Re: public vs. private posting

Bjorn Conrad Fry (bear@USNET.US.NET)
Thu, 19 Jan 1995 02:32:24 -0500

Ach du Lieber! And I thought that "personal message" was just some more of
the usual "monkey wrench in the thread works" polemics and sophistry.
Shouldn't I have taken it with the same sincerity that it was given? ;-)

Mike Lieber wrote:

>There are any number of good reasons to respond privately to a public posting.
>Some people are shy and don't want a spotlight turned on them, even when what
>they have to say is interesting. Some people see a point of interest in a
>posting that does not directly address the main issue that its author was
>making, and rather than post a public reply that doesn't address the main
>point, just responds privately about the digression. This is another form of
>etiquette--musicians refer to it as "not stepping on someone else's break
>(solo)". Another reason for replying privately is so as not to embarrass
>the one to whom you are replying. Not everything that one disagrees with is
>worth a public post, and not every post with a flawed point needs a public
>reply. This is a judgement call. I replied to Bjorn's instinct post privately
>partly for this reason and partly because I didn't want to step on the rape
>thread with a diversion into "instinct." I notice that Bjorn did not complain
>about my private reply to him. Hmm.
>There are some private replies that are really worth public posts. This is
>sometimes frustrating, particularly when the private reply directly addresses
>an issue in a far clearer, better worked out formulation than anything that
>appears on the net. I have to then reply asking permission to forward that
>reply to the net so everyone can read it. I don't think it's adviseable to
>promulgate a rigid protocol on these matters. Flexibility and common sense
>are usually pretty good guides to deciding public vs private posts.
> Mike Lieber