[SBE] The SBE Roundtable
barry at oldradio.com
Mon May 5 13:53:23 EDT 2008
At 10:03 PM 5/4/2008, chscherer at everestkc.net, wrote
>And if you notice, what I have been striving for is looser than the
>rules. Discussions about the Society is the official purpose, but
>tech support and relevent broadcast engineering discussion are encouraged.
I have purposely kept away from this subject
as I have been well known over the years
for noting the fragmentation of the mailing lists
over the years. At one time there were just three
or four: a Compuserve "forum," a Usenet News Group
(filled with listeners and wannabees), and
the BROADCAST list on FidoNet (with an SBE list
added to that).
After we started Bnet (and later radiolists.net) we
tried to keep the number of lists manageable, so it
didn't take forever to check them each day. We added
a "tech-assist" list to get quick help without a lot of
chat, and an FCC list to discuss regulatory concepts,
but otherwise tried to avoid the fragmentation that
started the same topic on several lists at the same time.
However, fragmentation became common for three main reasons:
1. As mailing lists became easier to set up, many were,
including "captive" company lists that discouraged (or forbid)
sharing any knowledge or experience to outsiders.
At least one major company monitored the other lists
and came down hard on people who shared anything
"to the world."
2. Some people discovered they could "cross-post" merely
by cc:ing to four, five, or ten lists. This usually included
at least one Usenet group monitored by spammers, which
lead to each participant getting a load of spam
minutes after their address (even in a quote) hit
the 'net. A lot of smaller "special interest" lists started
to try to stop that.
3. Some groups felt the best way to stop "chat" was to keep
the groups small and heavily moderate content. These
lists contain a lot of those folks who scream that their
email box "has been destroyed" if they get more than
four unexpected emails a day. Their religion forbids them
to learn or use filters.
At the same time, Consolidation and other industry changes
brought a greater physical isolation. People need
interaction (apparently even Cylons do, too), and
a level of chat always remained, even after a
question got answered.
Most every thread brought out one or two who
appreciated the topics and said so, sometimes
not well - and got flamed. After all, their post
didn't add knowledge. It was "fluff." "The S/N
ratio is getting bad" was a constant refrain.
"I'm unsubscribing" was a common threat, and
more than a few did, not by unsubbing, which
would have made sense, but by listing a
reflector as "spam" and causing problems for
The one solution that seems to work for many is to
filter a list, like BROADCAST, into a side directory.
Using the [BC] or [TA] (for Tech Assist), for example, they
could divert the 5 (or 40) emails that came to a place
they could either quickly scan for topics of interest in
five seconds - or delete them all instaneously, when they
had no time.
A few hung on to the old-time religion - no filters - and
screamed anytime the least bit of light-heartedness
We have chosen, again for example, to keep
BROADCAST open to anything that applies to
broadcast operations. Tech-assist is a more
"911" list. Occasionally each gets side-tracked, by
wandering into politics or silliness. The threads
are monitored and flames are stopped immediately.
It does take time to do this, but most readers tell me
they feel more "comfortable" that they don't have
to worry if a post related to their jobs is going to
Yes, we get a few threads that need to be stopped.
But, between the Digest mode (many posts in one)
and filters, even most grouchy people have been
accommodated. The others complain, read archives,
lurk, whine (sometimes elsewhere), or go away.
Many others have been helped and share - even
if they don't always have 100% modern tech on
their mind. Those who don't like remembering
"how things were" can just delete threads - or
entire day's posts - and move on. Others can
find a way to chat in public - or take it private
and build friends.
There ARE hundreds of lists out there.
And, if the experience of the past 20 years is
any guide, there will be those who yearn for
the opportunity to interact, even if they don't
have a lot to contribute.
We should ENCOURAGE that not flame people
The purpose of this note is not to recruit anyone
to any scheme. It is to show the historical roots
of the lists and the problems.
Of course, those who know how to use a filter
are invited to check out the lists at radiolists.net
Those who want to hang on to the old-time
non-filtered religion and receive "by your
command" messages are welcome to do so.
Sorry, I'm going back into the shadows now ... at least
as related to this list.
regards to all.
Barry Mishkind - Tucson, AZ - 520-296-3797
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