NERDS> Millennium Edition???

NERDS> Millennium Edition?
We've taken a vast number of recommendations into consideration, along with our own research and studies.. We're adding much additional functionality to many of the community devises like IRC, Bulletin Boards, and editorial content. New features will be including:

  • free, or full membership options
    We are expanding the types of membership options by dividing them into two classes, and raising the subscriber limit in lots of 10,000 users over the millennium year, until the waiting list is abolished - unlimited entry.. We are also changing the way in which the community is moderated and updated. The membership classes:

    • Free membership
      We have never offered free membership before, and neither have we allowed commercial advertising - since we wanted to show that was no commercial influence, we were not biast in any fashion, our opinions were our own. The new idea, is for the commercial advertising to only be showed to the non-paying ‘free members', as a way of balancing out the books... If they don't like the advertising, anyone can sign up as a full member just as before.

      However, there are greater distinguishments between the user classes, as a free member (a member who has not paid any taxes)you would have no right to vote on community actions, thus no reason to enter the member area. We have also limited the use of high bandwidth services, like file downloading, video and audio streaming - since we haven't found a way of making these services cost effective for free members, we are open to suggestions.


      • absolutely free, costs nothing...
      • have access to everything, except:
        • limited voting rights
        • member area (full members only)
        • can't become operator, moderator, etc..
        • limitation on high bandwidth services (e.g. video)
      • personalised view
      • targeted commercial advertising on pages

    • Full membership
      Just as before, with full membership all users are able to use all the facilities of the site, we have added a personalised touch to distinguish full-members. A new accreditation scheme allows members to directly benefit from their active participation in the community, also accompanied with a range of on-line training courses..

      Full-membership costs £2.50 per month, as before commercial advertising is prohibited, with the exception of the new ‘Commercial Channel' - where commercial organisations can represent themselves within NERDS>, for customer support purposes. Members who have roles representing the site, are given free membership.. See Jobs@NERDS>

      All existing members, essentially full-members, will be given the chance to stop paying and become free-members should you choose to. However just consider, £2.50! when compared to many printed computer magazines (4.99, 3.99...), need we say more?


      • will have to contribute, or pay up..
        • will cost £2.50 per month (£30 per annon)
        • or an active role within the community (*1)
      • personalised view
        • displays full member status
        • customizable..? (still working on this...)
      • no commercial advertising present anywhere..
        • removed from all pages
        • removed from all e-mailed newsletters & columns
      • full community voting rights
        • vote on issues
        • vote for editorial team
        • vote for community improvements
      • can be elected/chosen as a moderator, operator, etc.
      • search facilities
      • accreditation scheme

      *1: We have no obligation to provide or offer anybody a role within the community. Those with a role in the community, also represent the community having responsibilities and privileges, therefore in the future we thought it sensible to give them a NERDS> e-mail address each.

  • A Commercial Channel

      The Commercial Channel is where organisations will for the first time, be able to represent themselves within NERDS>, for, customer support purposes. It has been awaited and is morally required, its purpose to recognise the moral right of organisations to respond to critique made within the NERDS> community. The companies who represent themselves within this channel, will be able use their presence to:

      • support their consumers/users
      • aid their product development
      • respond to editorial content, and user's discussion (within the channel!)
      • maintain a support site and download centre
      • run software trials/beta programs

      However, the community (members as a whole) will be able to:

      • post comment on materials, columns or responses made by the registered organisations
      • send a complaint to any registered or non-registered organisations
      • hold a campaign, or trial against any registered or non-registered organisation

      Organisations whether registered, or non-registered can only be represented within the commercial channel after approval by the NERDS> Council. The NERDS> Council can fine any represented organisation where and when materials are deemed not suitable under the terms of the represented organisation's contract. Specific details of the NERDS> Council's new responsibilities, rights and powers are detailed on their website.

  • A Channel for students..
      Since NERDS> was first introduced, students were outlawed from the community, there presence to this day is not welcomed. This stereotypical nonsense served to remove 'trouble makers' from the community, or rather the on-line discussions, where responses were often inappropriate. But no man of today dare make stereotypical judgement, because it is not moral, and it does not stand that all students are trouble makers, particularly as one day these students will most likely become experienced IT professionals. It is also a little known fact that more than two thirds of the redbox members are students!

      • The 'Students Channel' is where no-one else dare enter, for the students rule!
      • There is some carefully designed customization as far a students are concerned:
      • students can become full members for free (given adequate proof!)
      • students can only create sub-channels within the student channel (normal restrictions apply)
      • students can check another member's file to see if they are a student
      • student moderators don't appear as moderators elsewhere (nor students either)
      • students can not vote another student a normal moderator position
      • students can vote for normal moderators, and at other elections
      • students can be elected as normal moderators
      • a normal member can not check member files for students
      • level 4+ operators and moderators can check for students

      In other words (if you have your head round the logical rules) students can't gang up together an take over as moderators, whilst they still have the same rights to vote and be elected as full paying members. Whilst also, students can keep their anonymity!

      You can be assured that we will be watching this closely, the student channel will be open from the start, but student members will not registered until the subscriber limit has been dissolved. A new body (yet to be formed) will manage student registrations. This channel will be funded by the commercial advertising within it.

  • Video & Audio Conferencing, News & Facilities
      With the new arrival of high-bandwidth local loop technologies like ADSL, Cable Modem, G3, etc. video and audio communication becomes a practical communication solution via the Internet, we intend to provide solutions to allow and fulfill the use of these technologies. As discussed within Kyle's editorial (13/12/99), there are some practical limitations which remain - however we are working on some innovative solutions.

