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SUO: Email is top cause of workplace stress

Following is the URL of the story (which confirms what we have already
been experiencing):

Today's flurry of email is primarily concerned with the merged
ontology.  Yet the volume is still much too heavy for normal
human consumption.

I urge people to consider the offer by Aaron Swartz to set up
and maintain better web management tools for the SUO.  Following
is a repeat of the note I sent a few days ago (but to which no one
has so far replied).

John Sowa

Subject:     Proposal for a new web server
      Date:  Sun, 13 May 2001 12:57:47 -0400
      From:  "John F. Sowa" <>

In my earlier notes, I suggested that the SUO list should be moved
to a different hosting system that might reduce the amount of traffic
to the main list.  There was some interest in the idea, but no one has
volunteered to put in the effort to install and maintain the software.

Since then, I have corresponded with Aaron Swartz (excerpts below),
who is developing Blogspace, which he describes as "a powerful,
hyperlinked system for building websites."  See the description:

Aaron has tested his software on a relatively low-traffic email list,
but he would be very interested in scaling it up to a heavy volume
list, such SUO list (unfortunately) has become.  His main interests
are in developing collaboration software that takes advantage of
RDF and other W3C standards and proposals.  Since his interests have
a large overlap with the interests of many participants in the SUO,
we might be able to reach a mutually satisfactory solution:

 1. SUO gets a collaboration system that can move a large amount of
    the email traffic to separate threads, and no one on the list
    has to do the really hard work of developing, installing, and
    maintaining the software or the web site.

 2. Aaron Swartz gets a large group of live guinea pigs to test
    his software, provide feedback, and suggest ways of tailoring
    the system to support better collaboration.

Following are excerpts from the correspondence.  Please cc Aaron Swartz
on any discussion concerning this proposal.

John Sowa

> John Sowa wrote:

>> In the first note, I suggested that we replace the e-mail format
>> by a web-zine format, using the free Slash software that has been
>> developed by Slashdot.  There is some interest in it, but no one
>> wants to volunteer to install and maintain the software.

Aaron Swartz wrote:
> Yes, Slash is a nice piece of software, but I've heard it's a pain to
> maintain. Of course, I've been known to hear things...
JS>> Question:  Would you
>> be interested in using the SUO site as a test case?  The SUO people
>> aren't willing to volunteer to do the programming, but they could
>> provide a web host on the web site (which currently hosts
>> the archives and e-mail for SUO).  If you are willing
>> to install the blogspace software and do the maintenance necessary to
>> turn it into a serviceable collaboration tool, this site would give
>> you a lot of test cases and a lot of exposure.

AS> Blogspace is reasonably complicated to set up, and I'm tired of
> three of my own servers, so I don't really need a third from someone else.
> What would you say if we pointed the site to the Blogspace
> server. That way it could look like a separate site, but would actually be
> maintained on my server. Would that be acceptable?

AS> I'd really love to get the usability testing and comments from your
> and so I'm excited about allowing you to test it. However, I must admit that
> Blogspace isn't quite done yet (there are two or three major features
> necessary before it becomes a really good collaboration tool -- comments on
> messages and versioning) and I don't have a large amount of time to dedicate
> to it at the moment. That should change next month, however.

Aaron Swartz