Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1995)
 

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Subject: What to do when list gets too big?
From: Todd Day <today @ di . com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 10:52:00 -0800 (PST)
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <199503030900 . BAA29889 @ miles . greatcircle . com> from "list-managers-digest-owner @ GreatCircle . COM" at Mar 3, 95 01:00:13 am

You might remember from previous posts that I run the Talon/Eclipse/Laser
list.  This list is going on five years now, and is starting to get a bit
out of control.  I have something like 500 people on it (pretty small
compared to some of your guys' lists, but getting large for me).

I've gotten complaints from some of the old timers that the quality
of the list is decreasing due to the large amount of newbie questions
and rehashed issues.  I do make an effort to delete a large number of
simple requests and redirect the sender to net resources that can
answer their questions (we have a large archive plus a nice little
web site).  However, I feel if I delete too much of these types of
posts, these beginners might feel a little left out of the discussion,
so I let some sneak by.  This wasn't a problem in the past, but the
list is growing pretty rapidly now, enough to significantly impact
the true S/N of the list.

Another problem is that in '95, there is a new model of the car.  The
changes from this model to '90-'94 aren't really that significant, but
a lot of questions have popped up that '90-'94 people aren't really
interesting in answering again.

Anyway, I have the following suggestions/questions for improving my
list and I want to hear from other list managers that have gone through
similar problems.

1) Split the list into sub-topics.
	pros:	perceived S/N should increase
		keeps the old timers happy
		newbies can get their own sub-topic
	cons:	I won't be able to heavily edit, due to load
		more of the typical admin problems (bounces, subscriptions, etc)

2) Stop the "live" feed.  You may remember that I allow a digest and non-digest
   (live) version of the list.  A lot of the increased load is due to the
   people on the live feed replying way too often.
	pros:	S/N should increase, due to less posting
	cons:	a *lot* of people really like the live feed

I could solve the problem of heavy editing by threating to unsubscribe anyone
posting any of my pet peeves, like too much attribution and long .sigs.

So, what have you done with your list when the load gets too heavy and the
old timers start grumbling?

-todd-

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