RE: working to improve the infrastructure

From: David Le Blanc (
Date: Sat Jun 26 2004 - 13:50:25 PDT

I confess to be an active lurker in the XMCA listserv. I would prefer to
actively participate but I am at a point in my graduate studies that I
presently haven't the time to manage this. However, I find the discussions
to be an invaluable resource. The discussions challenge my perspective and
give me pause to re-think my practice. Indeed, I find the discussions so
valuable that I save the majority of messages in separate folder of my email
so that I can revisit them and reflect. Of course, this means that the
discussions usually will have moved on by the time I get an opportunity to

Rather than closing the listserv, a possible solution may be to change the
format from a listserv to a threaded discussion. Perhaps the threaded
Archive could be turned into an active discussion thread. This would solve
the visibility problem of personal email addresses.

Of course the choice of discussion software is important. I currently use an
Open Source product with my learners that allows them to hide or show
personal information such as their email address, personal Website, etc.
Some participants prefer that others see this information while others do
not. It's always preferable when the particpants can choose these options
for themselves; one size rarely fits all. Subscribers are automatically
emailed when someone posts to a thread that they have subscribed to. Here's
a screenshot of a typical post as it would appear both in the discussion and
their email:
User's systems that do not support graphics receive a text-only version. The
The theoretical framework for the development of the software I use is
social-constructionist theory.

Whatever the software choice, I can only express what a loss of community I
would feel if the listserv were to end up defunct.

David Le Blanc

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Cole []
Sent: June 26, 2004 12:46 PM
Subject: RE: working to improve the infrastructure

Hi Eugene-- I will ask the programmer who is working on the site if we can
screen names. Since the archive is publically available and email addresses
turn up there, I cannot see what advantage there is to making the entire
list anonymous.

I guess if we cannot be public to each other, it may well be time to close
down xmca, so lets hope there is a techical fix. I am already troubled by
the extent to which xmca is a spectator activity -- for example. some 35
people asked for a discussion of the Arievitch article, but only a couple of
messages about the article have been posted. Voting is
anonymous, posting is not.

I worry about the suggestion of posting publications on the template
we are planning to institute for a related reason. It appears that some
people are intimidated by the fact that there are faculty posting, or if
they are already faculty members, that there are more senior faculty members
posting, or........ whatever makes people think that rank matters in this
forum thereby ensuring that rank matters.

I share your concerns about spam and even more the extent to which my emails
are hijacked and turned into spam and virus carriers. But, as I said in the
opening, if that concern is general, time to get off email and close shop.

What do you think?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 09 2004 - 11:42:57 PST