Viable online discussions [was: CoHo Tech Group convener
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2019 08:50:51 -0700 (PDT)
On 2 Jun 2019 Tom from Gather wrote on cohousing-L :
Subj:Coho Tech Meetup Minutes [at Portland Conf.]
> - There were about 20-25 people in attendance.
> - After a brief intro by Tom Smyth, we discussed future
> communications. The group agreed not to create yet another email list for
> coho tech topics, but to use Cohousing-L instead to communicate about these
> topics in future. We noted there is a good amount of tech-related
> discussion on that list already.

On 19 Jun 2019  Alan O'Hashi wrote:

>Greetings Cohousers - The Cohousing Association wants to connect "affinity
>groups" by creating facebook groups to keep off-line interests connected
>online. I'm looking for someone who attended the Tech affinity group at the
>Portland conference.
>I contacted Tom Smyth of was the informal convener about someone who
>might have the interest and time to help manage the group.

Tech folks (and others) are certainly welcome to communicate on
Cohousing-L, at least until a high volume of messages develops.

A few thoughts on setting up online group discussions.

For a discussion to be viable (have an ongoing flow of messages to a
desired number of people), generally you need either a sizeable group
of participants or commited people who have a strong intention to keep
the conversation going. Otherwise discussion tends to wither after
some time. Cohousing-L has numbers (1100+) and some dedicated folks
These observations are particularly true of web based discussions that
require people to "go to them"  (unlike email which comes to participants
so as long as they check their email).

I do not know if Facebook groups have an email option.  If email is
needed to keep particpation up, there may be the problem of getting
people to configure that email option for web based discussions.

Another problem with Facebook is that there are a fair number of
us who refuse to use Facebook.

Discussions based on carbon copy email to participants are easy to
start up but if the list of particpants changes it is very easy for
old cc lists to get used and some people will not get all messages.
And some people may get email they do not desire but are reluctant
to request to be dropped (and replies to old messages will often
mean they continue to get messages).

Listservs take some effort to get started and become viable.
Many more lists are set up than become and stay viable. On the other
hand, if the volume gets high this can be inconvenient for some
subscribers. Having too many related listservs can make it difficult
to know which to post to.  Having easy to use searchable archives is a
must, IMHO. Some dedicated folks may opt to just read the archives.

On the whole I still think email listservs are the most viable for many

Fred (cohousing-L manager 1993 - ?  Someday I will no longer be
      the manager, interested folks should contact me. )

Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:
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