Antville Project

my message to mr. boob

antville is not an anonymous free hoster. this software is the product of some friends of mine. i appreciate that they offer free hosting and i would certainly not like to get the whole place shut down, because people like you post sex links.

of course i don't speak for the whole world but i reckon most of the regular users agree with me. so, please, pack your things and post your links on your own domain!

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short note

this is a short note to the people who are flooding the image pool of this project weblog:

  1. this project weblog is about discussing the antville weblog tool.
  2. you can upload images to your own antville weblog, too (if you don't have one, simply create one).
  3. i deleted your images here and won't hesitate to repeat this if the flooding should start again.

best regards,
tobi

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future policy of antville.org

Tobi raises a very important question over at his site: How will antville.org scale to thousands of weblogs - not from a technical point of view, but from that of quality of hosted content - and how should we deal with weblogs that publish illegal/disgusting stuff?

This is a difficult problem and I don't have the answer here. Yes, we will need disclaimers and the right to delete illegal stuff and all that. But quite honestly I don't want to spend my days combing through thousands of weblogs trying to find stuff to delete.

So here are some additional ideas.

First, we need to let people know that Antville is not just a weblog hosting service, but also an open source project, and that anybody can download a copy of the code and start his or her own server. Agreed, this is not for your grandma, but since one Antville installation can easily host dozens or hundreds or thousands of sites (the number being limited by the site owner's choice rather than technical limitations), the technical savvy and bandwith out there should be enough for everyone. The reason why most free web hosters are heading south is because their business plan was based on becoming huge, but there's actually lots of people out there with the means to host weblog communities of moderate size.

Right now, we're emphasizing on weblog hosting as opposed to software. But we can shift that balance any time, and I think the Antville.org site should reflect the idea of Antville as a software as much as it does the idea of Antville as weblog hosting service. If we succeed with this, there's a good chance that we see a lot of personal, mid-size and large Antville sites instead of a single huge one.

But it's not just size (or the lack thereof) that matters. It's that the right people attract more of the right people. I think this has worked very well so far for Antville. If I look at the weblogs at Antville.org today, there's lots of them I really dig and I can't think of one I really despise*). Also, one can sense lots of connections between different people and weblogs, both folks that knew each other before and folks that got to know each other here. I think we should try to keep it this way.

So here's a list of things I propose to do:

  1. Get some disclaimers that declare that we're not responsible for the content hosted on *.antville.org weblogs, and that we have the right to delete illegal disgusting stuff.

  2. Make sure we don't have to rely on point 1 regularly by

    • letting our Antville.org users be the primary recruiters of new Antville.org users by letting them do what they do, that is blogging.

    • push the idea of Antville as freely available software that can be installed and used by anybody anywhere.

    • resurrect AntClick, Chris' one stop Antville-in-a-box package.
*) The case of that sunken nazi singer weblog is really the exception that proves the rule. I really think that a weblog hosting nazi propaganda would be capsized by other Antville users before anybody of us admins would have a chance to wipe it out. It would simply not work.

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