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835Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Are we serious?

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  • Mark Goodacre
    May 20, 2007
      Thanks for the interesting posts, Kym, and for getting discussion on the
      list going again. In response to the general point about the quietness of
      the list, I think there are several things operating. One is that in
      general e-lists are less active than they once were. The overall trend is
      towards less frequency in posting. Compare the traffic on Xtalk, for
      example, and note how there are in general fewer posts every month than
      there used to be. To some extent, I think this is due to the new kid on the
      block, which is blogging. Those with blogs will be more inclined to post
      their thoughts there than they will on an email list. It's also a question
      of personnel. I used to post on Synoptic-L regularly, for example, and this
      was in large part because I was working intensively on the Synoptic Problem
      at that time. I still work on the Synoptic Problem but at the moment it is
      not my main research interest and I am currently working on other things.
      Again, there will be others in the same situation.

      I think that it is also important to observe that some posts that are more
      likely to stimulate discussion than others. In general, if you look back
      over the history of this and other lists, the posts that generate most
      discussion, the most successful thread starters, are those that are short,
      pithy, and home in on an interesting phenomenon, a useful piece of data, an
      observation, a critical thought, and so on. On the whole, people don't have
      the time to respond to essay-posts, and they are regularly the least
      successful thread starters.

      They are just my reflections on the relative quietness of the list, but
      others will have different thoughts.

      With best wishes
      Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
      Associate Professor
      Duke University
      Department of Religion
      Gray Building / Box 90964
      Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
      Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530


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