If there's a list that has achieved the stated aims of the Syndicate list (dedicated to constructive debate that excludes announcements, promotion and artist's actions) then that would be empyre (established by Melinda Rackham in 2002 and still going strong). This has been achieved by moderating every email posted to the list, ensuring that only those that are on topic reach the list (which is different each month, curated, with invited discussants). This is a bit of work and does sometimes mean censoring posts, but not as much as you would imagine, especially as the list has over 1500 members. The culture of the list is well established and generally self-regulates.
Other lists that are similarly closely moderated include Yasmin (having similar ambitions to Syndicate, but instead of the East/West Europe focus its is the north/south pan mediterranean that is engaged) and DASH, with a focus on digital arts history.
The opposite of these lists is Netbehaviour, which is totally open and unmoderated. Like empyre, its culture is well established and there are rarely conflicts or other issues - certainly nothing like what happened on Nettime, Syndicate and 55 in the 90's, where flaming was common. Why the difference? Perhaps the rise of mainstream social media platforms has taken the pressure of listservs, with those members that remain being generally dedicated to what listservs are good for - textual exchange. Just a thought...
On 6 Oct 2013, at 11:40, Charlotte Frost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> So far we've had little mention of the Syndicate list, which was extensively
> chronicled in a post to Nettime in 2001 by founding members Inke Arns and
> Andreas Broeckmann:
> One of the things that I believe was so important to this list at the time
> (and perhaps even more so with some historical perspective) was the voice it
> gave people of the former Yugoslavia during its civil war. It's common place
> now to talk about how platforms like Twitter break through political
> censorship Iran and Egypt are good recent examples but on a list like
> the Syndicate, such freedom of speech could be both a benefit and a
> detractor, as Arns and Broeckmann note. I'd love to know if anyone involved
> with the list at this time would like to recall individual posts that
> illustrate this difficult period.
> And also more generally if anyone would venture an account of their
> relationship with the Syndicate what collaboration its led to, and what
> it was like to lose it especially in light of the comments we've already
> had about how much of loss the Rhizome Raw list was.
> Inke and Andreas, I've BCC'd you in case you have time to offer anything to
> this discussion on Media Art Curating I can forward your responses if you
> are not current subscribers/are pushed for time. You'll find more on this
> month's discussions here:
> All the best,
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