true, true, true.
putting issues in perspective is time consuming -- nice job
chip -- I encourage you to not spend a second making changes to the list.
it has succeeded because of its structure. every, no let me correct that,
most PUBLIC listserv's at some point have some divisive, emotional
discussions. Just like political conversations at neighborhood parties
sometimes get a bit out of hand, so too with this listserv's discussions. I
grant you they would be fewer (maybe none) if it was restricted to pediatric
health care professionals -- but, as we all know, there are pediatric health
care professionals who are the "crazed" ones on some of these emotional,
non-science based diatribes.
the DELETE key is so easy to use
From: hidden@email-address [mailto:hidden@email-address] On Behalf Of Chip
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 6:30 AM
Subject: Our List
OK, everybody, take a deeeeeep breath. In, out, slowly.
First, let me address a growing misconception: PedTalk isn't
going anywhere. The list isn't shutting down and, for right
now, nothing is going to change.
Over the last 8 weeks, the volume of PedTalk messages has
increased nearly *five-fold*. When you combine the massive
increase in messages with a divisive topic that dominates
almost everything we discuss, it will soon lead to trouble.
Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), events outside of
PedTalk are driving this discussion. CNN has featured a story
about autism - and sometimes vaccines, etc. - *every day* for
the past two weeks. The blog-world has EXPLODED on this topic
recently. And Larry King isn't helping.
What we're seeing on PedTalk is a reflection of the discussions
around us. It is that simple.
Now, I've been doing this long enough to know that when/if the
outside world changes, PedTalk will follow suit. I also know
that we can do things to fan the flames and we can also do things
to drive focus of the list somewhere else. If you don't like
what you're reading about here, add something constructive to
As for PedTalk becoming more exclusive: we simply can't do it.
PedTalk's existing membership structure - completely public -
is neither right nor wrong. It is just different, and it's
on purpose. There are other venues which provide "doc-only"
or "parents-only" lists (directly or indirectly), so why have
another of those? Each of these membership limitations has its
pros and cons. Here, we find amazing content because of AND in
spite of our membership.
In a few months - I know, I've been promising forever, but a guy
has to "work" - we'll be making some changes to the list.
PedTalk, as it exists, will remain as is (at least as is
technically possible). With some experimentation, we expect to
*add* some list functionality. And, perhaps, some sub-lists as
well. We'll see.
As much as I consider each of those who has indicated concerns
about the list a personal friend, I can't change PedTalk to suit
an individual need. I've explained why a "physicians only" list
is a technical challenge (verification is practically
impossible, but that may change in the future) and I am certain
that tinkering with the membership would kill the list. I very,
very much understand the frustration and challenge those who
have committed themselves to PedTalk over the years must be
feeling right now - it's a lot of hard work with little payoff
for some folks, recently. My advice: delete everything from
PedTalk for a week or two without reading it and you'll fee
What I may do, as we have done before (does anyone remember the
great breastfeeding wars?) is *temporarily curtail a topic*.
Note the "temporarily" and focus on a "topic" and not a person.
We may also consider a "probation" where by new members can't
post for a month or so. I am also going to keep a closer eye
on what I'll call "dump posters" - folks who just blat out
something copied in from another source in an effort to draw
a reaction and not a discussion. If the topic of vaccines and
autism doesn't settle down in a week or so, we'll put a
moratorium on the subject.
Finally: before you get too down on PedTalk, take a look at the
messages over the last few days. Some of our *best work ever*
has occurred right now. There were two or three messages this
weekend alone that could be positively shared on a national
level to provide insight into the thinking of pediatricians.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate our collective effort
and discussion. It's truly amazing - and where else does it
exist on the Internet? Anywhere?!
If you are tired, I don't blame you. Take a break for a little
bit, someone will fill in for you. But don't leave yet :-)
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://chipsblog.pcc.com
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.