Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime... (2x)
nettime's meta moderators on Tue, 22 Oct 2002 17:48:53 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime... (2x)

Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime's inner workings revealed                    
     Andreas Broeckmann <abroeck {AT} transmediale.de>                                    

   Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime's inner workings revealed                    
     Benjamin Geer <ben {AT} beroul.uklinux.net>                                          


Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 13:47:23 +0200
From: Andreas Broeckmann <abroeck {AT} transmediale.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime's inner workings revealed

(post as appropriate)


thanks for remaining so cheerful in all this - what a quagmire ... - and
thanks for protecting the list from this kind of junk. if you ask me, it
shows how important moderation is for nettime. sure, the list would be
different if it was not moderated, but i for one would certainly not be
subscribed to a 'bolder' nettime list.

btw, i think the answer to the question 'how many per day?' should in this
case not be '42', but '0'. if he really needs a reliable number.

- -a


Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 14:00:31 +0100
From: Benjamin Geer <ben {AT} beroul.uklinux.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> mysteries of nettime's inner workings revealed

On Monday 21 Oct 2002 14:49, nettime's_moderators wrote:
> [sadly typical thread in which clueless poster gets angry at
> moderator because poster has not bothered to try to
> understand the mailing-list culture that moderator is
> politely, doggedly referring to]

To anyone who has ever moderated a mailing list, this sort of 
exchange is probably all too familiar.  I'd suggest it's because 
people approach mailing lists as if they were a product of 
consumer culture, and therefore completely fail to understand 
the type of distributed power embodied in a mailing list.

The clueless poster sees a mailing list as being analogous to a 
magazine: somewhere out there, there are some people who send me 
this stuff on a regular basis.  To clueless posters, the list 
address represents a centralised, opaque source of information, 
like an office full of magazine editors.  These posters don't 
realise that what's behind the list address is... themselves, 
and all the other subscribers.  This is why, when they want to 
unsubscribe, they send a message to the list address.

The poster in this example seems to have taken the magazine 
metaphor a bit further: he/she saw nettime as a way to get 
his/her writing out to as many of the magazine's consumers as 
possible.  True to the spirit of consumer culture, the poster 
gleefully identified something that appears to be a 'free 
lunch'.  If someone is stupid enough to give away lunch for 
free, why not take as much as you can get away with?

The poster's question could be rephrased: how many of my messages 
per day can nettime's readers stomach?  If you ask the question 
in this way, it's clear that the answer is going to have 
something to do with taste, and that you'll have to read the 
archives to get a sense of what it might be.  In mailing-list 
culture, participation requires a self-adjusting sensitivity to 
tacit limits, which are negotiated with the other participants 
through trial and error.  The poster's insistence on being given 
a specific maximum number of posts per day reflects the 
consumer-culture idea that rules and laws are the only limits to 
individual behaviour: if it's not against the rules, there's no 
reason I shouldn't do it.

If I'm writing an article for a magazine, all I care about is 
whether they publish my article.  An issue of a magazine is 
therefore merely a temporary encounter among self-seeking 
participants.  On an unmoderated list, I share equal power, with 
all the other subscribers, to determine the content of the list.  
With this power comes responsibility for maintaining the list's 
character, which by rough consensus we agree that we like.  Like 
the Mozilla developers who use Mozilla as their regular browser, 
we must 'eat our own dogfood'.  On a moderated list, the only 
difference is that the moderators, who ideally are sensitive to 
that rough consensus, act as its guarantors by smoothing out the 
worst excesses.



#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net