RARA-AVIS: Administration: List is 2.5 years old

William Denton (buff@pobox.com)
Thu, 22 Jul 1999 23:44:12 -0400 (EDT)

It's now a little over two-and-a-half years since the list began, and I'm sending out my semi-annual mini-report.

Before I do some numbers, let me quote from the introductory message sent to new subscribers:

        - No flames.
        - No binaries.
        - No MIME attachments.
        - Trim as much quoted text as possible from your replies
          (this definitely includes the footer added to the bottom
          of each message).

The first three are almost never broken, but I remind people about the fourth every so often.

The topic of the list is hardboiled (and noir) fiction, and things related. Related things include adaptations, the lives and other works of hardboiled writers, literary theory about it, and so on. I think of it as anything that's one step away from actual hardboiled fiction. I try to keep the list focused without restraining discussion, and do send out messages in private that the list as a whole won't see, so please don't think I'm picking on you if I remind you of the list's focus. I do it to keep the list from degrading into a free-for-all pen-pal club of mystery fans. If it's not hardboiled or a step (or, very rarely, two) away, please take it to rec.arts.mystery or DOROTHYL, where much the latitude is much wider.

But don't let that discourage you from sending out a message! I notice several new subscribers or old lurkers have been posting lately, and I'd like to welcome them. Nice to see new people. It's also nice to see that several real writers and are here, to go with the crew of experts and walking encyclopedias.

Now, here are some numbers!

Subscribers Date
-------------------- Jan 1998 163 Jul 1998 196 Jan 1999 237 Jul 1999 272

The list is picking up around 35 or more people every six months, which is pretty fair growth. I ran the archives since July 1997 through some pattern matchers and came up with the following list of top posters. The counts may be a little off, due to people moving addresses, but I think the order is about right:

    457 Mario Taboada
    438 William Denton
    344 Mark Sullivan
    269 Eddie Duggan
    251 Duane Spurlock
    241 Mari Hall
    233 Kevin Smith
    200 Bill Hagen
    189 James Doherty
    147 James Rogers
    130 Bill Crider
    122 John Lau
    115 Peter Walker

People named Bill seem to be quite talkative.

Here's a comparison of how many message go through the list each month:

        1997 1998 1999
        -------------------- Jan 257 165 288 Feb 179 163 193 Mar 57 114 403 Apr 203 293 426 May 312 166 268 Jun * 257 343 * Hard drive crash lost archived messages Jul *20 439 and subscriber list. Aug 73 466 Sep 105 538 Oct 135 261 Nov 201 255 Dec 230 206

Looks like things slow down in the (North American, where the vast majority of subscribers are) winter, and major public holidays mean less traffic, but things ebb and flow based on what comes up for discussion.

Finally, please don't forget that the list is brought to you through the good graces of iComm, a non-profit corporation that gives out free Internet services to non-profit and community groups. I'm a board member. If you'd like to make a donation, they're very welcome and very needed. Instructions on how to do so are on the web site at www.icomm.ca. If you're part of a non-profit group who needs a web site or mailing list, go by and see if you'd like to apply for an account.



William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 22 Jul 1999 - 23:44:34 EDT