Re: META: traffic-limited list idea

Hara Ra (
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 04:54:15 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> At the exi-bay meeting last night, it occurred to me that Robin
> Hansen's idea for fixed-time debates could be adapted to a mailing
> list like this to control list traffic and optimize quality of
> postings. <snip>

> Robin's original idea was this: at the start of a multi-person
> debate, issue each participant a fixed number of tokens.

There's an ancient way of handling discussion which might apply here. It
is called the "talking stick". The Email version would work like this:

1. The discussion thread is stated on the Exi List. All interested
persons email the announcing person and indicate if they are participant
or lurker.

2. The announcing person creates a CC list from the incoming emails and
sends to the CC list two lists: The CC list and the list of

3. A "talking stick" is created, which defines who has the "floor". This
is initially the first person on the participant list.

4. The participant makes a posting and indicates who is to post next
(gets the "talking stick"). This is always the next member of the
participant list. If the participant does not want to post, h/she posts
a brief message passing on the "talking stick". The last participant on
the list passes the "talking stick" to the first person on the list.

5. The discussion is ended when two passes through the participant list
result in no more postings, or by all participants agreeing to a motion
ending the discussion.

Simple, effective, no fancy tech needed.

BTW, more than one "talking stick" can be in circulation, for example a
list of 20 participants may have two sticks at 10 person intervals. It
might be useful to limit responses by a participant to the previous 10
postings in this case....

| Hara Ra <> |
| Box 8334 Santa Cruz, CA 95061 |