[Air-l] e-mial lists and/as communities

Christian Nelson cnelson at comm.umass.edu
Wed Jul 25 13:18:39 PDT 2001

Hi Folks:
In investigating quite a different phenomenon, I stumbled across an
email list with two quite different contributors to it--both academics
interested in talking about the topic on an academic level, and
non-academics that seem interested in enthusing and speculating about
the subject rather than studying it. Whatever the case, friction has
arisen; mostly, non-academics have taken umbrage with the academics,
often just for getting into debates (though some are quite heated). Of
course, they need not do so--the non-academics could simply "talk
amongst themselves," etc. Rather, they treat every contributor as though
they should see themselves as members of one community that is governed
by one particular ethic. (Hmmm, maybe I did that by my address form
above.) Anybody know of research done that talks about this--that is,
that talks about this assumption of close community on e-mail lists?
Thanks for any suggestions!
--Christian Nelson

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