Response to Re: List Management - RESPONSE

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Fri Mar 15 15:30:59 2002

On Fri, 15 Mar 2002, Jay West wrote:

> What color is the sky in your world?

Sort of a Puce, except on odd Tuesdays, when it's a lime green...why do
you ask?

> Really. Wow, that's funny, because I read the mail on this list every night.
> I may occasionally go a day or two without it, but that's not very common.
> Moreover, I, (probably like most on the list), routinely skip and delete
> (without reading) posts that don't appear to be about anything that
> interests me, with regards to my own collection or to list issues. Perhaps a
> thread or two has gone by that had a subject line that didn't cause me to
> read it when in fact it contained discussion that I should have watched. I
> must say I am very offended by the suggestion that I only poke my head in
> here once or twice a month and don't know whats going on.

Ok, I'll take your word on it. My comments stem mostly from times in the
past when I've e-mailed you and you never responded (or it took a while).
I'm not alone. I can buy that you're so incredibly busy that you don't
have time to respond. That's reasonable considering your situation.

> As far as a solution to the SPAM issue, I read all the reponses on the list
> for a few weeks till it seemed to die down (maybe it continued under a
> subject heading that didn't catch my eye). For those who think I have not
> pursued the issue, my apologies for not CC'ing you on the many and varied
> private discussions I have been having with several list members on what to
> do about this exact topic (I HOPE you see blistering sarcasm coming through
> here). Mostly, I believe the SPAM issue is much ado about nothing. Many
> people on the list have posted AND sent me private email saying "It's your
> list, you make the rules, do what you want". While that may be true, I have

Ok, this is where I object. It is NOT your list. This list was started
by Bill Whitson in March of 1997. Bill ran it pretty damn well until he
basically dropped off the face of the earth. For a while, nobody ran it.
Then Derek Peschel took over eventually, until the University of
Washington said they didn't want it on their servers anymore, at which
time it fell into your good graces.

You may HOST the list, and you may MANAGE the operations of the list. But
it is not your list. At this point, it is OUR list, "our" being the
subscribers of the list. I don't want you to be the one to decide solely
how it is run. I, for one, would like some input on issues. I (try) to
enjoy the list as do others. If something bothers me about it (off-topic
posts, spam) I'm going to bitch about it.

> always tried very hard to solicit input from listmembers anyway. Several of
> the loudest complainers failed to realize that the spam was rarely coming
> from this list, they were getting it from other sources most of the time. As

That was true before. Unfortunately, the list has now been infiltrated
with spammers, which is quite unfortunate. Something needs to be done
about it NOW because it's becoming worse.

> to having someone moderate the list: I have stated very clearly my somewhat
> strong opposition to putting this list into moderated mode. That goes for ME
> moderating it, or for delegating it to someone else. I also stated that if
> moderating it becomes the only real solution, *I* would do it (yes, I have
> the time, believe it or not). That is why I didn't answer the people who
> offered to moderate the list (because I felt I had already responded to them
> publicly).

Moderation is not the answer. However, if we are going to moderate, I say
we go 100%. Kill all off-topic messages (start with this one) as well as

> As to not answering direct emails about the list? It is true, I do get a lot
> of email every day, and I don't always choose to repond to every one of
> them. You can bet that if someone emails me about list maintenance, it is
> taken care of in a timely fashion. Yes, there have been one or two requests
> for a change in mailing address that I didn't get to quickly. Sometimes it
> is hard to keep track of so much email, no matter how much spare time I have
> these days. However, I think that many of the people who just posted here
> thanking me for the job I do would beg to differ with you on that point.

Thank you for taking the time to manage the list.

> I have listened to the discussion about SPAM, I have been talking to others
> on the list privately about it, and I will announce my intended solution as
> soon as I am damn well ready to commit to something. Yes, I have a proposed
> solution, it does NOT involve moderating the list, and as soon as I am
> satisfied that it is the best route to go, I will post it on the list for
> final discussion in case some people vehemently disagree with it.

Jay, don't take this too personally, but that answer SUCKS! When will you
be "damn well ready"? The list asked for a solution several weeks ago. I
think it's time to finally do something.


Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Fri Mar 15 2002 - 15:30:59 GMT

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