I think moderating the group might not be such a bad idea. The only
problem with this would be getting someone who had enough time to actually
moderate the list. I don't know what is going on lately, but it seems
egos and animosity are running rampant on both inet-access and nanog. I
have been caught up in it myself, and for that I apologize.
There is some value to NANOG ... value that is currently lost ... for things
like semi-urgent notifications of what is going on. Yet for many issues
there is a lot that people here want to talk about, sometime with each other,
sometimes just _at_ each other, yet talk they must. I would not want to bog
NANOG down with a moderator (or is that bog a moderator down with NANOG?).
My suggestion would be to have a forum, or maybe an alternate mailing list,
called "NANOG-BOF" (alias "NANOG-BOG") where one "side issues" can be
discussed. Then it would be easy to just take dragging issues to there.
If it were a web forum I would participate. If it were a mailing list I
would not. I prefer to keep my mailbox lean for important stuff.
This has already been tried (I believe someone created the
"offtopic-bullshit" list at one point for inet-access), and just doesn't
work; the people involved -don't use it-, and moderating a forum like
NANOG would reduce the speed at which urgent operational messages would go
out (before you say "make an exception list for those with clue", think
about who decides who gets on that "clue list", and how people are removed
from it). And this is a operator's list; you should expect a certain
minimum of discussion of operations-related issues.
Personally, NANOG's signal-to-noise ratio is still incredibly low compared
to most lists I'm on. Allow me to voice my vote for leaving things the way
they are: open posting for those who have actually worked out how to
subscribe to the posting list.
The one suggestion I'd make would be starting to be a little more
aggressive about letting people know that their messages are offtopic (via
Merit listadmins or appointed watchdogs), and clamping down on repeat
offenders (by removal of posting priviledges). Self-moderation via
consequences, vs. enforced moderation.