[MUD-Dev] Re: META: List peerage and behaviour

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed Jan 20 19:49:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:01:47 -0800 
Caliban Tiresias Darklock<caliban at darklock.com> wrote:

> I would think the *biggest* barrier is the need to ask permission
> to post. ...

> When the list was invitation only, you got a nod from someone else
> first; someone would encourage you and say hey, it's okay, you'll
> fit in here, your ideas are good enough for us.

Good point.

> When you have to ask, it immediately puts the list in an
> exclusionary light: you must petition the great and powerful Oz
> for the right to post. 

Odd statistic: For a while I made a note of picking up on people's
attempts to post without first getting posting authority, and, as
applicable, either granting posting authority or responding with a
note to the effect of, "if you want posting authority, please do the
following to your post and resubmit."  In percentage terms, very few
of thos "picked up" have proven voluble posters.  In the end I
questioned the extra effort required.

> When the great and powerful Oz has people out roaming the world
> and inviting "compatible" people in, then it's more of a
> community-building thing.

The oft-overlooked statistic:

  Back in the invitation-only days list membership was around 150
(IIRC), of which but less than a dozen or so of which I had
personally invited to the list.  Again working off faint memory,
only three other people besides myself ever invited anyone to the
list.  The idea that the existent list members would search out or
note new members and invite them to the list as a method of adding
value to the list etc did not manifest.

> Can you imagine the agony you'd go through if you were a
> reasonably young and inexperienced MUD developer with some new
> ideas who had to compose a post "worthy" of this list? 

Its quite apparent with current postings.

> People resist change, and familiarity breeds contempt: so the
> ideas must be fresh enough to interest, yet not so different that
> they become uncomfortably radical. I could spend weeks composing
> mail like that.

It happens.

> I don't really have a solution to this, because allowing everyone
> to read this list is the Right Thing. Allowing everyone to post to
> it without qualification is the Wrong Thing. 

Nail.  Head.  Hit.

> We can still encourage others to join up, but it's intimidating as
> hell when you first get here. I felt very much out of my
> depth. (Still do, a lot of the time.)

We're looking at an inverted pyramid for a social structure.  There
are precious few newbies and a whole boat load of lords.  It makes
even thinking about climbing the ladder fearsome.

Gotta make the list mew newbie friendly without losing its incisive

> I think most of us were scared of it at some point, but then we
> realised that everyone else is still sort of lost too.  ;)


J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
(Contractor)                             Internet: coder at kanga.nu
---------(*)                    Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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