[svlug] Listadmin notice: Reminder and request about topicality

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jan 28 01:12:44 PST 2008

Short version:  No more postings here on SVLUG organisational issues.

Long version:

Paul recently mentioned, in a posting, that I'm now the sole person
doing Mailman-level list administration -- which I actually hadn't known
until then.  Which is why I'm having to handle this matter -- though
I'm posting after checking with other SVLUG admins.

As a reminder, our few mailing list rules can be found via link "Email
Lists" on the www.svlug.org side navbar.  Most important is this, at the

  SVLUG offers the following netiquette suggestions for its lists. (See
  also mailing lists' listinfo pages for concerns unique to each list.)

  These are suggestions, to explain our cultural norms: They are not
  official rules. SVLUGs' listadmins normally intervene only to ensure
  lists' technical operation, to halt spam (incontrovertible spam, not
  postings someone merely dislikes), and to halt major eruptions of
  offtopic spew. Enforcement if any should always be minimal and public.
  (We don't do backroom politics, and our preferred means of social
  control is to help everyone apply his/her own well-tuned killfile.) 
  You are always welcome to discuss that and any other policy issues on
  SVLUG's public Volunteers [link] mailing list.

So, "offtopic spew" (to a degree that significantly impairs the mailing
list as a whole) is one of (only) two things that trigger listadmin

A half-dozen people (including, yes, me) have fallen short on that score
recently, because avoidance of "offtopic spew" entails, among other
things, _topicality_.  We will all now fix that.  In a nutshell:  Some
postings here should have been on Volunteers.  (Some posts there or here
were questionable for SVLUG, period, but that's a lesser matter.)

In broad terms, topicality means:

o  svlug at lists.svlug.org:       Linux and related topics.[1]
o  volunteers at lists.svlug.org:  SVLUG organisational matters

(Listadmins approve a small number of announcements on svlug-announce;
please note that svlug at lists.svlug.org subscribers get those
automatically, too.)

The biggest problem has been postings here on _organisational matters_.  
Starting tomorrow (to give people time to read this), I'm hoping
everyone here will voluntarily cease that -- me included, naturally.  
At some point soon following, I will start sending warnings e-mails
(speaking explicitly as listadmin) to anyone still doing it, CC'ing
those warning e-mails to Volunteers.

Just to be clear:  I mean _all_ mail on organisational matters,
including suggestions/critiques/candidate statements for the upcoming
election, suggestions concerning future installfests or kernel
walkthroughs, new places to meet -- all of that.  Every byte of that
should go to Volunteers, none here.  (You're more than welcome to post
here, without elaboration, that you'll be responding on Volunteers.)

I hope and expect no further corrective measures will be necessary.
If warnings do not suffice, I will in consultation with other admins
move to the next step, which is probably putting the sender on
moderation for one week, any such action to be documented in listadmin
e-mail to the user, Cc'd to Volunteers, cross-referencing a prior
warning message.  (I'd be astonished if that ends up being necessary.)

Listadmin actions, lack of actions, policies, etc. are always fair game 
_on the Volunteers list_ (not here) -- as documented near the top of
http://www.svlug.org/policies/list-policy.php .  Of course, list
administration is also subject to oversight by our elected officers.  If
you're seriously prepared to allege cruel listadmin tyranny and risk
amused and tolerant public refutation, do it on Volunteers.  If you're
prepared to allege here that you were cruelly silenced there
(Volunteers), well, all I can say is you'd better be right!

[1] This does not mean that offtopic material is banned:  One, nobody's
saying posts may not touch on offtopic subjects.  Also, if, e.g., you
post a message of pointers to pictures of your Uncle Henry's cats, or
even a brief one-time mention of the latest Microsoft worm, the
listadmins won't care (though about 600 people will think you're a
doofus) -- unless you do it _frequently_, and thus not merely offtopic
but to a degree significantly impairing the mailing list as a whole,
hence rising to the level of offtopic spew.

And, no, we admins are not going to change list descriptions on
http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/ to say (e.g.) "Linux and related
matters" for this list -- unless significant numbers of people really
can't figure out that a LUG's main list should primarily concern Linux, 
which we frankly doubt.

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