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st: responses to new users


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: responses to new users
Date   Sun, 16 Jul 2006 16:44:34 +0100

Recent threads have touched on the perennial question of how 
far the list should indulge new -- or apparently naive -- 
members. 

The main point in my view is this. 

New members get a welcome message from Marcello Pagano 
when they join the list. The main burden of that message
is that new users should read the Statalist FAQ before they 
post. Among other things, that FAQ does outline at length 
things that can, indeed should, be done _before_ posting, 
including use of online help (e.g. -search-) and use of -update-. 

It seems to me that if new users choose to skim or skip 
reading that FAQ, or to decide that for some reason the 
advice does not apply to them, then they really should 
not be surprised or upset when members rather firmly remind them 
of that advice. Also, as some of us are human, sometimes
the exasperation really does show! 

The rationale for that advice is not to keep this list 
as a forum for elite users. It is that, long term, no 
one would benefit from a long tail of trivial postings 
which members could really answer for themselves. 
As there is no moderation -- nobody filtering out dopey 
or lazy messages -- such list discipline has to be 
exerted, on-line or off-line, by list members themselves. 

To end positively: no one has ever been thrown off 
Statalist for bad behaviour! 	

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

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