fuzzy logic on what to post

Subject: fuzzy logic on what to post
From: Iggy <iggy_1996dp -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 07:00:41 -0800 (PST)

I will come right out and state that I was one of
those who e-mailed Eric about his post/ad/whatever.
Yes, I did come across as "not so charitable", and
rightfully so, I believe.

I will get right to the point...

The post specifically read:

> Could anyone who is using Mac OS X for technical
> writing (or extensively at home) and would be
willing to
> briefly help with a small project, please contact me
> offlist.

The above message was very vague. "Briefly help with a
small project" sounds like a call for
freelancers/contractors. Though that may have not been
the intent of the message, that is what was written
and that is what was understood at the time.

Eric in his reply (funny how I'm asked to reply with
questions off-list but my off-list replies are
addressed on-list only), then elaborated on his need,
and yes, after reading what he wants done ("needs
someone to volunteer 5 minutes of time to answer a
couple of questions and grab a screenshot or two"), I
agree that this is not an ad but a request for minor
assistance, which is entirely appropriate. Had his
original post contained this information from the
start, I would not have commented.

Eric commented:
"If Eric, the listowner, happens to be the person who
is asking for help, does this change how the rules fit
the situation? Can't see how it would. OK, so it's

That's not the point at all. By your original message
(copied above in entirety minus signature and
greeting) it looked like you were looking for hired
help. In that light, I thought it rather odd that
posts looking for hired help are heavily discouraged
yet this one, posted by the list owner, got through.
THAT is why I responded. Had I understood what you
specifically needed, or if it was made clear that this
was not a call for hired help, I definitely would not
have commented on the post at all.

Eric then continued with:
"If you want to be pedantic and attempt to twist the
listowner's words to hoist him with his own petard, do
consider that he'll be applying your standards to your
postings as well."

I wasn't twisting words (I was quoting exactly from
the page on TECHWR-L about advertising, which you
included in your on-list reply), and I was being no
more pedantic than you are with others. You DO apply
such standards to our posts, and thus should to your
own as well, being both a list owner AND a list
member/user. If someone else had posted exactly what
you did initially, I find it hard to imagine you
wouldn't reply with the standard slap on the wrist:
"Ads are not allowed. Your posting rights have been
suspended. You will be billed for the ad."
(By the way, such communication doesn't need to go to
the entire list every time - that's a bit brash of you
to do so. You can deal with this person however you
like, but if you feel a reminder is needed on-list, a
simple "Folks, ads are not allowed" message would
suffice. I personally don't need to know who and how
you chastise.)

I would have sent this off-list, but given that my
previous off-list message was replied to on-list only,
and given the reply tone and poor representation of
the points I was trying to make in my off-list letter,
and the impact such an issue has to the general
posting public, I thought I'd address my position

Please understand that I am not looking to cause
trouble in any way. I saw something odd, and I reacted
within reason, I believe. Had more information been
provided at the beginning, there wouldn't have been
anything odd to grab my attention.

My apologies for such a long post on this matter, but
this is all stuff that I needed to get out of my head.
Thanks for listening.

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