World Power Systems:Dead media project mailing list:FAQ The DEAD MEDIA PROJECT mailing list
Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:#2 Where do all these <Dead Media Working Notes> come from?
  • Q:#3 What should I submit to the mailing list?
  • Q:#4 Can you please add me to the DEAD MEDIA PROJECT's mailing list?
  • Q:#5 Can you please remove me from the DEAD MEDIA PROJECT's mailing list?
  • Q:#6 Can you help me find information on [some particular dead medium]?
  • Q:#7 DEAD MEDIA is going to my old email address. How do I change it?
  • Q:#8 How do I contact the moderator? Who's in charge of this thing anyways?
  • Q:#9 How do I submit a Working Note to the list?
  • Q:#10 What should a Working Note be about?
  • Q:#11 How should Working Note be formatted?





Q#2: Where do all these (old, horrible, great, etc) <Dead Media Working Notes> come from?
A: Why, from people like you! By it's very nature, 'dead media' is forgotten, unwanted, unremembered, and generally unrecorded. As fantastic as some peculiar medium may be today (eg. messenger pigeons) it was once new; and when it was merely last-year's-model, you can be sure few were interested in preserving anything about it (or embarrassing it's contemporary proponents). Generally, only once it's old and ripe does any one care about it again. But by that time everything has been forgotten.

See Q #9 for specific information.

This is where you come in. If you stumble upon an interesting dead medium -- and the definition is very broad -- either by accident or as part of your regular research, by all means, write it up! Send it to us!
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Q#3: What should I submit to the mailing list?
A: While we all enjoy a good yarn, for the Dead Media mailing list we insist on having sources for your information. It's not that we don't trust you; au contraire, we share your enthusiasm and many of us will want to continue research on your tip-of-the-iceberg (or drown in your voluminous data).

Please include enough information for readers to locate and persue your sources; book title, author, publisher, year, etc. If a citation from a website (increasingly common) a URL that The Moderator (the fool writing this text you read) can verify it's availability. We assume you are sensitive to issues of copyright and no-fee access; if unsure, ask the Moderator.

Personal experience is also more than acceptable, but please, make your relationship (its designer, a user, an observer, a salesmammal, etc) clear.

In general, if in doubt, ask. The goal is to prevent, and undo, the loss of historical data.
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Q#4: Can you please add me to the DEAD MEDIA PROJECT's mailing list?
A: The list is now automated -- you can do it yourself by simply sending email:
	To: dead-media-request@deadmedia.org
	Subject: subscribe
You should receive an automated response saying you are now on the mailing list. This could take many minutes if the network is busy. If you don't receive a response in an hour please write to the moderator.
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Q#5: Can you please remove me from the DEAD MEDIA PROJECT's mailing list?
A: The list is now automated -- you can do it yourself by simply sending email:
	To: dead-media-request@deadmedia.org
	Subject: unsubscribe
You should receive an automated response saying you are removed from the list. This could take many minutes if the network is busy. If you don't receive a response in an hour please write to the moderator.
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Q#6: Can you help me find information on [some particular dead medium]?
A: While the Dead Media mailing list and archive may in fact contain the information you seek, it's up to you to find it. The list and it's archives is simply the compilation of the many contributions from people like you. There is no staff; "we" are all the people that choose to participate by researching dead media and posting the results to the list for all to see.

If/when you find the information you seek, we'd collectively appreciate it if you'd post it to the list for the benefit of the rest of us.
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Q:#7 DEAD MEDIA is going to my old email address. How do I change it?
A: It's easy -- unsubscribe the email address you want to discontinue, and after that subscribe with the replacement email address.

First:
It's best if you can do this by sending email From: the email address you're trying to remove, if possible, but it will work from your new one:

	To: dead-media-request@deadmedia.org
	Subject: unsubscribe oldname@olddomain.com
You will get an email response saying you were unsubscribed from the list. It could take many minutes if the WPS system, or the internet in general, is busy. On a calm day it could appear in seconds.

Second:
Re-subscribe from the email address you want to receive postings to, by sending:

	To: dead-media-request@deadmedia.org
	Subject: subscribe
The automated mailing list has built-in help; it will respond to certain email that you send it. For a summary of what it can do, including the subscribe/unsubscribe info given above, send email:
	To: dead-media-request@deadmedia.org
	Subject: HELP
If you continue to have problems, contact the moderator.
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Q:#8 How do I contact the moderator?
A: If you are certain you can't get what you need from the automated mailing list server, then write to the moderator at tomj@deadmedia.org (Tom Jennings).
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Q:#9 How do I submit a Working Note to the list?
A: Write up a story or report on a dead medium, format it properly, and mail it to dead-media@deadmedia.org. See
Q #10 for content guidelines; see Q #11 for formatting. And certainly look at existing Notes for examples.
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Q:#10 What should a Working Note be about?
A: You are telling other people, also interested in dead media and media history, about a dead medium you know about. Your audience needs factual data (the usual who/what/where/when/how) and ideally, with some sort of historical context (eg. what was the state-of-the art at the time? Were there competing technologies? What kind of people used it? How many?)

You must reveal the source(s) of your information, the more accessible the better. The best reference is one that others can potentially access (eg. library book, film, etc). Less good, and more typical, is an article or chapter in an out-of-print or otherwise hard to find source; include all information where possible (author, date, publisher, page number, etc).

Poor sources is by far the most frequent reason for rejection. I can't emphasize how important sources are! Without sources your information ins only hearsay; interesting, but unfortunately not useful for research.

Electronic sources are problematic; while they are certainly convenient from a couch-potato point of view, they are not reliable. Links get moved, and sites disappear. While there's probably nothing you can do about this, if your web source refers to other non-electronic books, films, etc PLEASE copy these into the body of your Note; that way if the electronic source disappears these likely more persistent sources can be searched for.

First-hand reports may be fine, too, but please try to keep some rigor in your story: list the circumstances (you worked on system X in 1923; you fell into an old cellar where you found...) and context, and external references where possible.

There is no minimum or maximum length, but if if you've got more than a few thousand words consider serializing it ("parts 1 through 9") or write me first.
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Q:#11 How should Working Note be formatted?
A: Working Notes are plain text files, emailed to dead-media@deadmedia.org. The format for submitted Notes is pretty simple.

At the top of your submitted Note should be two "header" lines:


Dead Medium: [your title here]
Source: [your sources here]

If the sources are in a table at the end, or embedded in the body, then say so in the Source: line.

Poor or missing sources is by far the most frequent reason for rejection. I can't emphasize how important sources are! Without sources your information ins only hearsay; interesting, but unfortunately not useful for research.

The body is plain text (specifically NOT Word or other format; do "SAVE AS PLAIN TEXT"). Keep line margins 80 columns or less if possible. No fancy formatting. No attachments please!

Tables and formatting are problematic right now. At least keep them exceedingly simple, as I will have to hand-massage for distribution.

Pictures remain a problem. At present, there is no way to distribute graphical data in the list, but I want to include them at least in the web archive. Please write me about this.
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