I do read most posts with enjoyment but like many I live multiple lives and consequently there is not world enough or time to always reply.  I have also as I age decided less is more in this information-addled era.  Thus I am not deeply troubled by the subscription count or posts.  I also assume that most of you wherever you are around this globe and whatever you do also spend a considerable amount of time alone with books.  Bottom line:  this list is a pleasure.

Eugene Schlanger

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 31, 2013, at 9:35 AM, Tom Colket <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Peter:

I am not so concerned about getting an accurate count of the number of total subscribers to the TSE list. I am concerned about the number of active posters, and the fact that no _new_ people are joining the list (probably because they can't find it, now that the list is "private").

To show you what I'm talking about, I used the TSE archives to look, month by month, at all the posts for 2013 (Jan 1 - July 30, 2013).

Here are the actual statistics:

Total number of posters in 2013

17

(Jan 1 - July 30, 2013)


(I realize that the 'tabs' below may now look good in your email browser, but it's the best I can do since I don't know how to make an HTML table)


Poster                      # posts     % of the total List posts
--------------              ---------   -------------------------
Chokh Raj (CR)         422         32

Peter Montgomery   314         24

Nancy Gish               148         11

David Boyd                86          7

Ken Armstrong          73          6

Rick Parker                70          5

Carol Cox                  62          5

Peter Dillane             60          5

Tom Colket                31          2

Richard Seddon         19          1

John Angell Grant     13          1

Timothy Materer        7           1

Tom Gray                   6           0

Jerome Walsh            3           0

Vishvesh Obla           2           0

Eugene Schlanger      2           0

Robert Summers         1           0


Total posts              1319        100%
(Jan 1 - July 30, 2013)


As you can see, just two posters (CR and Peter M) account for over half of all posts this year (56%). Since the start of the year, only 17 people have sent in even one post. Only a dozen people participate at least once a month (on average). 


And I'm not even subtracting out the posts that have nothing to do with Eliot!

That's WAY below critical mass for something that calls itself "The T. S. Eliot Discussion List."

-- Tom --



> Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:28:02 +1000
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: The TSE list and "critical mass"
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> Hey folks
>
> would a self initiated audit be useful? That is everyone sends in a
> statement of who is on line.
>
> ie maybe just an avatar
> or an email address .....
> depending on how much you want to divulge
> or more
> say
> Peter Dillane, Melbourne Australia, amateur interest, undergraduate degree
> with majors in Eng Lit and Language; Thesis on Marlowe; specific Eliot
> interest - general; favourite single malt ....etc etc
>
> Cheers Pete
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:59 AM
> Subject: Re: The TSE list and "critical mass"
>
>
> >I used to send a command to the listserver once in a while to get the
> >number
> > of list subscribers. A few years ago I started getting messages saying
> > that
> > I was not authorized to use the command. The number has been pretty
> > steady
> > at about 250 members since I joined the list until I was denied access to
> > the information. Maybe it was at the end of last year that Peter M. was
> > having some trouble with the list. He sent a command and as a side-effect
> > he
> > got the number of members sent back. I remember him writing that the
> > number
> > was about 200.
> >
> > The number of list members would have almost no effect on Missouri's
> > resources. The number of bytes being stored would (number of posts, sizes
> > of
> > the posts, attachments.)
> >
> > Regards,
> > Rick Parker
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:58:35 -0400, Ken Armstrong
> > <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>On 7/30/2013 7:09 AM, Tom Colket wrote:
> >>>
> >>> A discussion list has to have a critical mass of subscribers or it
> >>> dies. For many years there was just such a critical mass on the TSE
> >>> list. Someone would start a topic and others would pick it up and add
> >>> things (and it wasn't always the exact same people, taking predictable
> >>> "sides"). But in recent years the erosion of subscribers has became
> >>> startling. We are now well below critical mass.
> >>>
> >>
> >> Interesting. Are the actual figures available? I believe in the not
> >>too distant past Tim M has referred to restrictions on resources, both
> >>virtual and financial, and has asked for listers to make their
> >>preferences known to MO powers that be. I'm guessing that that hasn't
> >>much happened.
> >>
> >>Ken A
> >>
> >>
> >