As the Code4Lib LISTSERV manager, I am able to make a number of antidotal mailing list observations from the past few weeks:

  * The volume of mailing list traffic always surges just before the annual meeting, but the conversation this time around was much broader than in previous years. This time around it was much more about community, codes of behavior, and discussions of values. Not all points of view were expressed, but what was expressed seemed to naturally be the consensus of the group. What is especially interesting to me is that there is very little formal governance in our community, and yet things move along just fine. This seems anomalous compared to other groups in which I belong, especially in Library Land.

  * The number of subscribers has increased. Sure, there were a few people who unsubscribed, but for every one unsubscriber I believe there were three or four subscribers. Most of them were female.

  * Many lurkers came out of the woodwork over the past few week. Very nice. Very interesting. Very encouraging.

  * Finally, I might make a judgement here, but in my experience, mailing lists that surround communities as opposed to technologies seem to thrive and have a longer lasting, more evolving life. Compare Code4Lib with NGC4Lib, XML4Lib, and Perl4Lib.  

'Just some rambling, antidotal observations.

University of Notre Dame