Group registration with freenode

Hi all. I’d like to talk about a unique feature that freenode has that many are not aware of for my first post to this blog. Sitting quietly in a small corner of our website, the concept of group registration is one of the things that makes freenode unique amongst IRC networks and it is something that I think highlights our commitment to open projects. The process is simple: after submitting a group contact form, a representative of freenode will contact you, usually by telephone, to verify your identity and to help get things set up.

The concept of registering your project and the availability of this service has been around for some time. Rob Levin, the late founder of PDPC and freenode, placed particularly emphasis on the importance of real world-backed relationships between projects and the network, and there are many benefits to the projects for going through the process: they have rights over the channels they register, and to this end can request transfer of ownership of any channels that they lay claim to as part of their group – assuming, of course, they are able to prove that they are involved in the group to a sufficient level of authority to authorise this. Additionally, project cloaks can be requested. These replace the default unaffiliated cloaks given out; for example, I wear a Wikimedia cloak to show my involvement. Group registration is also possible for about, reference or topical groups, such as those found at ##cooking, ##philosophy and ##security on freenode, to name but a few. They too can request cloaks and gain an official relationship with the network and its staff.

Now, for a bit of honesty: we’re rather backlogged in processing requests for group registration. This is no secret; those of you who have already submitted forms will have probably noticed that you have not been contacted. Recently however, several staff have got involved in the verification process and we are starting to process forms more quickly. We operate on a squeaky wheel system: poke a staff member listed on /stats p to process your form if you have not heard back from us after a week or so, and they will try and find someone. We’re also making improvements to the systems and infrastructure we’re using to record the forms and verifications to make things smoother for everyone.

So, if you like freenode and are using it for your open project, why not register your group today?

9 thoughts on “Group registration with freenode

  1. What is the benefit of registering as a group rather than simply creating a channel and inviting your coworkers in? One answer I’ve heard is the benefit of being able to prove rightful ownership in the event of a takeover or other malicious loss-of-privileges, but what’s the difference, other than that?

  2. The proof of rightful ownership, as you put it, is one of the main advantages, and if the channel belongs to an unofficial party you can request a takeover to restore it to those who run the group. Secondarily, you can request project cloaks, which is nicer than unaffiliated.

  3. I submitted my registration for Russia group a couple of weeks ago, but did not get any answer. I think that current group registration system is not so convenient to use. Why not use something like Skype…or at least contact me via email to schedule a call

  4. Yes, that can be an issue. Generally we try and get in touch via IRC to arrange the call, however you can ping staff on /stats p to ask them to hurry you through our “squeaky wheel” queue.

  5. Not to beat a dead horse, but you definitely have a backlog. I submitted my group registration just before Christmas. 3 _months_ ago. I’m sure PhilKC is about to burst a vein from all the “squeaky wheel” pings my group has given him every week.

    Even the squeaky wheel queue needs some WD-40.

  6. Don:
    Very true, we have a backlog of around 3000 valid forms, that is, primary groups, not counting about groups, dupes etc. Some of these date back as far as end of 2004. We are working as fast as possible to get through it, thank you for your patience.


  7. Hello,

    I’ve just desided to register here, so… hello everyone ! :)

  8. Yup :) I think it was around Christmas when I first submitted our app. so far, there’s been no phone call as far as I know (at least no voicemails were left).

    So… I’m going to take your *squeaky wheel* advice and try the /stats p methodology as soon as I read up a bit on the “project cloaks” as opposed to “unaffiliated”.

    Thanks for the info :)

    Kindest regards,

    Bradley D. Thornton
    Manager Network Services
    NorthTech Computer


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