Re: Lurker Speaks (And Survives)

Subject: Re: Lurker Speaks (And Survives)
From: bdoonan -at- coreco -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 12:11:37 -0500


I'm not exactly a lurker but I consider myself lurkish.

I found this mailing list problematic in the beginning but have developed
survival tactics which help a lot.

This is my top ten on how to advise this mailing list:

1. Read everything that Geoff Hart posts.

2. Read Mr. Plato's occasional gems. Ignore this posts with "HUMOR: " in
the heading unless you're into that combo David Letterman/Howard Stern
style. Note that he repeats a variation of the same 3 themes continuously
so you only have to read the message headings most of the time to get the
gist of the message bodies. Note as a fact of life that he has followers
and adversaries and never get involved in the inevitable threads that
usually appear after one of his posts. It is at these times when I practice
speed deleting (delete key + down key, repeat). Personally, I believe that
Andrew is guilty of premeditatedly posting messages on occasion that he
knows will cause a heated thread. He is not, however, stupid and doesn't do
anything that will sully his innocence directly. Therefore, forget about
trying to get him banned. If people stopped responding to these particular
threads, he would stop posting them. Lastly, he probably isn't evil, just

3. Read everything Eric Ray (and Deborah Ray, who is his...granddaughter?)
posts because he owns this list.

4. If you're not interested in a thread from the start, don't be tempted to
get involved after its third day of life.

5. Keep your eye open for the unexpected gems that come from all sorts of
list members all the time.

6. Learn to speed-read message headings.

7. Keep a sense of humor and irony.

8. Try hard not to bit even if it's killing you to jump into something you
know is not about tech writing.

9. If it's not about tech writing, don't post it (yes, I also see my foot
in my mouth). This is not a chat list; we aren't really friends. No one
here cares if you're bored. Remember the recent post about someone's dog?
Most people (thousands?) don't want to read about anything but tech writing
issues on this list. However, reread #7 again because you know that this
isn't going to happen anytime soon.

10. Never...never post a message like this one!

P.S. If this post causes a thread, which I doubt, I'm not getting involved.


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