Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Posting To Scouts-L
Re: Posting To Scouts-L
Steven G. Tyler
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 08:24:02 -0500
Bob Carr wrote, in part:
> I have a favour to ask everyone who submits
> posts to this list.
> One of the benefits of this list for me is,
> being able to be a part of a conversation
> between two (or more) people about anything
> and everything, usually something Scout-related.
> Problem is, sometimes I never get a chance
> to join the discussion, because the person
> responding has chosen to speak only to the
> person they wish.
Bob raises a good point, which I'd like to carry forward:
First, there are many times when an essentially 'personal' conversation
is carried on through the list. That's a problem not only for the
lack-of-context and exclusionary points Bob makes, but also from the
practical, 50-messages-a-day limit on the list. Solution: pause a moment
before posting to satisfy yourself that your potentially-interested
audience is greater than one. If not, use private e-mail.
Second, in the past I've politely and mildly disagreed with Jon on the
SCOUTS-L FAQ, which discourages quotation of prior posts. As Bob
points out, sometimes (IMHO, *most* times) selectively quoting prior
posts provides the necessary context for the comment, without the
readers having to research prior posts. This is especially important
with a listserv, since a new or returning subscriber does not
automatically receive that context (unlike newsgroups). Yeah, I know
there are *some* ways to retrieve the 'thread', but none are easy or
automatic. Bottom line: while I fully agree that mindlessly repeating
blocks of prior posts (especially just to say, "Me, too!") is a gross
waste of bandwidth and the readers' patience, I strongly endorse Bob's
suggestion that *carefully edited* selections from prior posts can make
a responding post inclusionary and much more informative.
 To Jon's credit, recent FAQ's have been clear that quotes are not
*prohibited*, as long as relevant and carefully edited. This is sort of
a half-full vs. half-empty perceptual disagreement, IMHO, and in
practice, I doubt Jon and I would differ much at all.
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek (Steven G. Tyler, Esq.) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Computer Counselor -- Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and Webmaster, Troop 339, BAC, BSA