      These new communication mediums will not be available during the initial launch, and we have yet to a find a financial balance for running these services. However, for direct communication, we are running a NetMeeting Directory server, and members files will contain fields for a 'directory server' and 'e-mail alias'. As you probably know, video and audio streaming is already available under each channel's publishing and download areas.

      We have also extended the news forums, by allowing you to receive posts by e-mail, and be notified when your discussion is replied to - perhaps months later. The IRC Operator management tree has also been revised - and is in effect now.

  • Private channels & communication
      We have allowed channel moderators to create 'private sub-channels', where only registered users can enter - with the exception of the NERDS> Council. Private sub-channels have all the facilities of an ordinary channel, except you can't create sub-channels from them. All users can see the existence of the private channel, and can request registration. Private sub-channels moderators' are the same as the channel they inherit from - this cannot change! Private sub-channels can be constructed, distrusted, opened and closed on the fly, ideal for holding meetings and such forth. The existence of private sub-channel membership can be seen within user's files by level4+ operators and moderators.

      Yes, this was possible in the past, but only by the Editorial Team - not very easy, or flexible. As you can see, there are many restrictions - this is to enable to concept of a private channel, while ensuring illegal or distasteful activities are not made on our network.

  • Commercially owned & sponsored channels
      Don't be daft, we have not gone mad yet! However, we were considering.. ;-)

  • NERDS> Certification Scheme
      The Editorial Team have often scouted the community for potential 'redbox' members, and the honour of being chosen has hit home. Much like being accepted to Mensa, the NERDS> Certification Scheme allows members to become registered nerds, whether nerds remain anonymous, or exploit their certification is up to them.

      Certified nerds have 'no privileges' within the community. However, there are separate, normally invisible channel for each certification level, that act much like the private sub-channels. Nerds are also gathered together on projects, and form part of an exclusive social club, where they share in similar interests.

      Certified nerds can use us as a reference for a potential employer, and we are closely working with eight multinational companies to produce a recognized certification - and even potential employment opportunities.

      There are currently three certification levels proposed:

      • NERDS> Green Chip - (IT Professional)
        The examinations will be run quarterly, and sent to participants individually by e-mail, to be returned within a set period of time. One-to-one interviews, and aural testing.

      • NERDS> Blue Chip - (Genius, Guru)
        Choice on a range topics, project work and testing over a couple of months. One-to-one interviews, and aural testing.

      • NERDS> Red Chip - (???)
        One-to-one interviews, and aural testing, essentially proving that you are the foremost best. You can be nominated directly for certification, or make your way up through green and blue schemes.. Redbox membership is not guaranteed, although v-likely.

      More information will be available during the start of the scheme, including detailed specification and guidelines, as to what a defined nerd of level x has proven, and shown. We must point out, the stereotype often considered of a nerd, geek, etc.. will not make it! - Social interaction, communication and moral standing play high importance.

  • Job Centre
      I think that the nature of the Job Centre is self-explanatory, however, we have many unique features. The employers will be able to search for all present and past materials created by members who apply for their position - except private channels... Yes, this includes the log files of the IRC server, mailing lists and news forums - and observation in real-time.. This gives employers the unique ability to judge the quality of potential employees in action, before interviews are even scheduled!

      Since posting a job anywhere else on the network is currently prohibited, commercial seekers will be charged for this service, prices to be quoted and agree individually - contact Tony Fallow.

      (Note: any full-member can search by member)

  • Vote on issues (responsibility)
      Full-members are able to vote. We have addressed the potential use, and dramatically extended the power of vote:

      Often we see members complaining about an issue, the editorial content often raises issues and members respond with anger against organisations, and people who bring about unfair or immoral acts. Other than sharing our anger, and our possible ideas for improvement, there was nothing we could do about it..

      The secret is power in numbers, and we shouldn't sit back and just accept unfair conduct of large corporations within the IT sector. We are a mammoth society, with typically common moral beliefs, we know when we are being treated unfairly.

      Members can now run a campaign against an organisation or issue, and members individually (there is no block vote!)can support those campaigns. We are even willing to support externally run campaigns where the NERDS> Council feel it is appropriate.

      Campaigns can be attached to organisations within the commercial channel, or as a sub-channel else where. However, there is a set of guidelines (rules) for campaign holders, to ensure everything is conducted in a peaceful and legal manor, and to ensure those members who support the campaign are aware of all action taken on their behalf.

      Campaigns that members support are listed within their user files. More information about campaign system is explained in the 'Commercial Channel' description above..

      The NERDS> Council voting system has also changed, due to the decreasing number of voters, and the current inability to display a member's intent to stand. To stand for the NERDS> Council, go to the NERDS> Council's website (currently available from a link in the middle of the front page) - which will explain the process, and your responsibilities if you go ahead. During next October you will be listed as standing... During October members will be asked during login: "would you like to vote for your NERDS> Council Rep now?", every time until they have voted!!!

    Please note: This is a summary of the proposed features of the next generation of NERDS> community, the ‘NERDS> Millennium Edition' - it is not designed to reflect any failures within the current software or online community. Notably, this summary is rather ‘vague' in some areas, this is either my lazy streak, or we haven't reached that part of the design yet, or due to industry pressure we are not releasing the details of the system architecture. However, if you have any ideas, or you've spotted an emission, error, or fault in our design - we welcome your input.

    More information will be posted on this new site as the design develops, the current proposed release date is classified! We are looking for volunteers to help test, evaluate, and even design modules, please see the ‘Help-Us!' section.

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