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Some insight into the life and phases of a mailing list ... A Perspective



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 10th 05, 09:29 PM
external usenet poster
 
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Default Some insight into the life and phases of a mailing list ... A Perspective

Like it or not, mailing lists commonly undergo an evolutionary process
regardless of whether they are moderated forums forums or unmoderated
newsgroups. The natural life cycle of a mailing list, with its various
phases, might be summed best as follows:

1. Declaration of Enthusiasm ... Subscribers introduce themselves
and gush over how wonderful it is to have encountered kindred spirits.

2. Birth of Evangelism ... Participants moan about how the mailing
list consists of far too few members and brainstorming ensues to
initiate recruitment strategies.

3. Expansion of Community ... An ever increasing number of
interested parties subscribe and contribute to the mailing list.
Lengthy threads develop (some more relevant than others).

4. Emergence of Camaraderie ... Information and advice is exchanged
(some empirically founded ... some just anecdotal nonsense).
Friendships are forged. Members rib one another, but all in good
fun. New subscribers are welcomed and veterans are patient with
newbies. Both newcomers and old-timers alike are comfortable asking
questions, providing answers, and sharing experiences.

5. Ascent of Disenchantment ... The volume of postings increases
dramatically. Not all threads are of interest to all participants.
Some participants pitch a bitch about signal-to-noise ratio,
off-topic
threads, me too posts, forwarding of private emails, and other
violations of mailing list netiquette. Member #1 threatens to
unsubscribe if things don't change for the better. Member #2 aligns
himself with Member #1. Member #3 disagrees with both Members #1 and
#2. Member #4 suggests that Members #1, #2, and #3 should lighten
up. Flame wars erupt and adversaries emerge. Bandwidth is sacrificed
as an abundance of postings proliferate in an effort to resolve
differences and restore some semblance of order. During this
particular phase, many a delete key gets more than its share of
abuse.

6. Stagnancy of Growth ... The purists castigate members who ask
an old question or respond humorously to a serious post. Newcomers
are rebuffed and discouraged. Traffic volume subsides considerably
and is generally confined to minor topics. Many relevant issues are
communicated via private emails. Some members turn in their
membership cards in a huff and the remaining members continue to
participate in phases #4 and/or #5 above.

7. Someone like me pounds away at the keyboard composing a posting
such as this one in an effort to stir the juices of those members who
find themselves entrenched in the quagmire of phase #4 and/or #5
above ;-) Well, at least this posting should prove to be a thought
provoking departure from the norm and hopefully sheds some light on
the nature of the beast we have come to love and hate ... the mailing
list.

Jim McNamara

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  #2  
Old February 10th 05, 11:18 PM
Edward Dolan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
Like it or not, mailing lists commonly undergo an evolutionary process
regardless of whether they are moderated forums forums or unmoderated
newsgroups. The natural life cycle of a mailing list, with its various
phases, might be summed best as follows:

1. Declaration of Enthusiasm ... Subscribers introduce themselves
and gush over how wonderful it is to have encountered kindred spirits.

2. Birth of Evangelism ... Participants moan about how the mailing
list consists of far too few members and brainstorming ensues to
initiate recruitment strategies.

3. Expansion of Community ... An ever increasing number of
interested parties subscribe and contribute to the mailing list.
Lengthy threads develop (some more relevant than others).

4. Emergence of Camaraderie ... Information and advice is exchanged
(some empirically founded ... some just anecdotal nonsense).
Friendships are forged. Members rib one another, but all in good
fun. New subscribers are welcomed and veterans are patient with
newbies. Both newcomers and old-timers alike are comfortable asking
questions, providing answers, and sharing experiences.

5. Ascent of Disenchantment ... The volume of postings increases
dramatically. Not all threads are of interest to all participants.
Some participants pitch a bitch about signal-to-noise ratio,
off-topic
threads, me too posts, forwarding of private emails, and other
violations of mailing list netiquette. Member #1 threatens to
unsubscribe if things don't change for the better. Member #2 aligns
himself with Member #1. Member #3 disagrees with both Members #1 and
#2. Member #4 suggests that Members #1, #2, and #3 should lighten
up. Flame wars erupt and adversaries emerge. Bandwidth is sacrificed
as an abundance of postings proliferate in an effort to resolve
differences and restore some semblance of order. During this
particular phase, many a delete key gets more than its share of
abuse.

6. Stagnancy of Growth ... The purists castigate members who ask
an old question or respond humorously to a serious post. Newcomers
are rebuffed and discouraged. Traffic volume subsides considerably
and is generally confined to minor topics. Many relevant issues are
communicated via private emails. Some members turn in their
membership cards in a huff and the remaining members continue to
participate in phases #4 and/or #5 above.

7. Someone like me pounds away at the keyboard composing a posting
such as this one in an effort to stir the juices of those members who
find themselves entrenched in the quagmire of phase #4 and/or #5
above ;-) Well, at least this posting should prove to be a thought
provoking departure from the norm and hopefully sheds some light on
the nature of the beast we have come to love and hate ... the mailing
list.

Jim McNamara


Excellent post Jim and I agree with every word of it. I have learned much of
this the hard way I must admit.

ARBR is now composed of a very small group of old veterans. If newbies are
scared off by these flame wars, then I predict it could well be the death of
ARBR. I see plenty of other newsgroups which have died for one reason or
another. Nothing goes on forever I guess. It apparently took a total jackass
and a criminal type like Ed Gin to administer the coup de grace.

Ed Dolan the Great - Minnesota


  #3  
Old February 10th 05, 11:49 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 16:18:13 -0600, "Edward Dolan"
wrote in message :

Ed Dolan the Great - Minnesota


A pathetic imitation. Dolan has stalked off in high dudgeon never to
be seen again, and we know that Dolan Never Lies so there is no way he
would still be here after saying so publicly that he is finished with
this group.

Whoever you are, prepare to be LARTed.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

85% of helmet statistics are made up, 69% of them at CHS, Puget Sound
 




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