[Air-L] Death to lists?

Alex Halavais alex at halavais.net
Mon Jun 29 06:06:23 PDT 2009


Chronicle has an article suggesting that the e-mail list is dead as a
form of scholarly communication. It quotes (twoutes?) an ex-AIR-Ler,
David Silver, :

http://beta.chronicle.com/article/Change-or-Die-Scholarly/46962/

I find the discussion a bit surprising. I'm a great promoter of the
scholarly potential for new forms of social media--blogs, microblogs,
awareness applications, etc. I think some of that potential has been
realized, but that there are significant ways in which these venues
and tools can be further leveraged. That said, I don't see them as
substantially displacing a good list.

Am I wrong on this? The question isn't just about AIR-L. It's true,
the number of lists I've been a subscriber to peaked in the late
1990s. It's also true that time I might have spent reading a list may
now be channeled to reading other kinds of accumulations. But I think
lists still have a lot of life in them. That is true of large lists
like this one, but also much smaller efforts. Collaborations among
distributed scholars still occur *mainly* over email and small email
lists, no?

Alex

PS Please excuse my 1140 character post.




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