LAW-LIB: hybrid listserv proposal
LAW-LIB is a listserv where law librarians ask and answer legal questions and help each other find legal resources and trouble shoot unique legal reference questions. Currently the list administrator has raised the issue of whether a specific person should be banned from the list and great debate has ensued. What is problematic is that when a debate on a listserv happens it happens in your inbox. A typically amount of emails from LAW-LIB might be 6-12 in a day. The current debate has thrown this number into the range of 50-75 emails.
I wanted to raise a listserv idea that could be debated on a forum that is more conducive to discussion. The power of listservs is that they have a very strong connection with people because the email goes directly to them. The listserv participants are dealing with a "push" information system. My idea is to have a listserv that operates something like the game show Jeopardy in that things would have to be in the form of a question. The listserv would only be for questions. All answers to questions and discussion would be on a corresponding website. Each question sent to the mailing list would automatically be posted to the website. If you wanted to see the answer to a question or provide an answer you would go to the the website.
One of the most powerful thing about LAW-LIB is that many of the participants are law firm librarians that have unique access to information. These librarians are sensitive, and I think rightly so, to cluttered inboxes. LAW-LIB provides a direct connection with these valuable librarians and I think the proposal of a hybrid listserv/website would keep the advantages of a listserv while providing a forum for discussion that would be beneficial to all listserv users. I would be interested to have a discussion of this idea on LISNEWS.