[Coral-List] Regarding a Coral-List Metamorphosis

Iain Macdonald dr_iamacdonald at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 21 11:02:29 EST 2006

Dear Jim et al.,
  After returning to my inbox crammed full of emails i would suggest to those that don't like the volume to subscribe to your digest email.
  I am a member of several other Internet discussion things, one i rarely check and feel out of touch whenever i do, the other sends me emails whenever a post is made - the latter option sort of negates the original point for wanting to change the coral-list.
  I think your team are the best hope for coral reef scientists to unite and prevent paradise being lost forever. 
  I don't use your digest function, I'm just patient. Although when it first came out i thought it could use some links to join the headings to the actual email. Maybe you've made this improvement as it makes navigating the emails easier.
  All the best,

Jim Hendee <Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov> wrote:
  Hey, Team!

Thank you all for your suggestions concerning re-tooling Coral-List. 
Let me just point out some considerations we should take into account:

* Our personnel resources right now are of necessity focused on
tasks that we have been specifically funded for (Coral-List and
our other lists have not been specifically funded for years), and
we can't really afford the time (right now) to totally reconfigure
Coral-List (however, see closing statement).
* There already are several other very good coral-related
multiple-forum Web resources out there.
* This is a U.S. Government resource, so we would have to moderate
the content; as you know, there are certain things we can't allow,
which might creep into a Web-based free comment forum: 
commercialism, lobbying Congress, profanity, flaming, anti-racist
or sexist remarks, etc. This actually helps to maintain decorum
in an age where email seems to have encouraged a new kind of
discourse, namely, the occasional tendency to be nasty to someone
you wouldn't be nasty to in their presence.
* What some people consider clogging, others consider important
information: an important piece of information might be announced
that you would have been interested in, but you missed it because
it was set up in a forum area where you rarely (if ever) visit. 
For instance, what if your personal radar never would have picked
up Guana Cay before, but now since it was sort of shoved down
your throat in Coral-List, NOW you're interested and you in fact
contributed some of your hard-earned moolah to the cause, or even
felt compelled to fly over there and join in the battle!
* Breaking up this community of ~3,500 members into different groups
sort of kills the whole idea (and advantages) of a community! The
current format is sort of like one big ongoing International Coral
Reef Symposium, where anybody can have the floor to say what they
want (within civil limits, of course). You, the student, for
instance, has equal voice with some of the Big Legends of coral
science. Take for instance a real ICRS (or other) symposium
where everybody is fighting to be heard: if you're like me and
not inclined to try to out-shout the lout next to you, who always
seems to get heard because of his shouting voice, even when you
consider it crud [can you say that on Coral-List?], on Coral-List
you can still have volume equal to the ignorant loud-mouth next to

However, it is good to keep the comments coming, and I'm not saying we
won't re-tool in the future. In fact, we're looking into a way for
subscribers to post photographs, after all. We want to continue to
evolve with technology, and considering the excellent group of computer
specialists we have here, I'm confident we can do right by you. 
However, we are jammed with some important tasks, and we may not always
be on the cutting edge of list or forum technology, so for now I think
we're going to stick with the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix
it." At least for now.

Remember, if you don't like the subject that is clogging your email
inbox, you can just delete it, or you can apply a filter to remove or
re-categorize it.

Now, where was I...


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