[IMC-Boston-Discuss] explanation of on-list vs. off-list in 48
words--LURKERS read this!
mw21 at mindspring.com
Wed Jul 6 16:25:20 PDT 2005
I've been reluctant to get involved with this discussion, but I agree
with Pete. We should generally hold discussion on list unless there is
some compelling reason to hold them off-list. An example of a
compelling reason (one we acted on in the past) is if we want to
discuss how to deal with a highly destructive troll who we know is
either lurking on the list or reading our on-line archives. I think
we've also held off-list discussions about tech-related security
issues, to avoid making publicly available information that would help
people hack our site. If it's not something like that, I think IMC
business should be done on IMC lists, so that there is a public record
of it and anyone who wants to know what's going on can easily find out.
Otherwise, it's too easy for all the communication to happen between
some core group of people, which ends up unintentionally excluding
others and accidentally creating a hierarchy based on access to
information and participation in key discussions. And if you don't
think it can't happen, people have done academic studies on this sort
of thing--it happens, way too often, and without any malicious intent.
The only reasons I've seen given for discussing things off-list on a
regular basis is convenience (may be there are others I've missed
because I wasn't included in the relevant discussions), which I don't
find very convincing because 1) I don't see how the lists are
inconvenient (although getting the same e-mail multiple times because
it went out to multiple lists can be mildly annoying); and 2) our
interest in taking steps to keep hierarchies from accidentally forming
seems more important than convenience. I feel like the burden of proof
should be on those who want to hold discussions off-list. How about
fifty words or less on a compelling reason to hold discussions off
list? -- Matt
On Jul 6, 2005, at 6:52 PM, Pete Stidman wrote:
> 30 people on this list have recently been cut out of
> indymedia discussions. Now is you chance to speak up.
> In one recent off list discussion Dave asked for a 50
> word max description of the issue of off-list vs.
> on-list discussion of IMC business. I am a proponent
> of discussing our business on publicly archived lists
> that all of you can see. Others are taking important
> discussions to places none of you will be able to
> In one of these emails dave suggested the requirement:
> "I think if we are going to talk about this at the
> general meeting then you all better show up with a
> really clear concise explanation of exactly what you
> are talking about. 50 words max."
> So here goes in 48 words:
> Indymedia holds transparency as a central Principle of
> 1. To prevent hierarchies, exclusivism or elitism.
> 2. To facilitate outreach.
> 3. To provide a check on Indymedia actions via public
> We suddenly hold most discussions off list. No one
> consensed to this, violating the utter core of all
> indymedia principles.
> nuff said?
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