[Balug-Admin] BALUG November Announcements

'Rick Moen' rick@linuxmafia.com
Tue Nov 13 15:50:22 PST 2007

Quoting Andrew Fife (afife@untangle.com):

> Hmm, this is the first time I have heard of this.  While I definitely do
> want to expand BALUG's attendance, annoying people clearly is not a good
> way to encourage folks to attend.  Do you have a feel for how widespread
> this sentiment is?  I was under the impression that most folks were cool
> with on-topic, non-commercial announcements from other local
> organizations.  

Suppose one has a mailing list like CABAL's "conspire", that is
generally low-to-medium-traffic, e.g, averages about a message a day of 
ordinary conversation among subscribed people.

Suppose BUUG starts dropping in its regular meeting announcements: 2/month.
BALUG:  1/mo.
SVLUG:  3/mo.  (general meeting, installfest, and kernel discussion)
BayPIGgies: 1/mo.
BayLISA:  2/mo.  (general meeting, monitoring SIG)
ACCU: 1/mo.
CalLUG: 1/mo. (when they're active)
SlugLUG: 1/mo. (when they're active)
SULUG: 1/mo. (when they're active)
SJSU LUG: 1/mo. (when they're active)
LUGOD: 2/mo.
EBLUG: 1/mo.
LinuxDojo: 1/mo.
NBLUG: 1/mo.
PC Clubhouse Linux SIG: 1/mo.
PenLUG: 1/mo.
SF NetBSD UG: 1/mo.
SF OpenBSD UG: 2/mo.
SF-LUG: 2/mo. 
SoCoSA: 1/month
Starship Augusta Ada: 1/mo.
SacLUG: 1/mo.

So, now there are 29 recurring monthly announcements of other groups'
events on "conspire", about equal to the _real_ message traffic among
people who actually participate, alongside that real message traffic.

The extra matching volume is 100% advertising:  The people posting it
are not discussing anything.  They are not participating in CABAL in the 
process of posting.  It's pretty much the online equivalent of someone 
walking in off the street into the middle of a CABAL meeting, bellowing
an announcement of some other group's upcoming event, and walking out.

And for what?  Any group that really wants to can easily create an
announce-only mailing list for its own group's upcoming events, and then
anyone wanting to receive such announcements need only subscribe to that
list -- without needing to broadcast announce those advertising texts
into the middle of other groups' discussion forums, groups of people who
either are already on the group's announce-only list (if they want to
see such announcments) or are not (in which case they either have
decided _not_ to get the announcements or are unaware of its existence.

And in fact BALUG _does_ have an announce-only mailing list, called --
tada! -- balug-announce.  

Given the existence of that announce-only medium, insisting on _also_
braodcast-posting each month's regular meeting announcement to every
identifiably group's general discussion forum is -- in the opinion of
some -- obnoxious and being a bad neighbour.

(Views differ<tm>.  Naturally, there are also many who feel that
multiposted or even _crossposted_ announcements of regular, recurring
meeting events to other groups' discussion forums are just fine.  The
opinion is especially common among those who do it.  ;->  )

An alternative:  

o  Send out announcements to other groups' mailing lists only when
   there's something super-special that is really notable.
o  Otherwise, maybe twice or four times a year, send a polite reminder
   to those other groups' discussion lists reminding their members 
   that BALUG exists, holds monthly meetings, and has an 
   announce-only mailing list, joinable via
   http://lists.balug.org/listinfo.cgi/balug-announce-balug.org , 
   for those who want timely details of such upcoming meetings.

> Hopefully BALUG can strike an appropriate balance, because mailing lists
> do seem like an effective way to get the word out.

Exactly.  That's why BALUG has balug-announce, right?  So, if you're
asking my opinion, the neighbourly, non-abusive course of action is to
remind the other groups, at broad intervals (maybe quarterly) of its
existence and purpose (along with that of BALUG itself).

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