Omidyar Network Commits $2 Million Grant to Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: moderate this list

Thomas Dalton
There are too many emails in this thread since I last read it for me
to reply to them separately, so will just post a general monologue and
hopefully address most of the points made. Please excuse the length of
this email.

I consider this a discussion list, first and foremost. It is used for
making announcements, for drawing attention to things going on
elsewhere and various other purposes, but above all else it is here
for discussion. Discussion is an exchange of ideas. While I do not
find all of the ideas expressed useful or interesting, I strongly
believe that any idea expressed with a genuine intention of furthering
the goals of the Wikimedia movement should be allowed to be spoken
(not necessarily here, there are better venues for some ideas, of
course) and if that prompts someone else to have an idea they wish to
express in response, they should be able to do so. To restrict people
to one post a day would completely stop that exchange of ideas, all
you would get is a sequence of monologues. People can start blogs if
they wish to post monologues (I have recently been considering doing
just that). I much prefer lists like this one to contain short
messages in reply to other short messages with a quick back and
forward of ideas building upon the ideas of others.

It has been said that I post a lot. In terms of total number of emails
that is certainly accurate, however if someone were to count the bytes
posted (excluding quotes of previous messages) I suspect my
contribution would be little different to that of many other active
subscribers to this list. I don't generally write long messages (this
one is an exception to that), I write short replies to the messages of
others. I think this list fulfils its purpose far better through such
messages. As long as people use modern email clients there is no real
disadvantage to splitting things into lots of messages (if you are not
using such an email client then that is your problem, not me - if it
is your choice, then make a better one, if it is forced upon you then
complain to the person doing that forcing, don't complain to me).

It has been suggested that posting a lot diminishes the value of each
post. I'm afraid those saying that simply don't have a good
understanding of economics. There are two ways something can get value
- from utility and from scarcity. I would hope my emails are valuable
because they are useful. In this context, scarcity is pretty much
irrelevant.

Finally, I know from private conversations that there are people that
read my emails and find them useful. I write for them. If you are not
in that group, you are welcome to ignore me. You are even welcome to
complain about me to anyone that will listen, but I reserve the right
not to be in that group.

Thank you for reaching the end of this email. I hope it has helped you
understand my views on this subject.

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Re: moderate this list

M. Williamson
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
> I'm sure all of you can figure out a way of setting up your email client so
> it can work for you.  If not, the archives are available online.  There's no
> reason you have to have this mailing list emailed to you in the first place.

That's an interesting attitude you have there. You're going to just do
whatever you like and if anybody requests that you modify your
behavior, even if many people ask you to, well, it's their problem and
not yours?

I use Gmail, inbox-flooding isn't such an issue for me here. However,
when I open a thread and begin to read and find there are 30 messages
from you and Thomas Dalton, I tend to skip over them. It's not because
you guys don't have anything valuable to say but rather because your
wisdom is buried in so much text that I don't quite care to fish it
out most of the time unless it's a topic I'm passionate about and want
to be sure I got everything.

You and Thomas are obviously very intelligent and often have good
insights and definitely a lot to bring to conversations but when the
signal-to-noise ratio reaches a certain point it is no longer valuable
to me to wade through the swamp of e-mails.

Of course, you're certainly not obliged to change your habits just so
that I'll read what you write, but I suspect many people feel
similarly.

Mark

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Re: moderate this list

Thomas Dalton
2009/8/30 Mark Williamson <[hidden email]>:
>> I'm sure all of you can figure out a way of setting up your email client so
>> it can work for you.  If not, the archives are available online.  There's no
>> reason you have to have this mailing list emailed to you in the first place.
>
> That's an interesting attitude you have there. You're going to just do
> whatever you like and if anybody requests that you modify your
> behavior, even if many people ask you to, well, it's their problem and
> not yours?

If the problem can be solved either by someone changing their email
client or by someone else not sending the emails they would like to
send, I think the former is the better solution.

