[nafex] Changing the list???
ginda at concentric.net
Sun Apr 21 23:58:28 EDT 2002
Greg, thank you for all your work in keeping this list running as
smoothly as it does. Most of my frustrations come from Yahoo's (lack
of) privacy policies. I have to confess that since Yahoo stopped
attaching "interactive" ads (that link to the web, and move, and are
slow to download and/or open) I wasn't oo unhappy with Yahoo until the
latest change in their advertising policy. (Although I still wonder if
they stopped sending the moving ads, or if I managed to get rid of them
by requesting "no attachments" when I finally got on their web-site.) I
was able to get onto Yahoo to change my options back to "none", but I
don't know if everyone has been so lucky.
Since we are talking about a free option, the burden on those who chose
not to use the list would seem to be zero. I don't think you need to
worry about their opinion. No one has suggested aligning NAFEX with any
organization more likely to drive away members or reflect badly on NAFEX
than YAHOO already is. Those who do use the list run a small risk that
something will be messed up in any change, and ought to be polled about
that as well as any other non-trivial changes proposed. So far, the
"go"s are ahead, but that might not stay true if you took a poll that
would count. I propose you determine the details of the potential new
server, and take a binding (or at least strongly indicative) referendum
of the users of this list.
I would assume (perhaps wrongly??) that you could continue to delete
posts and ban members under any reasonable e-mail server. I've never
used Topica, but I have used a few lists, and this is the one I've had
the most trouble with, mostly because Yahoo makes it awkward to change
settings. I agree that anything web-searchable would leave us all open
to far worse spam that what Yahoo provides, but only if the
web-searchable part included e-mail. Some are set up to avoid that.
This is the sort of detail that ought to be determined prior to the poll.
Archiving: I also save most of the posts. Still, just as NAFEX saves
copies of Pomona, I think it would be approriate to archive this chat
line. They are of comparable value, and archiving is cheap. If Larry
London doesn't want to provide space, and NAFEX doesn't have space on
it's web-site (accessible to the public or not) then I bet you could get
a member to volunteer space.
Special features (e.g., pictures). Again, this should be the sort of
detail to determine before the poll. I won't open attachments from this
list, but neither will I open attachments on Yahoo, so to me it's a wash
if we get none, and a plus if we get something I can use. Your milage
Perhaps Lon, as the loudest proponent of change, could make a specific
proposal that the group could vote on? Details to be:
(in the points below, by members, I mean members of the mailing list.)
Administrative Issues to list owner (NAFEX)
Cost (dollars, ads, others)
Methods for new members to join, for existing members to leave
authentication of new members (NAFEX members only? How?)
list administration (who monitors, who can delete, who can drop
Administrative Issues to list members (the 250)
Actions needed by members to stay on the list
Options to receive (live e-mail, daily digest, web-based, other)
Options to send (e-mail to author, e-mail to list, web to author, web
to list, other)
Options for pictures or other attachments (e-mailed, options to avoid,
availability on-line, other)
Searchablity of messages (by members, by google, other)
Availability of e-mail addresses (to e-mail subscribers, to web
subscribers, to google, other)
(expecting a frost soon in zone 6, after some awfully warm weather.)
On Sunday, April 21, 2002, at 01:05 AM, Greg Miller wrote:
> It's been an interesting week as I catch up on email. There has been
> discussion regarding changing the list. There is no perfect solution,
> and here are my
> COST. The point of cost was raised by members of the NAFEX board.
> There was
> some support of the idea that a list funded by NAFEX should be
> restricted to NAFEX
> members only (with some exceptions for closely allied organizations.)
> I'm not sure
> this is an improvement, although this is understandable in that the
> vast majority of
> NAFEX members do NOT participate in this list, and asking them to fund
> access for
> nonmembers is beyond the expectationsl of most organizations. This
> creates all
> kinds of subscription authentication issues. I don't know what Larry
> London would
> charge. If the board doesn't want to fund the list and there is a
> charge, are the +/-
> 250 list members willing to pay an annual fee for access in exchange
> for archives
> and no ads?
> TOPICALITY. Although there have been some "off topic" posts (most of
> which I
> delete after reading the first few) this hasn't been a huge problem.
> But one of the
> major forces in the creation of the list was the total drift in
> subjects when this
> originated as a USENET group. Will there be someone to keep people on
> with the ability to remove them? NOTE: I haven't banned ANYONE to
> date, but in a
> wide open system can we count on the same?
> ACCESS. Two issues here are usability and selectivity. I haven't
> commented on
> the issue of usability to date (in part because it's worked for me) but
> Lon added to
> me a Topica list where I never received ONE message and it kept telling
> him that I
> was an invalid email address. I don't blame Lon, as he went to extreme
> efforts to try
> to fix things. I suspect there are problems with every email service.
> As far as
> selectivity, there have been questions since day one on who should be
> allowed to
> join the list, trying to balance a broad resource of information to
> support of the
> NAFEX organization. Needless to say, NAFEX doesn't need to lend its
> name and
> support to an entity that may serve to erode its membership. Currently
> you have to
> be a member of NAFEX, a similar interest group, or highly motivated to
> find this list.
> SEARCHABILITY. Although net based searchability might sound good, that
> the email harvesting programs will be able to see your email address.
> Get ready for
> some serious spam! I have an email address that I use for USENET that
> is used for
> posts only (delete all received mail as 99% is spam) but I would hope I
> have to go through that hassle.
> ARCHIVING. With large disk capacities I save everything I think might
> be of remote
> interest and use my email program for searches. There are some posts I
> really don't
> need to ever see again (e.g., without substantial global warming there
> are some
> plants that aren't going to grow in Spokane outside of a greenhouse)
> or are topics
> not of interest to me. I don't think it's that big a problem to
> revisit topics, as that
> pretty much describes the history of the list anyway.
> SUPPORT. Although not too demanding, I do from time to time get
> questions that
> require human intervention. That would fall to the new list
> SPECIAL FEATURES. Although not use by all, Yahoogroups does allow
> posting of
> pictures or other attachments at the web site. (I understand this is a
> problem for
> some.) But there is no way I am going to open an unsolicited
> attachment via regular
> email no matter how nice you people might seem to be.
> I view myself as the simple caretaker of this list. I think I have
> done an OK job so
> far. I don't get paid and I never expect to. If the time has come to
> go to another
> system, I am agreeable, but people should understand that once the
> change is done
> it is tough to go back, and change doesn't ensure an improvement. I
> would suggest
> that at a minimum any change should be free, unpublicized (except
> POMONA or similar interest group publications), automated, and
> managable by a
> NAFEX representative. Larry London's list might fit all of those
> As Dr. Natelson has suggested there should be something substantial to
> gain before
> changing. I think that is advice worth following.
> Greg Miller
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