NCDD Discussion List
NCDD’s main listserv is a popular resource for practitioners, scholars, activists and students of dialogue and deliberation. As of November 2014, 1,800 subscribers use this moderated listserv to network, share information, and discuss key issues facing our field. 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.
Please familiarize yourself with the list’s ground rules below before posting to the list.
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
People tend to be very generous with their expertise and know-how on the list, so it’s a great place to ask for practice-related advice. One subscriber posted that she’s “always grateful for the generosity of spirit and sharing within this group …. all the sharings are like jewels!”
Most subscribers are experienced facilitators, convenors or scholars in public engagement or conflict resolution, but we have many grad and undergrad students and “newbies” to this work on the list as well. The diversity of experience (level and type) of our subscribers is one of the things that makes the listserv such a useful resource for so many people.
Activity on the list varies from week to week depending on the topics that are brought up on the list. One week there may only be three or four messages, another week there may be dozens. If you find the number of messages to be too much, you can email Joy Garman (our Office Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to switch you to the daily digest version so you receive only one message a day. She can also unsubscribe you or update your email address.
To send a message to the list, subscribers simply email their message to NCDD-Discussion@lists.ncdd.org (or reply-all to a list message).
Archives of the NCDD Discussion list are available online. Archives go back to March 2006. See this link for instructions for accessing the archives. Subscribers can also follow messages to the list through the list’s RSS feed.
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 refrain from approving messages that fail to follow 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 helps us get to know each other a little better and makes 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 public issues (see additional note below on this distinction) or broad philosophical discussions about what the world needs.
- 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 NCDDers 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 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 by signing up directly. 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 climate change or same-sex marriage, for example). With more than 1,800 subscribers and light moderation, the listserv is not the place to have productive discussions about specific public or social issues. 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).