Re: [-empyre-] Size matters?

Charlotte, Peter et al,

Just to keep my toes in the water here -- the experience of growing FACES has been very specific but has some reflection points vis a vis this discussion. The FACES list initiallty grew from personal meetings between women (no advertising or solicitation was ever made). Then, the list subscribers passed information to their friends and associates -- etc. -- and events were organised on the list, and then by list members themselves (with no moderators involved -- which we thought was really great btw). It was all about personal connections. So, as you say, at first (back in the days when there were not 'so many' lists that connected people internationally on the topic of net and new media stuff) it was definately more chatty and personal among the women who knew each other. When a new person subscribed, we always posted a bio and asked them to introduce themselves (much as in a normal social situation). When no bio was submitted, with very few exceptions, the woman was not subscribed.

When the list grew to include many different language groups, we became aware of smaller lists springing up among women in various goegraphic locations -- these might have started up on their own anyway, especially since they became easier to manage without being a sysop -- but it also seems that communicating freely in one's language is very attractive. Also, let's be honest, we all have our local/specific interests to explore (in addition to complex net and art theory) that may be considered too esoteric (and may I say insignificant) for a larger - more international discussion lists.

As an example, here in Manchester, we have just this year started up a list among women who are involved in art, cinema, and education. It is pretty specific -- to connect and inform each other to interesting events and to meet together from time to time. It started with a huge get together/dinner, and it continues to work as a friendly association that is much appreciated! I didn't start this up, btw, but I participate and enjoy it. There are approx. 25 women participating now (and more and more ask to be included).


At 23:47 11/08/2004 +0200, you wrote:
Charlotte Frost wrote:
I have witnessed this too, and some of the lists I read most tend to be the
smaller ones. I also find that the archives of some of the bigger lists are
very difficult to search. I find nettime a pain to find stuff on and I know
others do too, which is really annoying because I wasn't online during some
of the debates most relevant to my research, and I can't sit around waiting
for them to published in books now can I?!
When there is no archive, they become more like Left Bank Coffee Houses etc
and this is a very interesting arena in itself, perhaps where just having
the discussions and conversations is what counts...and laying testament
occurs in the art works or outcomes of such conversations....
Do you find these lists more fruitful for the production of work? Do they
foster workable collaborations?

My personal experience is that lists where you know a lot of people in person make you easier respond to things. What I do however think is that on (small) closed lists you easier drop personal ideas and opinions, but also more banal things like gossip or questions that seem to be to stupid to ask on bigger lists with archives, they are just more intimate. To get to your question if they are more fruitful for the production of work, I think in some sense they are, because you can ask questions (as for example programming related) you probably wouldn't ask on the bigger list. If you ask me if they foster workable collaborations my experience is that they have more chance in contributing to this than the larger lists.

Peter _______________________________________________ empyre forum

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