Re: use of email for communication
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 02:21:08 -0700 (MST)
Joani Blank <jeblank [at]> wrote on 2/18/00 6:17 PM:

>If someone in your group has no email or checks it very infrequently,  ask
>someone with email to be his or her buddy and take responsibility to convey
>important messages by phone.

The approach EBCOHO [East Bay CoHousing] has taken includes 'buddy' 
program elements, for all members, whether or not they are on e-mail. But 
at the core, the attitude is: if they don't have e-mail, help them get 
e-mail... it can make the whole group communcation much more efficient. 
But at least one member insists that we can't assume that he's read 
e-mail at meetings.

The group's operations committee is working on building a web-based 
intranet [members-only area] that will make it easier to find key 
documents and track the decision log, with mapping to meetings so you can 
see who was there. My hope in the long run is to encourage the group to 
adopt an open-source policy for all but 
personal/proprietary/site-specific/negotiation-related info... just as it 
has benefited from other group's postings here, policies, documents, and 
experiences, it'll make it easier for groups that follow (and improve the 
quality of what's available) if we share our tools and documents online 
as we go.

I was surprised to find OOCoHo [Old Oakland at Swan's Market], when 
presented with a proposal related to requesting use of e-mail for certain 
communication functions in the interest of making meetings more 
efficient, adopt a policy (at a meeting I missed) that seems to 
specifically prohibit its use for discussions because some people don't 
like it. Clearly, different people have very different ways of using this 
tool, and a group has to find what's comfortable for its members (and 
potential members). I think a lot of tensions within the group will 
diffuse (or at least mutate into new, more creative tensions) once we 
have interactions with each other in person more than at two formal, 
packed-schedule monthly meetings.


Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]> <>
Looking forward to living in community -- so near, yet so far!

  Member, Old Oakland [CA] Cohousing at Swan's Market
Where we're signing mortgage papers next week! Punchlist is started.

  Member, East Bay Cohousing [no site yet] <>
Which has a few openings at its Getting It Built workshop 2/26-27.

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