Re[2]: A little moderation, please

Subject: Re[2]: A little moderation, please
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 16:27:00 -0600

>What about splitting the list into interest areas? Here are some

How about:
TECHWR-Whining that the list is too busy.

Dropping those kind of messages would cut today's output by at least 20%,
probably more.


Seriously, folks, if the list is too busy there's a simple solution: Don't
read all the messages. When I first came on the list, I tried desperately
to read every single message. I couldn't. It dawned on me that I could
cheerfully miss 80% of the messages without missing the subjects which
matter to me. I think this figure will hold for others as well. The problem
is the makeup of the 80% is different for every subscriber.

My mailer sorts my incoming mail into folders according to several factors,
one of which is source. Every now and then, I flip open the techwr-l folder
and scan down the message headers. Sometimes I simply select all and delete
(total of two keystrokes and a mouseclick). Sometimes a few messages will
have the right subject or the right poster (some posters I read, regardless
of subject, because they've proven to me they have something worth saying
when they open their keyboard; unfortunately, some others have proven the
opposite) and I'll read those messages before moving on.

Total time spent is minutes.

I agree, if you try to read every single message that arrives, or if you're
obsessive enough that you have to drop everything and read your mail
immediately upon receipt of a new message, this list's volume can be a
problem. But then most list's volume would be as well.

The problem with segmenting the list is that it doesn't solve the problem
in and of itself. It would require that the listmembers carefully keep
track of the acceptable keywords for the subject line, and put them in the
subject line. Guess what? If people did that now, you could instantly
delete the uninteresting messages (or even set up your mailer to do it
automatically for you). Presto! Instant success without the list software
having to be meddled with.

The other problem with segmenting the list is that a message doesn't get
read by someone who has the knowledge to answer the question. Joe Friday is
a whiz at WinHelp, but he's now doing HTML, so he's not subscribed to the
WinHelp segment. So he doesn't see the help request at all, and can't offer
a solution. With one list, Joe scans the titles, happens to spot a request
for help that he can answer quickly, and dashes off a solution.

When you reduce your gene pool, you reduce your chances of success. We can
quite effectively subdivide the list until we reach the optimum size: one.
All posts (100%!!) will then be relevant to the group's entire membership,
and no post will be helpful.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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