What's this about?
For a number of years, I have developed and supported the modplugin tool (http://wiki.modplugin.org). This massively reduces the time required to moderate a Yahoo Group, and is heavily used by Freegle and Freecycle reuse groups, amongst others.
Yahoo are revamping Groups with a new interface (a.k.a. Neo). This completely breaks the modplugin tool, but the moderation features continue to be very basic.
This causes massive pain for people moderating busy groups, and a replacement tool is urgently needed.
Why do you need money?
This is a significant piece of work, and although I'd love to do this on a purely voluntary basis, I just can't afford to. So this crowdfunder is to part-fund the development of a replacement tool, i.e. not pay me a market rate for it but enough that I can afford to do it.
What if I can't pledge now, or not enough to get a perk?
I only want you to pledge it you can. Looking further ahead I would expect to charge a fee of the order of $5 per group per year to keep this tool running - but I need to raise funds now if it's going to be possible to develop it.
Can't you work with Yahoo to get it fixed?
I'm trying. But so far Yahoo are not receptive. The best we can hope for is to delay the changes, perhaps by having an opt out button, until we can get a replacement together.
What will the replacement be like?
There will be a separate website with a moderation interface. If funds allow I will write a browser plugin for Firefox and Chrome which will show this from within Groups as an alternative to Yahoo's very basic moderation interface.
From within here you will be able to:
- approve/reject messages and members
- send standard messages
- see message counts
- spot multijoiners and spammers
How will it work?
You'll add a new moderator (not owner) to your group to receive the MODERATE emails and the emails from your group, which it will keep for 31 days.
That will keep track of the messages sent by different users, spot multijoiners, and so on. Because it receives the MODERATE emails it will be able to approve/reject messages and members.
This relies on Yahoo keeping the MODERATE email interface. I know of no plans to change this, and my best guess is that they are not likely to do so. That's why I'd implement it like this - it's less likely to be broken by Yahoo changes.
What will be lost?
There are some functions which are hard to do in this way. For example:
- removing/banning members
- changing email delivery settings
If funds allow, I will do these via a browser plugin similar to the existing modplugin.
How can you help?
Pledge here. If we don't get enough to fund it, you won't be charged by Indiegogo (though you might be charged a fee by Paypal).
And then please circulate this amongst your co-moderators, modsquads, and so on.