Call me list-nazi

by cdwise 11. June 2009 03:19

Okay, I’ll admit it when I own/moderate a web group I enforce the list rules. I’ve been on too many lists where there was no List Mom and ended up being filled with spam or dreck. If this makes me “arrogant” then so be it.

That means if you post a question to a list where I’m List Mom you need to:

  1. Be on topic – if you have  a question not directly related to the list topic but related to web design/development in general mark it with OT so that list members are alerted to the nature of the question. Keep it relevant or it moderators will shut down the thread.
  2. Use a descriptive subject line – this helps ensure that you get the attention of contributors who are knowledgeable or interested about that particular area. Do use subjects such as PHP form display issue, or Content Div not displaying, or Set a default editor for images. Don’t use “Question”, “Help”, “I’m a beginner”. This is especially important on a large or high volume list.
  3. Trim your quotes, other than the forum here at every group I moderate is an email group whether on Yahoo Groups or Google Groups. On some of these there are a substantial percentage of folks using dial-up, being charged by the byte or receiving the digest version. So we ask that people be considerate and not quote everything when they reply. In addition to removing any adverts put in by say Yahoo, trim everything except what is needed to put your reply in context.
  4. Be courteous, and that means to everyone including the moderators if they make suggestions on how to improve your post. Flaming is not allowed nor is trolling. Doing either will get you banned.

Lists I own/moderate include by topic:

<moderator hat>

This is a convention used on many mail lists that I first saw years ago on one of the mail lists I belong to (I think it was css-d but I really don’t remember) that is used to distinguish a post made by a list owner or official moderator to remind people of list rules OR to call a halt to a thread that has drifted too far off topic or become abusive.

The use of this tag is meant to be a more or less gentle reminder that the list is moderated and keep the list on topic. The alternative is to either ban participants in off topic threads and/or violation of list rules, something that seems to harsh or go to a list that is a free for all. Neither of which would be good for any list in the long run.

Tags: , , , ,

Dreamweaver | Expression Web | Misc

Comments (9) -

Jonathon VS
Jonathon VS
6/11/2009 3:56:26 AM #

A "pretentious, condescending list-nazi"? Ridiculous! You're the glue of that list. I'd be lying if I said I never got scorned by members of that list either (I was once accused of e-stalking). That isn't to say that I don't enjoy that list, though; the benefits far outweigh any detriments. Before I joined that community, I was still making table-based sites in Notepad and Paint, and now I'm a professional designer and developer, thanks in large part to that group's help and support. That's why I'm proud to be a member, and I'm sure many other people have similar stories.

Still, you'd think some people would have manners; I mean, when you play cards, you wait until everything's dealt before picking up. When you're driving, you yield. When you're in a foreign country, you respect the customs and traditions of the locals. The Web is no different; when in a new place where you don't know the rules, there's no reason anyone should explode when introduced to them.

6/11/2009 4:04:05 AM #

I wasn't following the thread online where all the name calling occurred, or it may have occurred off-list.

Sorry that happened to you.  All for a list moderated by volunteers.

For the record, there are now  close to 6000 members of the Adobe Dreamweaver list.  The list has become a primary source for web designers and developers all over the world.

Thanks for all you do. We're lucky to have you.

6/11/2009 4:26:38 AM #

Thanks frodojrr & Jonathon for our kind words.

frodojrr, I'll admit to censoring the continuation of the thread after being called pretentious and condescending so the list-nazi was offlist.

Jonathon, I can't take credit for the success of the Yahoo Dreamweaver list.

It existed before I had ever used Dreamweaver and I have benefited greatly from being a part of it. It was an honor when Simon asked me to be a moderator many years ago. That list would not be anywhere near as valuable of a resource if it were not for all the moderators over the years (some of which were before my time so I can't list them all but the current moderators are: Simon Dingley, William Lefkovics, Moshe Tapnack, Art Hanson, Rob Huddleston) and equally important the people who participate regularly. If you hang out on the list for very long you will know who they are, if not, join it and even if you just lurk (as the majority of the members to) you will soon recognize and appreciate them.

Being called a "list mom" and "list-nazi" puts me in good company since many people I respect like Eric Meyer (css-d list) are even stricter than we are about off-topic posts so get called that even more often than I do.

Rob Emenecker
Rob Emenecker
6/11/2009 4:28:03 AM #

I only caught a couple of snippets from that thread, and it really sucks that type of stuff happens. I give you, Rob, Moshe, Art, and the rest of the mods a ton of credit. I don't think I'd have the patience for it.

6/11/2009 4:46:45 AM #

So Rob, that means you don't want to be considered the next time a moderator slot opens up? Wink

6/11/2009 4:49:29 AM #

The dude wants to see a list-nazi should join webdesign-l and see what happens.  Your posts will be blocked if you top-post, forget to trim, or a few other things that annoy the list mom (who by the way calls himself the jack-booted thug list mom).

I've been called a dinosaur and told I should maybe just leave because I don't embrace all the latest gizmos and technology.  This when I was complaining about how hard it was to browse some sites with my handheld PDA.

I only commented on the thread hijacking post because I wanted to point out that I will probably not even read your message because I consider the behavior lazy and rude.  Once upon a time there was netiquette and most people seemed to understand it.  I miss that.

Moderating a list is time consuming and hard.  I'm glad you guys do a good job, I wouldn't have the patience for it either.

6/11/2009 6:41:20 AM #

My presence on the group in question since starting a family has been verging on non-existent and without the help of Cheryl and the other moderators would never have continued! I hope for this to change in the future but it meant that I was not aware of this incident.

The group has become the great success it is today *because* of the way it is moderated in my opinion. I belong to other lists that do not let you top post and come down on you when you don't trim or post off-topic. I believe that the Adobe-Dreamweaver group has struck the right balance and it didn't reach this point without upsetting and losing a few members along the way.

Keep up the great work Cheryl, Rob, Moshe Art and William.

6/11/2009 7:10:17 AM #

Simon (ProNotion) you deserve credit for how well the list has done since you were top "list mom" for many years. During that time I watched many other web design/development lists disappear.

Rob Emenecker
Rob Emenecker
6/11/2009 10:32:00 PM #

Cheryl, I would be absolutely flattered if my name was in consideration as a prospective moderator. I would, however, have to give due thought to the offer, so that I was certain I could give the role the attention it required.

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