Topic: More on migration
Some members have raised questions as to why IDRS decided to migrate to the Forum. The president of IDRS, Nancy Ambrose King, posted to the list an overview and reasons for this change. The following is additional information that I hope will help members further understand the decision to migrate to the Forum.
First, I need to make clear that I created IDRS OnLine, and for the past 11 years, I have personally invested a considerable amount of time and effort in building the list. I have no intention, as some of you have dramatically stated, to “destroy the community.” I have invested too much time and effort to build it. I along with the board believe that the Forum is the next step in the evolution of IDRS OnLine. Nothing has been taken away from current IDRS OnLine subscribers. The Forum changes the method by which members post and read messages. IDRS OnLine will remain, but will be open only for IDRS official communication.
The size and the scope of the list have reached practical limits. Technically a list can have unlimited size and scope. Practically, the list of 1829 members, with the amount of activity on IDRS OnLine, is unusually large by list standards. Last spring, for the first time in the 10-year history of IDRS OnLine, the list had a catastrophic breakdown. I asked the University ITS for assistance. They assigned one poor graduate student who had to go through every subscriber to find flaws with their entries. I know that the detective work took numerous tedious hours to complete. ITS told me to break the list down into two smaller lists (typical solution from ITS) to avoid problems in the future. Imagine the controversy this could have created!
There are many subscribers to the list who have decided to stop receiving messages from the list (postpone). These members found the list informative, but they were simply overwhelmed with the flood of messages they were receiving from the list. Just ask Norma Hooks. Both of us receive regularly numerous pleas from subscribers begging to get them off the list. Obviously, they have not expressed their opinions regarding the migration, since they are not receiving any messages from the list.
As stated by Nancy Ambrose King, IDRS is thriving. The society in its mid year and it has 4000+ members worldwide. Currently, 1829 people, or 45% of members, are subscribed to the list. I anticipate that subscriptions to the list will continue to increase. Something had to be done to meet the needs of future subscribers. The most sensible solution that I could find was the Forum.
After members iron out the glitches and bumps of the initial learning curve of the Forum, I know that they will find the Forum to be friendly, intuitive, informative and enjoyable to use.
Professor of Bassoon, U of Colorado at Boulder
Editor, IDRS OnLine Publications
Administrator, IDRS Forum