J C Lawrence wrote:
One of the things I see few lists do is to define the purpose of the
list, along with at least some sense of the indicators of success or
failure in achieving that purpose. If you're going to run a list it
seems reasonable that you should know why, and that you should then be
able to know whether or not you're accomplishing that purpose.
In the broadest sense, I agree.
In the narrow sense, where "purpose" is defined as what the list is
there to discuss, I disagree. For technical subjects, topic-defined
lists generally work well. For social and support lists, lists whose
purpose is to discuss XYZ are generally not places people want to be,
but lists whose purpose is for people interested in XYZ to discuss XYZ
and other things are far more successful in building community. It's
all about what you think lists are for in general.