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Re: Privatization of the commons considered harmful.

[Private post reposted by permission, as it is of general interest.]

On Tue, 5 Feb 2002 22:17:34 -0800, Irene Rush <irene@slonet.org> wrote:

>I'm not sure how you determined that most people on FreeFramers are also on
>Brad's list, but I'm certainly not on both - what would be the point?  I
>long ago dropped off Brad's list and moved to yours because it meets my
>needs for occasional info, with a lot less traffic, and because Dan Emory
>is always erudite and generally accurate in his responses and his
>banishment from Brad's list really irritated me.

>I doubt that I'm the only person who subscribes to only your list, so I
>hope you will reconsider your policy of discouraging cross-posts.

[I wrote:]

So, here's the cross-post problem, as I see it.  We have
three categories of reader:

1. Subbed to both lists.  Cross-posts are repeats.  Several
people have complained to me directly; one valuable member
told me he had left for that reason, but was now returning
because of the current issue, in which he, a list-owner too,
has a keen interest.  This gave me pause.

I'm subbed to both myself; it's the only way to get a full
picture.  In fact, everyone who *can* cross-post is...  <g>
When I answer a specific post on frameusers, I just post there,
*unless* the answer is a helpful FAQ, in which case I do post
to both lists.  Or if I think the post may be censored on
frameusers otherwise... or anyway... as happened recently.

2. Subbed only to frameusers.  Cross-posts are fine, and they
get to see some of the answers from the exiles.  Yes, plural,
Dan is *not* the only one here who is banned by Brad.  Of
course, for this group, the cross-posts are only Free Framers,
so the volume is small.

3. Subbed only to Free Framers.  Well, if everyone on both
lists cross-posted to FF, it would have the same large
volume as FU, now wouldn't it?  That could drive away the
folks who want *low* volume, including a lot of my friends.
So if only the smaller group that already belonged to both
lists, and therefore *can* cross-post, did so, maybe volume
would not be too high, and we'd get useful bits on FF from
FU.  This is your view, right?

Well, we've done that for a while, because it was my view
too.  But there's a problem.  You only get half or less
of the content of each thread, and you can get in trouble
from that.  For example, someone poses an issue on FU, an
F2 member (FF + FU) replies with Idea A, which is cross-
posted.  An FU member then replies, on FU only, that the
idea is flawed and proposes a fix.  The original poster,
also an FU member, confirms that the fix works.  Fine on
FU, but on FF all we have is a broken piece, and a silent
thread, so Idea A must have worked, why won't it work for
me?  Can lead to traumatic hair loss, that.  ;-)  And it's
not theoretical; that very sequence played out on a thread
I was watching recently.  Hopefully nobody on FF depended
on the bits they saw... but who knows?  It's risky.

Hence, my present idea of mostly not to cross-post.  Keep
the threads together, you can always look in the archive
of the other list... where you'll find the *whole* story.
But then, we're depriving FF folks of what good they *can*
get out of the shards flung over the wall from FU.  We
just can't win.  One size doesn't fit all...  Ideally, we
could come up with a way to let people choose individually
just what posts to get, and maybe set a limit to how many.
This is part of the job that the Digest does so poorly...

Any ideas of the best way out of this swamp?  ;-)

-- Jeremy H. Griffith, Free Framers list admin
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