The Future of Cohousing-L mailing list
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 09:54:36 -0800 (PST)
I have managed Cohousing-L for over 21 years now, but WHAT IF I CROAK?

Someday I will no longer be able to manage the list. NOT ANY TIME SOON
but someday someone else will need to take over managing Cohousing-L.
I expect to continue managing the list for a good long time yet.

But life is unpredicatable; it seems like it would be wise to have a
contingency plan for succession of a manager.

There will be a session at the conference, currently scheduled for 4pm
Friday -- "Cohousing-L Email Group: Looking to the Future " where we can
discuss this (and other list related topics) but I wanted to start the
discussion here. ( Conf. page: )
My 68th birthday is during the Cohousing conference in North Carolina
in May which I will be attending for the first time since 1997.

I frequently get thanks for managing a useful and civil discussion
free of ads and distractions.  Such appreciation helps keep me at it.
There are occasional lulls in the discussion. ( There were very few
messages for about 4 weeks around last Thanksgiving. I was starting to
wonder if we had discussed everything :) Then it gets busy like the
last week or two...   We suffer from 'feast or famine'.

For now I presume this online discussion will continue to be useful
indefinitely. I and a number of people feel strongly that Cohousing-L
should continue to be independent of Coho/US.

With few exceptions it has been just me behind the scenes "managing"
cohousing-L.  The software is maintained by a great ISP (Tigertech in
Calif. ) and their tech support is also

My suggestion is that we establish and maintain a small "post-Fred
advisory group" of people with the interest and some expertise that
would agree to make arrangements for the list to continue when I can
no longer do so. The group's responsibilities would be:
o maintain contact with each other and with Fred over the long run
o recruiting someone to take over management tasks when needed.
  Fortunately the list would continue to run unattended for a while
  (tho some messages would not be distributed due to filters that
  keep the "quality" high).
o Arranging to pay the ISP ( currently I do that annually - it is only
  $75/year. )

If you are interested in being on such an advisory group or would
consider managing the list someday please feel free to reply to Fred
off list. There is a summary of tasks involved in managing cohousing-L
at end of this message.

Probably the key thing about managing the list (and an advisory group)
is the long term nature of it.  Management tasks are usually not a big
task, typically a few minutes EVERY DAY and it goes on for years.
Fortunately it fits into my life easily.

It would be desireable to have people on an advisory group who are
committed for years until they are needed.  They would have have
little to do til I croak. Ideally some advisors would be younger - say
under 50 ...

Fred ( below: Summary of tasks involved in managing cohousing-L )

Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:         My org:
Communications for Justice -- Free, superior listserv's w/o ads

Summary of tasks involved in managing cohousing-L
o Daily:
-- review a few posts held by software filters --
1) posted from a non-subscribed address
 a) some spam which gets discarded,
 b) post that is appropriate but came from an address that is not subscribed.
    Approve it for distribution.
    I generally send these posters a canned message suggesting actions they
    may want to take depending on the situation
2) post is too big
   a) excessive quoting like a quoted digest - several ways of dealing
      with these
   b) has an attachment that needs to be dealt with
   c) long but appropriate post, approve it

o Less than daily (a few time a week?) :
Deal with list related email.
There usually is not too much of this and it varies widely.  Most often
it is related to unsubscribing, subscribing, change of address.
Fortuantely cohousing folks are very good about dealing with these things
themselves via the forms on the Info Page ( )

o Other occcasional tasks include --
1) editing list related web pages
2) archiving subscriber list (I do it monthly)
3) reviewing procedures, writing "canned responses" to recurring requests
4) posting to the list related to discussion process. This is rare --
   Cohousing-L subscribers are  about the most civilized, thoughtful
   mailing list participants one could ask for.

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