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From Milt Epstein <>
Subject Re: List traffic et al
Date Fri, 06 Jul 2001 16:55:57 GMT
On Fri, 6 Jul 2001, Dmitri Colebatch wrote:

> I think the big problem with splitting the list is that everyone is
> going to be interested in their own little niche.  I for instance
> learn nothing by answering many questions that I answer, but I do
> learn things from reading other answers.  If the list was split, I
> would (potentially) have the option to only see the messages that I
> would learn from.  This disadvantages other people on the list.  And
> this is going to occur at all levels.  Even relative newbies should
> be capable of answering some questions that they have just dealt
> with the day before.

I can see what you're saying, but I see a couple of problems with
this.  First, it's like forcing people to do something that they
would/could/should have the option of doing themselves anyway.  You're
making it sound like people should have to read everything so that
they wouldn't miss anything where they might be able to help.  Well,
of course, if there was a split, people who wanted to do this could
still do this.  And you shouldn't force people to do this.

More practically, I don't think it's the most effective way to achieve
your goal (more participation from people who have the answers).  With
a single high volume list, I believe people will tend to skim/skip
more things, and perhaps even drop off the list totally.  With a lower
volume list, they might very well participate in the way you're
suggesting -- albeit only on a subset of posts.  But greater
participation on a subset of posts may work out better than less
participation on all the posts.  For example, I see myself skipping a
ton of posts because I just don't have the time; if the volume were
smaller, and the scope more relevant to my interests/expertise, I
would definitely participate more.  (Granted that coming up with a
split that will facilitate this is not trivial.  But it may be worth

Basically, you want to make it easy and worthwhile for the more
experienced people to participate, and I think a split -- a good split
-- will do this.

> If we want to reduce traffic surely a digest is the option.  The
> JBoss list has a _lot_ more traffic than this one, and I am able to
> receive that in digest mode quite happily.

As has been pointed out, there is already a digest option.  And this
must be a personal thing, because I would absolutely detest getting
such a high volume list as a digest and couldn't imagine reading it
that way.

> On Fri,  6 Jul 2001 15:45, Jeff Kilbride wrote:
> > Even if the list is not split into these specific sub-topics, I would
> > certainly like to see it split along Windows/Unix lines. I use Unix
> > exclusively and I skip over 99% of the Windows questions, because I don't
> > have any experience with Tomcat on that platform. I'm sure Windows users
> > feel the same way about Unix related questions.
[ ... ]

Milt Epstein
Research Programmer
Software/Systems Development Group
Computing and Communications Services Office (CCSO)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

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