>> We have taken topic-based lists and forked a salon to go with them,
>> and found the main list's traffic reduced by 20-50% and the salon's
>> traffic at anywhere from the difference to 2-3x the difference.
> Simply, I'm amazed. I've never seen this work in the 40 or so attempts
> I've witnessed. I wonder if the critical difference is that I've
> primarily followed technically oriented lists (math, science, compsci,
> literary analysis, game design, aquaculture, etc) rather than the softer
> more humanistic lists such as the support lists you've often referenced.
I don't think it's topic as much as audience. If you have people who've
gotten comfortable with email, it's hard to switch them. To some degree, I
think it's generational -- us older types grew up with email and are
comfortable there. What it sounds like is that Roger created two
environments for two different groups of people, and they migrated to the
form they were comfortable with. The traffic moved probably was caused by
people who preferred the salon but used the email because it was available,
not because you had email types who were swayed to use salons by their
I tried something similar a while back, and it failed miserably. Partly it
was because I tried to push email types into the forums when they really
didn't to go, partly it was because I was pretty burnt out and didn't give
the forums a chance to find their own audience and didn't have the time or
energy to try to build it -- I shouldn't have brought the site live in the
first place, but I am occasionally a bit on the stubborn side (ahem). In the
last month or so, I've started thinking of trying again, but I'm not sure
yet. Ask me in the fall.
Roger, do your salons and list have interconnects? Or are they two
Chuq Von Rospach, Architech
email@example.com -- http://www.chuqui.com/
IMHO: Jargon. Acronym for In My Humble Opinion. Used to flag as an opinion
something that is clearly from context an opinion to everyone except the
mentally dense. Opinions flagged by IMHO are actually rarely humble. IMHO.
(source: third unabridged dictionary of chuqui-isms).