Re: mailing list ==> newsgroup?

As regards changing the mailing list to newsgroup format...

People against such a change have mentioned the following cons:

1) Flame wars start much easier in newsgroups
2) The content gets diluted

(I realize that other cons have been mentioned, but these are the two
that I want to address.)

As far as 1 goes, I'd like to give an example of how one "war" started
in the recently founded soc.couples.intercultural-newsgroup.  Some
brilliant fellow posted an article with the title "DISGUSTING
RELATIONSHIPS", and whose content was all about how people should stick
to their own races, etc....  Well, okay.  That's that guys opinion,
and he is not only entitled to it, he's also got the right to voice
it.  The whole "war" started when people insisted on *responding* to
the guy.  I and one other fellow posted articles asking people to
simply "ignore him and he'll go away", but alas, our articles seemed
as much in vain as those persons' who thought up ever worsening
names for the original poster.  You're not gonna be able to reach
someone like this, regardless of how reasonably you speak to him.
And that should have been obvious enough from his post.

But okay, my point is, that aside from situations like this, which CAN be
avoided if everyone acts sensibly, I cannot imagine that flame wars would
erupt among the readers of the newsgroup any more easily than they do among
the readers of the mailing list.  A case in point is the newsgroup, where various Frisbee sports are discussed.  In the 2 years
that I have followed that group, I have seen one brief flame war (happened
about 6 months ago) that got started when one poster went and actually
named names in her post.  That got the named folks riled up a bit, but it
got straightened out rather quickly, and other than that there is incredibly
good rapport there.  I simply cannot believe that there's gonna be
lot of flaming going on in the harmonica newsgroup.  Most assuredly the
people who subscribe are gonna be interested in what's going on, and not
in starting flame wars...

Anyway, on to point number 2.  Are you still with me?  Hope so.
I again point to, and say that the content there is
sufficiently "concentrated", that I enjoy the group thoroughly.  I
can't draw comparisons between what r.s.d was as a list and what it
is now, because I don't know if it ever *was* a list.  But anyway...
Maybe it's the fact that there is a FAQ, but there are far fewer
"stupid" questions in r.s.d than there are misdirected "unsubscribe"
messages on the harp list.  So, again, people may be right, but *I*
just can't see that the discussion will get very "diluted" as a result
of turning it into a newsgroup.  But please read my next point...

Chris Pierce mentioned that some lists are echoed/mirrored by newsgroups.
Why is this *not* the ideal situation?  Okay, for those of you on the
mailing list, if the readership goes up significantly once there is a news-
group, you'll get more mail.  But as the majority of us (I know this not,
I am assuming) will have access to the newsgroup, the majority of us will
have things (IMHO) much easier.  But at least in this scenario the list-only
people *still* get to talk about harps and the newsgroup people get the
ease-of-use that newsgroups provide.  And as far as readership increase goes,
will not Winslow's ad in HIP cause somewhat of an increase anyway?
(No, I'm not "voting" against that, Winslow...)

One thing that should be done, however, if we were to switch to a 2-method
forum, is to inform both sides of how their postings/mailings appear
on the other side of things.  At least on the newsgroup side that sort of
thing could go into a FAQ file.  And I suppose the listserver can be rigged
to send out a FAQ-mail once a month?

Well anyway, here was more food for thought.  Chris, was it *you*
that knows about setting up news groups?  Is it hard to do this
newsgroup-mailing list marriage?  Are there more cons to *that*
set-up that I'm missing?

*  Paul V. Brown                * "Yes sir,                    *
*  paul.v.brown@xxxxxxxxxxxxx   *  I can boogie..."            *
*  puh. +358 31 2407 375        *                --Baccara     *

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