The ALDHA ListPosted Oct. 29, 1999
Updated April 20, 2002
(NOTE: ALDHA member Tom Sweeting has created a mailing list for fellow ALDHA members who are online to share thoughts, views, etc., on any trail-related topic, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below is a brief explanation:)
By Tom Sweeting
An electronic mailing list can work in several ways. Lists usually fall into two categories, moderated and unmoderated. Moderated lists are, well, moderated... That is, when you send a message to the list it first goes to a “moderator” who checks to make sure it follows the guidelines of the list and stays “on topic,” the mail can then be sent on to the list by the moderator. With an unmoderated list, when you post to the list, your mail goes to everyone who is subscribed. Moderated lists work well with certain subjects, such as some of the trauma and emergency medicine lists that I am on. These are subjects that can potentially be kind of touchy, and the moderator makes sure that people stay polite. On the other hand, the list traffic can be delayed because the moderator has to review the mail, and that can be time consuming. For ALDHA, I think an unmoderated list would be best. Mostly because it doesn't incur any of the moderation overhead that a moderated list does. Also, I think this would likely be a friendly enough group that I don’t think it would be necessary. There are several ways that organizations use mailing lists. Currently I think an open discussion list would be best for ALDHA. That is, a list where everyone who is a subscriber can post comments. Some organizations have “announcement” lists that are a one-way conduit, sort of an electronic version of a newsletter. Of course, you can send out announcements on a discussion list. It is currently set up so that any subscriber can post to the list. I figured that would lend itself to the potential of lively discussion. The list is up and running right now, and it doesn’t cost ALDHA anything. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, by writing to email@example.com On other lists (actually those that I find generally the most entertaining) I find the opposite extreme where people actually rarely post anything that can be construed as actually being “on” topic. But people have fun chatting nonetheless. I would expect you’d want to make sure the scope of the list was “limited” to the subject of hiking. It is my experience that some lists are very strict, and if someone posts anything that is off topic people complain.
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