NCDD Discussion List & List Ground Rules
NCDD’s main listserv is a popular resource for practitioners, scholars, activists and students of dialogue and deliberation. As of November 2012, over 1,400 subscribers use this moderated listserv for networking, information-sharing, and discussing key issues facing our community of practice. This discussion list is NCDD members’ primary means of communicating directly with one another. Non-members are welcome to subscribe to this list, though we strongly encourage you to join NCDD.
Here are a few compilations that demonstrate what has been produced on the listserv:
- Legislation about Citizen Participation in the U.S. & Other Nations
- Keypad Technology and Experts
- Imagine Chicago and other community visioning initiatives
- Upgrading the Way We Do Politics article and flyer (based in large part on listserv contributions)
- Conservatives and D&D discussion
To join the list, send a blank email to NCDD-Discussionfirstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.ncdd.org/rc/item/4434 to subscribe to NCDD’s other discussion lists.
To send a message to the list, subscribers simply email their message to NCDD-Discussion@lists.thataway.org (or reply-all to a list message). The list can get quite busy at times, so email Joy Garman at joy [at] ncdd [dot] org if you would like to switch to the daily digest, unsubscribe, or change any other settings.
Ground rules for the NCDD Discussion list
We’ve found that when subscribers adhere to the following guidelines we’re able to keep the list useful for people, without it becoming overbearing. Please read these over before posting or replying to the list. The moderator may choose not to approve messages that break one or more of these ground rules.
- Try not to send more than one message to the list each day, and not more than several each week. This prevents individuals from dominating the list.
- Identify yourself. Include your usual email signature (i.e. your name, organization, email address, where you’re from…) when you send a message to the list. This will help us get to know each other a little better and make it easier for people to connect with you.
- Keep your messages relevant to dialogue and deliberation. If it’s not immediately apparent that your message is relevant to D&D, explain in your message why you think it is relevant.
- Understand that this list focuses on the practice (process, theory, challenges, innovations, opportunities, etc.) of dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. This is not a place to engage in dialogue and deliberation about any public issue (see additional note below on this distinction).
- Direct your message to the subscribers of the list. If you forward an announcement, quote an article, etc., add an introduction to the beginning of your message that explains why you thought people would be interested, asks for feedback, etc. People should know why you’re sending them a message. (Emails with attachments and no explanation of what’s in the attachment will not be approved.)
- If your message is directed at an individual and useful primarily to that individual, do not send your message to the entire list. Instead of clicking “reply all,” which sends your message to the whole list, just click “reply.” (Note: the moderator reserves the right to reject or ask you to reframe posts which seem overly confrontational towards another person on the list, since we are fostering a supportive, respectful community of practice. You can always email that person directly, after all.)
- If you ask the list for advice and get a variety of good responses off-list, take the time to compile the responses and share them with the list. We’d greatly appreciate that!
- This goes without saying, but please stay civil and treat other subscribers with respect. Model good dialogue behavior and refrain from name-calling, making unwarranted assumptions about people, and making sweeping statements about individuals or groups of people without backing them up with facts and data. If you’re unclear about why someone said something or thinks/feels a certain way, ask them.
- Refrain from sending regularly published updates/newsletters to the list. If you or your organization send out updates of your work, you can send one of these announcements to the list every once in a while (no more than twice a year) with a note, and include instructions for subscribing. Then those who are interested can keep updated on your work. If you send frequent announcements about trainings, events, publications, etc. to the list, the moderator may ask you to send a general announcement asking people to sign up for your updates directly in this case as well. HTML announcements (obvious mass mailings like e-newsletters) without an introductory note will not be approved for the list.
- Do not use the discussion list to raise funds for your organization or program. You can send periodic messages about trainings and other services that charge a fee, but do not ask list members to donate to your efforts.
Also, a point of clarification to those who want to start conversations on the list about issues that are ripe for dialogue…
The list is not intended as a forum for “online dialogue” about specific issues (the ins-and-outs of global warming or same-sex marriage, for example). With nearly 1,500 subscribers and very light moderation, the listserv is not the place to have productive discussions about specific issues like racism, gay marriage or climate change. Nor is that the focus on the list — we’re talking about dialogue and deliberation, not engaging in dialogue and deliberation about all kinds of public issues.
If you really want to delve into a specific social or policy issue with other NCDDers, we suggest you start a google group or use an online tool designed specifically for dialogue and deliberation (like these), and then send an announcement to the listserv about how people can join in.
Click here for a nice summary of one of the meatier discussions we’ve had on the NCDD Discussion list (about conservatives and D&D).