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SICP, discussion consolidation, and the Google Group

From: Paul S.
Sent on: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:19 PM
Unfortunately, things may be getting even more scattered for the
discussions of SICP. As was brought up during tonight's SICP 1.1 session,
some are buried in event discussions, some are on the Clojadelphia meetup
main discussion list, and some are in the SICP-specific Google Group...and
posts to the Google Group are not getting responses.

I just discovered that, when I joined the Google Group, my settings
defaulted to "no email delivery", so I had no idea that anyone was actually
sending messages to the list.  Simply trying to find my way back to the
Google Group was a pain.

I'm not at all a fan of Meetup's approach to discussion...it is difficult
to navigate, and by its nature it facilitates fragmentation and shallow
online conversations. This is even worse once the Google Group is added
into the mix, since many people who may be interested in the SICP
discussions may not be members of the Google Group. The splintering of some
of the discussions to sublists also reduces the coherence of the
community. 

I'm much more a fan of having everyone receive everything, and if they
aren't interested in particular things they can simply delete the messages
they don't find relevant, create a filter, or set digest mode to wrap
multiple messages into a single email. The result is that community members
have an ambient awareness of the types of conversations that are happening,
along with the personalities of those who are participating in them. This
helps build a strong community.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but if we're sticking with the current
setup I'd suggest:

  (a) Making sure that links to the Google Group are prominent in all SICP-
  related Meetup announcements.

  (b) When someone makes a useful SICP-related post and sends it to the
  Clojadelphia group, someone should suggest that he or she should cc: it
  to the Google Group.

  (c) If you're subscribed to the Google Group and do not regularly access
  the web interface, make sure you've set one of the email notification
  options so you stay abreast of new discussions.

  (d) All discussions of *scheduling* of times for SICP meetups should be
  done through the Meetup site (or at least cc'd to the main Clojadelphia
  meetup discussion list).

Annoyingly, the awful Google Groups web interface makes it almost
impossible to figure out how to send messages to it via email. Once you're
subscribed, email can be sent to

  [address removed]

For general Clojadelphia discussion, the main Meetup mailing list address
is

  [address removed]

Paul

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