Subject: Re: Signal to Noise
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/22
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kenneth P. Turvey
| If someone already had that would be redundant, don't you think?

  no.  announcing that you do something is the only way to discover any
  redundancy.  asking people if they are doing something fails to trigger
  responses in people who do it and see you as an insufficient pest when
  you just ask, or in people who do it and would rather be done with it
  rather than answer lots of silly questions.

| I'm dissatisfied with the number of off topic articles I have to sort
| through, yes. 

  this doesn't make sense if you are killing so many threads.

* Erik Naggum
| and how would people be educated to use your new .advocacy newsgroup?

  (you didn't answer this, so I repeat it.)  this remains the crucial point
  in any "let's make those people go somewhere else"-proposals, and it's
  where they all fall flat on their face.  a newgroup control message does
  not propagate to the people using the medium.  in order for them to work,
  a lot of social activity needs to be going on before and after their
  creation to cause people to post elsewhere, and that means the people
  using the medium face exactly the same problem they do when some other
  people ignorant of the technology propose to "move" discussions, which
  means that old participants need to read another newsgroup, probably with
  much less traffic relevant to them, entirely new people won't know the
  old context and will cause solved issues to be reopened and will bring
  people who have no idea about what's going to post lots of articles to
  which yet more ignorants will shriek "post it somewhere else!".

  in other words, the cure is worse than the illness.  a little reflection
  on how things work would have made this fairly obvious to anyone.

  a new newsgroup works when people have a fairly solid reason to be
  _attracted_ to it.