[consulting] Meta Discussion: Managing "Bandwidth" - Defining "Meaningful"

Shai Gluskin shai at content2zero.com
Mon Aug 10 14:57:02 UTC 2009

Consultants Group,
On the certification thread, Nancy wrote, "When I see the marketplace
clammoring for a certification, I might support it. But until that happens,
*stop wasting the bandwidth discussing it. It is simply meaningless (*emphasis

Key to the culture of the Drupal community is the idea of "scratch your own
itch." Usually that is meant in reference to writing a module that doesn't
exist that you want or need. But I believe it can also be applied to
offering up conversation on an idea that is consuming you.

Writing an e-mail to a listserve creates no burden on anyone to respond.
It's possible that someone's passion may not interest other people and that
person would get no response. The writer cannot expect a response if other
people are not interested. However, when other people are interested but you
are not, it is your responsibility not to respond and to filter it out of
youir workflow.

Re: the "bandwidth" metaphor. Let's be clear that the complaint above is
about personal bandwidth, not the Internet's bandwidth. It is an enormous
challenge to manage one's personal bandwidth. But it isn't the
responsibility of other participants in the community to manage others
bandwidth. Each of us has to do that for ourselves.

What is particularly destructive about claims that a particular topic is
"meaningless" is that the people engaging in that conversation are
contributing to the community by engaging in discussion that they care
about. So the "just stop talking about this" exhortation is asking people to
stop participating. It is the opposite of welcoming. It pushes people away.

p.s. I know there is a significant group of people who hate it when a
listserve starts talking about listserve process as opposed to its more
general mission. That's why I put "Meta Discussion" in the subject title. I
thought it might those people filter this thread should they not be


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