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Bob,  sorry. I appreciate the needs of different users and want things to work for all.

I think this is an issue with technology, however, more than individuals (not absolving myself from bad-subject lining:-)  But it's clear we each have adjusted to the list-serve as best we can given large volume of messages that as you say, some find "a waste of time."

I myself use gmail and find that its automatic threading is the ONLY way I can track the multiple conversations from this list.  Gmail groups them for me by subject line and if the topic wanders, so be it - at least I have the entire conversation in one place.  If the subject is changed as the conversation progresses, however, I get too many separate SftP emails.  I then have to rely on each writer to not only change the subject line but also to recap the message he or she is replying to in order to pick up the thread of the conversation.

I tried the digest form for a while.  What a horror.  Millions of retained replies to replies to replies -- people's lazy solution to the problem of not being threaded, and you may recall some very strong complaints about that, too.  Not to mention ugly format code throughout.

The lovely thing on SftP is actually having dialogue.  Email however is only able to handle monologue (one-to-one or one-to-many). This is why alternatives exist.  There are computer-mediated communication (CMC) environments that have advanced beyond the list-serv to solve these problems for groups that are large, egalitarian (e.g. many-to-many conversation), diverse in interest, and/or engage in multiple synchronous discussions.  Such CMCs facilitate threaded multiple discussions and allow user filtering; first-line quick-glance; tagging posts by topic; skipping threads; searches; and more.

Including the editing of past emails to amend the subject line or anything else.

Until then, my thanks to you for the reminder. I'll mind my subject lines better, for those who are unthreaded, and hope for a future migration to a technology less constraining to any of us. Our current one is by design, unable to accommodate all SftP members in a way that satisfies everyone.

Claudia
P.S. No previous message "tail" dragging along.