[sumo] [Meta-topic] Why SML?

John Racine gaijira at ace.ocn.ne.jp
Sat Jun 2 19:02:52 EDT 2007

> What is good about the Sumo Mailing List?
> Don't get me wrong, I've been a member for over eight years, and I've
all the input I've received here.  I guess I'm really asking the true
believers of the SML to tell me why they keep on keepin' on.

I guess the list is in worse shape than I thought.

When I asked these questions, I half-expected the diehard SML fans to step
up and say what makes it special and important.  Instead, the majority of
responses were about the format of the Sumo Forum.  (Apparently people who
don't like the forum format will not go to the Sumo Forum whether they like
sumo or not.)

Others feel a bit intimidated by the response their posts might receive on
the forum.  They're afraid they'll be "jumped on" for stepping out of line.
I'm still a newcomer on the Forum, but from my experience, it appears that
Forum users tend to jump on incorrect information rather than make strictly
personal attacks.  It's also moderated, so they have measures to keep things
from getting too out of hand.

This leads to another issue that Joe mentioned:  that the Forum may only be
for maniacs.  I think there is some truth to that.  There are many VERY
knowledgeable people on the Sumo Forum.  I think for some, it's a case of
too much information.  The SML may be more of a quick sumo fix.

I think the saddest response to my questions, however, must be those that
referred to the flame wars here.  Fluffyyama mentioned the potentially
interesting message that he decided not to post, simply because it might
attract heat.  Someone also responded to me off list "just to be safe".
Ironically, that person may have been the only person to say their reason
for staying on the SML was "having friends here".  With friends like

Anyway, I guess all lists go through ups and downs.  Personally, I have
nothing against either format (when I have time to keep up with them) and I
plan to continue as members of both.  Interestingly, I asked the same
question on the Forum and many people there who continue to subscribe to
this list said that they do so "out of respect".  Someone said they were
"born here" but now "live" on the Forum.  Perhaps then the list is more like
'family' than 'friends'.  Right now we're just a bit dysfunctional.

John Racine

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