LONDON-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON > 2001-03 > 0984436088
From: "Jo Taylor" <>
Subject: [Lon] Getting the most from the list
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 23:28:08 +0100
The following is forwarded from the Devon list...written by Ian Marr...good
I thought I would share a success story that has proven to me once and
for all that there are both good and bad ways to request information on
I have been lurking, posting, assisting (where possible) and generally
doing "all the usual things" that one does on a list. For a
considerable period of time I got absolutely minimal responses to my
postings requesting help with various individuals/families. Of course,
I blamed the other list members for not being sufficiently sympathetic
to my needs, but then I took a different tack and have had a tremendous
response as a result.
I am researching three forests, and when I look at the three ancestor
charts, I find I have 61 dead-ends. So, here's what I have done:
(1) Created a message for EACH terminating person.
(2) Made the subject line reflect that person with, in the format
SURNAME: Location (or Poss/Prob Location) and a year span (sometimes
quite wide (e.g. 1700 - 1800))
(3) Prepared an Outline Descendant Chart for THAT person - limiting it
usually to only 3 generations (sometimes more, depending upon size -
occasionally producing one that is "a little too long", but I try to
(4) Copy that chart into the body of the message, with as little
preamble as possible.
Consequently, listers can immediately see from the subject whether or
not the message is of interest; then, with minimal scrolling, can get to
the details that may or may not confirm their interest.
After getting very few responses, this new approach has meant that I
have an almost full-time job just answering the specific replies that I
receive. IT DEFINITELY WORKS FOR ME.
I could go on about meaningless subject lines, and padding messages with
all sorts of details about the people, but I don't want to sound as if I
am in some way "laying down the law". I want to be constructive, but
the simple fact that subjects such as: Posting interest, New to List,
My brick wall, Need help, etc., etc. just don't do the job. If someone
out there can help you, it is meaningless whether you are new to the
list or not. In short, "cut to the chase" and I am confident that the
results will be greatly improved.
If the descendant you are tracing has an interesting history, this can
be exchanged AFTER initial contact has been made with a respondent.
While it may be interesting we have to face the probability it is only
interesting to ourselves; and it could be the very reason that someone
who has the information you need fails to read far enough to get the
Give it a go - it works for me.
And, now having broken one of my own rules about keeping it brief, I
shall sign off.
Unless stated to the contrary at the beginning of the text, this message
considered to be in the public domain and may be copied, distributed,
etc. without infringing upon any copyright to which I may normally be
10.5m above sea-level at 38°23'15"S by 142°36'04"E
I think, therefore, I yam - does this mean I'm a vegetable?
Home Page: http://www.ansonic.com.au/marrtronics/
I can also be found on ICQ - 7894010
List Administrator: FRUISH on Rootsweb.com
|[Lon] Getting the most from the list by "Jo Taylor" <>|