The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0704 Wednesday, 5 April 2000.
Date: Wednesday, April 05, 2000
Subject: Counting to Ten: A Clarification
From some of the responses I have gotten to my "A Few Matters Regarding
SHAKSPER" posting of a few days ago, I feel a need to make a bit of a
No one ever need apologize for adding to the work I do with SHAKSPER.
This work is, as Alan Blackman pointed out yesterday, a labor of love,
and I assure everyone that there is no way that while I am its
editor/moderator/owner that SHAKSPER will be anything but edited.
I will return to the matter of moderation in a moment, but now some
words about editing SHAKSPER.
I do indeed love bringing SHAKSPER to the members of this list. The time
that I spend on it is almost the most fun I have when the sun is up. I
also love working on my edition of Shakespeare's POEMS for the Internet
Shakespeare Editions and reading and writing in the Folger Library, and
I am greatly disappointed that my current situation does not allow more
time to direct to these efforts. However, when it comes to SHAKSPER, all
of the time that I spend is much more enjoyable and rewarding than
making budgets, listening to student and faculty complaints, visiting
classrooms, evaluating faculty performance, writing retention reports,
writing assessment reports, writing annual reports, writing any report -
you get the idea. I do love teaching, and I love editing SHAKSPER just
as much, but I do not love the administrative side of my current
Now, when I requested that members count to ten before hitting the reply
key, what I had in mind was that members would initiate a kind of
self-regulation: self-moderation if you will. Is there really a need to
reply to seven out of the ten digests under discussion on a particular
day or to reply four times to the same digest? I strive to maintain
SHAKSPER as an academic discussion list. My preference is for a somewhat
elevated level of discourse without, of course, ruling out occasional
humor or just plain silliness. My point is that I believe that the
membership has as much responsibility as I do in moderating SHAKSPER. At
one time or another, it has been suggested to me that members be allowed
only to post once a day or that postings should not exceed one or two
computer screens. I am not willing to moderate SHAKSPER in this way, but
I do believe that some submissions are frivolous or are not really
necessary or productive. I attribute this attitude to the fact that I am
not a very touchy-feely, warm and cuddly kind of guy.
That's my clarification. I was and am making a plea for self-moderation
on SHAKSPER. That's it. Nothing more.
Now to editing today's digests and packing for Montreal.