Dave Smith: Regarding The Transition Of The MCN Discussion List


This has just been announced:

To the MCN Listserv Discussion List:

Dave Smith, editor of the Ukiah blog, has come forward and offered to take over management of the current MCN community discussion list as a public service. On Thursday, Dave and Mitch had an extended discussion and developed a proposed transition plan for this process. We’d like the feedback of the list community on this proposal.

Overall Concept
–It is important to keep the integrity of the listserv subscriber base intact while offering a fair chance for list members to opt out prior to the transition
–Current listserv members are happy with the listserv system and a transition to new technology (blog, Facebook)  is not needed.
–A successful transition requires the participation of both parties and the list community.
–The decision on a transition should done openly.
–It is important to put a proposal in front of the list community relatively soon to avoid fragmentation of the list subscriber base.
–This proposal could be implemented in matter of days which would stabilize the listserv situation.

Technology Details
–The listserv will be hosted at Sonic.net servers in Santa Rosa. They use the same “Mailman” software program that MCN uses for its listserv software and are the closest ISP offering this service (Pacific Internet no longer hosts listservs). This would make migration of the users a very easy process and allow MCN to guide Dave through the setup process. It also means that users will be familiar with the system.
— MCN will offer technical resources to help Dave with the set up process and with on-going management issues but will not have administrative access or passwords to the list management software.
–MCN will announce this list wherever we announce other listservs on our website.
–Dave has a technical background, having been a COBOL programmer, and familiarity with Internet based discussion systems that will be an asset to this transition

Philosophical Overview
–Dave will post his views about this transition on Ukiah Blog. His bio
is here

Transition Detail
–A full transition plan including a timeline and step by step instructions for end users will be announced if this proposal is implemented.


From Dave:

If you agree to my managing your list, the new Mendo Discussion List will be much the same as the current MCN Discussion List with two exceptions: It would be hosted on Sonic.net in Sonoma County, which is the closest provider of the same software system used to provide this list (my own local ISP, Pacific.net, no longer hosts lists). And, I propose that you’ll always know who’s posting and who you’re talking with. No more trolls. As members of this community, in my opinion, it is common courtesy that we all use our real names, or at least identify ourselves when asked. Most of us know who “Molly” is, so we don’t have to get silly about it. This leads to real conversations and real relationships as other list communities have learned. I feel very strongly about this and I hope we can agree to that policy going forward.

Otherwise, the Golden Rule seems like as good a code of conduct as any.

Why do I want to do this? To save a valuable community resource. As I have been doing for a couple of years producing Ukiah Blog, it would be a public service which some friends have urged me  to take on. I think it is absolutely crucial that, as we face the coming years of what looks like very interesting times, that an open community discussion list will become increasingly valuable to our county, and then essential to our survival as a caring community.

I’ve lived in Mendocino County, on and off, for over 20 years, and in Northern California since the early 60s. If you’re at all interested, my bio is here.

Unfortunately, I’m on the road and will only be available on-line sporadically for the next couple of days to answer your questions. Otherwise, I will be available most of the time on-line and at Mulligan Books during business hours.


Thank you Dave. I vote for moving forward with your proposal. We need a forum for discussing ideas and local issues. Maybe the list got overheated during the campaign; for sure it was lively and I looked forward to finding new gems that appeared, seemingly out of the blue.


Jonathan Middlebrook December 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Thank you, Dave!–when do new subscribers get to join?



Thank you Dave! I’ve been confused by the coast based list-servs and how to sign on; whether they were MCN users only, and other factors. Not that I couldn’t have taken time to find out, but I saw from fwd’d emails there was one for Ukiah, for Fort Bragg and so on.

Thanks for taking this on, I will now watch for how to sign-on.

mb/wxw – Ukiah