[OT] Re: A thought on how to deal with OT threads...

Ross Werner ross at agilestudios.com
Thu Sep 22 17:18:07 MDT 2005

On Thu, 22 Sep 2005, Derek Carter wrote:
> Charles Curley wrote:
> here's a third option:
> * Use a threaded email client, and collapse and delete any thread that 
> doesn't interest you. One need not read every word of every email sent to 
> them. (also try not picking up the phone next time it rings... such a great 
> feeling, not letting tools overpower us)

I have done a Scientific Study(tm) of all emails on the pluglist since the 
"Power Trips" thread at the beginning of the month that prompted people to 
start putting [OT] at the beginning of off-topic threads.

There have been approximately 650 emails to go across the pluglist during 
that time. Approximately 120 of those emails have been marked [OT]. Of 
the 530 or so remaining emails, the vast majority have been on-topic. The 
exceptions that I can see are:

   a) a few possible offenders in the "perfect MP3 player" thread before it
      started getting marked [OT]
   b) the "Speedo Alert!" thread, which was not marked [OT]
   c) Sasha Pachev's "Mortgage" email and a handful of replies
   d) Greg Hill's "I'm glad you're all rich" email and a handful of replies

In other words, if you absolutely hate off-topic threads and have been 
procmailing [OT] threads to /dev/null, you will have gotten about 500 
on-topic emails and about 30 off-topic emails.

To sum up:
a) I don't think it's too much to ask to have people add [OT] to off-topic 
messages. The vast majority of people are already doing it.
b) My wager is that people who are whining about off-topic messages aren't 
procmailing [OT] ... if they were, they would hardly see any off-topic 
messages at all.

 	~ Ross

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