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8850Monthly Report for June

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  • Michael Grondin
    Jul 7, 2009
      June was our second best month this year, and our best June
      in six years. With 54 messages for the month, we drew closer
      to XTalk, which had another sub-par month, with only 11 posts.
      For the 1st half of '09, 272 messages were posted to GThomas,
      280 to XTalk. If the current rate holds, we'll be close to our 2007
      total (561), but significantly less than last year (714), which is to
      be expected, since last year's increase in volume over '07 was
      largely due to the Regular Contributor Program, which has now
      become defunct due to lack of participants.

      The number of messages is one measure of success, but the
      number of contributors is also important. For June, it was pretty
      good, evidently because a somewhat controversial topic drew
      in a few extra participants. That's fine, but we want to make sure
      that any controversy generated is real, not invented for the
      purpose of hyping up the list. It may also be seen that what
      happened in June was the result of posing a few good questions,
      as Bob Schacht suggested. But there needs to be more than
      one person posing the questions. Frankly, I'm not as indefatigable
      as a Jim West or a Mark Goodacre.

      As I see it, we need to find ways to sustain the feeling among
      subscribers that good stuff is likely to pop up on gthomas at any
      time, so that it won't do to ignore the list for months on end.
      Recognizing that in my own case, I'm subscribed to a number of
      Yahoogroups to which I no longer pay much attention, but from
      which I'm either reluctant or too lazy to part, I see this problem as
      widespread and systemic. Theoretically, we have more than enough
      subscribers to maintain a healthy list, but in practice, too many of
      these are "absentee subscribers". In the beginning, they were
      referred to as "lurkers", but now I think that most of them don't even
      do that. They may need a little prodding. At one point last year, I sent a
      message to all non-email subscribers informing them of the contents
      of the list for the previous month. This may be something that needs
      to be done again, and even for email subscribers (who may be
      directing gthomas email to a folder they never read) - with the intent
      of provoking absentee subscribers to either pay more attention
      to the list or to unsubscribe. (The other side of this tactical coin is
      to try to increase our ranks by inviting folks who would be likely to
      be active participants; problem there, though, is how to find them :-)

      Mike G.