Re: Mailing List Effectiveness

Kathryn Aegis (
Thu, 3 Oct 1996 15:41:40 +0000

Rich Artym writes:
>Hey, we're still at the bottom of the curve ... If you think we get a
>lot of traffic now, just wait until the mainstream becomes aware of us.

The practicum for my master's degree focused on online facilitation,
so my participation in listserves has been on several levels--as a
participant and a meta-observer.

I have noticed on this list a dynamic tension between two values/goals:
constructive intellectual debate and propogation of Extropian memes.
Various proposals regarding list efficiency have conciously or
conciously emphasized one of these value/goals at the expense of the

Given that this list has only recently become more open, I could
speculate that this is the natural fallout of list expansion. This
list could also be viewed as a coalition effort, however, and coalitions
take work to maintain. This is where filtering mechanisms fail to
effectively promote more cohesive discussion. Members must be willing to
address problems with the person(s) involved, not simply turn their
backs and never speak to the person again. I saw one post regarding
a sort of mentoring process--it would be interesting to hear that
expanded upon.

I have heard Max and other Extropians state that it is vital to
respect every person's level of development. Therefore, my one
request is that participants in this discussion shift terminology
away from loaded terms like "quality" and "better/worse" to more
defined terms like "effective", "productive".

I won't put myself in the position of supporting any particular
proposal, as I respect the longstanding involvement of most of the
members of this list, but I am willing to provide my own obervations
as they seem appropriate.


Kathryn Aegis