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  • 15 Feb 2021 7:11 PM
    Reply # 10098435 on 8976241
    Adrian Barnett (Administrator)

    Here's the poll results. There is a clear preference to move the discussion to a listserv. This would be moderated by the society. We will keep the jobs and events here as they are working well.

    I will investigate the options, the suggestions so far are JISCmail (although we don't meet their UK criteria), UNSW and ListServe.com. Other suggestions are welcome. Please also let me know if you've had a good or bad experience with a particular listserv.

    The first thing to check is whether these services are blocked by government agencies as that would exclude too many members to be a viable option. Another option is developing our own service using R, although that would require more set up costs (and a bit of a delay) but would allow us more flexibility and ability to change over time. For example, we could automatically block the annoying "unsubscribe" messages.

    Thanks for all your time and input.

    Regards,

    Adrian


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  • 11 Feb 2021 1:54 PM
    Reply # 10080908 on 8976241
    Adrian Barnett (Administrator)

    Before we look at the options in detail, it would be useful to get a broad sense of what platform people want. So please complete this poll.

    You must be logged in to vote. I've tried to include all the options from recent days. I'll close the poll and share the results early next week.

    If the poll web page does not show or gives you an error then please make sure you are logged in.


    Last modified: 11 Feb 2021 4:13 PM | Adrian Barnett (Administrator)
  • 10 Feb 2021 6:56 PM
    Reply # 10075761 on 8976241

    There are options also to get a daily summary e-mail from the channels and even for the posts. I signed up to all of the channel ones and so can pretty much see where the activity is without even needing to log in. Admittedly I would like a feed of topics (like RSS) but those are hard to delete posts from.

    Looking back at the old list, there were times that it was mostly just Society Events and Job Postings, so I do not think this is going to be any different.

  • 10 Feb 2021 4:06 PM
    Reply # 10075245 on 8976241

    Maybe we are just a bunch of crotchety old men who don't want to change!? (I note that all the commenters are male apart from our Pres). I did get used to ANZstat but it is not so hard to login and check this Forum once per day (like I do with Facebook).  Following other commenters who were blaming bad comments on the medium, it is not completely clear that the low engagement is entirely the fault of this medium either.

    To whit: Adrian has said he will look at alternatives. But let's try and make the best of this Forum in the mean time. I have just posted a technical question and also commented on an earlier post about Murdoch University. 

    One thing the society might do to help is to email all current members (and perhaps non-members who were on ANZstat and according to Ms. Rankin can use the Forum with an appropriate login) reminding them that the Forum exists as a replacement of ANZstat and encouraging them all to check it regularly and to contribute. 

  • 10 Feb 2021 1:59 PM
    Reply # 10074847 on 10074511
    Marie-Louise Rankin wrote:

    In answer to Chris Howden's question of whether or not someone has to be a member of SSA to be able to post on the discussion forum, the answer is yes and no. When the forum was launched we created a new "membership" type: ANZSTAT Discussion Forum Subscriber, which is free. We had to do this because otherwise people would have been able to post anonymously, which we didn't want.  Our forum moderator checks each new subscription and removes anything that looks dubious, to prevent spammers from creating accounts and posting their rubbish.

    We currently have 666 discussion forum subscribers.  Add the SSA membership to that, and you'll have just over 1600 people with access to the forum should they wish to post.  Anyone can read along.

    Thanks Marie-Lourise, 

    That sounds like a very sensible solution!

  • 10 Feb 2021 12:29 PM
    Reply # 10074511 on 8976241
    Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

    In answer to Chris Howden's question of whether or not someone has to be a member of SSA to be able to post on the discussion forum, the answer is yes and no. When the forum was launched we created a new "membership" type: ANZSTAT Discussion Forum Subscriber, which is free. We had to do this because otherwise people would have been able to post anonymously, which we didn't want.  Our forum moderator checks each new subscription and removes anything that looks dubious, to prevent spammers from creating accounts and posting their rubbish.

    We currently have 666 discussion forum subscribers.  Add the SSA membership to that, and you'll have just over 1600 people with access to the forum should they wish to post.  Anyone can read along.

