Just FYI

Subject: Just FYI
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 14:26:02 PDT

This is a general FYI for everyone on the list.

I've been getting steadily increasing complaints
about continued and persistent off-topic posts.
I just received two messages (very kind ones
indeed) from people who have very substantively
contributed to discussions on this list, but
are signing off because of the time it takes to
separate the wheat from the chaff (my paraphrase --
the original comments were somewhat more

Several other people have indicated to me that they
subscribed to TECHWR-L for discussions of
technical communication, not ageism or MS Word
or whatever.

I don't have suggestions or recommendations
to make. Moderating the list just isn't
a realistic option. Re-posting the guidelines
just wastes everybody's time because of the
"they don't apply to me" assumption that some
people apparently make. I'm not confident
enough that my personal definition of
technical communication is CORRECT to
remove people from the list because their
definitions differ from mine.

I can say, however, that from my perspective
it appears that some of the very benefits that
make TECHWR-L attractive are leaving the list
because of other people's lack of consideration.

What to do about it? I dunno. Forums exist for
many if not most of the off-topic discussions, but
it's been made perfectly clear to me that some
subscribers are too busy to seek help elsewhere,
regardless of the issue. Short of moderating
the list, that cannot be helped.

Likewise, many of the most frequently asked
questions (Word vs. Frame, for example) can
be adequately addressed through either of the
two searchable TECHWR-L archives (listed in
the footer). However, that too requires somewhat
more effort than just posting a message.

In a nutshell, valuable contributors are
leaving as a result of off-topic postings
increasing and no amount of messages requesting
that people stay on topic makes any difference.

That's the scoop. Take it for what it's worth.


Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner

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