[oclug] List etiquette and straw poll
bb at L8R.net
Thu Jul 24 08:13:05 EDT 2003
On 23 Jul 2003 23:23:50 -0400
Rod Giffin <rod at giffinscientific.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2003-07-23 at 21:59, Mike Carignan wrote:
> > The list appears to be fine as is, as suggested by the
> > non-implementation of new lists or moderation when the issue has risen
> > in the past. Why does this issue never go away? Am I missing
> > something?
> > I bet I end up regretting writting this...
> Who knows, maybe. You can end up regretting some awfully small things
> on this list... by the way, you spelled "writing" wrong... for shame. :)
> (ALERT: JOKE. I WAS TRYING TO BE FUNNY! JOKE. SARCASM. It's late. I'm
> tired. sorry.)
> Why does this issue never go away? That's a good question. I'm sure we
> could have a very long and drawn out [OT] discussion about that.
I'm fairly sure it is just a matter of stubbornness. The amount of people
canvassing for a moderated / purely on topic list is rather low. Most
people know how to use their mail client, and just filter out whatever
they prefer. Things work great as they are, as many have suggested, so
there can only be one reason for the constant noise over the years.
People just won't give up.
I'm not actually going to complain on that point, because frankly, I'm not
the least stubborn person in the universe. ;) I can understand the need
and desire, the drive to canvas for change, but in this context it seems
quite odd. The canvas for change, in this particular case, seems to
have caused more off topic posts on this list than those this group
tries to prevent!
Now, unhappy with the inability to get the consensus of a majority of
list members, on this particular topic, they have started to harass users
off list! After all, if you can't get the democratic vote to agree with
you, the next step is to just proceed anyhow! It doesn't really matter,
after all, that most people don't want things this way. This particular
sect does, and that's what's important. They're right, the majority is
wrong, and that's that.
I could holler and yell at this point. I could point out various
anatomical positions that such people should assume. I won't though, and
instead, I will canvas with packets of reason instead.
This is a club list, not a developer list. Yes, people come here for
help, and they get it. However, this is also a list that created and
formed the Club, and it is an integral part it. It is what makes us a
club, as far as I am concerned, for while meetings are monthly, this is
daily. It is where we trade Linux information on a continual basis, but
much like a meeting people discuss other topics there.
Can you imagine a Club meeting, where every conversation with every member
was restricted to Linux? What sort of club would that be? I doubt that
very many people would want to meet other people, other people interested
in Linux, yet force themselves to constrict every conversation to a very
narrow and pre-defined topic.
People have complained that users have left this list because of its off
topic nature, or because of the sheer volume of list posts. I've actually
had a friend or two that have done so in the past. They've joined the
list, asked a question, received an answer, then said "This isn't for
me.". They find tons of information coming their way, some of it Linux
related, some of it not, and decide they don't want to be on such a list.
Fine. So be it. They can re-subscribe if they want to get more help in
the future. Obviously a Linux based discussion list isn't for them. I
always find it amusing when people try to please everyone, because you
simply can't. You can _not_ please everyone. It simply isn't going to
happen. If you shift the list the other way, countless people will leave
a dry and boring Linux only list.
After all, experienced and skilled Linux users have less need for a list
such as this, compared to those that are new to the game. New users (and
we were all new users once) tend to need more "information injections" as
they explore for the first time. Old, seasoned users, on the other hand,
do not. What is in a list for a seasoned, experienced user, if everything
they see on it is old news? Certainly the questions asked and answered
are old hat to them in most cases, so suddenly a Linux only list becomes
boring in many respects.
You need reasons to keep these people around. One way to do that is to
provide entertainment whilst they wait, so to speak. It seems to me that
OCLUG is most likely the most active and vibrant club in Canada. Perhaps
this is because of location, obviously we have several advantages in
Ottawa. Perhaps it is because you can actually get to _know_ Club members
online. Perhaps it is because of this very list, and its open posting
policy, that the club is as active as it is.
More information about the OCLUG