Moderation or a newsgroup?

Subject: Moderation or a newsgroup?
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 10:04:33 EST

On Thu, 12 Dec 1996, Stephen Arrants <arrants -at- BRIGHTWARE -dot- COM> wrote:

> But when a member violates the guidelines, especially after they'd just
been resent to the list, he needs to be told that he violated the
guidelines. Some have written that it should be done in private email.
Others don't see anything wrong with it being in a public message.
Well, what's done is done, and I'm sure we all won't be seeing that
damned doggerel again.

You must not have been on this list long. We'll see it again within four
months. It has a cycle of roughly two to four months.

Here's a tip for when you see it again: delete it unread. If you're really
ticked off, e-mail the poster privately. But keep in mind that this doggerel
has a life of its own and it will return no matter what you do.

> I think the list has grown too large and too diverse to be effective
anymore. We all write, but we don't all write the same things. And
we're all not interested in the same things.

YMMV. I love the fact that the list is large and diverse. I skip a lot, but I
learn a lot that I didn't set out to learn, too.

The <delete> key is a wonderful invention. To achieve the same result as
hitting this key, you can get the list in digest form, look for posts whose
subject lines interest you, and skip the rest.

> What is there to be done? I think one of two things. Moderation (in
some form) or a newsgroup.

Techwr-l is already a newsgroup: bit.listserv.techwr-l

> Or, we could limit the topics discussed for a period of time. For
example, "During January we'll be discussing Certification, Which Fonts
are Most Effective for Print Pieces, How to Rewrite really Long
Procedural Lists, and Your First Job Experiences as a Technical Writer."

Let's see if I understand you. Under these guidelines, we could post only
within a given subject area? So if I had a question on writing samples, I'd
have to wait to post it until, say, August?

That would render the list virtually useless in my eyes. Moreover, as I keep
saying and many folks keep evidently not reading or understanding --

> > > > > ALERT! NEWSFLASH AHEAD! < < < < <

********* We don't own this list. Eric Ray
owns the list. His compensation for the hours of
gruntwork that list-running entails is an
occasional warm feeling, and that's it. He can do
what he likes with the list, because he is his own
boss. If you don't like a list policy, you can
discuss it with him. If you still don't like it,
you might as well leave. ***********

<end of newsflash>

Eric is fortunately a benevolent dictator -- I was once on a list run by a
malevolent dictator, and it was WAY different from techwr-l. Eric has done the
international tech writing community an inestimable service by establishing this
list. People are always coming up with suggestions to make the list better, and
every single suggestion seems to involve more work for Eric.

Guess what, guys? Eric has a job and a life outside this list! I hear he's
even reproduced, so if we manage to kill him off with our constant complaints,
his baby will grow up and take over for him! In the meantime, his wife will
serve as Listowner Regent! We will never escape the Ray Dynasty! Mwa ha ha ha

> But all this sounds a little too regimented.

Way too regimented, IMO.

> Perhaps the best thing would be a newsgroup (moderated or not). I don't
know what the solution is, but day by day we see more dross on the list.
And it ain't getting any better.

Then delete the dross, and get on with your life. Speaking of which, I believe
I'll go document an app. Carry on, friends!

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer)

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