Mailing lists vs private conversations
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:10:45 -0700 (MST)
E-mail is a marvelous communication tool. Through it we can have written
correspondence with people we would never have met otherwise. This mailing
list is about cohousing and has several hundred people on it from all over
the world. When you send something to the list, you are sending it all those
people, all over the world. In addition, the postings to this list are
available on websites. So anything you write here is public information that
can be seen by anybody in the world, even those not subscribed to the
mailing list. Your mother can read your posts, your boss, your spouse,
anybody. People also can search the web for topics and mail from this list
comes up. Just yesterday I got a reply from some e-mail I had sent to this
list more than 5 years ago!

Sometimes it is better to send things only to a few recipients. This is the
key decision you need to make, every time you press the Send button. It is
best to keep flames private by replying in person. If you feel like yelling
at somebody, all the rest of the world is probably better off not hearing
it. And if you send it to the whole list, the words you may regret later
will be posted for the whole world to see, potentially forever.

Rob Sandelin
Northwest Intentional Communities Association
Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time

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