State of this LO Facility LO5732

Richard Karash (
Mon, 19 Feb 96 16:59:30 0500

Was: LO Volume, Range of topics LO5532

I've received quite a bit of feedback. Thank you all for your comments and
for the msgs of appreciation for the LO list which I receive month by
month. Two things are clear in this recent set of feedback...

1) Subscribers really value and appreciate the content, by and large, and

2) The volume is a problem, overwhelming for some, especially for those
less skilled in making their computers do tricks on command.

These are interrelated -- several of you told me that you value the
content so much that you really want to read each message, so they are
piling up in your in-box and you're feeling buried and may have to drop

This is what I call a "high grade problem" (i.e., one worth solving).

Here's my own $0.02 worth --

1) I find the LO content enormously valuable. I'm doing this for my own
learning in addition to my pro bono contribution to the LO community.

2) We need to be careful about the volume (number of lines of text).
Authors please be careful here, every line you write goes into 1600
mailboxes, gets printed out by many of you, must be scrolled past by
others. Now, in the feedback many said that the long msgs have a lot of
value, so I'm suggesting care, not an arbitrary shortening of msgs.

2a) There are some things I can do: arbitrarily cut long quotes of
prev msgs, and ban long announcements (Instead, I'll have them say "email
so and so for further information").

2b) Authors please be careful about quoting prev msgs. You should
never quote the entire prev msgs -- It's already been sent out.

2c) Authors please make a conscious choice in responding to the
whole list or responding privately. Remember that you are speaking in a
*very large* circle.

3) I see a balance between topicality and community. On one hand, people
sign up here because they are interested in the topic of
learning-organizations, and will be disappointed if there are lots of msgs
that don't seem to be on-topic. On the other hand, we *are* a community
here and we'll want to let people follow their energies, speaking about
whatever moves them. We *are* interested in each other, even in this large
group. How do we find a balance? I suggest that our dialogue here be
generally, but not exclusively related to learning organizations. I need
your help here; all of you making thoughtful choices will be much higher
leverage than me trying to be a policeman.

4) Passing the talking stick -- I have a lot of clear feedback that the
thoughtful responses, whether they are long or short, are the most
valuable. Authors, I ask you to be aware of your volume and your degree of
reflection. I suggest as a general guideline that, if you are posting more
than 2-3 msgs a day for more than a couple of days, you should slow down a

5) Readers -- You are telling me that you *love* this content, but the
volume is too high. I suggest:

5a) Be selective. Just delete the msgs you don't have time to
read. Let the LO discussion be a joy, not a task master.

5b) By becoming more skillful in using your software, you'll be
much more able to get what you want and avoid the drudge. I'll add some
more comments about this tomorrow. Maybe some volunteers can assemble tips
for users of different environments.

5c) What if you take my advice in 5a and dump something, only to
find out later you really want to read it? The LO web pages have all the
msgs, are indexed by author, subject, date, and thread. And, most of our
content is indexed by key-word in Lycos (

6) One more overall comment -- I would not be able to handle the workload
that would come from a further increase in msg volume or an enlargement of
the host role. Thus, I really do need your help in whatever we decide to
do on the points above -- this is a free, volunteer operation so we need,
even moreso than in most orgs, to have high leverage solutions.

At this point, let me express my appreciate to all of you, and I invite
further dialogue on the State of our Facility here on Learning-org.

-- Rick

      Richard Karash ("Rick")    |  <>
  Speaker, Facilitator, Trainer  |     email:
"Towards learning organizations" | Host for Learning-Org Mailing List
(617)227-0106, fax (617)523-3839 |     <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>