CUBE Hints for Moderators
In January 1999, a lively discussion took place among at least
some members of the Concordia community as to what kinds of
material would be appropriate to post to an "unsolicited
broadcast mail" service. Although most of the discussion
centered around what staff members would agree to receive or
object to receiving, the discussion could still prove helpful to
moderators of student-only lists.
Here is a summary of the contributions:
- Neil Schwartzman:
Use standard subject lines, similar to those in use in
concordia.announce, to facilitate filtering.
- Rich Lafferty:
A policy of minimizing the number of recipients -- starting at the
smallest group and going up until everyone who needs to receive
a particular message does so. That is, if something is important
for, say, unionized staff, then the unionized-staff list *must*
be used, as compared to a general staff list (assuming both
Ideally, it would be a case of optimization in terms of excluding
noninterested parties over that of including interested parties,
but I realize that that might be extreme -- that is, to send to a
smaller list which will miss a dozen interested parties rather than
to send to a larger one which will hit two dozen noninterested parties.
- Bill Curran:
I guess the only hesitation I have about this is the potential "gray
area" where personal, self-interest announcements and messages are
considered of such a nature that an academic community "could be"
interested in hearing. For example, if the Cancer Society were to
sponsor a series of lectures on nutrition and a member of staff who is
on the Board of, or otherwise involved with the Society, considers that
every member of the academic community "should be" interested in
nutrition, then every one "should know" about the lecture series and the
announcements go out. There are countless other examples. Policing this
could be more difficult than one thinks. Still, I guess we'll learn by
trying it out.
- Larry Thiel:
I would certainly hope that advertisements, even from a university
organisation, would NOT be considered acceptable. It is my impression
that this proposed list service is for conveying information that the
target audience really should see (with a high degree of probability,
at least), not information that they don't need to see, but that
might be useful to some of them.
My personal ideas of appropriate use may be given by examples:
- A notice that the university was giving everyone an across the
board 10% raise would be something that we should all see, and
would generate no complaints, I assume.
- A notice that the next paycheque can't be issued due to a
precocious year 2K bug is also something that we should all see,
though with less enthusiasm.
- A notice of the next pension plan general meeting is also a
notice that we should all see, even though most of us (including
me, I'm afraid) never have and probably never will attend.
- An announcement for an event that was significant to the running
of the university would qualify (e.g. the next road show on space
planning for the university as a whole).
- An announcement for a "normal" event (e.g. Convocation) might
qualify, but I would think not. Only a few staff members go to
it. However, this would qualify for sending to faculty members
in the concerned Faculties.
- An announcement of a social or cultural event, no matter how
important, would not qualify (except when it is a university
event, like the shuffle, not just a university sponsored event).
- But advertisements, even though I might be interested in the
product, are not something that I should see.
Copyright, © 2004,
Instructional and Information Technology Services
Author: Anne Bennett
Credits: Neil Schwartzman, Rich Lafferty, Bill Curran, Larry Thiel
Last update: 2000/08/24 -- Anne Bennett