[Air-l] Air-list

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Wed Sep 13 19:31:58 PDT 2006

As a current listdad for a bunch of high-volume lists, I don't censor or use
any "X post per person" rule...I'm not opposed to moderated lists (what some
might call censorship) but in the latter case I think that posting quotae
run counter to the concepts of "information freedom" (sic), responsible
adult behaviour, and stifles legitimate discourse, not to mention places the
list admins in the perpetual "you can say something only ONCE more today!"
mode -- thereby turning them into glorified babysitters who constantly end
up shushing people and subsequently appearing to many to be on a permanent
ego/power trip.  However, such a rule could have its place somewhere --
perhaps in a very specific venue -- but I wouldn't endorse it myself, and
certainly not here in a forum where one of its key goals is the discussion
of Internet communications theory.

That said, on nearly every list I've ever run, participated, or lurked on,
the underlying principle is that if you're perceived as 'dominating' a
discussion and if your comments are viewed as noise, very quickly you'll
become viewed/treated as such by subscribers and their individual "mental
filters" will come into play, if not also technical ones in their MUA if
they really want to avoid you. (Of course, I am referring to those who are
trolls and not just any type of frequent posters.)

I agree with Jeremy...on my lists, if someone gets too far off-topic or
keeps breaking the list rules, I pull them aside to warn them. If it
continues, they get removed straight away -- that's the only time I exercise
my "iron hand as listdad." (That has rarely happened, as most folks tend to
be respectful and responsible when warned, at least on my lists.)

Frankly, AOIR-L is one of the better-managed lists I've encountered and the
folks participating generally are responsible and keep on-topic and
on-charter. Certainly, there are a good number of high-volume threads here
that I ignore and skip, but as long as periodic spikes of traffic (even what
some might perceive as trolling) don't evolve into a perpetual flame-fest or
recurring trollage, I don't have a problem, because
normalization/equilibrium will return fairly soon either through the list
admin's actions directly or after a large number of complaints sent by other
subscribers.  (Compare that with some of the security lists I'm on where the
admins refuse to do anything when folks troll or otherwise significantly
stray from the list charter, which leads often to a horrendous
signal-to-noise ratio and overall lower utility of the list for many
participants/lurkers, even after we complain in droves.)

Just my .04 this evening.


On 9/13/06 6:52 PM, "Jeremy Hunsinger" <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:

> Having been a listmom for quire some time,  I think that in regards
> to list behavior, people should get appropriate hints, and when hints
> fail, they should be warned by list management and when warnings are
> insufficient, they should have a forced break, of 2 weeks where they
> can't post, and then if they continue after a 2 weeks break, then
> they should be removed.  That would be what i would currently argue for.

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