List size and form

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Wed Aug 2 03:55:23 MDT 1995


Jon:

Have any of the moderators considered how the increase in list size and
participation (including the volume of posts) will affect our list in the
not-so-long-term?

Obviously the current list is a transitional list that will *have* to
change as we get larger. As a fellow educator, I'm sure you are aware
that there is a relation between class size and the ability of individual
students to participate.  I fear that, at some point soon, the sheer size
of our list and the total (and immense) volume of posts will interfere
with our ability to communicate effectively.

Two "solutions" that I am *not* in favor of are:

1) changing the "marxism" list into a group of separate lists (e.g.
"marxism-science; marxism-literature, etc.). While the prospect of
additional lists is appealing, still favor a list on the more general
subject of marxism since it allows us to communicate with
"non-specialists" on a much wider range of topics.

2) trying to limit the posts/person/period of time is also rather
unappealing.  While I would encourage anyone to write a post if they
believe they have something meaningful that want to add (and inversely,
refrain from posting on the trivial), any artificial limit on
posts/person would both inhibit discussion and be undemocratic.

I don't have any solutions to offer.  What are your thoughts?  Has this
issue come up in the Spoon Collective yet?

Jerry

PS: As I was about to press the "send" buttons, Otto's post on
"information overflow" came through.  I don't think I care much, though,
for his solution since it assumes that the initiator of a thread can and
should be the one who summarizes and coordinates a thread.


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