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A Commonspace Oddity 2001

found while assembling pieces....

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Since 1997, electroponics, inc. has been the home of some of the most active listservs in St. Louis. Currently we host 35 lists and have a subscriber base of about 8600 people.

It all started with the Metropolist in October of 1997. From a base of 16 people, including Commonspace Editor Brian Marston and current Metropolis President Melanie Adams, we set forth spreading the good and bad words of the day. Several years later, the lists are an integral part of "getting the word out", with the media and politicos paying close attention.

From the outset of the Metropolist, there was a concern about how the organization of Metropolis would be perceived. The list was home to several if not seasonal "flame wars" mostly revolving about the City/County thing and people were actually confusing the Metropolist with Metropolis. Personally, I think a toad should be proud of it's warts, but I was finally pushed to split the lists and turn the Metropolist into a Steering Committee posting forum.

We had a "contest" to name the new list, and Joe Bonwich came up the stLouIST moniker. I liked it for the capitalization possibilities. Not the money, the capitals. stLOuiST, stLoUiST, etc... In August of 2000, the stLouIST hit the net. There are currently 688 subscribers with most people being Metropolis members and/or "progressive" in attitude. You can find out more here: http://www.stlouist.com/

Like most of the lists, the stLouIST is "lightly moderated" by myself. This means that messages are not screened before they go out, but the right is reserved to unsubscribe people who break The Rules.

The Rules

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  • Be Nice
  • Reply to Person
  • Do Not Quote Personal Mail to List
  • Keep on Topic
  • No Me Too Responses
  • No Trolling
  • Read the Whole Thread before Posting
  • Reread your Post

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the stLouIST or any of the other lists we host, you can go to http://www.unsubscibe.com/ To the chagrin of the marketing droids everywhere, we do not share our subscriber information or allow spam. In the hopefully near future, there will be a web version like egroups and a more sophisticated statistics package tied to it. We are using the same software that was purchased for the original Metropolist and it is definitely showing it's age. I have recently found the secret archives of every post since the beginning of the lists, and that will be available for searching soon.

QA Section. :-)

What is it you like about the medium of e-mail?

I like the speed, convenience and the fact that you don't have to remember or retype anything anymore if you can manage your mail properly. It is the original killer app of the internet, even if it has lost some of it's luster. Spam, Microsoft Worms and the Department of Justice aside, I always try to remember the original joy of being able to send text from one computer to another anywhere in the world.

What do you think has been the effect on St. Louis of the existence of your lists?

I would like to think that the lists contribute to the well being of St. Louis. The power of information is something that can't be ignored will hopefully be embraced instead of defended against. I am also very proud of the stLouIST and all the other lists in in regards to the content and maturity. I hope that we are promoting understanding and providing the communication channels to accomplish good things.

Can you say a little bit about what the other lists are and what kinds of discussions happen on those?

If you go to http://www.unsubscibe.com/, I'll have a master list with numbers of subscribers, a description of the list and an FAQ for troubleshooting the subscription/unsubscribing process. Thanks to the Common Space for forcing me to do this for the article. :-)

That's all from me, see you on the lists.

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