Suggesting use of a Forum was RE: People - please do not reply to "everyone".

Mary Sue Ittner
Sat, 30 May 2009 13:31:36 PDT

As the list administrator I am puzzled by Justin's email. This list is a 
forum and it is a place where people can ask questions about bulb related 
topics. It is a public forum which means that the searchable archives are 
online for people who wish to view the contents that way, but it is also 
available to subscribers in a form of a email for those who do not wish to 
read messages online. As we set up the list and the wiki, we have always 
tried to make the exchange of information available to everyone and have 
kept in mind those people who may not have a fast connection, unlimited 
storage space, etc.

Our group has beginners and experts and I've always been impressed that 
experts on this group are especially responsive to questions that are asked 
by people who do not have their level of knowledge. I've been involved in 
other groups where this is not the case.

We have about 470 members with people coming and going all the time and 
with people living all over the world. Since this is the case, not everyone 
is going to be interested in all of the messages since people could be 
talking about something that others could not or might not want to grow. So 
having the delete key handy is always a good idea.

I do agree with Justin and Jane's encouragement of postings by lurkers.

Our list is set up so that hitting reply means that messages go to 
everyone. We did that because we hoped that answers to questions would be 
shared with the group, not just the person asking the question. But that 
does mean that there are extra steps that need to be taken if your response 
should be sent privately like requests to the BX. Some of the responses 
that come to the list that should be private I am sure are accidental and I 
expect many of those people are more careful afterwards.

My husband would like me to remind people only to include the pertinent 
part of the message you are responding to as he gets the digest and I hear 
groans, especially when the whole digest is included in the response, often 
triggering a second digest. I suspect when this happens a lot of people who 
get the digest just don't bother to find what is new and hit delete. I've 
written so many messages on this (a great many of them private, but also on 
the list), that I've decided that this is unlikely to change. But it would 
be nice to be proven wrong.


Mary Sue, PBS cat herder, aka List administrator

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