The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: How to keep this list thriving
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jun 12, 1995 6:34 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Annie Fetter

Posts: 524
Registered: 12/3/04
How to keep this list thriving
Posted: Jun 12, 1995 12:29 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Since last Wednesday, more than 10% of the subscribers to this list have
unsubscribed. (More would have if they could figure out how - more on that
later.) That's 51 out of about 480. I have gotten notes from several of
those people, explaining their reasons for unsubscribing. They have been
distressed about the drop in quality of the postings and the general tone,
which is not quite what it was a month ago or more.

We have never agreed on strict guidelines for this groups. I originally
had this brilliant and inspired idea that a group for discussion about the
NCTM Standards should do just that, but I think we've agreed by default
that any general discussion about the teaching of mathematics is okay. It
has been said that "if you don't want to read it, don't read it". Easy
enough if you have a good way to read mail, but many don't. I have a great
way to read mail, but I get so much mail that I can't even keep up with
reading all of nctm-l (now y'all will think I'm Bob Dole, complaining about
things I haven't seen/read!). It means that every few days I spend an
entire morning or afternoon reading everything, answering to the
administrative problems and questions people have, and trying to keep up.
While I'm lucky enough to be able to consider this part of my job, it's not
the only part of my job, and other things do suffer.

Let me lay out a few "guidelines" that I think we can agree on. Please
stop me if I'm out of line.

1) SAVE THE WELCOME MESSAGE! Do not send your unsubscribe messages to
this or any other list. You must learn to be a reponsible member of an
online community. This starts with learning the ropes. So save all your
welcome/subscribe messages in a folder somewhere. They don't take up much
room on a hard drive, and hundreds of people will thank you. If you still
can't figure it out, or already threw that out, you can almost always, with
a mailing list, send to <list>-owner@the.list.address - in this case, it
would be This will go to an actual
person (me, in this case), who is happy to answer your question (though who
will encourage you to treat the exchange as a learning experience). And
take some time out to learn about mailing lists in general. I am happy to
mail you something, but there is tons of stuff available on the net as
well. Or if you have one of those thick Internet books, read up a bit. We
all learned the rules of the road before we were allowed to drive. Made
life a lot easier for a lot of people. Please treat the Internet the same
way - you have certain responsibilities if you're going to be a member of
this community.

2) Don't use this list as a resource to find people or contact people
whose email bounces. Again, the odds are that you're sending a message to
hundreds of people who can't help you. If you are having a problem with
mail bouncing to a person, learn to read the bounced mail carefully.
Sometimes it will say "host unknown" or "user unknown". Many times that's
due to a typo on your part. Sometimes the message will say "Host
unreachable". Sometimes machines crash or are taken down for maintenance.
If you can't resolve things by studying the bounced mail, contact your
local system administrator or postmaster (you can usually mail to
postmaster@address). They will help you figure it out. As a last resort,
contact the owner of the list. They can check and see if the address
you're trying to reach is really on the list and if that's the address the
list uses.

3) When replying to a message, please edit out parts of the original
message that you aren't directly replying to. Long messages are harder to
read, especially if there's a lot of quoted stuff and it's hard to find the
new text. If you're posting something in reply to a topic, but aren't
actually responding directly to the comments in another post, delete all
the old text.

Enough for now. If indeed you are disillusioned with the quality of the
discussion on this list, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to (majordomo is the software we use that
administers all of our mailing lists). The message should read

unsubscribe nctm-l

If you have problems that, mail me, or majordomo-owner, or nctm-l-owner,
all (Yes, all those addresses go to me presently,
but it's good practice for you.)

We can talk content another time.


Annie Fetter | The Geometry Forum | Voice: 610 328-8225
Project Coordinator | Swarthmore College | 800 756-7823 | Swarthmore PA 19081 | Fax: 610 328-7824

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.