--On Friday, July 05, 2002 2:20 PM -0800 "Roger B.A. Klorese"
That varies by the choice of topic and the preferences (and energy)
of the list admins, obviously. Some lists devolve into a general
chowder-and-marching society for the clique of core subscribers,
while others make at least a halfhearted effort to stay on topic.
Again, "devolve" vs. "effort" indicates what you think is *the* *way*
*it* *ought* *to* *be*, at least so it seems. But for many people, they
don't fail to achieve that -- it's never a goal. Those lists are not
intended to be on-topic -- they're intended to be salons that attract
people who have some overlapping interests.
Again, Roger is hunting for value judgments where they are not necessarily
present. I take no position on which kind of list is "better," I am simply
outlining the differences. What I do believe is that list management in
general, and this forum in particular, need to encompass both (or many)
styles of list, rather than snap-assuming just one style.
What happens here on list-managers is a microcosm of what happens on many
lists in the "Real World"(TM): a half-dozen loquacious folks (sometimes
including me) do most of the talking and have most of the opinions
(representative or otherwise), while dozens or hundreds of working, lurking
members soak it up or hit Delete. I often find myself thinking about the
"silent majority" who don't so much care about doctrinal hobbyhorses, but
who just want to keep their daily lists down to an even scream. That's why
I prefer tools (insert Demime plug here) over rants and fatwahs.