[Strawbale] Would you be willing to help me test new email list software?

Derek Stearns Roff derek at unm.edu
Fri Feb 28 18:12:44 CET 2014

Facebook serves a couple of useful purposes.  It reaches lots of people.  Like 24 Hour Talk Radio or The Weather Channel, you can always tune in, and find something going on.  However, deep discussion is discouraged by the structure.  Not only is archiving problematic, it is also hard to find a thread that you noticed an hour ago.  The average posting on the Facebook SB and the Natural Building lists is less than 50 words.  If you check in twice a day, and scroll through three or four screens of content, you will miss a large percentage of the postings.  Most of the content is a photo plus a caption.  And spam, of course.  Lot's of the content is a link to an outside photo, found somewhere on the web.  Many of the comments amount to, "Great photo. Congratulations."

For those of us who don't spend all day on Facebook, one of the important bits of community is shattered.  Even though we are on the same list, such as Facebook Straw Bale Building, almost none of us see all the content, and few of us see the same content.  Each of us sees a different snapshot of a portion of the content.  That has value, but greater depth, continuity of discussion, and more integration within the specific online discussion community, also has value.

The things that I am looking for in an online SB community have existed in the three lists here, SB-r-us, the former CREST/REPP list, now Bioenergy.org<http://Bioenergy.org>, and the Euro SB list.  All of these lists are quiet, now.  I would like to see them be more active, but closing them surely wouldn't cause that.  Everyone can join the Facebook list, whether or not these lists remain.

Combining these three lists might be useful.  Perhaps we just need to be patient, until more people become annoyed with Facebook.  Perhaps we need to publicize these lists, or a combined list, on Facebook, iPernity, LinkedIn, and other social media sites, as a location for deeper discussion.


On Feb 27, 2014, at 4:29 PM, RT wrote:

On Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:52:55 -0500, John Glassford <jacksflat at gmail.com<mailto:jacksflat at gmail.com>> wrote:

You say NOT Facebook as it does not have any usable archiving.  Why do we
need archiving for a discussion group?

Does anyone read them.  They are now all out of date and only historical.

Perhaps it might be useful to mention that I used to use the nicknames "Wolfy" & "el Lupo" for
John and "WoofMan" for Sherwood.  I suppose then that one should be too surprised to see these two canids, and males at that, howling here.

Me ? Although I do have a Facebook account, I've never used it for anything other than logging in to post comments in reaction to a news story on the CBC or Globe & Mail etc websites so I know nothing about FB's user interface and would probably continue to avoid it if the SB Lists were to migrate to it, just like I avoid Twitter, Linked-in, Instagram etc. Life's too short as it is.

However, I am familiar and agree with the aphorism

     "Those who do not acknowledge History are doomed to repeat its mistakes"

so I do see some value in archiving capability (ie "historical" stuff).

I think that those who are new to SBC (or at least the wise ones) would take some time to check the archives, if only to familiarise themselves with the issues, many of which may not even have occurred to them as being relevant or important at the early stages of their explorations.

El Lupo suggests that in 2014, if one doesn't know something, all one has to do is ask and the answer will be provided instantaneously.

While I don't disagree with El Lupo's point, there is also the fact that many important questions simply will not be within the consciousness of someone who is new to the subject, no matter how brilliant they may be and that is where archived material will be of utility.

Further, another fact of reality is that not everything that one reads via the WWWeb (read: "via Google") is accurate so there is no assurance that the first instantaneous answers that a novice encounters are necessarily good answers.

Having the ability to scan through archives, following the evolution of discussions on a particular topic, provides one with the means to evaluate the quality of the feedback received and hence, make better decisions as to what constitutes good information.

Familiarity with archived material also helps one to avoid the "Re-inventing the wheel" syndrome, a disease that afflicts many in the early stages of their SB addiction.

I could go on and on and on about this but

Bottom line (IMO): Archival capacity = desirable.

Wuff! Wuff! AHROOO-oooo-ooo-OOOO !! y'all.

=== * ===
Rob Tom            ADT1
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
  European strawbale building discussion list

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Derek Roff
derek at unm.edu<mailto:derek at unm.edu>

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