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[ARSCLIST] The case for message boards.

With all due respect:

There are entirely too many people on this list to justify the amount
of three and four person conversations posted daily... to all of us.

At last May's meeting i talked to several people -- people who actually
attend the meetings -- that have either quit the list or simply ignore it now.
This is bad, for a number of reasons, and i cannot help but think that it is
the result of ARSClist functioning through email since -- and understandably
so - it is very easy to forget that each and every post is sent to hundreds of people.

My contention is that too many of these conversations are indeed that -
*conversations* between only a handful of people - and not something
appropriate for mass distribution. Here a message board would come in
handy as i would no longer be the recipient forty messages a day, the
majority of which are of little interest to me professionally.

Secondly, and to the point about klunky interfaces, it is my opinion that
message boards are infinitely easier to navigate when searching for old
messages/topics. If i were interested in messages regarding copyright, i could
go to the [Copyright] section. Likewise, for other issues: preservation, engineering,
cataloging, discography. Instead, and as it stands now, a search among the
ARSClist archives results in a list of messages about which context is a
near-mystery, since it is possible for any one message to have several replies,
none of which are linked. Add to this the fact that search queries (currently) produce
results only at the message level - rather than entire threads, with all posts
in chronological order - and you have nothing short of a complete mess.

(Have you ever tried to print an entire ARSClist thread in chronological order??)

The question becomes: is this list a country club or are we providing a service
for the sound collections community? I'm of the opinion that it is the latter.

thanks and happy friday,

____________________________________ Brandon Burke Archivist for Audio Collections Hoover Institution Archives Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305-6010 vox: 650.724.9711 fax: 650.725.3445 email: burke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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