At 02:07 PM 7/25/01 -0400, Andrew J Jenkins wrote:
>The problem, as I see it, with traffic in multiple locations is that it's 
>end result is fragmentation of the group and

Meeting in committee is hardly "fragmentation." The records of the 
committee are open to the public and will remain so, and anyone who wishes 
to join the discussion may do so. Further, the committee will report back 
to this list and anyone who does not like its recommendations will be free 
to express it.

I don't know that Mr. Jenkins is aware that I was elected chair of the 
Protel Users Association. I am the "owner" of record for the Protel-users 
yahoogroups lists, but I only hold those lists as trustee for the 
association; my decisions regarding them are subject to association review, 
and not only can I be overruled by the association, I *have* been overruled 
in one case.

Every organization which has accomplished something significant has learned 
to divide and delegate responsibility. Not everyone wants to participate in 
every activity, and we are already bleeding subscribers to the Techserv 
list, people who unsubscribe simply because the volume of mail becomes too 
much. I spoke to a number of these at the last PC Design Conference West.

(There is a list, protel-users-announcements, which is a *very* low traffic 
list, and I recommend that anyone who would like to receive association 
announcements without maintaining active list subscription(s) join that 
list. A piece of mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED] will 
accomplish it. It's a moderated list specifically to keep it from receiving 
traffic which is not association-sponsored.)

I know that some of us, even some of those who have been active in 
association affairs (such as Mr. Wilson, who has done a great deal and who 
deserves our gratitude), dislike the proliferation of lists. Some 
organizations similar to ours have a single list, but have required subject 
headers, and people can set their subscription preferences to include or 
exclude particular subjects. That's another way of accomplishing a similar 

However, requiring that all users receive all mail is the same kind of 
error as was made by many cooperative organizations back in the seventies: 
everything was decided by the entire organization. Problem was, it was very 
difficult to get everyone to agree, and a single argumentative person could 
effectively prevent anything from being done. In the end, the organizations 
went according to the decisions of those who could afford the time to sit 
through long-winded plenary sessions. And, usually, after a few years, the 
organization was gone.

I'd prefer to have an opt-out system, where everyone was subscribed to all 
the lists, and then could opt out of the ones not of interest to them. If 
Mr Jenkins had his way, it would seem, *we couldn't opt out.* Is this 
really what we want?

Techserv has periodically popped in here to stop discussions it deemed 
off-topic. Originally, the yahoogroups lists were started for two reasons:

(1) to provide a backup list for when the Techserv list was down, which 
happened too many times.

(2) to provide a place or places to discuss or announce matters which were 
against Techserv policy, such as announcements regarding protel license 
resales (protel-users-resale) or miscellaneous discussion (protel-users-misc).

If you want to talk fragmentation, it would be in the recent founding of 
the Open Forum by Techserv, which was a direct duplicate of 
protel-users-misc. *That's* fragmentation.

Response to protel-users-library has been substantially greater than was 
the response to any other of the accessory lists. In less than one day, 17 
users have joined. There has been, as yet, no discussion on that list; I 
assume that it will start up when the energy being spent here quiets down.

Yahoogroups lists have archives. The only reason that we have an archive 
for the Techserv list is that one was started on yahoogroups. 
(Protel-users-PEDA-archive). On the same day that this archive was opened, 
there was apparently activity attempting to start up an archive on the 
Techserv site. It was not completed.

An archive ("minutes") is essential for a working committee. If the minutes 
of a committee are filled with material irrelevant to the purpose of the 
committee, they will be next to useless. That's why we need a separate 
list. It is for order, not for fragmentation. Discussion lists are great 
for asking questions of a broad audience and for discussion. They are *not* 
so great for making decisions.

Abdulrahman Lomax
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433

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