In the world in which I used to work – libraries – when new systems were to be introduced there were tussles between IT departments and chartered librarians. The IT nerds loved dreaming up new systems for their own sake. The chartered librarians saw their role as representing the users and making sure that any new systems were going to be useful and user-friendly to the end users.
I get the feeling that the stalwart team of generous volunteers at Jewishgen include a good many people with a very high level of IT skills. They needed to be matched by a representative group of users who were not particularly admiring of or skilled at IT – people who just want discussion lists, databases and websites to do the jobs for which they are set up.
All that surprises me is that the new discussion list seems to have been launched on thousands of users without extensive and thorough piloting by ordinary list members unskilled with IT. This is like an engineer designing a fantastic new sort of engine for an aircraft but it doesn’t enable the plane to fly.
Please revert back to the old system with daily digests and the SIG lists which I miss, until this new toy as been tested and re-tested by non-experts. If this software does not do what we users need and cannot be satisfactorily adapted then it should not be selected.
Hazel Dakers, London UK researching:
BIRNBAUM (Zgierz & Lodz, Poland), GOLD (Zgierz & Lodz, Poland), HEIMANN (Luegde, Germany & South Africa), NORDEN (London and South Africa)