At 07:51 AM 11/21/01 -0500, Sean James wrote:
>Can we get off of these threads and get backto helpful tips & tricks for 

The way I see it, all the writers here are volunteers, and, in general, 
what they think relevant *is* relevant; the social aspects of our community 
are not unimportant. I suggest that those who do not like a thread ignore it.

However, it would be a good thing if we could develop some discipline as to 
keeping the threads on topic. There are problems with this and I don't have 
a ready answer for them, but at least I can recognize that it would be 
desirable. We are not ready for what I would consider a good solution, 
which would be moderation of the list. Because this list must be 
immediately available to users, having moderation (which would not be 
censorship; the moderators would simply assign descriptive subject lines) 
would require that there be at least one duty moderator at all times.

An alternative would be to have a policy of moderation with a procedure for 
bypassing it. In other words, posts would routinely be moderated, but 
anyone could designate a request as an emergency by some means and it would 
bypass moderation; likewise clearly on-topic responses -- as distinct from 
the rambling meditations to which I am prone -- would bypass moderation.

My experience is that when the rules of a forum are clear *and* they meet 
the needs of the participants, the rules are almost always well-respected 
and followed.

It may be enough of a solution, however, that we develop a summary list. 
People who don't want the whole banana could then very easily and quickly 
skim the summary and look deeper only when they were interested. This will 
also require human participation, but the editing labor could be widely 
shared and it would not be such an emergency, it would be plenty if the 
summary were distributed once a day; anyone desiring fast response would 
get it directly through the list and would presumably, at least 
temporarily, subscribe to the full list.

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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