[okfn-coord] Some thoughts about mailing list access

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Wed Jun 10 12:01:42 UTC 2009

dear all,

The critical feedback on http://www.pledgebank.com/support-okfn
has got me thinking about organisation models a lot.

One feature of OSGeo's Board is that its mailing list is public
(open archives, anyone can join subject to moderation).
There is a private alias which is only used for discussions
which involve uncertain money/contracts or may impact
peoples' jobs or reputations, and it's almost never used.

OKFN has historically had a discuss list per project/effort
with a coord list reserved for "sensitive" matters, partly
on the grounds that the more is talked about in public,
the more people feel inspired to get involved/ that they
have a stake.

Right now the okfn-discuss list is "too public" for matters
that don't *need* to be private (such as my loose talk about
JISC funding calls where there are several JISC people
listening on the discuss list). It has too large and disparate
a subscriber base to discuss detail of running the Foundation.

I realise it's also not viable to open up archive access
to this coord list as there is sensitive stuff in the archives.
I don't want to create or be on another list, so i would
suggest that we try to move more to the existing okfn-help list
(topics like Becky's effort to get us free designer time,
and where it would be used).

I turned up this piece of writing by Chris Holmes about
the early days of OSGeo, and i found it quite relevant
to the organisational "growing pains" that OKFN is having now.

I wonder what others think,


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