Re: Designing Effective Action Alerts for the Internet.

Ron Resnick (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 11:35:20 +0200

I Find Karma wrote:
> This is beautiful. Well thought out, well organized, and useful.
> Too bad 97% of the Internet community won't take note of it.
> Phil Agre, you're the man! Red Rock Eaters, we love you!

Yes, indeed. And since we love RRE and Phil so much, perhaps
we should add his new book "Computation and Human Experience" to
our reading list-

He just posted the introduction to RRE; looks cool.

> It's weird, because it's guidelines for designing action alerts,
> but to tell you the truth, if spammers designed their spammail this way,
> I don't think I'd take nearly as much offense at the spammail I get.

Ah, but if spam followed his advice, such as clearly identifying the
originator, and selectively targetting audiences, it wouldn't be spam,
now would it?

Just one comment on his guidelines:

> > (19) Don't mistake e-mail for organizing. An action alert is not an
> > organization. If you want to build a lasting political movement, at some
> > point you'll have to gather people together. The Internet is a useful
> > tool for organizing, but it's just one tool and one medium among many

just one tool? Today maybe. Long term, I think he's right that physical
f2f meetings will always have a role, but I expect to see every non-f2f
encounter at some point get subsumed by the Net.

> > that you will need, and you should evaluate it largely in terms of its
> > contribution to larger organizing goals. Do the people you reach through
> > Internet alerts move up into more active positions in your movement?
> > Do you draw them into conferences, talk to them by phone, meet them in
> > person, become accountable to them to provide specific information and
> > answer questions? If not, why do you keep reaching out to them?