[conspire] branching/derivative conversation - need for one common announce list

Paul Reiber reiber at gmail.com
Sat Feb 24 17:28:15 PST 2007

Hi, Steve!

> I hate to sound negative, but

Gee... good start... :-)

> I believe if people wanted information
> from another group, they would be subscribed to that group mailing
> list already(at least to the announce list if they have one).

Not a very defendable premise, for a few key reasons.  First, they might
not even know the other list/group exists.  Second, the other list may
not have an "announce" list, forcing people to either take _all_ the
messages from that other list, or _none_.  Also, they might normally
not be interested in messages from the list, but some particular subject
might pique their interest.  Take, for example, RMS's speaking at Berkeley.
I don't frequent the East Bay, and don't subscribe to EBLUG's mailinglist,
but it sure was handy to learn about his visit to the bay area via a cross-post.

> I think better energy would be spent making sure all of the various groups
> have announce lists(and now-a-days RSS feeds) and are using them.

This is social engineering on a much grander scale.  It's clear to me
that it'd be
easier to give them one list they can post to that hits "everyone", than to
convince them all to rework their mailinglists to conform to some contrived
(albiet sensible) standard.

> Personally, I hate receiving announcements for other groups on mailing
> list I'm on. If I wanted that information, I would have subscribed to
> their list. Sadly, when I use to bring this up after such
> announcements, I was always accused of "flaming" someone unnecessary.
> After a number of accusations like that, I have stopped.

Well... many people quite enjoy learning about what's going on in other groups,
so I can see where they might get a bit teed off at you for telling
people to stop
sending messages to the list that they _like_ to get.

It seems we have somewhat different goals - mine is to give posters a way
to address multiple lists in one single posting, without cross-posting
(or getting
their hands slapped for cross-posting).  Yours is to give the readership more
control over what they read.

I'll contend that email readers are already configurable - with
filtering and such - and that you can achieve much of what you're
looking for already.

> As as side note, I believe a configurable meta-list would be USEFUL.
> What I am talking about here, is a central list that receives all
> meeting announcements, then is able to parse them before sending them
> out to members. ie: Send me announcements of meetings being held
> within 50 miles of my location that involve the subject matter MySQL.
> Once you got here, there are all sorts of functionality that could be
> useful and easily added: iCal, web calendering, date or day
> bracketing, other geo areas, etc . There is an attempt to start(very
> early planning stages) to code something like this in the SoCal area.

This sound like WAY more than I was considering.  I'm thinking about a
very simple solution - a list that's got other lists subscribed to it, with a
restricted ability to post to it (limited to officers/appointed volunteers
of various groups).  This can also be done with existing technology.

Consider - readership of various lists could set up a filter to throw away
these announcements if they were bothered by them.  We can have the
mailinglist prepend [BALE-ANNOUNCE] to the subject line; then whoever's
bothered by learning what's going on with the rest of the bay area linux
world can simply send those emails to the bit bucket.

Thanks for your feedback, Steve - it's helped me to refine my thoughts on
all of this.

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