Re: New option: Leave Extropians as is, start exi-members list

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 20:24:27 -0800 (PST)

> There is a demand for this list, and so in principle there is an opportunity
> to "tax" list members to pay for "good things" done by ExI. But it is not
> that hard to create competing mailing lists, so I don't think the tax
> could be very high. Requiring ExI membership at $95/yr seems far too high.

List maintenance isn't the product we'd be taxing. That's cheap
indeed--I could create a list tonight for nothing. I already manage
four and have plenty of server space. But nobody would care. The
product in demand is the time and attention of a few people--Max,
Natasha, you, Anders, Carl, and a few others. Whither /they/ go,
so shall we follow. If a free list is added as well, that's fine,
but if those people don't follow it, it will be as useless as the
alt.extropians group is now.

The other product of course is the "" trademark. No
matter how valuable any lists become, the ones pointed to from the
ExI site will be seen--rightly or wrongly--as having the implicit
sanction of ExI, and will therefore attract more interest.

Both of those products are so many times more valuable than mere
list maintenance that they alone will determine what price the
market will bear.

I would even go so far as to say that it would be such a great
benefit to have just a few valuable people that ExI could charge
more for membership to have money to pay certain people to read
and occasionally contribute to the list. David Friedman, for
example, is a nethead but doesn't have time for all of this list.
If ExI paid someone to digest the political/economic discussion,
forward it to him, and get responses, I'd be happy to pay more
for that. Perhaps some similar arrangement could be made with
folks like Drexler, Merkle, etc.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC