Being open about being open.
As I have mentioned before I am a dues paying member of the “Open Rights Group”. I cannot have been happier with how my “investment” has made a difference and continues to make a difference in educating decision makers.
I was very disappointed then to have joined the Mailing list for the ORG just as the discussion about “should the archives be open ?” was kicking off. Now colour me confused but if I join a group devoted to encouraging transparent decision making processes and open formats then I might have a reasonable expectation that the maillist and conversations that I have will also be available to the public without a barrier or “subscription”.
There are various concerns expressed about making the list open , the least of which is Spam Bots and farmers. Lets be honest about Spam bots and farmers; that Horse has long since galloped off and the gates have long stopped swinging. The list isnt really private , anyone can sign up and read the archives so theres no “actual” privacy. The most frustrating of comments concerns the idea that the list will have “better quality discussions if it remains private”. Really ? Well I suppose the same argument could be made that better software will be developed if it remains closed.
There are some great discussions on the list but I cant help but have a nagging doubt that this smacks of either elitism or pedantry. I would have written a response via email but I wanted instead to make my comments public and in a forum that allows the ORG and its members in turn to respond in public.
Thanks for reading.