Hello folks, it would appear that I've used up a goodly
portion of my 15 minutes of fame. Unlike Mr Guilmette,
I dashed off an ill conceived experiment without conferring
with the community at large. As a result hackles were
raised, feathers ruffled, etc.
What was learned with regard to general attitudes was
minimal, since the experiment was limited to only a
couple of sites.
The Cranfield site had 59 lists, and you all know the bad
will generated from that. Since Mr Goldberg released his
lock my site has received some dozen or so mails. Cranfield
is a University site.
The other site had a bit over 800 lists. Many of those
lists were closed, but the remainder are currently generating
20-40 mails an hour. The admin of the site sent me a note
asking what kind of butt-head would do such a thing, but
accepted my proffered apologies without any further ado. This
site was not academia, but general interest related.
Can any conclusions be drawn from this small sample? Let me
hazard a couple for debate:
1) The response from the site used in this way is not
proportional to the number of lists. If somebody signed
up for all of the four lists at my site, I'd probably
2) The number of lists subscribed to (over one) is not
a primary issue either. At a guess, three subscriptions
in a short period of time would probably be enough to
3) The admin's conclusions and assumptions based on their
experience will vary wildly.
4) The goals of the lists appear to be the primary predictive
factor when guessing how much will hit the fan. The
lists made for truly general public consumption very much
want 'masses of asses'. Other lists may be designed for a
more specific audience, like alumni or current students. So,
some public lists really aren't.