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RE: Special message for Lurker's

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Although I readily agree with your opinion's, I foresee a problem with
this approach.  I received approximately 100 comments from your list
subscriber's over the weekend.  Many of these posts were votes of
support and many were votes of dissention.  The problem is that if  even
7.5% of the people who subscribe to the list were to regularly
participate in the discussions, the number of posts would be well over a
thousand.  If this is the goal of the list, I suggest that a revamped
approach to the organization of topics and comments in order to reduce
the deluge of information.  I personally do not have the time nor would
I be interested in reviewing this amount of posts.  

Maybe a format similar to a typical discussion group would be more
appropriate.  Where headers only are downloaded allowing the engineer to
review only the information that he/she is interested in.  Another
option, in combination with this, would be to have  subdirectories of
topics such as LRFD vs. ASD, Seismic, FEMA 273, Computer Software,
etc...  I'm sure there are many ideas out there about improvements to
the list.  I have seen many great ideas posted by people interested in
participating in revamping the list to handle the future requirements of
such a format.  I would suggest that SEAINT take a good look at the "5
year plan" of the list before it gets unmanageable.  I have several
engineers whom I work with who already feel that there is not enough
time sort through the long list of information to sift out the "meat and

-----Original Message-----
From: Seaintonln(--nospam--at) [mailto:Seaintonln(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, June 11, 1999 8:06 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Special message for Lurker's

It happened to come up in conversation with an engineer I ran into that
was a Lurker on our SEAINT List. He was interested in the conversations
have been taking place regarding the new 1997 Code changes related to
Diaphragm Analysis and to the discussions related to FEMA 273.
The gentleman told me that he appreciated all of the discussions that
taking place and complimented me on making the List available for
discussion. He indicated that supported a popular view of the members of
list. I asked why he did not participate in the discussion and he
that he could not add to what had been well stated.
As much as I appreciate the compliments (and I'm sure I speak for all of
who are participating in this Thread), this "lurker" has an opinion that
not "counted" and may be counterproductive to the goals that those who
passionate enough to speak out expect to achieve.  It isn't so much to
or disagree as to have your opinion tabulated by those in a position to
We live a political society where the number of voices often speaks
than the issues. SEA chairpersons and board members are inclined to
the volume of input over the relevancy of the argument. Most want to
know how 
strong is the following for any issue debated.  This is not to say that
validity of the argument is less important, but that we live in a
that moves with the masses.

I can't be more clear than to simply say "If you agree or disagree you
to state it so that those in a position to make change can see strength

Consider that there are 15,000 subsribers on this list (Shafat's latest 
tally). Less than one hundred regularly voice their opinions. That is
than 1% of the total subscribers. What if SEAINT believed that we should
the List down because only 0.75% of the subscribers utilize the services
little change is occuring in our profession?  Would this motivate you to
speak up and say "Hey, I'm here and interested?"

Appreciation of the services does not justify its existence. Using the 
service to constitute change for the better, to open up channels of 
information, to solve problems for the sake of the public and to
maintain the 
ethics of safe buildings through structural engineering is what this
is all about. The service does nothing - the subscribers do everything.
of the total voice is barely a whisper and requires a lot more shouting
by a 
few than the whispers of 15,000 voices.

I disagree with any of you that feel that your opinion or support does
count. I beg each of you to simply submit your support or rejection of a
topic - preferably with some comment but acceptable without - so that we
start training every professional organizations that services the
industry to recognize the direction and the strength of the voices they 

Please spend a moment to show solidarity to the opinions that you
agree with for the sake of our future.  The SEAINT structural
Virtual Community has more "members" than almost all of the SEA chapters
the World - think about it for a moment. Your here and now. You get the
and have a chance to respond. There is no more convenient way to
in the workings of the Structural Engineering Profession than with a
E-mail expressing your support or rejection of an opinion.

Dennis S. Wish PE
Editor SEAINT Online