    Last modified: 10 Feb 2021 12:32 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)
  • 10 Feb 2021 11:30 AM
    Reply # 10074269 on 8976241

    Afternoon all,

    As a few others have noted. It seems the people hosting the original list no longer wanted to, so a change was required. So thankyou to those who worked on implementing that. Unfortunately though, as shown by the poor update, the current platform simply isn't working.

    I felt that the original list was an important part of our community. As a junior statistician I lurked for years leaning about both statistics, and the characters that made up my profession.  People who think statisticians are boring clearly don’t know many!!!

    I quite like how this new platform organises threads, much easier to find one. So that would be a nice function to keep.

    The key problems do seem to be the inability to receive and reply to posts in real time and by email. Fix them and I think we're good to go. 

    Another potential problem is: does this new platform restrict users to being SSAI members? If so, is this what we want or would we prefer a forum that allows for a wider set of views and discussion? One of the things I liked about the original forum is that we did get to hear from people who weren’t card carrying statisticians, but did work with data. Personally I couldn't afford to be a SSAI member when I first joined ANZSTAT, however it was one of the reasons I am now a member!!

    In terms of how and by whom it should be moderated, and problems with some contributors on the old list. I agree with David that the problem is not the platform as such, it’s the contributors. Whatever moderation is used in our new forum to fix these problems could have been applied to the original forum.

    Perhaps we could start by recognising that we are a broad church with diverse ages and cultures, and allow the forum to largely moderate itself. We are all adults and can surely handle the occasional email that makes us, personally, uncomfortable (which certainly happened to me). Perhaps a good way to work is that if it gets too much then sing out or tune out! I can think of quite a few occasions where this worked quite well, with some debate about the appropriateness of the post being had between members. And in many cases the original poster often apologising and moderating their behaviour.

    (The exception of course being threatening language, harassment, or clearly inappropriate posting such as spam. But this happened very rarely).

    So thankyou SSAI for taking this on, and I look forward to seeing this important community revitalised at some point in the future :)

    Last modified: 10 Feb 2021 11:30 AM | Chris Howden
  • 10 Feb 2021 7:37 AM
    Reply # 10073446 on 8976241

    I agree with David. I once hugely offended a person with a statistical opinion.  That happens. However, there was a contributor, who was very unpleasant, active for a while. A lot of people resigned during the days that contributor was active but it only seemed to be people who didn't contribute. Those who contributed and didn't like that particular person's comments simply redirected those message to the deleted folder.

    A forum like twitter where abuse is standard procedure is unsuitable. On the other hand, a space that is considered safe by everybody seems to be impossible to achieve or has the traffic levels of the current ANZStat list.

    It would make sense to keep the announcements on the current forum and to have a separate listserver for statistical discussions. That way those who find one of the two too offensive can subscribe only to the other.

    It is true that listservers are regularly blocked but so are most of the alternatives and the old forum worked well even though listservers were blocked then as well. Further, it is entirely possible for organisations to selectively allow listservers, and for participants to use an ANZStat mailing list when they are not at work or from their phone during working hours.

  • 10 Feb 2021 1:32 AM
    Reply # 10072145 on 8976241

    In response to "My experience with the old anzstat list was that there were occasions when it did not feel welcoming or respectful to me."

    I agree with the sentiment here, but I also would like to pick up on an important detail: it was not the mailing list that wasn't welcoming or respectful, it was the people who contributed to it. In my view there were some people/posts who were very unwelcoming and disrespectful, but it was those people, not the mailing list. The mailing list was just the forum in which they did it. If there is a version of that mailing list that can be moderated in some (probably fairly low level) way then do we end up with a broadly agreeable system and some mechanism for protecting against disrespectful etc contributions/contributors?

    The change does seem to have hugely reduced the traffic. I was under the impression that there were other reasons for the old list being closed down too; but using this issue as a justification for that seems to me like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    Last modified: 10 Feb 2021 1:32 AM | David Sirl
  • 9 Feb 2021 10:10 PM
    Reply # 10071637 on 8976241

    Hi all

    While I don't oppose some sort of e-mail list, I do have a strong preference against listserv list. One of the reasons, as mentioned a few days ago, is that many organisations block it. Another reason, as Jessica pointed out, was that I felt a lot of the messages posted were very disrespectful and I have to admit, there were many occasions that I was considering unsubscribing.

    Kevin



    Last modified: 9 Feb 2021 10:22 PM | Kevin Wang
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