Colin Harris, co-chair of the 2005 Worldcon and veteran of many other conventions, has established a new conrunning discussion list, Con-Talk.
“In taking the lead on this,” says Harris, “I’m hoping to create something that has the benefits of an email list (e.g. Push technology) and a positive environment for improving the way we share our ideas on improving conventions.”
In contrast with the Smofs list, Con-Talk has formal House Rules and Moderators.
One example of the House Rules is –
Harassment of any kind is not tolerated. This includes discrimination or prejudiced behaviour of any kind, as well as personal attacks or comments about other list members. More generally, our aim is to create a positive environment where everyone feels able to express themselves. We therefore aim to avoid the competitive communication style seen on some Internet lists. Remember – an atmosphere of trust is hard to create and easy to lose.
Harris is one of six moderators. The others are Eemeli Aro, Warren Buff, Janice Gelb, Laurie Mann, and Patty Wells. All of them have provided detailed resumes except Laurie Mann who felt it sufficed to say, “Laurie has been part of online fandom since 1988 so she isn’t afraid to use a kill file…”
There are currently 130 members. A list of those who have opted for public identification can be seen here.
I’ve been on the Smofs list since 1992. In the past six months it has reached transcendent heights of toxic unreadability, making it easy for me to understand why someone would seek a moderated alternative.