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Forward from Humor List (fwd)

This came accross the Historic Costuming list recently and I thought it 
was fun--I think we're a 4?  

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 11:22:54 -0400
To: h-costume@andrew.cmu.edu
Subject: Forward from Humor List

The following is forwarded from the Humor List. This group, definitely, is a


Every list seems to go through the same cycle:

1.  Initial enthusiasm (people introduce themselves, and gush
     alot about how wonderful it is to find kindred souls).

2.  Evangelism (people moan about how few folks are posting to
     the list, and brainstorm recruitment strategies).

3.  Growth (more and more people join, more and more lengthy
     threads develop, occasional off-topic threads pop up)

4.  Community (lots of threads, some more relevant than others;
     lots of information and advice is exchanged; experts help other
     experts as well as less experienced colleagues; friendships
     develop; people tease each other; newcomers are welcomed with
     generosity and patience; everyone---newbie and expert alike---
     feels comfortable asking questions, suggesting answers, and
     sharing opinions)

5.  Discomfort with diversity (the number of messages increases
     dramatically; not every thread is fascinating to every
     reader; people start complaining about the signal-to-noise
     ratio; person 1 threatens to quit if *other* people don't
     limit discussion to person 1's pet topic; person 2 agrees
     with person 1; person 3 tells 1 & 2 to lighten up; more
     bandwidth is wasted complaining about off-topic threads
     than is used for the threads themselves; everyone gets

6a.  Smug complacency and stagnation (the purists flame everyone
      who asks an 'old' question or responds with humor to a serious
      post; newbies are rebuffed; traffic drops to a doze-producing
      level of a few minor issues; all interesting discussions happen
      by private email and are limited to a few participants; the
      purists spend lots of time self-righteously congratulating
      each other on keeping off-topic threads off the list)


6b.  Maturity (a few people quit in a huff; the rest of the
     participants stay near stage 4, with stage 5 popping up briefly
     every few weeks; many people wear out their second or third
     'delete' key, but the list lives contentedly ever after)