Thursday, December 18, 2008

Demise of an Email Discussion List?

Just sent to TALO members

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Hi everyone.

I have been a member of TALO (Teach and Learn Online) for about 2 years now. When I first signed up I was amazed and invigorated by the level of healthy debate about elearning issues. It was a great place to learn. Since then I have seen the gradual decrease of any stimulating debate, and the number of postings reduced to a trickle.

Some of the people who created this group, and who drove the wonderful discussions of the past, have either moved on from this list or no longer engage with it. It has left a void that no one seems willing to fill. This list has currently 1272 members, and increases by about 15 new registrations each week, and yet the email traffic is minimal.

This may be because there is a range of new tools that many are using to communicate – especially Twitter, but also includes blogs and Second Life. But I suspect too that many newcomers to this list are not sure of the ‘culture’ here; not sure whether to initiate discussion because they are waiting for others to lead the way.

But I think right now there are no leaders in this group. There is no culture. It is up to people who are still here, and the many others who have joined in recent months to make this group live.

So how about it? Why not post what you’re thinking about? Say what you feel? Ask questions about things you want to learn about. This list is YOURS.

If we keep on getting new members and nothing is happening I do wonder whether there’s any point in staying here. Maybe it would be better to close the group and we all move on to other spaces?

But this space, if it is to survive, needs reinvigorating.

Over to you!

2 comments:

Carla Arena said...

Interesting your post, Mike, as it reaches me personally. I'm part of the TALO list. At first, I read it with interest, but then, I don't know it lacked something. Maybe personality, group identity? I don't have answers and have been more and more interested in understanding how communities get sustainability of meaningful conversations. Time is precios, information abounds, so I'm more and more focused in places of my network in which I feel I can add value and at the same time gain from the interactions.

I have to confess that now I don't even read TALO's list. I just delete it from my inbox without opening it. From time to time, I say, "let's give it a try and see what's happening around", but things seem to be quiet over there...

Leigh Blackall said...

:) Good on ya Mike, with everyone else drunk under the table or moved on to bed, your dieing hard and ready to party on :)