Re: gudielines for communication
From: Kevin Wolf (
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 01:39 CDT
At the end of this string Pablo writes a thoughtful piece on what is 
advertising and the pr{blems with it on the net.  I would like to hear 
cohousers thoughts on what of the following would cross the line into 
being unacceptable to post to this list.

1.  A letter answering a question on financing cohousing with an end note 
saying that you are a professional in this field and are available for hire.

2.  A booklet on Making Meetings Successful with a cover letter saying 
that if people liked the booklet they could send $5 to help cover the 
ccosts of developing it.  Or they could order hardcopies in bulk by mail
for their community mates.

3.  An announcement of a training program in (meeting process, financing, 
living together, etc) for a price.   What if the training was a 
fundraiser for the community.

One of the above I would like to send hhere but I would like to know what 
the etiquette.  I look forward to your replies.  Please post to the list.

Kevin Wolf
724 N St
Davis, CA 95616
phone and fax: 916-758-4211

On Wed, 25 May 1994, Pablo Halpern wrote:

> > From: david sucher <dsucher [at]>
> > 
> > On Tue, 24 May 1994, Joel Spector wrote:
> > 
> > david sucher wrote:
> > > >Suppose one wanted to take part in starting a cohousing group because i
> > > >would be very personally gratifying, fulfilling and beneficial....
> > > >Would it be appropriate to make an overture to others on this list 
> > > >and invite them to join in?
> > > 
> > > Fine by me.  Where?
> > > 
> > > Joel
> > 
> > My point was 'What's the difference between personal benefit and profit?'
> > 
> Personal benefit is when you are involved in something and you want others 
> to work on it with you or otherwise support you. You are not in it for money 
> or any other reason other than to get a community built (or whatever).  
> Since supporting cohousing a the primary objective of this mailing list, 
> posting such an appeal here would be totally appropriate.
> Profit is money.  Some people make profits doing very worthwhile things.  
> Other people make profits by exploitation.  The problem is that if the most 
> obvious purpose is to make a profit, then the underlying ethics can be hard 
> to read.  I draw the line when the primary (or at least a major) purpose of 
> a promotion is to make a profit for the person doing the promotion.  You can 
> tell me about a great toy for my kids and I will take that at face value if 
> you do not work for the toy manafacturer.  The toy would be just as good 
> even if you *do* work for the manafacturer but I don't have the time or 
> inclination to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to potentially 
> profit-motivated promotions.  In the latter case, I would probably consider 
> the promotion to be an ad and would not consider it appropriate for 
> unsolicited EMAIL.  If, on the other hand, you made toys for no profit 
> because you believed in it, I would expect you to say so and I would treat 
> the communication differently.
> Again, its not that making a profit is bad (I work for money and promote 
> myself), it's just that I expect commercial advertisements to be labled as 
> such and kept away from my EMAIL box.
> Specifically, the Mt. Shasta ad was an ad, pure and simple.  We all know it. 
> People try to make ads sound like "in your interest" all the time.  I'm 
> tired of giving such people the benefit of the doubt.  The ad might be sent 
> to someone who appreciates it and I might be interested in what any given ad 
> has to say, but that does not change the fact that it is an ad.  The NSF 
> rules for use of their internet backbone discourage (prohibit?) comercial 
> advertising. The Mt. Shasta ad is a violation of this principle.  If we 
> permit this kind of thing, the next ad may be more offensive, and they may 
> start coming more frequently. Even if I liked the Mt. Shasta ad, I don't 
> want to set the precident of conding electronc junk mail.
> - Pablo
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Pablo Halpern              (508) 435-5274         phalpern [at]
> New View Neighborhood Development, Acton, MA
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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