San Juan 23 mailing list
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Chuck, you have hit the nail on the head. I believe that many people don’t understand how a mail list subscription works and when activity is brisk, they find that they really don’t want to receive a steady stream of messages and replies. Those individuals would be better off to un-subscribe from the majordomo and simply browse the current archive periodically for items of interest. They would lose the ability to post though.
The dilemma with a list-based forum like a majordomo, in my experience, is that the benefit of an information exchange between members is compromised if members begin replying only to a few members by direct e-mails outside of the list, rather than to the entire group. This is a valid way of reducing list traffic if the discussion is about something that would probably not be of interest to the group at large but that is often a difficult determination to make. Who can tell what might be of interest to others? Replying is also made more complicated since the member has to manually address the reply to the desired member(s) and delete the list address before sending the reply.
I highly value information exchange between people with interests that I share. Until recently, I subscribed to several sailing-oriented lists and forums but have un-subscribed from most of them because my inbox just became packed with the large volume of individual e-mails that a successful list generates. Success becomes its own worst enemy with a large list!
For this reason, I have developed a preference for lists, forums and news groups that allow me to elect not to receive individual e-mails. For example, Yahoo Groups allow members to elect delivery of a daily digest (a single e-mail containing all posts for that day), or to receive only “Special Notices” from the group moderator, or to receive no e-mails at all. Members who elect these options instead of individual e-mails can still post messages and replies to the group.
I suggest that we consider whether the majordomo list can be enhanced to include similar functionalities or consider switching to another format. It is important that we not lose members or limit interaction simply because of the volume of postings. More postings, indicating an active group, should be encouraged, not limited. Anyone who would like to see how Yahoo Group messages function can visit either the new San Juan 23 group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sanjuan23 or the much longer established San Juan 24 group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SJ-24 .
Thanks again for your active efforts in support of the Internet Fleet!