[Coral-List] Regarding a Coral-List Metamorphosis

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Tue Mar 21 07:36:23 EST 2006

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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