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RE: Tell me what's really on your mind

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I think you described it well – the idea of a free-speech listservice is truly because the SEAINT list has become more social. I don’t really want to cross-over to another list, but I think it would help control the traffic. The traffic on the SEAINT list is growing and we are getting nearly 50 or more messages a day (sometimes less and sometimes more). When I started the list I anticipated the flow and figured at some point subscribers will feel inundated by the amount of mail that comes in.

Nearly eight years ago I suggested we code the messages with some tag on the subject line that would allow subscribers to filter out the messages that they don’t want to receive and allow only those topics that they do want. The consensus was that coding the subject line was too much work and too difficult for subscribers to do and now we have to weed out all the messages that we want to throw away. This doesn’t even consider the spam coming in from other sources off the list.

Shafat has not been interested in doing more than maintaining the server in his office and he shares the server for use with BillQuick (and I believe he pays SEAOSC for the portion of the server he uses). If you had been on the SEAINT Web page you will notice that nothing has changed for a long time and that committees are still not cooperating by posting monthly minutes for download or to be read online.

Nels, this is one of the reasons I started the Structuralist.Net. The web hosting service I have is not the best  but they have a nice Mailman Listservice software setup. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. You can subscribe to as many lists as you like and once a month you receive an email that tells you what list you belong to and what your password is (in case you forget it). I suggest to everyone to use the same password for all lists as the monthly reminder will then come as one e-mail listing all of the lists you belong to.
  2. You can turn a list on or off. You have to unsubscribe from the SEAINT list if you want to go on vacation but you need only put the Structuralist.Net list on hold until you return.
  3. The SEAINT list does have a better search engine but it is not great – you still have to go through quarterly records for each year to find a post. Mine is no better and probably worse if you rely on searching.
  4. Most important, the Structuralist.Net lists are topic specific. All total, the SEAINT lists would have the same amount of traffic (or more) if they set up a separate list for different topics (light-framing, steel, software, engineering-practice, etc.). SEAoSC won’t do this and because of this, I think that subscribing to a Topic specific list such as mine is easier for most people. You subscribe once to as many lists as you want and once a month you get a reminder of which list you belong to and you have control over what you want to read or pass on.

The only downside I see to a topic specific list is that you have to remember what e-mail address to use in order to post on a specific list. However, most have an address book connected to the e-mail program and this should make it easier to handle.


As far as free-speech, it is apparent that many don’t like off-topic discussions and others have a need to vent. I think that the discussion of engineering as a business is something important but many did not understand that the discussion was about this practical side of our profession rather than the theoretical or code methodology discussions. Setting up a free-speech list allows some of us to vent but with decorum :>)





-----Original Message-----
From: Nels Roselund, SE [mailto:njineer(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2003 10:10 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Tell me what's really on your mind




I don't plan to subscribe to the freespeechstructrualist.


When I have the time, I enjoy browsing the wide-ranging off-topic comments of list members as they show up on the seaint list, though I only sometimes read them thoroughly.  Nevertheless, it's part of the ongoing conversation we, as a community, are conducting, and It's a way we have of getting to know each other a little better.  However, my main reason for participating in the seaint list is the structural content contributed by knowledgeable members, and the opportunity it offers me to share, from my unique experience, structural insights that may not be common in the structural community.


With few exceptions, respectful restraint has kept the off-topic posts from crossing the bounds of propriety, and I enjoy their occasional arrival on the list.  I'd prefer not to have them separated from our discussions. 


On the other hand, I don't have much interest or time for browsing another list of  free speech, though I'm sure that from time to time, I'd be missing something stimulating, educational or entertaining.




Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA