From: Sandra Hollin Flowers <flowers_s @
... these are private lists,
First, one of my lists has, as I say, fallen completely silent.
Since it's about technology and teaching, there is plenty to say, but no
one seems to want to say it. Have any of you faced a situation like
this--great enthusiasm and a rapid wave of subscribers when the list was
announced followed by sudden death? What do you do? "Entertain" them
yourselves (for, indeed, that's what I began to feel as though I was
doing) with weekly posts? I've tried everything from surveys and
"editorials" to raising what I thought were provocative issues. All to
little or no avail. Now I myself no longer post, and it's as though the
list does not exist. Insights?
I have run into this many times in volunteer initiatives. Email
doesn't render one immune. The subscribers probably find that
more traditional communication channels, from professional
journals to hallway conversation, meet their needs on this topic
without the arduous process of writing email to a small group of
similarly masochistic people. Email lists, like other small
businesses, flourish where they fill an otherwise-unmet demand.
If it were a topic where it was hard to find someone else to talk
to, the prognosis for the list might be better.
My other list is a 30-member manual operation--that is, the
mailing list exists on 30 different computers operating a variety of email
and communications software. This list is a core group which volunteered
to set the parameters for a public list. We're now ready to go public. We
intend to keep the subscription level at about 100, and, if the present 30
are any indication, it will be a low-traffic list. My own institution's
server can accommodate the list I described above, but not this second
one. My question, then, is how does one go about finding a server for a
You have 30 in the organizing committee and you can't scrape up a
host for an MLM? You should have thought about that when you
formed the organizing committee.
What service will the list provide? Who will gain? Network with
advocacy groups (and individuals) who are stakeholders for this
interest. See what this leads you to.
The rates at POBox.com seem reasonable.
Who licensed these 30 to set the parameters for the public? You
30 are engaged on an entrepreneurial gamble. You now need to
test-market your service concept and find out what the public
really wants. Be prepared to make changes.