Re: Email
From: R.P. Aditya (
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10:29:11 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 10:19:30AM -0500, Sharon Villines wrote:
> One of the items posted here is the email policy. I'm curious why your
> community thinks decisions can't be made on email. I find it a great
> place to make some decisions and is saves enormous amounts of meeting
> time. It also provides a written record.

I think you are referring to this document:

and probably this section:


  * All non-emergency or non-time-critical decisions will get made at
  committee meetings, not via email. This is not meant to shut down
  committee discussions on email, but to ensure that decisions get put
  into committee minutes.

Although we ask that non-emergency/non-time-critical decisions be made
in person in a face-to-face meeting, we do have long, complex and
involved discussions via email all the time. We do have a written record
of every discussion and decision and refer back to them often.

The reason for that explicit request to make decisions in a meeting in
the policy is that just as there are so many of us who use the written
word to communicate effectively, we also have to include those who
prefer to do it verbally. 

However much I (and apparently you) would prefer the clarity of written
discussions, there are times when the emotional content isn't carried or
misinterpreted in writing or simply doesn't suit everyone.

I've come to learn that having the face-to-face meeting will save time
in the long-term just because you are in fact including many people who
the written discussion would not.

> I love email (as you can tell) and don't find that it has the
> limitations ascribed to it, but I do have the advantage of being a
> writer and think better if I can write. As an introvert, I find face
> to face laborious and long, and every bit as contentious as people say
> email is. My worst conversations have been face to face.

The thing I like to remind myself is that decision making isn't simply
about doing the right thing, it is also important to include everyone in
the community and make sure they are heard however they want to give
their input.


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