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

Steve Bibayoff bibayoff at gmail.com
Sun Feb 25 14:29:03 PST 2007


On 2/24/07, Paul Reiber <reiber at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 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.

Well, lets see if it's "defendable" or not ;-)

Too start, let me state here, I'm only speaking about forwarding of
things from one list to another.

> ...  First, they might
> not even know the other list/group exists.

Straw man argument. When the group first forms, one or two
announcements of the groups formation w/ MAYBE an announcement or two
of the first meeting. After that, if anybody wants that info, why
don't' they subscribe to that list? How did they find the list they
are currently on. see bottom.

> ...  Second, the other list may
> not have an "announce" list, forcing people to either take _all_ the
> messages from that other list, or _none_.

So forcing that groups problem, of not having an announce list, unto
other groups and people, who may or may not want such announcements,
is the answer?

> ...  Also, they might normally
> not be interested in messages from the list,

Doesn't this argument go in favor of NOT forwarding general
announcements? Or any other things?

> ... but some particular subject
> might pique their interest.

And exactly how does one decide that? And who decides it? An easy way
is to see if they subscribe to a particular list(a person interested
in SVLUG announcements would most likely be subscribe to various SVLUG
lists) ;-) .

> ...  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 believe I was the one who sent out the initial message, and I know I
didn't cross post it. I did ask people to forward it to other groups
that may be interested. see below for arguments about this.

> 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.

It is also clear to me that you are much, much more likely to reduce
membership of the various groups because of cross posts and forwards
of all/alot/some announcements of other groups. I've seen and talked
w/ people who requested to be taken off of lists because of this, but
have never heard of anybody request to drop a list because of not
enough cross posts and forwards.

> 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.

I wasn't telling them to stop sending messages. I was telling them
that if people wanted information from other lists, they could easily
subscribe to the other lists. This way, people who didn't want that
information, they wouldn't get it. See note at end.

> 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).

Create a meta list. Invite people who want all the announcements to
subscribe. Better yet, have this meta-list listed as an optional
mailing list to subscribe to on all of the other user groups mailing
list info page.

> ...  Yours is to give the readership more
> control over what they read.

I don't think anyone could argue that this is a bad thing. At least
not anyone sensible.

> 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.

So, your fix is on the user who already thought they where subscribing
to only certain list. Let them filter out stuff that they didn't want
that comes from other mailing list they never subscribed to in the
first place. Kind of sounds like spam to me ;-) .

> 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.

Instead of lists subscribed to a list, why don't you have individual
people do? This way, you know they want this info. Again, consider a
meta mailing list where there is an opt in.

> 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.

One more time, Meta mailing list where people could opt in, instead of
trying to filter out.

Take a look at the number of just Lugs in the bay area. then add the
too that the other number of various UG's(*BSDs, Programming
languages, social ties groups). Which all of these groups have at
least 1 meeting a month, but most likely 2 or more meetings (meetings
and installfests). You have 100+ messages being forwarded around. Do
you really care to risk losing membership because someone thinks one
person on another list may like this info sent to them. And where does
it stop. When I use to comment on other people forwarding things to
the list, I biggest gripe wasn't so much w/ the announcements, but w/
the forwarding of the Linux Journal, O'reily, Linuxworld and every
other electronic news outlet weekly/monthly email. I decide to be fair
and state every forward that person who forwarded the info had no
comment on, shouldn't be allowed.

And do I think all forwarded announcements should be banned? NO. The
Richard Stallman email you mentioned above is an good example of what
should be forwarded(And not because I sent it ;-) ). Speakers who have
never(or very rarely) spoken in the area before, Yes. New groups
forming, YES. Very new technology that has never been seen or shown
before, Yes. Installfest, No. General meeting giving by a member of
that group, probably not.

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

No problem. And I'm all in favor of trying to drum up support for the
various local user groups. But do it in a sensible way. Don't force
people to become members of other groups they didn't want to become
members of(Doesn't a few UG have the adage,"if you subscribe to our
mailing list, you're a member"?). Try fixing what is broken(not every
group has an announce list) instead of creating more problems.



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