> I use Gmail, inbox-flooding isn't such an issue for me here. However,
> when I open a thread and begin to read and find there are 30 messages
> from you and Thomas Dalton, I tend to skip over them. It's not because
> you guys don't have anything valuable to say but rather because your
> wisdom is buried in so much text that I don't quite care to fish it
> out most of the time unless it's a topic I'm passionate about and want
> to be sure I got everything.
>
> You and Thomas are obviously very intelligent and often have good
> insights and definitely a lot to bring to conversations but when the
> signal-to-noise ratio reaches a certain point it is no longer valuable
> to me to wade through the swamp of e-mails.

I don't see a problem with you skipping over emails. My emails are
generally replies to previous emails, if you have found that a given
exchange has lost interest for you you should stop reading it. If you
weren't interested in one email you aren't likely to be interested in
a reply to that email. I try to always give useful quotes of the
emails I'm replying to, so you should be able to quickly find those
emails of mine that are about something you find interesting and
ignore the rest.

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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 8:17 PM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > I'm sure all of you can figure out a way of setting up your email client
> so
> > it can work for you.  If not, the archives are available online.  There's
> no
> > reason you have to have this mailing list emailed to you in the first
> place.
>
> That's an interesting attitude you have there. You're going to just do
> whatever you like and if anybody requests that you modify your
> behavior, even if many people ask you to, well, it's their problem and
> not yours?


Depends on who the person is and what their demand is.  If their demand is
that I stop engaging in lots of discussion on a mailing list which is meant
for discussion, chances are I'm not going to stop.  If the administrators
want to limit discussion on this list to X posts in Y days, they can do
that, and I'll abide by it.  But lacking such rules, I'm going to discuss.
This is especially true if the main person complaining about the discussion
has only been here for a month.

It's like if I'm on a train, talking on my cell phone, and someone else sits
down next to me and complains about my conversation.  Sorry, I ain't getting
off the phone for that person.  Not unless there's a rule against cell phone
conversations, anyway.
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Re: moderate this list

Anders Wennersten
Anthony skrev:
> This is especially true if the main person complaining about the discussion
> has only been here for a month.
>  
Just for the record as I will not pursue this issue any more.

I have used e-mails daily since 1984 (actually then introducing the
first mailsystem into a major Swedish company). I have been active in
many hundreds maillists, and have no problem handing a flow of mails.

I am for the moment active in some 15 wikimedia mailgroups. I have
compared the working on foundation-l with internal-l for instance and
find that almost the same topics are up with very much the same people
and arguments, but where on internal a complicated issue can take 20-30
mails whereafter often some type a consensus is reached , I find on
foundation-l some 200-300 mail in the same subject with no firm
conclusion. After following the list for six weeks I have come to the
conclusion the inefficiency of this list is because it is too chatty,
and that an improvement could easily be done by just abiding to the
common-sense rule I have experienced on other list where there are many
subscriber - limit the number of entries per user and day - it enables
more people to participate and make it easier to follow a discussion.

Anders (last entry on this subject)



 

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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Anders Wennersten <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> I am for the moment active in some 15 wikimedia mailgroups. I have
> compared the working on foundation-l with internal-l for instance and
> find that almost the same topics are up with very much the same people
> and arguments, but where on internal a complicated issue can take 20-30
> mails whereafter often some type a consensus is reached , I find on
> foundation-l some 200-300 mail in the same subject with no firm
> conclusion.


