[Freedombox-discuss] Should we change the mailing list format?

Ted Smith tedks at riseup.net
Mon May 9 19:11:05 UTC 2011

On Mon, 2011-05-09 at 07:13 -0700, Chris Troutner wrote:
> Hey all,
> I'm sure that I'm not alone in getting swamped by emails from this list.
> It's great that the list is so big and so active, but the meaningful
> emails containing important information/thoughts tend to get swamped out
> by the enthusiastic but less meaningful emails. 
> Would it be a good idea to move this mailing list to a different format?
> I'm thinking of something that would combine a mailing list with a
> feature like Digg where people could have some way of voting on or
> 'like'ing a submissions so that the most meaningful (as determined by
> everyone) rise to the top.
> What do you all think?

I agree with Daniel Kahn Gilmor that mailing lists are not going
anywhere, but I share the concern here that this list is getting too

There are a lot of people very excited about this project, but that
excitement won't replace boots on the ground/writing code/packaging
software/etc.. I feel like this list has lost focus and has degenerated
into people posting "What I think the FreedomBox should be" and people
replying to them in order to elucidate why they're wrong.

I've noticed that the Freedombox Foundation (or whatever it's called)
seems to have been busy hiring people who are presumably getting actual
work done behind the scenes (or maybe not -- who knows, but I'll assume
they are, because I really really want to). This sort of silent,
productive nature stands at odds with the noise of the list. So I

      * Anyone who posts to this list state, preferably in the first
        line of their message body, their project allegiances, with
        links to homepages or code repositories. This will allow
        everyone reading the list to see what's an actual message from
        people building the Freedombox or related technologies, and
        what's crank.
      * People actually doing work on the freedombox for the Freedombox
        Foundation push regular news updates somehow. The RSS link
        mentioned on the freedomboxfoundation.org FAQ is dead, and I
        haven't seen updates on this list -- those might be good places
        to start.
      * The current means to create a freedombox (code I can run on a
        machine to turn it into a freedombox) be put in a DVCS
        repository on a Launchpad or Gitorious instance. This will allow
        people who have radical proposals for the freedombox to branch
        the codebase and implement their idea. This will make it much
        easier to differentiate between serious people with serious
        ideas, and cranks.

Most of the discussion seems to be about resolving people's differences
between what they think the freedombox should be (a user-friendly social
media box vs. a drop-and-go cyberinsurrection module and a huge spectrum
in between and in every other direction in a hugely dimensional space).
So it might also be handy to create some sort of vehicle, like Ubuntu
Brainstorm (<http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com>). This would give the
boots-on-the-ground making-stuff-happen folks some representation of
what some people think they should be working on, which might be
valuable to them, and might take some of the pressure of the list to be
the space for people to share opinions.
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