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Re: a modest proposal

From: Jared Still <>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 19:11:19 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Comments below:

On 10/21/05, Ray Stell <> wrote:
> A list, Signal-to-Noise Ratio proposal...
> ...
> I proposed that idea in some incarnation of this list years ago. The
> idea was summarily blown off because the list folks wanted the freedom
> to post anything they wanted and I'll bet they didn't trust that they
> would get a good summary. They probably didn't get the idea that the
> responders could rat out the bad guys and very quickly raise the community
> standard. It does require an active moderator at least in the early
> stages.

Summarily blown off? No, I don't think that was the case.

Such things have been proposed before, and rejected.

This list was formed initially to meet one goal in particular, and one that many DBA's will understand: response time.

Many of us were on another list at one time (I believe it still exists).

I had posed a question to the list in regards to a problem I was trying to solve. This was a problem that was not going to be solved via a TAR.

The old list was down for 10 days. Thus this list was born.

It has worked out pretty well.

There has never been a great deal of policing. One of the few rules that was ever enforced was to eliminate retelling of jokes. Humor in a post is not a problem - but the jokes were getting way out of line. Another is to not quote private emails. That will get you removed from the list.

Part of what has made this list a good community is that everyone can contribute without being moderated. Anyone that gets too far out of line usually succumbs to peer pressure and either starts exercising better judgement, just leaves, or in severe cases is removed from the list. That is a very rare occurrence.

Relying on a moderater or the OP to summarize the useful information from replies has never really worked well.

It eliminates the free exchange of ideas through the thread - there is no collaboration, just a number of individuals sending their ideas to the OP, who may or may not understand all the replies.

Here's one big strike against having a moderated list: The list moderator is legally responsible for every post made to the list. If you as a moderator
allow a post that someone find libelous, they can sue you, and you can be held liable for the libelous content. ( At least in the litigious USA)

Being the 'owner' of a list is quite a bit different - you have administrative
responsibilities: granting or revoking posting privileges, setting quoting limits, stuff like that. But you don't edit content.

I'm no longer the 'owner' of the list, but I still have an opinion.

Jared Still
Certifiable Oracle DBA and Part Time Perl Evangelist

Received on Sun Oct 23 2005 - 21:14:30 CDT

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