GETTING THE MESSAGE
Story dated September 15, 2005
When it comes to pinball discussion groups, the busiest and most popular has to be the rec.games.pinball newsgroup. Started in 1991, it is open to anyone with either a dedicated newsreader program or a web-based interface and has around 500 new posts every day.
But with that volume of messages and relative anonymity comes the problem of accountability.
Some people believe being able to hide your true identity behind a screen name and not be accountable for your postings has led to a more hostile environment on the newsgroup and as a result many knowledgeable pinball people have been alienated and decided not to participate.
So they have decided to set up an alternative - the Pinball Enthusiast Group or PEG.
The group is also based around a newsgroup but it is held on a private server. It is open to everyone to read the messages but a user name and password are required to post. Anyone can apply for a user name & password - a process that removes the anonymity and requires them to agree to the groups standards of conduct. Members' identities can still be shielded from other members through the use of screen names but true identities are known by the group organisers. There is also the ability to add small pictures to messages where appropriate.
It is hoped the new group will become a friendlier place to frequent than rec.games.pinball and will have a good range of experts available to answer questions with fewer off-topic posts and no spam messages.
The group is monitored by a Group Of Peers (GOP) who can sort out any problems and remove problem posts or members if required, although they are keen to stress how the group is not actually moderated.
The web-based version is available at www.pinballnewsgroups.com while the newsgroup settings for your newsreader are:
NNTP server: news.pinballnewsgroups.com
You will need a user name and password to post to the group. These can be obtained by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, e-mail and phone number details along with your preferred user name.
© Pinball News 2005