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Re: other forums, continued...

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I have been following this thread with some interest.  In my view, the SEAINT list is neither dead nor dying.  It just has a lot less participation than in the past.  There are several possible explanations:
1]  On November 24, 2009, Professor Abolhassan Asteneh-Asl posted a message which threatened legal action against "the officers of SEAINT".  Six days later, the SEAINT list went dark.  Coincidence?  When the list came back to life on or about January 3, 2010, there were very few participants (apparently limited to those who had re-subscribed).  Nine months later, participation is still a fraction of what it used to be.  Many of the previous participants probably still think that the SEAINT list is either dead or tied up in some sort of legal purgatory. 
2]  The recession is longer and deeper than anyone anticipated, and nowhere is it more severe than in the building business.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and as reported in the September 20, 2010 ENR, comparing year-to-year building construction from July 2010 to July 2009, hotels are down 59%, private office buildings are down 40%, factories are down 33%, and other commercial buildings are down 30%.  Considering how bad 2009 was, those numbers are absolutely startling.  Since most SEAINT subscribers try to make their livings as building designers, it is likely that they have reduced their participation in the SEAINT list in order to devote more time to marketing their services.
3]  Younger engineers have certainly embraced Facebook and Twitter for social networking, any many prefer IM to email, but they were never the ones who used the SEAINT list for socializing in the first place.  If I recall correctly, the vast majority of "off-topic" posts over the past decade came from engineers well over 40 years old.  Some were notorious, but none were young.
I am 63 years old and I have no intention of leaving the SEAINT list.  As long as Harold Sprague continues to post his knowledge, I will continue to read and learn.  Like Harold, I still have my slide rule.  I also have a drawer full of calculators.  However, the only gadget that I carry with me any more is my Droid.  Yes, I sometimes IM, but mostly with my kids and grandkids.  Thumb-typing just isn't very satisfying.  I have no interest in any form of electronic social networking, so I am not frustrated that my employer bans Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.  I don't want a listserv that includes photos or other attachments.  My email already delivers too much clutter every day.  I prefer messages with optional links to online photos, like Bill Allen used to post.  I also have no interest in company profiles and job postings.  Sorry Jeremy, but there are other established forums for that.  Finally, to organize SEAINT list postings by subject, I simply use Gmail in conversation mode.  It works great and it is completely free.
Bottom line:  if the perceived value of the content on the SEAINT list improves and the ecomony recovers, participation will eventually rebound and the world will keep spinning.
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., SECB
Richardson, Texas 


A SCIENTIST studies what is. 

An ENGINEER creates what never was.

                    …Theodore von Karman


On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM, Harold Sprague <spraguehope(--nospam--at)> wrote:
Give me a break about the death of e-mail.  I still have a slide rule and I use computer punch cards.  OK, my slide rule is a bit dusty, and I use the punch cards as book marks;>) 

Regards, Harold Sprague

> Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 11:10:56 -0400
> Subject: other forums, continued...
> From: akester74(--nospam--at)
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)

> Bill, I don't think email is dead. I was going to say I am young and I
> use email, but I just realized I am not really young anymore. Its
> invaluable for business, and there is no replacement for a secure and
> personal way of communicating at this time, as well as sending files.
> Lots of 35 year old professionals and even the younger people in my
> office still use email constantly. I think it is used less as a
> private and social means amongst people under 30, where texting,
> twitter and Facebook have perhaps taken over. I do like texting but I
> have avoided the rest like the plague. Telling people about your daily
> activities seems like a horrible idea unless you are a very
> fascinating individual with an amazing life. Otherwise just give me
> the highlight reel over a beer, face to face. I digress...
> I think the format part of SEAINT is annoying and always have. Its
> difficult to follow a single thread or subject, the formatting on my
> end appears to me mostly programming mumbo-jumbo, and you cannot post
> an image to help clarify a point. If any group of professionals needs
> visual images to clarify a point it would be structural engineers.
> What I have always liked about SEAINT is the variety and quality of
> professionals posting, which seems to have plummeted after the "great
> 2009 server crash".
> Anyway, there is a STRUCTURAL only group on ENG-TIPS, just scroll down
> and you will see it. Just read through it and the posts are similar to
> what you'd see on SEAINT. May I reiterate how nice it is do follow a
> single post and also be able to post images!!
> "Structural engineering other technical topics Forum
> (44352 members) "
> I'll continue to subscribe to SEAINT but will be perusing the ENG-TIPS
> structural message board and hope to read some posts from you
> SEAINT'ers soon.
> Regards,
> Andrew Kester, PE
> Florida
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