Moving towards a Membership model…

Some of you may have noticed there is an option on the top left hand side of Slugger there is an option to become a member of Slugger. The plan is to have some kind of value add to that membership status in the future. For now, it only means that your don’t have to keep filling in the code or re-entering your details every time you want to comment. There is also the possibility that we may restrict commenting just to those who sign up. So I would encourage you, if you haven’t already to register.


  • excellent news. I needed another sign-up to go with the 40 others I have for other sites. Who needs OpenID or another cross-site authentication anyway?

  • Dave

    There is also the possibility, of course, that this could be a ruse to huddle the freeloading sheepies into a pen, wherein no mention is made of paid membership at first but where such becomes a realistic option for the management once a critical mass of said sheepies have been successfully migrated into the membership system. Anyway, I signed up.

  • Steve

    Bad Idea Mick

    Traffic will fall, debate will be stiflred and ultimatelyyour site will be hurt

    Ask David Vance why he opened his site back up to open comment

  • lolololol

    its great watching the middle classes trying to claw some money back from the masses loooooooooooooollllllll….long live the credit crunch

  • Mick Fealty

    These are just possibilities guys. One of the problems we have with the entirely open access model is the poor behaviour of a very few individuals. Some form of committment might help discourage malicious trolling and sockpuppeting.

    Open ID is certainly a possibility Mark. We have had our experience of commenting lock outs via the hideous typekey model that came with Moveable Type a few years ago. I do not want us to move back to that.

    Dave, your trust in our good faith in that matter is appreciated. Subscription financial models just don’t work online, so I don’t think there is much chance of that happening.

    Steve, we know…

  • Steve

    I know your hope for this site was always of a more academic nature but to me the interesting bits are where the lunatic fringe is coming from, the middle of the road academics have no way of inspiring insight into the shadows behind the curtains

    With open comment the truly out their weirdos help flesh out the spectrum of opinions. the (insert appropriate afiliation) can do no wrong and them uns can do no right leave people a better understanding of what exists in the real world

    or atleast thats my opinion

  • Driftwood

    Do we have to designate ourselves as Unionist or Nationalist? Can we swap allegiances in key debates?

  • Dewi

    Whatever happened to Frank Sinistra – always the funniest bloke on here.

  • slug

    You might develop slugger in to a panel similar to YouGov panel with surveys of opinion from time to time including party support.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I’m not so sure. Slugger allowed many people from disadvantaged backgrounds to have their say, is there a guarantee this will continue?

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Ok done it. I have never hidden my ID on here anyway and never will. Obviously that is why I got sin binned for a while but fair enough as I do sometimes have a bad temper and it helps to be reined.

    So what did happen to David Vance anyway? did they reverse his lobotomy with a monkey transplant or something so they let him in the DUP?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Mick Fealty

    [i]These are just possibilities guys. One of the problems we have with the entirely open access model is the poor behaviour of a very few individuals. Some form of committment might help discourage malicious trolling and sockpuppeting.”[/i]

    You have their IP address? what’s the problem? Bann them! There are members who label others as trolls, Why can’t you bann those people?

  • … your don’t have to keep filling in the code or re-entering your details every time you want to comment …

    Um, Mick, we already don’t have to ‘re-enter our details’. We simply tick the ‘Remember my personal information’ box below. You’ve become so elevated that you don’t even know how we little people live!

    Typing a simple short validation word (often only 4 letters) is not a big deal, especially for the obsessives who type 500 word comments here.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    You could encourage people to become members by providing them with some degree of editorial influence e.g. they could put a stop to Pete Baker’s interminable dancing on the head of a pin re. police and justice, or suggestions for threads could be voted on.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin


    Don’t force my hand this early on in your return to Slugger respectability!


    As always, argue from your convictions. And as intelligently as you can.


    “…the truly out their weirdos help flesh out the spectrum of opinions”

    Is that you coming out at last? 😉 Seriously though, it is ‘outsiders’ to the normal debate who provide the best value. That might marked by extremity of their opinion, but more often its because they represent an opinion that rarely get heard.

    Neighbourhood stories often draw in one or two time commenters who are never heard of on Slugger again, but whose particular insight is often invaluable. The least useful are those who simply go through the motions and refuse to engage with others with whom they disagree.


    As I said before (our posts crossed I think), there is no direct monetary value in this. But there may be some value in for both the site and those who sign up. See my reply to ‘slug’ below.


    Something of that thought had occurred to me. There is huge untapped potential here, which we need to give some thought as to how we might unlock it.

    One thing about the Slugger Awards that I was most pleased with was that our readers set the agenda. In many categories, the actual nomination pitches played a key role in the decisions of the judges.

    Though I think we’d need to get a bit bigger to rival YouGov, that is a very interesting and useful idea!!

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Isn’t your IP address dynamic? When I go onto my ISP they give me an address for that lease period. So how can Mick ban it?

    I am not sure I see the benefit of all this but if it makes Mick’s life easier so be it. He puts a lot of time and effort into Slugger and he gets nothing much back for it really. All credit to him and the others who make Slugger work. I don’t see eye to eye with him on lots of things but I recognise that he deserves thanks and credit for what he does. If a quick registration helps what is the problem.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton


    Ohh spoilsport! Respectability is over rated and its not nearly as much fun. Clearly I need to work on my Oscar Wilde style wit to keep inside the lines. Will do.

  • Dewi

    Yeah Sammy – a rugby thread every week if we are members?

  • Comrade Stalin


    Your IP address is technically dynamic, but in practice it seldom changes. On Virgin Media, the lease time is at least 7 days and it looks like I’ve had the same IP address for the past number of years.

    There are ways around this for people who really want to push it (smash your cable modem and get them to give you a new one .. the industry standard DHCP server usually tries to cache the IP addresses it issues against the MAC addresses it knows, so it will likely allocate a different IP address to the new MAC address on the new cable modem .. or you could change to another ISP) but outside of being obsessive an IP ban is pretty definitive.

  • Steve

    Me a bit of a wingnut….yeah sometimes and always intentionally

    If I was Irish and I could vote i would aunashamedly vote SF every time and be an unabashed public supporter

    I can not support every thing the PIRA has done but I can support everything about SF(that I know)

    Yes they are 2 different organizations and every right to be treated the same way the alphabet killers and onionist mainstream are treated

    with a nudge and a wink of respectability

  • Donnacha

    Well, I’ve joined, but I don’t see much difference. I thought there would be hot wimmin carrying trays of exotic cocktails and suck like. Yet another disappointment to add to a lifetime of them…

  • RepublicanStones

    Fess up Mick, the securocrats are leaning on you, because some of us know too much (or think we do) and this is a stepping stone to the Orwellian nightmare envisaged with glee by many in Whitehall. Sure you’ll soon need a passport to buy a pay as you go mobile. Don’t do it Mick, 1984 aint here….say it isn’t so !!!!!!

    I’ll register anyway and dismantle their evil plans from the inside.

  • Steve


    There are ways around this for people who really want to push it (smash your cable modem and get them to give you a new one

    You don’t have to be that dramatic generally if you just turn off the power to your modem and turn it back on it re-assigns you a new IP or atleast it does in Canada

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I think only (of the Welsh )Kaydiff will survive the group stages and may well be aways from home to either Munster or Leinster.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton


    That’s interesting. I think my ISP Tiscali gives out a dynamic address each time I log on or the lease expires (24 hours). Now it could though give out a similar set of IP’s related to the MAC address from the modem. I have not paid enough attention to know if it rotates through a common set. It does change though but it could be a small set of options it changes within.

    Of course you could pay to buy a variable IP from someone to hide your ISP IP and then connect to them through a VPN instead. Might be a bit much for a Slugger ban though.

  • William

    It’s nice to see the well-rounded figure of Duncan Shipless Dalton back again, after he ran away from the Unionist Party.

    If Duncan had one per cent of David Vance’s integrity he would be a greater person than he currently thinks he is.

    Perhaps he should access and he’ll find out that David is very much alive and setting the trend in Northern Ireland blogging. ATW doesn’t get the MSM a**licking that Slugger gets but I think it is much better and has opinions on International matters, not just the parish pump of local politics.

  • dont hack ur modem

    comrade stalin, you can sniff virgin media mac addresses using an app called dhcp force, then when you get some macs swap them with someone in another area…ie derry macs work in belfast &vice;versa…then just buy a motorola surfboard cable modem from ebay and change macs thru your browser…a simple reboot of your modem, and hey presto…a new ip address
    otherwise its simple to change the mac address of ones router then reboot router, modem and computer , in that order, and you will also get a new ip

  • Alan

    I’m huffin’ – someone just stole my username. You’d think after all these years . . .

  • smcgiff

    ‘I thought there would be hot wimmin carrying trays of exotic cocktails and suck* like’

    *ahem* that’s the premium membership service that even Mick doesn’t know about – so shhh!

  • Donnacha

    Oops. That should have read “SUCH” obviously…

  • Comrade Stalin


    The cable modems here do not give you a new IP address if you reset the cable modem. The usual DHCP servers do not usually do this by default; they tend to try to remember the last IP address they gave out for a given MAC and then try to give it out again. Cable modems are generally turned on all the time so there is really no point in changing the IP address all the time, but I guess there must be a method in their madness over there.


    I thought Tiscali was ADSL ? If it is, it’s a completely different kettle of fish, and it won’t have a MAC address (an ADSL router will have a MAC address, but that’s only for your side of the network, not the ISP’s side). In that scenario it’s talking PPP over ATM, and the PPP session will acquire an IP address itself during IPCP negotiation; DHCP is not used here. (can you tell I do this for a living 🙂 ?)

    A VPN would be overkill. If you wanted to bypass an IP ban, you’d just use a web proxy. Slugger would then have to ban the proxy, which would mean shutting out potentially large numbers of users. I know that NTL used to force proxies, I do not know if Virgin still do.

  • Steve


    Cable modems here are generally left on here all the time as well but since my modem is getting fairly old and creaky I sometimes have to reboot it(sort of) by turning it on and off and it gives me a new IP address everytime

    As well when I used to use dial up at home I recieved a new IP adddress everytime I logged on

  • Comrade Stalin

    dont hack ur modem,

    That’s interesting. I’ve never been into cable modem hacking, I’m too scared of getting caught, and I don’t tend to get banned from things so I have no particular need to keep cycling my IP address.

    In principle, there’s nothing to stop them cracking down on that stuff, and it’s the same with the dodgy cable boxes that you can get. I can only guess that Virgin must have a good reason for not enforcing this.

  • Dave

    “I’m huffin’ – someone just stole my username. You’d think after all these years . . . ” – Alan

    Well, you can probably register the Irish version: Ailín. 😉