I'm sure you'd find the same sort of thing if you compared a town hall
meeting in North Korea with a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  I
wouldn't take very much comfort in that.
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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Anders Wennersten <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I am for the moment active in some 15 wikimedia mailgroups. I have
>> compared the working on foundation-l with internal-l for instance and
>> find that almost the same topics are up with very much the same people
>> and arguments, but where on internal a complicated issue can take 20-30
>> mails whereafter often some type a consensus is reached , I find on
>> foundation-l some 200-300 mail in the same subject with no firm
>> conclusion.
>
>
> I'm sure you'd find the same sort of thing if you compared a town hall
> meeting in North Korea with a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  I
> wouldn't take very much comfort in that.
>

By the way, now that you mentioned it, I have to ask.  Did this little
thread happen to be canvassed on that internal-l?
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Re: moderate this list

Fred Bauder-2

> By the way, now that you mentioned it, I have to ask.  Did this little
> thread happen to be canvassed on that internal-l?
>

No, Anthony, it wasn't discussed. This list doesn't play the central role
it once did, partially because of incessant unproductive posting by a few
people such as yourself.

Fred



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Re: moderate this list

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
2009/8/30 Anthony <[hidden email]>:
> By the way, now that you mentioned it, I have to ask.  Did this little
> thread happen to be canvassed on that internal-l?

I'm not on internal-l, but it seems unlikely. If there has been any
canvassing (and I see no evidence of it) I expect it would be done in
private. internal-l doesn't tend to concern itself with little old us,
from what I know of it.

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Re: moderate this list

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
> On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Anders Wennersten <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I am for the moment active in some 15 wikimedia mailgroups. I have
>> compared the working on foundation-l with internal-l for instance and
>> find that almost the same topics are up with very much the same people
>> and arguments, but where on internal a complicated issue can take 20-30
>> mails whereafter often some type a consensus is reached , I find on
>> foundation-l some 200-300 mail in the same subject with no firm
>> conclusion.
>
>
> I'm sure you'd find the same sort of thing if you compared a town hall
> meeting in North Korea with a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  I
> wouldn't take very much comfort in that.
>

Anthony,

I'm not sure they ever have community meetings of any sort in North
Korea, but generally a New England town meeting is a lot like Wikipedia.
People who have a long history of being unconstructive blowhards are
generally ignored.

Fred


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Re: moderate this list

quiddity-2
Some people like to enumerate all the points, that other people might
take to be assumable/implied/given. This might be disparagingly
labeled as "an amazing capacity for stating the blindingly obvious".
It is a common symptom of various types of "youth".

I find the contributions of the two participants being discussed, plus
Geoffrey, to be generally unhelpful in gaining a deeper understanding
of any issue. Partially because they say nothing new, partially
because they treat the discussion more like IRC/IM than email,
partially for the other reasons already mentioned by others.

I'm going to take this opportunity to attempt to setup the username
filtering/blacklisting that many people have suggested, to see if that
drastically improves the signal/noise ratio.

I'd also be interested in how Birgitte's suggestion would work out, if
adopted by everyone here: "I wonder if no one responds to [...] for a
month how much he will continue to post."

Quiddity

On 8/30/09, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Anders Wennersten <
>> [hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> I am for the moment active in some 15 wikimedia mailgroups. I have
>>> compared the working on foundation-l with internal-l for instance and
>>> find that almost the same topics are up with very much the same people
>>> and arguments, but where on internal a complicated issue can take 20-30
>>> mails whereafter often some type a consensus is reached , I find on
>>> foundation-l some 200-300 mail in the same subject with no firm
>>> conclusion.
>>
>>
>> I'm sure you'd find the same sort of thing if you compared a town hall
>> meeting in North Korea with a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  I
>> wouldn't take very much comfort in that.
>>
>
> Anthony,
>
> I'm not sure they ever have community meetings of any sort in North
> Korea, but generally a New England town meeting is a lot like Wikipedia.
> People who have a long history of being unconstructive blowhards are
> generally ignored.
>
> Fred
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM, quiddity <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'd also be interested in how Birgitte's suggestion would work out, if
> adopted by everyone here: "I wonder if no one responds to [...] for a
> month how much he will continue to post."
>

It'd work fine - if no one is interested in discussing something with me I'm
not going to discuss it.  But that's not the case with the recent burst of
messages.
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Re: moderate this list

M. Williamson
In general, though, I think if we all put you on our personal block
lists, I think that would probably reduce the amount you posted. I
don't like that as an option though because like I said before, you do
contribute good ideas to this list.

Mark

skype: node.ue



On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Anthony<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM, quiddity <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I'd also be interested in how Birgitte's suggestion would work out, if
>> adopted by everyone here: "I wonder if no one responds to [...] for a
>> month how much he will continue to post."
>>
>
> It'd work fine - if no one is interested in discussing something with me I'm
> not going to discuss it.  But that's not the case with the recent burst of
> messages.
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
What I think I might do is come up with a list of individuals who I am going
to limit my replies to or reply to privately, because either I rarely reach
a consensus with them or we rarely discuss things that are interesting to
anyone else.
It's a fine line, though.  Personally I don't see what's wrong with treating
mailing lists a lot like IRC (or, to use a newfangled and even more maligned
reference, twitter).  I really think people need to get over the fact that
they don't need to process every single e-mail which appears in their inbox
when they come back from a week vacation.  They need to pick certain high
traffic mailing lists, and purge (or archive, if they're fortunate enough to
have gmail-size storage).  If there were a separate announcement list it
might be easier for people to accept this fact of reality.

Anyway, if anyone wants to *privately* send me a list of names of people
they think I should limit my replies to, please do.  You don't have to put
Thomas on the list.  I know how y'all feel about him already, which doesn't
mean I agree with it (I haven't decided if he goes on the list or not).

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:11 AM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> In general, though, I think if we all put you on our personal block
> lists, I think that would probably reduce the amount you posted. I
> don't like that as an option though because like I said before, you do
> contribute good ideas to this list.
>
> Mark
>
> skype: node.ue
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Re: moderate this list

M. Williamson
If you're going to tell us what we "need" to do, may we tell you what
you need to do as well? I have a few ideas.

Mark

On 8/31/09, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What I think I might do is come up with a list of individuals who I am going
> to limit my replies to or reply to privately, because either I rarely reach
> a consensus with them or we rarely discuss things that are interesting to
> anyone else.
> It's a fine line, though.  Personally I don't see what's wrong with treating
> mailing lists a lot like IRC (or, to use a newfangled and even more maligned
> reference, twitter).  I really think people need to get over the fact that
> they don't need to process every single e-mail which appears in their inbox
> when they come back from a week vacation.  They need to pick certain high
> traffic mailing lists, and purge (or archive, if they're fortunate enough to
> have gmail-size storage).  If there were a separate announcement list it
> might be easier for people to accept this fact of reality.
>
> Anyway, if anyone wants to *privately* send me a list of names of people
> they think I should limit my replies to, please do.  You don't have to put
> Thomas on the list.  I know how y'all feel about him already, which doesn't
> mean I agree with it (I haven't decided if he goes on the list or not).
>
> On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 3:11 AM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> In general, though, I think if we all put you on our personal block
>> lists, I think that would probably reduce the amount you posted. I
>> don't like that as an option though because like I said before, you do
>> contribute good ideas to this list.
>>
>> Mark
>>
>> skype: node.ue
> _______________________________________________
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>


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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 10:06 PM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If you're going to tell us what we "need" to do, may we tell you what
> you need to do as well? I have a few ideas.
>
> Mark


Isn't that what you've been doing this entire thread?  In any case, sure,
feel free.
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Re: moderate this list

M. Williamson
I've been telling you what I would like you to do. That's quite different.

On 8/31/09, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 10:06 PM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> If you're going to tell us what we "need" to do, may we tell you what
>> you need to do as well? I have a few ideas.
>>
>> Mark
>
>
> Isn't that what you've been doing this entire thread?  In any case, sure,
> feel free.
> _______________________________________________
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>


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Re: moderate this list

Anthony-73
On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 1:18 AM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've been telling you what I would like you to do. That's quite different.
>

True, telling me what I need to do is much more useful.  But if you care to
continue this let's please take it off list.
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