[conspire] Announcement postings

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Mar 30 10:51:55 PDT 2009

Grant recently posted the appeal for funds to support Freenode, the IRC
network.  We've been chatting in private mail.  (Again, I'm _not_
ragging on Grant.  The discussion just highlights an issue that's been
arising anyway.)

----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> -----

Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 10:43:28 -0700
From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
To: Grant Bowman <grantbow at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [svlug] IBM and Sun

I wrote:

> Eh, it's for a good cause, as you say -- and it's not like you're going
> to be doing it frequently.  ;->

(Again, I'm not annoyed.)

Basically, I was really thinking forward to the next dozen guys with
good causes, extrapolating a trend, and being uneasy.

The past few years, there's been a small explosion of people who've
started multiposting across almost all of the Bay Area's LUG and related
mailing lists.  Those have mostly been monthly meeting announcements:  
PenLUG's, LUGOD's, BayPiggies's, BALUG's, OLPC-SF's, John Regan's
BerkeleyTIP.  This practice stands in sharp contrast to that of some
other groups, that have taken a principled stand that they don't want to
be annoying, and that adopt the obvious alternative of running an
-announce mailing list that people can opt into, if they want to see
announcements only.  For example, SVLUG does that -- and I personally
think it's an ethically cleaner practice.

For the lower-traffic mailing lists, like CABAL's
"conspire at linuxmafia.com" one, an ongoing flood of announcement postings
can become disruptive and is sort of like a fishmonger coming bellowing
into your cocktail party trying to sell mackerals and then leaving to
visit the next party down the street.

Wearing my CABAL listadmin "hat", I've considered suggesting to the
group that it start enforcing a new rule for the mailing list:
Announcements of outisde events/groups/causes/etc. are welcome _only_ from
regular mailing list participants:  If you join the mailing list and
then never participate but only bellow announcements from time to time,
we'll throw you out.  If by contrast you _are_ a discussion participant,
that makes you part of the community and suggests you have a stake in 
not impairing that community, and we'll cut you a little slack about
your favourite causes, the way we put up with parents trying to urge us
to buy their daughters' Girl Scout Cookies.

No group yet has rules regulating onnouncements other than jobs ones.
If the volume of announcements continues to rise, some might have to
consider some.

----- End forwarded message -----

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