[Oz-teachers] Fwd: The weaknesses of email discussion lists

p.n.floyd at gmail.com p.n.floyd at gmail.com
Sun Nov 29 07:42:14 EST 2009

Hi all,

I do find that of the substantial number of lists I am on, the quietest one is the national science teachers list. The busiest ones are a couple of astronomy ones where people are collaborating with each other around the world either looking for spy satellites or asteroids.  Either one potentially being out to get you? :-) 

I guess my point may well be that people have to have a reason to communicate. 


Paul Floyd.

My homepage: www.nightskyonline.info

-original message-
Subject: Re: [Oz-teachers] Fwd: The weaknesses of email discussion lists
From: "Margaret Lloyd" <mm.lloyd at qut.edu.au>
Date: 29/11/2009 7:48 am

Oops - incomplete message sent due to the intervention of my new
boisterous dog! The failure of email lists is proven - contributions
from the iPhone while walking the dog are bound to lack academic
rigour and profound thought! Hmmm.

I was about to say - I think such academic lists don't work because
people join them to learn rather than give. They are in there to gain
rather than share expertise. This is genuine enough but means that
little of what is initiated can be sustained. I am on all sorts of
such lists through my academic work - they start with a flurry of
introductions, often following a conference or other meeting. And then
they just go quiet. Very quiet.

Anyway, we have to walk home now!!!
Marg Lloyd

Margaret Lloyd
Learning and Teaching Developer, TALSS
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education
Phone +61 7 3138 0586 or 3326
Mobile 0432758661

On 29/11/2009, at 6:29, "Margaret Lloyd" <mm.lloyd at qut.edu.au> wrote:

> Hello all
> I think the archives of this list would make an interesting Data
> source for such a study.
> Whenever I think this list is winding down in some kind of curious
> life cycle,  it kicks off again.
>  Perhaps people are somewhat guarded in their remarks - the supposed
> weakness of such lists - but I think this is where the descriptor of
> "professional" becomes important. In such conversations, you rarely
> are able to speak every thought you have and to do so is not
> particularly helpful. We have had some pretty lively and forceful
> expressions over the years despite the veneer of professional
> discussion!
> I will contact the researchers from Indiana directly and politely and
> professionally tell them that they are wrong. The instances cited
> though are discipline specific academic lists which really don't work
> - probably
> Cheers
> Marg Lloyd
> Margaret Lloyd
> Learning and Teaching Developer, TALSS
> Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education
> Phone +61 7 3138 0586 or 3326
> Mobile 0432758661
> On 29/11/2009, at 3:55, "stephen at melbpc.org.au"
> <stephen at melbpc.org.au> wrote:
>> Hi Richard and all,
>> Interesting research regarding mailing lists. Thanks Richard. Might
>> one note that numbers of significant and successful mail lists exist
>> here in Australia. Some 'provide tools to allow contributors to share
>> partially completed resources, and enable others to improve upon
>> them.'
>> In several instances these Au lists are *essential* professional
>> tools.
>> Am sure that I or others would be happy to assist you in list
>> research.
>>> Date:    Fri, 27 Nov 2009 10:49:23 -0800
>>> From:    Richard Hake <rrhake at EARTHLINK.NET> (snip)
>>> Subject: Re: The weaknesses of email discussion lists
>> Some might be interested in a recent post "Re: The weaknesses of
>> email
>> discussion lists" [Hake (2009)].. To access the complete post, (below
>> please click on <http://tinyurl.com/yz4ao3x>
>> Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
>> Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands.
>> <rrhake at earthlink.net>
>> <http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~hake/>
>> <http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~sdi/>
>> <http://HakesEdStuff.blogspot.com/>
>> ****************************************
>> ABSTRACT: In response to my previous post "Re: The value of
>> discussion lists" a subscriber wrote to me privately, complaining
>> that his discussion list was "dead as a doornail . . .  having
>> everything to do with its being 'open' -- in effect anyone who posts
>> to the list doesn't really know who is being addressed or who gets
>> copies of the postings. . .[so that] . . . the issues discussed are
>> unlikely to be settled on their own merits. . . [but are]. . .
>> instead subject to unpredictable interventions and manipulations of
>> every imaginable sort."  Here I (a) point to two high-traffic lists,
>> POD and Phys-L, as counter examples where at least a few of the
>> issues discussed appear to be settled on their own merits, and (b)
>> enumerate what I consider to be some weaknesses of email discussion
>> lists as given in my listing of  "Over Two-Hundred Education &
>> Science Blogs."
>> ****************************************
>> In response to my post "Re: The value of email discussion lists"
>> [Hake (2009a), a subscriber "S" wrote to me privately, making points
>> S1 & S2 below, to which I respond at H1 & H2.
>> 111111111111111111111111111111111111
>> S1. "In some tension with your posting, it seems clear to me and has
>> for some time that this list is as dead as a doornail. The basic
>> reason for this is that the xxx-L scholars don't use it."
>> H1. According to the xxx-L archives there were less than 5 posts on
>> that list during the month of October 2009. Similar listlessness is
>> the rule in most of the AERA discussion lists.  For example only 4
>> posts appear on the October 2009 archives of AERA-C (Learning &
>> Instruction) at <http://tinyurl.com/yklys7e>.  For a discus

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