Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-03 > 1111510525

From: Jon Spencer <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Not Splitting the List
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 08:55:25 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>

Thanks for the critique - I'll think about it - I still vote NO!

Ruy Cardoso <> wrote:Jon Spencer wrote:

> 1. Seems like it is just a handful of persons - of
> the thousands who hit this site daily" - wanting to
> split the site. I see these as people who get
> aggravated with the posts dealing with "deep
> ancestry." DELETE KEY comes to mind!!

Jon, I am certainly a strong advocate of using the
delete key freely, but I think you over-simplify the
case. I subscribe in digest mode, and I first have to
scan the list of subject lines that appears at the
beginning of the digest, see if there's a message I
might find interesting, and then find it in the
lengthy digest itself. The process is not so quick as
merely hitting the delete key.

With respect to your comment about it being a handful
of persons who are in favor of splitting, well, we
haven't exactly taken a complete vote on the subject.
And I could say pretty much the same thing in reverse;
only a handful have advocated maintaining one list. I
would think it best to get a broader set of opinions
before assessing where the consensus lies.

> 2. Cousin John has a very compelling reason so far
> for NOT splitting: "I think a lot of postings might
> have relevance to both lists."

Certainly some would, though I don't know if the
fraction would be so high as to merit "compelling".
On balance, I think the benefits of a more-focused
pair of lists outweighs the overlap problem, but
that's just my opinion.

One item that is unfortunately difficult to measure is
how many people have unsubbed from this list (or not
subscribed in the first place) *because of* its mix of
topics. If we are collectively interested in getting
more people involved in the topic generally, thereby
increasing the size of the STR databases and such,
then we presumably would want a list that would feel
more on-topic for those new to the subject. Splitting
the list might accomplish this.

> 4.The suggestion by several to keep the list as one
> and to have two administrators is a doable and
> another compelling reason for keeping the list as
> one.

Perhaps the current administrator has an opinion on
this. But I hope I take nothing away from Ann when I
say that I am more focused on the experience of the
list members (or the potential members).

> 5. I believe Martha from Ireland has an excellent
> point for NOT splitting the list. "I can see both
> sides but if split do think many messages would
> pertain to both lists." I can see now the number of
> messages beginning with: "I wasn't sure which list
> oughta get this, so to be sure, I'm sending to

This is really an expansion on your point #2, but I
agree that the unnecessary cross-posting would
probably be an issue at first. I'm hoping, however,
that any administrator could define the list topics
sufficiently well to minimize this problem. And, to
be honest, a small number of current posters account
for a large fraction of posts, so this might not be as
big an issue as all that.

Just to check this point, I sorted the archive
messages from January and February in order of
frequency by poster. Of the 2639 posts in that
period, more than a quarter were made by the four most
frequent posters. (Ken Nortvedt, DNACousins, Charles,
and fauxdk all had between 150 and 190 posts in those
two months, while no one else had more than 78.)
Taking this a little further, just over half of the
posts were made by the seventeen most frequent
posters. Finally, there were a total of 267 different
posters in that two-month period, but 179 of them made
5 posts or fewer.

Ruy Cardoso

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