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Re: "New Framers" <framers@omsys.com>

At 2:08 AM -0700 26/9/98, Dan Emory wrote:
>One constructive thing we could do on the new list would be to "suggest"
>a rough outline format for various types of posts. I think, in particular,
>people asking for help could be persuaded they're much more likely to get an
>answer to their problem if they use a prescribed structure for describing
>their problem. Another type, important to all of us, is a format for
>reporting suspected bugs.

This would be good.  I find that far too many posts to the old list have
questions that leave out important information like platform, version, OS,
etc.  The more of this included in the post the easier it is to get to the

>I'm not suggesting that we should even try to get rid of the dross, although
>the idea I proposed about suggesting outline formats for various types of
>posts might help. What I was really getting at is that, if we successfully
>sign up the heavy hitters, and they actively contribute from the outset, the
>initial quality of the traffic will be much higher than Brad's, and we
>should take advantage of that. It will convince people who "subscribe" to
>both lists that if they decide to "unsubscribe" to one of them so as to
>reduce the email volume, it will be Brad's list that they drop.

I think we can elevate the quality for sure.  I'd be willing to make a
bigger effort to help than I have in the last year.  Since the twins were
born I've been much less active, but the chaos is subsiding now on the home
front and that leaves me in the clear to help a bit more.  I used to be
really active and enjoyed it.  It would be nice to be back at it again and
in a comfortable environment.

>>to generate its own.  We can be successful without resorting to sabotage.
>>I think the scenario that you describe in which the heavy hitters leave and
>>the list sinks into oblivion is quite likely to happen.  It would be best
>>if we achieve that by operating totally above board.
>I always tend to toss at least one extreme idea into the pot, and
>recommendation 4 was that one. I do it to stimulate ideas that are less
>extreme and more effective. I didn't recommendation 4 to be serious. The
>others are.

Good.  We don't need to pull any cheap stuff to do this.  That's why when I
sent your post to the list I thought it was the best opportunity to speak
my mind on the subject and at the same time make the list aware that all
was not quite on the western front.  I think one of the reasons that we see
more than some of the others concerning what's happened to the list and
what has made it deteriorate is that we've been here a long time, and are
more "involved" in a personal way with the whole business of Fame and the
list.  I know I am.  Lurkers have no real involvement.  As one who has
spent a lot of hours composing replies, testing solutions to problems I've
never had in order to help people, and even more time off-list in the
workplace doing the same thing, this is important to me.  That's why I'm
here, and not interested in defending Brad for "all of his effort".

>Why don't we start by just trying to reach and sign up the heavy hitters
>before of "going wide" to the entire Framer's list. That way, we'll have a
>chance to kick around ideas with those people. To get the list off to a
>strong start with high-quality posts, we could ask them to post some
>contributions that would be of general interest to most framers. Jeremy
>could cache these. Then, when we open the list up to all, Jeremy could fire
>off that cache of high-quality postings to each new subscriber.
>Maybe, while the heavy hitters are being recruited, we don't call it the
>Framers list but something else instead. The recruiting pitch to the heavy
>hitters is that we're interested in starting a new list that eliminates the
>problems people are experiencing on Brad's list, and, more importantly,
>provides a forum for more serious discussions. We could tell the heavy
>hitters that the initial trial period will be used to iron out the kinks,
>establish the rules, and, most importantly, to determine whether we should
>later "go wide" and invite all Framers to join. That way, if Brad gets wind
>of it, he can't accuse of of rape and pillage, or if he does, he appears to
>be more interested in maintaing his monopoly than fostering the exchange of

Once Jeremy's letter is out there (and it looks like it has gone), the
cat's out of the bag.  There may be new subscribers reading this right now.
Brad is definitely going to know, so there doesn't seem to be a lot of
reason to wait a long time.  We can spend a few days working out the list
protocols (isn't that a better term than "rules"? <g>) and then go public.
I'd imagine that news of this will spread like wildfire.  I guess it's up
to us to make sure that the posts are quality ones right from the start.
I'm not sure how the caching would work.  If we have an archive then the
posts will all be there. Thoughts?

As for Brad, who cares if he does find out.  What can he do?  About the
only smart thing he could do is admit that he was in it for business
reasons and self-promotion, hand over the list to Jeremy and disappear, and
he's not likely to do that.  He took over this list like an overstimulated
puppy and then delivered a list that didn't work, and dictatorial rules
made on an ad hoc basis.  Screw him.  I'm so glad that this has happened
that I've got half a mind to drive through Vermont on my way to Toronto
this winter and treat Jeremy to dinner and drinks.  Brad's only going to
get the Karmic backlash that's due.

>In other words, our initial line is that we're trying to establish a "niche"
>list for a limited group, but if it's successful, it will be opened up to
>everyone. If some of the people we recruit blast us for trying to take the
>list away from Brad, we simply say that would be foolish unless we can first
>prove that the new concept is better.

I may be totally wrong about this, but my guess is that there's no need to
be so tentative about it.  I'm guessing that the absence of many people on
the other list will be felt really soon.  Again, it's in the spirit of
being totally up front with what we're doing.  Ghandi proved that overt
operations are very successful, and you sacrifice none of your personal
integrity in the process.  We've got no reason to hide the fact that we're
trying to right a wrong and hijack the list.  It's in the wrong hands now
and needs to be in better ones.  We've got that end of it looked after.
It's always so much more envigorating when you can stare the enemy in the
face and tell them exactly what you're doing.  Especially in this case
where the electronic playing field is level and there's bugger all he can
do.  What's he going to do?  Tell his mom?

>During that initial period, we could continue to try to persuade Brad that
>he should give up the Framers list and turn it over to Jeremy. If the new
>list is successful, and he sees his list traffic declining as key people
>drop off his list, he might perceive turning over the list as a way to save

I hope he gives it up, but I don't think he will.  He seems pretty set on
running things his way.  The one thing we cannot do is to close down this
list, ever. I don't think it will take long to get a good number of
subscribers, but we have to sustain it indefinitely and build it, even if
there are only a few in the beginning.  I've got access to thousands of
prospects <bg> who could be notified.  To do otherwise would be to admit
that he can browbeat us into his dictatorial submission, and if it's a
choice between the old Framers and nothing, then I'll take the nothing.

I'd like to say one last thing.  Since we are all doing this on our
keyboards and our sense of connectedness is in most cases pretty much
limited to frame, there is huge element of abstractness to the whole
venture.  If I met Brad socially I might like him, I don't know.  Maybe
not.  So on a personal level, I don't want to brand him an asshole.  Maybe
he's a great guy.  But all I have to go on is how he has run this list
since he took it over and in that he has failed to meet the grade.  For
this I want to see it taken away.

Well, it's gettin late on the east coast, so I'm out of here.

cheers guys,

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