GN?: Proposal for List Changes
From: jlynnb (
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 16:56:45 -0500
First, Thanks Dan for a succinct point of clarification around IC's! 

Second, regarding the Urbanics list discussion...
I think cohousing in all its glorious manifestations needs as many
people talking about it as possible. Given that, I have to admit I feel
we are best served by one list. This is in no way to take away from
Micheal's desire to serve a need he saw arise. Please read on...

Cohousing lists could be generated along many lines: Urban and Rural or
Retrofits and Ground ups, or In Progress and Living In. Each has
differing  issues, needs and growth patterns. I truly like the bigger
sense of community, the very real sense of connectivity to an extended
group of people having similar dreams, aiming for the same reality,
irregardless of the details of their structures, or their local bylaws.
The sense of camaraderie is so important for those times we falter, for
the celebratory announcements in our quest, for the day-to-dayness. THIS
latter "meta-purpose" is why I am continuous list member, and not just
an occasional user. 

I have inhabited both lists, and found topics got carried back and forth
across both lists or simply posted to both - great for the
"one-list-only" users - annoying for those of us who belonged to both
because we didn't want to miss potentially useful lines of information.
No judgement beyond that, simply stating a feeling. 

The existence of the excellent coho-L archives allows any of us at any
time to research a particular topic/thread. I have searched nearly ALL
the archives -every year's worth - to find stuff for our Toronto
retrofit group - I really do NOT want to re-invent perfectly good
wheels!!! Yet the creative message titles are not always clear about

Thus, there are two intertwined threads here for me, both concerning
efficiency - something us busy folks all aim for! First, how do we
serve  apparently divergent communities (emphasis on "apparent").
Second, how could we more efficiently read our daily coho mail and/or
search for archived messages? 

I PROPOSE that we revise the format for SUBJECT TITLES. Could we send
all messages with a short standardized "prefix"? I saw something like
this on WITSENDO - an ENDOMETRIOSIS list. It SEEMS possible to address
some of the amibiguity about content by generating a very simple *SHORT*
list of suitable prefixes. Each compact prefix is built from two
components: the content marker and the query type. This could be as
UB = urban content
RL = rural specific
$$ = money issues
LG = legals
RF = retrofit
GU = Ground Up or LD = Lot Development, etc. 
CS = Common Space 
GN = general interest 
CN = Canadian content (sorry, we hear this all the time around our

?: question, input needed
Re: reply to (using this here instead of at the beginning prevents a
non-useful sort of data all beginning with "RE:") 
!: interesting tidbit
et cetera... 

My message was sent as: "GN?: Proposal for List Changes". If I wanted to
find it later, along with any related replies, in either the archives or
future list mailings/digests I could, in theory, scan for just that
prefix (after year and month sort) and have a smaller data pool to
search thru. 

The prefix list could be included in the original welcome to coho-L
document, and/or included in the monthly message from Fred Olson. And
then hardcopied and posted beside our communication tool for those of us
with smaller working buffers ;) In effect, we would then spread
responsibility back to originators - us - to categorize our creations as
we saw best fitting the bigger group. This MIGHT provide another version
of clarity, eliminating the need for two lists, yet allowing us to
benefit from the broader data pool as we chose. 

Thoughts??  ANY modifications, revisions, alternate systems are welcomed
for discussion.

Happy Thanksgiving from Toronto. It is a glorious crisp, sunny, pungent
autumn day full with maple colours in pockets all over our tree-filled
city. I held my god-daughter (my first babe as doula) this weekend for
the first time in 6 months. My 10 year old daughter is still talking
about attending the ceremony with 40,000 other kids where Nelson Mandela
received the Order of Canada. My 6 year old son thinks Grade One is "300
times better" than kindergarten. It is a good day. Bless us all. 

Julie Busch
Riverdale Cohousing Group
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