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[Xmca-l] Re: Changing Practices at XMCA



I too support both of Helena's suggestions. As a long term lurker, I find the overheads in terms of time and effort of following and mailbox space of many of the threads too great, particularly where they become personal exchanges. (This may also be because my interests are perhaps somewhat different from the mainstream ones of xmca, I acknowledge). A length limit might also encourage more people to contribute - I also feel, perhaps wrongly, that the threshold effort to raise and discuss things is quite high here as discussions tend to be long and require a lot of input. Either that or alternatively posts get little or no response.

I don't see how Helena's proposals can be enforced other than either formal moderation for which nobody has the time or else self-restraint combined with a degree of social pressure from others on the list. These are not new issues. They have affected elists since the pre-historic days of the Internet all of 20 years ago.

I appreciate Mike raising the whole issue for an open discussion as I have recently detected an undercurrent of dissatisfaction, discontent, unrest - call it what you like - about the way things have been going with xmca. I have myself considered leaving but stayed because I value the project and get something from xmca, though I feel that has diminished over time.

I appreciate this is subjective but I doubt I am the only one of the mysterious 800 who feels this way.

Bruce Robinson


On 12/12/2014 22:05, David Preiss wrote:
I strongly support these two. Current use makes even lurking a hard task. If one wants personal exchanges better go off list. Just a thought.

Enviado desde mi iPhone

El 12-12-2014, a las 18:49, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com> escribió:

I have two suggestions for changing practices, along with subject lines that accurately track a thread.

1. Messages no more than two screens long. One is preferred.

2. No more individually addressed messages. As in, "Tom, you said X" or "Melissa, you have misunderstood my point."   Refer to an individual by quoting or citing, but speak to the list.

Both of these may not qualify as "modest." I can defend each one, but will first wait for the *&^&*storm, if one is coming.

Thanks --

Helena
:)

Helena Worthen
helenaworthen@gmail.com

On Dec 12, 2014, at 11:43 AM, mike cole wrote:

Dear xmca0philes
My most recent note, regarding discussion of sociocritical theory via
Kris's RRQ paper, ​indicates part of my effort to implement modest changes
in the organization of xmca discourse aimed at improving its usefulness and
attractiveness to people (the two being mixed).

At the most minimum level, ​we can reduce some sources of misunderstanding
and discoordination by declaring a distinct header for any topic anyone
wants to discuss concerning culture and development in their broadest
contexts. No guarantee ever that anyone will respond, let alone set off a
stream of responses. But at least we can keep sequence in the threads
consistent, and they will be easy to retrieve as a set from the archiving
web page should one want to.

There are no policepersons in this process. (But so far as I can tell, no
harm in nagging).

Other modifications in the structure of the discourse are possible. It
would be nice to know, for example, how many people actually read xmca from
time to time in some form, and how many of our 800+ subscribers have xmca
in their span filters. About 200 people people have posted in the past
year. Bruce and I are working on a non-obtrusive way of checking to see how
many silent folks are lurking out of interest and how many are zombies.

Early on Annalisa suggested a sort of "Beginner's Manual" which seemed like
a good idea, but it requires some coordinated person power. A group to
create such a facility is in the process of formation, and I figure there
should be more about that appearing.

A year or more ago Andy and Huw put together a wiki that I think of
(perhaps inappropriately) as a kind of "key word wiki" for CHAT.
It exists, although it is in quarantine at present to insure that it will
never carry any viruses into the UCSD campus. This seems like
a natural part of the xmca pool of resources, and may be useful to the
newbiies' materials.

We have looked into forums and other media for xmca, but so far as I can
tell, there is no general purpose utility that would not require the
involvement of significantly more coordinated person power, and probably
customizing, et that LCHC can manage. Perhaps I am wrong about this and the
new, great, effortless substitute is at your nearest supermarket. However,
for the moment, we will continue working within the fungible, but perhaps
not entirely elastic, structure of xmca.

Now, back to the thread I want to address,
Imagination
mike

--
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.