Help! Help! I'm being misread!

Subject: Help! Help! I'm being misread!
From: Matt Hicks <matt -at- UNIDATA -dot- UCAR -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1993 09:27:43 -0600

I'm glad to see that I spoke for a few people other than myself.
That's a positive sign and a good indication that we have a chance of
keeping the list informative and the volume manageable. On the other
hand, I'm alarmed at the number of people who misunderstood my
suggestion that the questioner summarize replies-- have I really
become that poor a communicator? Yikes!

Many of you seem to be under the impression that I think that this
should be a moderated list, and that notion seems to be spiralling
through the thread toward "Big Brother"-like proportions. No, no, no!
The idea is that someone posing a question like "What software..." or
"Is there a book on..." or a similar nonpolar topic collects email
responses. THAT person (i.e., the original questioner) summarizes
those responses in the most appropriate way. They might choose to
append all the mail messages to a file and post it as a single
message, or they might simply say, "Docucomp and WordPerfect were
suggested for redlining documents. These are the pros and cons of each
package...." and provide the pertinent information from the mail they
received. The questioner then becomes the only person who has to see
duplicated information--messages they would receive anyway as a list
member--and can filter out the noise before the rest of the group sees
the information.

Questions on more contentious issues such as minimalism, hypertext,
and what have you will remain open discussions in the forum, as they
should be. Questions that fall in the gray area can be handled either
way--if the respondent feels that she or he is expanding the scope of
the original question or placing it in a different context, they can
and should post to the group; if they think that their comment can
stand without discussion and be easily summarized, send email to the
questioner. The questioner can indicate what kind of question they
think they are asking by including a line like "Send email and I will
summarize to the group," thus identifying their intentions.

My conversations with my colleagues indicate that many other newsgroups
are run solely in question/summary format. I am not suggesting we leap to
that extreme just yet, but it might make the group easier to digest if
we adopt some of the principles.

But right now, I've got a deadline. Later.
_________________________________________________ /\_/\ _________________
Matthew B. Hicks | Unidata Program Center | ((ovo)) The spotted owl:
matt -at- unidata -dot- ucar -dot- edu | UCAR, PO Box 3000 | ():::() the other "other
303/497-8676 | Boulder, CO 80307-3000 | VVV white meat."

Previous by Author: Enough already!
Next by Author: Re: lexical question - recursion, capitalizing names
Previous by Thread: Re: face-to-face in Dallas
Next by Thread: Re: Help! Help! I'm being misread!

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads