is not intended to replace OPDG, but is to provide an oasis for people who (like me) just don't agree with the direction OPDG has taken in the past six months. I'm sure this will provoke some grousing and controversy, but I didn't make this decision lightly. Taking on another project isn't something I was seeking. My ego is solid and I don't need the ego gratification of having things run exactly my way. But, when something begins to deviate so widely from its original conception, it is time to chart another course. Since I have the technical skills to multitask a series of web-related projects, and I expect to have equally technically competent moderators.

The beauty of a second newsgroup more laser focused on issues relevant to retirees, especially PERS retirees, is to give members both a choice and some diversity. I encourage participation in both groups. People will probably choose one over the other. While that isn't my intent, I fully expect it to happen. And if it does, so be it. I'm not leaving OPDG myself, nor do I think either of the moderators will either. We're all attracted to diversity but we're also quite fed up with the crap coming down on a regular basis from OPDG.

Look for a follow-up posting before the end of the Memorial Day weekend (I hope) announcing the name and location of the new newsgroup.

P.S. I've sneaked in a Yahoo! button on the left side. If you go to it and click in the "Join" area, you will be taken to a page where you can easily join the new newsgroup. While it is not fully active yet, we are accepting new members.



Beta833 said...

Good going, Fearless. We agree on little politically, but we do agree on the sad direction OPDG is taken. Nothing short of stupid to open the doors to political discussion when it is not tied to PERS. And no use climbing in the sandbox with those upstarts. Thank you for your service.

mrfearless47 said...

Some of my best friends and I don't agree on political subjects, but we still have other things in common on which to base strong friendships. When it comes to politics we just agree to disagree and move on to our tennis discussions, our travelling discussions, our passion for good wines and where to get the best buys, restaurant food, our collective love of France, movies, books, etc. Amazing what strange bedfellows can look like politically. Thanks for your support and welcome soon to our new group. Things are moving ahead and one of the two moderators is formally on board. The second appears to be travelling and may not be around for a day or so. I don't have any concerns that this person will agree to serve, but it would be quite tacky to volunteer someone for this service without first having their consent. Bad etiquette.

jcb said...

Mr F.
Thank you for starting this new group. OPDG was becoming too absurd for words.


mrfearless47 said...


Please contact me by email so I can email you something.

William said...

What a great idea. I look forward to the new group.

mrfearless47 said...

beta833 and william:

Please email me at the link on this blog. I have something to send you.


Beta833 said...

As requested.

Beta833 said...

As requested.

mrfearless47 said...


I guess I should have been clearer. Would you just send me an email to feldesmanm@gmail.com


Barbara said...

I've tried to add a comment several times in the last few weeks but they never appear. All I said in the last one was "Yea!" and "Good luck" so I can't imagine why you would object. This is one more try to see if I can figure out what I am doing wrong.

mrfearless47 said...


I have no explanation for why your posts didn't appear. They all come to me for approval. I have only disapproved one post (it was spam) in the entire time this site has been open. That said, I don't find any record of your previous comments. Believe me, I would never delete anything unless it was spam. Even hostile comments are permitted, so I can't even envision a circumstance where I would reject your comments. Let me only say, I'm sorry if somehow your posts slipped through the cracks. If, by some weird quirk, they were posted and I didn't see them, they would have expired by themselves after a week. That may possibly be what happened. I will do some deeper investigation and will post a response here.

In the meantime, would you email me at feldesmanm@gmail.com and I will send you a link you might find useful.

Barbara said...

I must have done something different this time. I'll see if I can do it twice. One of the previous comments was RE: the OPDG owner so I thought maybe you were wisely avoiding escalating an already frustrating series of exchanges. The one thing I have learned from him and his acolytes (in the Marvel Comic sense) is that I am not as peace-loving as I like to think I am. I really do want to thump him sometimes. No, I assume my level of technical competence or incompetence is likely to blame for my past failures. I will email you for the link. Thanks.

Old Scout said...

Happy to hear there will again be a place to discuss PERS and related issues.
Thanks Marc.