Re: Region 8 Videos w. fax/mail options....

Subject: Re: Region 8 Videos w. fax/mail options....
From: "John M. Gear" <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 13:05:00 PST

As an STC member, it's distressing to see STC's name attached to an
advertisement on this list.

Just last night I was at an STC meeting. When I mentioned something I'd
seen on this list *all* the listeners--working, professional technical
communicators--were amazed that I bothered to subscribe, since they felt
there was so little of value on it. I explained that I thought it was
important that technical communicators have a place in cyberspace free from
the restraints, constrictions, and noise of the commercial world; a place
where a recommendation meant that someone unbiased had used the thing
recommended and wanted to share it; a place where communicators could share
lore and experience about our common craft--without clearing it with
management. My listeners replied that they'd heard that the only sensible
way to use the list was to *not* subscribe but simply to post questions to
it (in fact, that was even suggested in the local chapter newsletter).

Which is the logical result of letting advertising in; people are educated
to think that the list exists so *they* can get what they want (their
problem solved, their ad on the net) while they ignore the wants and wishes
of the rest of the list members. Ads are simply the ultimate form of this,
and will simply drive out all other content and the list will work no more
except for advertisers.

"Doesn't your delete key work?" some ask. Yes it does; doesn't your sense
of responsibility? Why should people pay money to download your ad, and
then spend time opening them just to find you shilling something for your
own gain?

Thus we create our own "tragedy of the commons." Each person who posts an
ad hopes to maximize their own utility and disregards the effect on the
common resource, which is therefore soon depleted. Each individual feels
that the little bit of damage they do is so tiny compared to the size of the
resource that it is negligible. But it's not.

I know that there are many of you who also want to keep the list free from
advertising. I hope you will support this message.

And I suppose that there are some of you who think I'm full of it. I hope
you will send me a note, explaining how you think lists and newsgroups can
function if advertising is allowed. I'd like to understand what you see
that I don't.


John Gear

>Dear techwr-lers,

>The 1994 Region 8 Conference, following the brave tradition of San Diego
>STC meetings, taped many of its sessions. The following is an order
>form for the tapes we produced. Enjoy!


> The STC Region 8 Conference on Video Tape

>1. "An Approach to Single-Sourced Documentation//Making Cycle Time

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