I ran my list that way for close to 2 years, but as the number of subscribers
rose I found I had to move to full or active moderation to keep the list running
smoothly. Since last June when I moved the list to onelt we have gone from
around 200 members to 856 today (I don't know where they all come from).
Also as a support list we possibly have to be stricter over flaming, because
many of the members are emotionally fragile, and things can really get out of
hand. I decided early on that the main purpose was to make it a safe place to
discuss the problems of morbid obesity, and surgery for it, and that differences
in other areas couldn't be allowed to threaten that safety. After all people
can find other people elsewhere to discuss religion, or whatever, but they may
have a lot of trouble finding another place to share the hurt that their weight
But disciplinary messages have always been sent privately, and have almost
always been polite and reasoned even when what I really wanted to do was knock
heads together. I've only once had to remove a member, and have resisted doing
it as much as possible because some of the people who make hurtful remarks are
most in need of support themselves.
John Stevenson wrote:
> Other comments in this thread have dealt with tightly controlled
> lists. My own list is rather different. In an effort to create a
> [WARNING! ghastly 'Wired' buzzword imminent!] 'virtual community'
> I've allowed lots of discussion that's way off the list's central
> topic (Australian mountain biking, if anyone cares). Since my list
> deals with something that people do for fun, I have deliberately kept
> things informal, stepping in only to kill discussions that are both
> off topic and hugely irritating, such as Mac Vs PC flamefests and
> passings-on of virus warnings.
> My main moderation technique when such is needed is a friendly but
> firm email, off the list, to the problem subscriber, followed by
> delisting if they don't get a clue. I'm sure I'm not the only list
> mangler who has found that dealing with list 'discipline' on-list is
> a recipe for disaster.
> John Stevenson -- firstname.lastname@example.org
> List manager, MTB-OZ
> The MTB-OZ FAQ, full of useful and sometimes not so useful
> information, can be found at http://members.xoom.com/mtboz/ and at