This is the classiccmp list

Jim Battle frustum at pacbell.net
Thu Aug 24 10:45:31 CDT 2006


Sorry for contributing to the spam level, but you have to break an egg, 
etc.  I promise that if anybody replies, I won't reply to the classiccmp 
list.

There are hundreds of people on this list; most post infrequently, if at 
all.  It seems that 5% of the list have a hair trigger that demands that 
they respond to every message.  That would be fine, but it seems like at 
least 50% of such messages are WAY OFF TOPIC.  Yes, I'm shouting, and 
yes I'm making up numbers.

All of these hundreds of people are very smart and know many things. 
Most of the sense to exercise some self control and not jump in at every 
opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, or worse, their unsupported 
opinions.

The ONLY thing that gives cctalk value is that it has a charter.  There 
are untold avenues on the internet if you want to have free ranging 
discourse.

Before you hit send on your next message to cctalk, ask yourself these 
intertwined questions:

	(1) Why am I not sending this as a private reply?
	    Is it just your ego wanting to be seen as a
	    smart person that needs a large audience?  If
	    John Public says cheese tastes bad, send John
	    Public a private message if you want to tell
	    him he is wrong; the rest of us don't need to
	    know about it.

	(2) What new information is this message offering?
	    Is it worth the time of 600 people (or whatever)
	    even if all they need to do his scan the subject
	    line and hit delete?  This isn't IRC, so hopefully
	    posts will be more thoughtful than that.

	(3) Is this message still about classic computers?
	    Yes, the guy you are responding to might have
	    thought it was OK, but that doesn't mean it was.
	    Fight the drift.  If you must reply, see #1.

	(4) If you still can't help yourself, do the next best
	    thing, a practice that has seems to have disappeared.
	    Reply with your marginal response, then add some
	    on-topic tidbit to at least give a little nourishment
	    to the list.  "Obligatory classiccmp content: blah blah"
	    for example.

	(5) Even if you ignore #1-#4, recognize subject drift and
	    change the subject line.  The "scanning formats" thread,
	    which started on-topic, is now an umbrella for six
	    different (mostly off-topic) threads.

Yup, some of those off-topic threads had interesting content, but this 
is not the forum for it.  If you want to argue it, then imagine if 
everyone who was into photography wanted to talk about interesting 
techniques, or everyone interested in politics wanted to talk about 
interesting power plays and developments, etc, etc.




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