[Architecture] Techniques for effectively using our mailing lists (was Re: Communication between Matchmaker and PCP)

Tsakou Gianna gtsakou at singularlogic.eu
Tue Apr 29 04:34:46 EDT 2014


Gregg,

I fully agree with Colin and Antranig. And I think we need to adopt and reinforce this open discussion approach in Prosperity for All as well. By reinforce, I mean that all project teams working on a topic SHOULD post on the relevant list their working discussions (and not only the results of their discussions, unless there is a very specific topic that can be taken off line). Posting only the results of a discussion on the list makes other interested persons unable to contribute and, in the worst case, forces them to agree to a result that they would rather form in a different way simply because it is too late to re-discuss it. BTW, I am afraid that the latter is an approach we are taking in P4A and it is a bit worrying...

We should also make sure that all necessary teams are included in the relevant list(s). Subscribing to a RELEVANT for their work list should not be an option.

We probably need fewer lists in C4A so that it is clear which list to address each time (as a recipient or cc) and avoid including 2-3 lists in the same email.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

Gianna





> -----Original Message-----
> From: architecture-bounces at lists.gpii.net [mailto:architecture-
> bounces at lists.gpii.net] On Behalf Of Antranig Basman
> Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 12:59 AM
> To: architecture at lists.gpii.net
> Subject: Re: [Architecture] Techniques for effectively using our mailing
> lists (was Re: Communication between Matchmaker and PCP)
>
> Thanks for your response, Gregg.
> My view is that we require the transparency that one or more public lists
> provide, and need to set a clear
> expectation that our work is done such a venue by default - unless there
> are specific reasons justifying why
> a particular communication is better made privately.
>
> I know that all of us are suffering from overflowing inboxes, but
> unfortunately the ability to monitor
> multiple feeds of information, skimming for relevance if necessary and
> applying filters to organise the
> information as appropriate, is one of the requirements for those aspiring
> to any kind of managerial or
> coordinating role in a technical project. This goes through doubly for a
> project such as ours which is
> entirely supported by public funds and has a mission to serve the public
> in general. We are being paid
> specifically to maintain our technical and coordination material in a
> public way.
>
> Our architecture list, by the standards of any comparable open source
> project, has extremely low traffic -
> perhaps it averages one or two posts per day. In general it carries
> information that every member of our
> communities should be interested in - even if necessarily there are some
> messages which are more specific to
> one or another of our subprojects.
>
> As an example, the thread "What do new contributors and implementers need
> to know" between Justin Obara and
> Tony Atkins earlier this month is a perfect example of a conversation that
> every member of our communities
> should be aware of.
>
> http://lists.gpii.net/pipermail/architecture/2014-April/subject.html
>
> I disagree with the suggestion that we avoid circulating discussion to
> lists (such as this one) by default.
>
> Cheers,
> Antranig
>
> On 28/04/2014 14:11, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> > Hi Colin,
> >
> > This causes other problems — but lets take this off list and come back a
> the resolution.
> >
> > Other’s with thoughts keep posting them — and/or send me an email to
> join this discussion and i’ll plug you
> > in to it.   Taking it offline because it may be more complicated and a
> short call to discuss and problem
> > solve might be in order.
> >
> > Will wait a few more days for any other thoughts — or people who want to
> join — and then have a call
> > including both the Cloud4all and Prosperity4All communication committee
> members as well.
> >
> > thanks
> >
> > gregg
> >
> > On Apr 28, 2014, at 2:58 PM, Colin Clark <colinbdclark at gmail.com
> <mailto:colinbdclark at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Gregg,
> >>
> >> I’d suggest that we try to avoid placing too many restrictions on our
> use of the mailing lists. In
> >> general, we want to encourage people to use the mailing list for any
> and all project-related
> >> communication. I worry that having complicated formal policies will put
> a damper on that. It would be
> >> great to try to keep it simple and encourage people to use their mail
> program’s filters to appropriately
> >> sort traffic.
> >>
> >> I have found that addressing emails to certain people and CCing the
> list is a very effective technique. In
> >> particular, this technique helps recipients understand when a topic
> needs their attention, while still
> >> allowing the community follow along. This is crucial for the lazy
> consensus that is so important to a
> >> healthy open project—people should be able to follow along with the
> decision-making process, and then only
> >> need to respond if they have a concern or issue.
> >>
> >> http://en.osswiki.info/concepts/lazy_consensus
> >>
> >> In general, the approach we’ve taken on the architecture list--and
> which I hope we can foster more broadly
> >> across the GPII, Cloud4All, and Prosperity4All--is roughly this:
> >>
> >> * if you are sending a general post that you want everyone to look at
> and consider, send it TO the mailing
> >> list
> >> * if you are having a smaller group discussion, but want to ensure that
> the rest of the community is able
> >> to follow along, address it to individual recipients and CC the mailing
> list
> >> * then, only in rare cases, you might send an off-list mails to a
> private group and summarize the results
> >> later
> >>
> >> This works well for people who have set up sensible mail filters for
> the lists, which is very important
> >> for participating in the projects without having your inbox swamped.
> Filters are part of all modern email
> >> clients, and they make it easy to move list messages into a dedicated
> mailbox for periodic consultation.
> >> From there, it’s easy to ensure that any emails that are addressed to
> you, or contain your name, or
> >> contain a topic keyword that you’re interested in, remain in your inbox
> for quick response.
> >>
> >> Another important technique to help people filter out the signal from
> the noise on a healthy mailing list
> >> is to always ensure that the subject line remains accurate and up to
> date. If a conversation started about
> >> one topic and then shifted to another, it’s very helpful to change the
> subject line or start a new thread.
> >> You can see how I’ve done exactly this for this thread, updating the
> subject line to summarize the current
> >> discussion.
> >>
> >> Thoughts?
> >>
> >> Colin
>
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