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I must admit, when I first read the words you attributed to Oliver Gruter-Andrew I assumed you must be exaggerating until Claire Brialey, who was also there at the time, confirmed it. If Oliver really believes that the process of running a convention is more important than the actual convention itself, perhaps he could confine himself to role-playing games in the future. This would be the ideal forum to evolve the perfect conrunning methodology without having to have one of those nasty conventions at the end of it.

As a general principle, I'd agree that e-mail is probably a good way to "announce decisions or report progress", but you then go on to say "so that everybody knows what has been done". I suspect that part of the problem with Intersection was that not everybody did get to know what had been done because some of us were trying to work on the convention without e-mail access. I must admit that, based on what I've been told by others, I suspect being electronically isolated had certain advantages if nothing else, you never got to see the weeks of pointless discussion on a relatively trivial topic - but I also suspect that I missed out on stuffthat I should have know about because the information was only ever disseminated electronically. Yes, e-mail is a good way to tell people about decisions as long as somebody remembers to tell those people who need to know but still rely on the telephone and the mail.

I think the best example of e-mail idiocy I saw in Intersection concerned the attempts of various people to e-mail Claire Brialey. Claire's not on the net (or at least she wasn't at the time) which caused some people no end of difficulty. She is on the Intersection board but she's not on the net - you could see their brains crash as they attempted to reconcile these two seemingly incompatible concepts. Anyway, to solve the problem, Martin Easterbrook set-up a dummy e-mail account for her, thus enabling all those people who had mysteriously lost the ability to communicate through any other medium to e-mail Claire. Martin would then download the e-mail onto a floppy disk and pass the disk on to Claire. The only problem was that this only happened once, maybe twice a month, which somewhat defeats the argument that e-mail is a speedy means of communication. It didn't stop people doing anyway.


This page updated on 09 July 1999