Silly Wabbit

I run a mail­ing list for pagans who use needle­crafts as part of their spir­i­tu­al prac­tice, Mag­ick­Stitch­es. As with all of the lists I man­age, when some­one asks to join the list, they get an email from Yahoo!Groups explain­ing the list guide­lines, and ask­ing them to send me an intro­duc­tion that will be sent to the list as their first message.

The rea­son for requir­ing the intro­duc­tion is that it foils the spam­bots which oth­er­wise join groups, and some­times even set up an auto-reply to make it seem as if they’re real people.

In any case, one of the list guide­lines says:
Off-Top­ic Posts — Keep off-top­ic posts to the barest min­i­mum. Chain let­ters of any kind are absolute­ly pro­hib­it­ed. Polit­i­cal alerts are not appro­pri­ate here. Please lim­it prayer/energy requests to those for list mem­bers and their imme­di­ate families/SOs.

I received an email this week from some­one who decid­ed not to join the list because of that one rule. In fact, she said, “I would­n’t want to be in San Quentin.”

While I’m hap­py she actu­al­ly READ the list guide­lines (I know that many peo­ple don’t), I could­n’t help but laugh at her complaint.

The list has more than 400 mem­bers. We have topped 600 mes­sages a month a fair num­ber of times in the past, and that’s WITHOUT off-top­ic posts or adver­tis­ing. I fig­ure that with such a high-vol­ume list, every lit­tle bit helps.

I’ve also not­ed that, in most discussion/Usenet groups or mail­ing lists, it’s the off-top­ic mes­sages that start flame wars. Any­body who has ever read rec.crafts.textiles.needlework has seen many a flame war, and they don’t involve what kind of fab­ric or fibers to use!

Any mail­ing list that does­n’t have and enforce guide­lines about top­i­cal posts ends up with an unac­cept­able noise/signal ratio, in my expe­ri­ence. They seem to be full of peo­ple post­ing the same damned chain let­ters, polit­i­cal alerts, virus warn­ings, and “inspi­ra­tional” crap over and over again, and peo­ple get­ting pis­sy when oth­ers don’t appre­ci­ate what they’ve post­ed. I’m not on many pagan lists at all for exact­ly that reason.

Based on her com­plaint, I fig­ure that the per­son who com­plained is prob­a­bly one of those who feels a need to cross-post every­thing they read to every­body in the world. I’m quite hap­py NOT to have her on my list.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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