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[casi] a plea

Dear list,

I think the list is working excellently at the moment with many valuable
and interesting threads of discussion. However, at the moment there are on
average 30 messages each day to the list; this is above the limit that
most of us can cope with. I certainly don't have time to read them all and
I know that many others do not either.

Now - before anyone fires off an angry message to me - I am not suggesting
that anyone should cease contributing to the list. BUT I would urge that
in this time of crisis, when there is almost limitless information that
could be sent out to the list, you exercise more self-editing than usual
and NOT simply fire off messages to the list without a second thought. In
particular, you might like to ponder the following questions. Please read
them carefully, especially the first!

off, please check to see whether someone has already posted it in the last
few days.

2. SENDING ARTICLES - is this article so important that it cannot wait to
for the weekly news digest sent by Peter Brooke? If it can wait, please
send it to him for inclusion. I would suggest this category should include
all articles that are not either important breaking news or insightful new
in-depth analysis pieces. If it really cannot wait, are you going to find
another essential article in another hour's time? If so perhaps you could
wait until the end of the day and send them all in one message?

3. Am I answering a simple factual question that has already been
fully and properly answered by someone else? If so please don't!

4. Am I forwarding or replying to a message from another email list?
(Al-Awda members please note!!) If so am I including enough information so
that those on the CASI list who are *not* following the discussion on the
other list can understand why the message is relevant? On the whole these
messages tend to be fairly obscure, and as a rule should be avoided.

5. Should I be sending an answer to an email to the whole list, or would
it be sufficient to send an answer directly to the particular author of
the message?  Jocular two-line responses to emails tend to fall in this
category. At a less busy time for the list these would be less of a
problem, at the moment they are just unnecessary distraction.

6. Am I engaging mouth before brain?:-). Far be it from me to suggest any
particular examples, but sometimes it might be worth putting an email on
hold for an hour, re-reading it and thinking 'do the 200+ people on the
list really need my thoughts on this issue? Have I said this before? Am I
repeating what someone else has said?' I personally bin at least two
or three of my own messages every week having answered 'no' to this
question. This particularly applies to angry/irritated messages!

7. List manager particular plea - turn OFF your HTML option in your email
software and DON'T SEND ATTACHMENTS OF ANY KIND! C. 2/3 messages are day
are intercepted by the list software for these reasons, which wastes both
my time having to send them back and explain what the problem is, and yours
having to send the message again in appropriate format.

8. That's it. I am NOT targeting any particular individuals here. I would
merely suggest that those contributors currently sending more than 2
messages a day to the list might take particular note of the above

Many thanks for bearing with me. Also please note - if I do not reply
quickly to messages at the moment (or intervene instantly if a list
crisis develops), it is because i have hurt my back and so can only spend
limited amounts of time sitting at the computer at the moment.

CASI list manager

Abi Cox
Clare College

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