An administrative note from the dance-tech moderator

Scott Sutherland (
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 11:34:32 -0500

Hello Everyone,

I've finally decided to do what people have been asking me to do for years.
I've flipped the switch to make the dance-tech list fully moderated. This
is something I've resisted until now for mostly philosophical reasons.
Specifically, I felt that on most low-volume lists, the list community
polices itself very well and it is not very difficult for recipients to
delete an occasional accidental or extra-topical posting. As a list grows,
however, it often becomes necessary to moderate it more actively simply to
keep the amount of noise down compared with the content.

There is no denying that this change has been immediately precipitated by
the recent exchange concerning a posting which I felt was inappropriate for
the list. This is also, however, an evolutionary step that has been coming
for a long time. This dance-tech list, which originally used to go weeks
without a posting now has a steady stream of messages and over two hundred
subscribers. Because of the volume and size, I can no longer successfully
moderate the list by sending out an occasional note. Furthermore, I hate
to see the inevitable flurry of unsubscribe requests and the messages from
disgruntled subscribers when the list gets far afield from our central
topic of dance & technology. So from now on, in an effort to provide the
best resource for the dance & tech community, I'll be moderating dance-tech
more like the medium size list it has become.

Unfortunately, this means that I have to manually confirm every message
before it goes out to the list. Most people should notice absolutely no
difference since I will simply forward the vast majority of messages to the
subscribers unchallenged. I will, however, stop distribution of certain
kinds of messages:

1) Accidental postings. We've all been caught by this on occasion, and I
can now prevent these embarrassing mistakes (except my own... guess I'll
just have to be careful :-).

2) Personal messages broadcast to the list. I'll simply forward them to
the intended recipients, instead of the whole list.

3) Spam. We haven't yet been hit by this, but other lists have. I'll
block any spam messages and commercial advertisements.

4) Extra-topical or inappropriate material. This is the tough one, and
there's no denying that it will require a judgement call. I intend to be
pretty liberal-minded about most things, but I intend to keep the subject
matter of the list reasonably close to dance technology. I don't intend to
stifle topical debate (even when it gets heated), but people who want to
debate other weighty matters like politics will have to do it on another

None of us like censorship, and I particularly do not like being labeled a
censor, but as the moderator of this list I feel an obligation to keep it
topical and useful. I hope I have the support of the list for this move,
but as always, I would like to hear from you.

- Scott Sutherland
dance-tech moderator

| Scott A. Sutherland -- |
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