OT Re: egroups or majordomo

From: Henk Langeveld <henkl_at_ncsf.nl>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000 00:45:25 +0100

> The Glorantha Digest Saturday, December 9 2000 Volume 08 : Number

> Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 08:59:31 -0600
> From: "Loren Miller" <loren_at_ioxy.com>
> Subject: eGroups/Egroups
> I don't like the position I seem to be getting myself in, in which I
> to be in favor of destroying the old flavor of the glorantha digest. But
> that isn't my intention, and I think that egroups under yahoo is a pretty
> good option. Here's why...

> Third, I don't think the format of the glorantha digest is what ensures
> character. I think it's the posters to the digest, with all their
> inventiveness and foibles.

You may well be right. This is a difference between origin and status quo. I'm convinced that my decision at the time (early 1993) to make the list available as a digest only was critical in stimulating in-depth discussion and reducing flames and noise.

It is probably correct to assume that not much will change at first when people get the choice to receive individual messages. I fear however, that the list *will* change when a significant number of members receive and respond to mails with a smaller round-trip time. Instant gratification is a strong amplifier for human behaviour.

But having said that change is inevitable, the question remains whether the change would be for good or bad - that's for the members of the list to decide - and don't pay too much attention to me - my opinion never made much of a difference...

> I used to think the format ensured its character,
> back when I took over list-owner status from Henk, and that's why it was a
> digest-only list then, but I no longer think so. Nowadays, I tend to agree
> with Alex Ferguson, that a digest of messages makes it harder to find the
> content you want amid a plethora of topics, and obviously it makes it much
> harder to use threaded mail reading software or to keep consistent subject
> lines across a discussion.

This is very true... It's always been hard to keep track of single treads. This
forced people to spend extra effort when responding.

> Sixth, I've run the glorantha digest as a majordomo list for four years.
> the only person other than Eric Rowe who has. I'm a reasonably competent
> sysadmin and perl hacker. And it took no less than 10 hours a week to run
> through all the list owner messages, bounces, make sure that unsubs and
> mis-addressed email went through, and so on. On the average, there were
> 100 administrative messages a day. Egroups mailing lists are much less
> intensive. Bouncing email addresses are visible on a webpage, can be
> unsubbed with the click of a checkbox, and do not dump huge amounts of
> email into the inbox.

I never had that much administrative traffic, but at the end I found it hard to
continue to do this on my employer's equipment and during office hours. List administration will take significant time, I just happened to be able to
create my own tools. I learned a lot during that time, about technology and human nature both.

> Tenth, Egroups will allow us to have multiple moderators of the group, and
> for the group to continue without needing to be moved to another server if
> and when the current owner and moderator(s) can no longer afford the time
> taken on the list.

I haven't yet seen any means of changing ownership of an egroup. Can you tell me how?

> Eleventh, we might need to recreate the mailing list if eGroups went out
> business or changed its business plan. I don't see that as any more of an
> issue than what we've done already, a few times, when Andrew Bell handed
> list to Henk Langeveld, when Henk handed it to me, or when I handed it to
> Eric Rowe.

It would be a good thing to let the moderators backup the list off-line. Best
garantuee for continuity is to spread the data.

I never could do what Andrew Bell had done, which was editing an e-zine. I took the spark, and passed it on...

Henk Langeveld
- --
"Change it inevitable. Even Change must change itself. Which in turn will lead
to ever increasing levels of complexity. This is what we name evolution."

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