[LMB] Fixing the list?

Robert Parks rparks at lvhot.org
Tue, 11 Jun 2002 14:31:27 -0700

echelbar at execpc.com wrote in response to Tom Westberg:
> > (By the way, this group strikes me as quite civil.
> >The fact that many people feel it used to be much
> > better probably says something about me. Ah, well.)
> No, Tom, what it actually says is something about expectations.
> Even now (as JoatSimeon pointed out) the list is relatively civil
> compared to, say, most Usenet communities.  (one reasons I don't read
> newsgroups; I rapidly become disgusted with the level of backbiting and
> sniping that's 'normal' there) But it's fallen so far from what those
> of us who have been around since the early years remember....

Or even those from not-quite-so-long-ago.  I remember us laughing a lot
more when I joined, and people letting things go a lot easier.

> Because we "old list-hands" remember what it used to be, we have higher
> standards for what we expect.  That the "new" folk (some of whom have
> been here for quite a while, actually) think the state the list is in
> now is "quite civil" is a reflection of where the list was when they
> (you) joined, and the expectations *they* thus have of what's "normal"
> for the list, that's all.

By most standards it is quite civil, but, we have Bujold level standards

> Diane E
> feeling like I should find a rocking chair and shawl.... I've already
> got the grey hair and granny glasses. <G>

ObPratchett? ;)

Adam Ek wrote in response to Diane E:
> Ah yes, the old days that required the birth of the the OT Thug, Quote Pixie and spellings such as H*n*r H*rr*ngt*n

Those rosy, warm, cuddly days?

> I think a large part of the problem is simply the increasing size of the list. It's hard to keep up with so many messages and annoying messages grow in proportion. When I saw three annoying messages in a day, I simply shrugged and deleted them. When I see thirty, I throw up my hands and cry "I don't have time for this."

Also, there seems to be more people who post frequently who besides
having rough edges are  (or appear to be) less than interested in
smoothing off those edges.

Ivy Yap wrote:
> I've been on the list a long time as well, but lately have been deleting
> whole threads unread.  And my posting frequency has dropped to lurker
> levels.  It's too bad some people have made the list unbearable for other
> people.  I've found that kill-filing obnoxious posters greatly improves my
> peace of mind.

Except that even the most obnoxious posts something good\\\\excellent
from time to time.  Damn.  Thread killing, though is frequent.
> One of the main reasons I haven't unsubbed is because I've made several
> great friends thru this list, and look forward to making more in the future.

I'll drink to that!

Jim Parish:
> On the broader topic of goodbye posts, well...(snippage)
> In any event, his post has brought into the open some of the
> current problems with the list, and it is to be hoped that they
> can be dealt with - as in the past, by open discussion and
> the establishment of consensus.

We can always hope.

I am on some lists that are less contentious than this one, but they are
also utterly focused on a specific (small) subject, so the participants
are much less diverse.  The diversity on this list is both its bane and
its greatness.  I was talking with some people at the sushi bar the
other day, and an esoteric subject came up and none of us knew enough to
discuss it usefully, and for a moment, I wished for access to the list,
not just the information, but likely at least two reasoned opinions on
that information.

I don't have any solutions, at least not any that can be imposed.  Those
in an exchange of grumpiness have to find it within themselves the means
to extricate themselves without making the situation worse.  Not to lay
blame, or try to get in one last lick, or even lay their cards on the
table...maybe to just walk away ("Pizza" (which should be a command, nto
a request)), or take it off list.  

We seem to be doing OK about the squick factor stuff lately, perhaps we
can so the same with the grump factor?

There is little danger that I will drop anytime soon, my tolerance for
grumpiness is pretty high, but I would be terribly happy if I didn't
have to come home from dealing with that on the bus to have to winnow
through it here.  The list is a refuge of sorts, where I can get away
from the harshness of the world, where we mostly get along and can
discuss stuff civilly, and for the most part it remains that way, but
some many of the unpleasant exchanges are unnecessary...where one or
both parties have drawn a line in the sand...by that time, there is no
point in further exchanges.

Anyway, these posts are already too long and the Yeltar thread is far
more interesting, so  lets find out how much of a colony we can create!