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Subject: Re: about advice to newbies (from a list newbie)
From: Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Apr 2004 15:08:20 -0400

TEXT/PLAIN (106 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

Mr Carpe,

Despite your flame, my grumbles followed your guidelines completely:
think before you ask, do research first, respond to serious questions.

If you had been on this list long enough before you made your accusations,
you would have known that people on it have been very generous with their
feedback to others.

So I don't understand your accusations of standoffishness, etc.

Yes people on this list do consult. Me, too. Often,this is overtime, paid
work. Some folks do make a primary living as consultants, and I noted one
person who does give lots back to the network analysis field. There are
others. My beef is with folks who earn big bucks in organizations or
consultants who want one-way free advice so they can earn more big bucks.

PS: I don't know the difference between "setting rules" and "prescribing
social behavior". Isn't that what rules do? In any event, I did neither:
I put some personal grumbles out for folks to talk about at the social
network annual meeting. See you there!

PPS: I have a deadline for today. Please excuse my lack of further


  Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
  wellman at

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies          University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue    Toronto Canada M5S 2G8    fax:+1-416-978-7162
             To network is to live; to live is to network

On Fri, 30 Apr 2004, David Carpe wrote:

> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 14:43:50 -0400
> From: David Carpe <[log in to unmask]>
> To: Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>, [log in to unmask]
> Subject: about  advice to newbies (from a list newbie)
> as a newbie, one of the best things that i can think of is an
> auto-responder for all sign-ups - just state clearly the guidelines et al -
> and perhaps such conflicts might be easily avoided. given your lack of
> receptiveness to some areas of corporate, newbie and consulting inquiry,
> you also run the risk of alienating potential growth and supporter from the
> commercial side of this space, consulting side, or unrelated academic
> inquiry (e.g. other areas of research) - correct me if i'm wrong, but don't
> many of the academics on this list also consult to several of the companies
> in the commercial side of this industry?
> making experts available on a list is difficult. as a point of reference,
> i've run a very specialized ci/market research listserv since 97 and it has
> always done well with very basic rules (don't spam, think before you ask,
> etc) - yes, we get folks asking a few very ridiculous questions, or
> corporate types looking for free advice, but it is very, very easy to press
> the delete key...
> the alternative is a potentially arrogant, stand-offish approach to
> welcoming or embracing all sorts of folks with new interest in this area.
> could you imagine what the effect would have been eons ago if folks like
> alan kay (famous computer inventor, father of smalltalk/squeak) or the
> experts at carnegie mellon (developed mach and the origins of microkernel
> based operating systems) or stoustrup (moder c++ language) or scott (first
> hytelnet - pre-mosaic) had NOT made themselves or their colleagues
> available to others with interest in the field or discipline? terrifying.
> you probably wouldn't be emailing us all to discuss this - you'd be sending
> it out on postcards typed up on a smith-corona ;) - and you certainly would
> have NO software with which to do your modeling...
> just as outsider art is important to all of art history, so too should list
> members here consider outsider commentary or exchange valuable to the
> overall growth or promotion of mutual interests. there are many gems of
> wisdom to be found floating in the wake of mass inquiry, response or debate
> - and the trigger for any such discussion might very well come from outside
> of this socnet academic constituency...
> setting rules if fine and well with me...but prescribing social behavior is
> another ball of wax.
> -dave
> David Carpe, Principal & Founder
> Clew, LLC
> E: [log in to unmask]
> W: 781.674.2539
> <>
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