[Air-l] writing effective questions to lists

Terry Calhoun splendid at umich.edu
Sat Dec 9 18:40:10 PST 2006


Wow, Barry. I think we're in the same place, although I would describe 
it differently.

Your "Quick Guide" is:

"1. Be specific as to content and need.

2. Lurk on the list for a while to get a sense of its style.

3. Try to post something else first, so that you are contributing as well
as asking for information."

--
As co-editor of one of the longest continuously-transmitting email 
newsletters ("SCUP Email News," since 1987) and administrator of one of 
the best email discussion lists (UWEBD, University and College 
Webmasters), I would like to also note that the more specific and 
pragmatic the focus of the list, the more active it will be.




Barry Wellman wrote:
> I'm gearing up to write a book on writing for the social scientists.
>
> I want to put in something about how to write in listservs, chat groups,
> IM, etc.
>
> I was struck this week by Abigail's Q (see below) which I thought was a
> good example on how NOT to answer a question, because it was so broadly
> framed: what is it about time that Abigail is interested in? (dissertation
> advising manta).
>
> Yet, I have been struck by how much interesting discussion Abigail's Q has
> evoked. For one thing, there ain't much on time (altho did anyone mention
> Evitar Zeruvabel?), so anything might be worthwhile. Second, the broadness
> of the Q seems to have served as a projective test -- evoking a variety of
> responses.
>
> So, I am lead to wonder and to ask: what tips do people have for posting
> to lists?
>
> My quick guide is:
>
> 1. Be specific as to content and need.
>
> 2. Lurk on the list for a while to get a sense of its style.
>
> 3. Try to post something else first, so that you are contributing as well
> as asking for information.
>
> PS: I'd like to endorse Frank Thomas' request for evidence on Virillo's
> conjectures.
>
>  Barry Wellman
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>
>   Barry Wellman   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology   NetLab Director
>   Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
>   455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
>   wellman at chass.utoronto.ca  http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
>         for fun: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
>  _____________________________________________________________________
>
>  On 12/7/06, Abigail Groves wrote:
>   
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I am writing about the internet and its effects on time. I was
>>>>         
> wondering
>   
>>>> if anyone could suggest some readings on this topic?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks,
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Abigail Groves
>>>>
>>>> PhD Candidate
>>>> National Centre in HIV Social Research
>>>> University of NSW
>>>> http://nchsr.unsw.edu.au
>>>>         
>
>
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>   



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