Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1998)

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Subject: Listowner Skills
From: Cyndi Norman <cnorman @ best . com>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 14:13:17 -0700 (PDT)
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
Cc: cnorman @ best . com
Reply-to: cnorman @ best . com

I haven't seen something yet in this thread that I consider a very
important listowner requirement.  Though it's one that just about everyone
on List Managers already has, or they wouldn't be here.


I have seen lists decend into chaos because the listowner seems to be
absent.  It's okay for a subscriber to be one of those people who logs in
every week or so and skims through their email.  No listowner should be
like that.

Every list needs at least one designated person (who does not have
to be the actual owner, and certainly doesn't have to be the admin) who
reads the list daily and deals with problems as they come up.  Problems
include: unsubscribe requests posted to the list (they tend to snowball),
flame wars (assuming these are undesirable to you), personal attacks (see
flame wars), posts by members that violate the list rules (like ads).  

This person (the list mom) needs to be able to do three different things:
1) post to the list when needed to curb flames and inappropriate posts; 
2) write subscribers individually and deal with problems they may be
having; 3) have the power to yank people from the list or put them on
non-post status, as available and needed.  There also needs to be at least
one person available on a daily basis at the list-owner/admin address to
deal with questions and problems. 

Unfortunately, this requirement makes it damn hard to have a mailing list
and take a vacation, or have a personal/family crisis.  Way back when my
list was purely manually run (I'll never do *that* again!), it was
impossible to have a backup person and I ended up with a lot of problems on
my hands when I moved crosscountry or otherwise didn't have net access for
a few days.  But it's the listowners that never/rarely read their own lists
and/or don't log in every day on most days that concern me.


"There's nothing wrong with me.  Maybe there's                     Cyndi Norman
something wrong with the universe." (ST:TNG)                   cnorman @
 best .

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From: Mike Nolan <nolan @ celery . tssi . com>
Next: Re: Listowner Skills [Was: list bombing]
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