|Date: ||Fri, 2 Nov 2001 15:35:58 -0800|
|Reply-To: ||"Karsten M. Self" <kmself@IX.NETCOM.COM>|
|Sender: ||"SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||"Karsten M. Self" <kmself@IX.NETCOM.COM>|
|Subject: ||Re: IRC SAS Channel|
|In-Reply-To: ||<17FC635537389-01@MMS__halifax.co.uk_>; from
DavidJohnson@HALIFAX.CO.UK on Fri, Nov 02,
2001 at 03:33:49PM -0000|
|Content-Type: ||multipart/signed; micalg=pgp-sha1;
on Fri, Nov 02, 2001 at 03:33:49PM -0000, David Johnson (DavidJohnson@HALIFAX.CO.UK) wrote:
> perhaps I didn't express some of my reservations clearly enough, you
> don't seem to ackowledge the points I made.
I'm going to weigh in weakly in favor of IRC. Reasons stated below.
It's not being suggested as a replacement to SAS-L or SI tech support,
but as a supplement. Some will find it useful, particularly the
geritol-free crowd.... ;-)
> As an employer (previous life), I would not have been at all happy
> that a 'Chat' connection was open between one of my team and the
> outside world.
A similar attitude used to hold for email. While I acknowledge that the
distractive use of IRC may exceed that of email, it may also have a
strong positive benefit. Positives and negatives need to be weighed.
Would you remove all a workers external communications? Phone, email,
web, Usenet? Frankly, I'd find same a rather uncompelling environment.
> It's irrelevant what that chat channel is for, it remains something
> that is a distraction.
Strong disagreement. What's relevant is its use.
> From experience of terminal messaging within a mainframe, (an older
> but probably not too dissimilar technology), I know that less than
> half of the traffic was task related.
For a very interesting discussion of this very topic, see John Seely
Brown's _The Social Life of Information_. Brown was the director of
Xerox PARC in Palo Alto. Much is made of informal information networks
within and between organizations. One allegory is of the various
informal social meetings of Xerox repair reps -- getting together for
breakfast, lunch, and coffee. Though the sessions included eating,
playing games (cribbage), and "idle gossip", there was also much
discussion of work:
[T]he reps talked work, and talked it continuously. They posed
questions, raised problems, offered solutions, constructed answers,
and discussed changes in theier work, the machines, or customer
relations. In this way, both directly and indirectly, they kept one
another up to date with what they knew, what they learned, and what
....The rep's chatter stood out, however, because the process view
[of their jobs] assumed that they worked alone and had adequate
resources in their training, tools, and doccumentation. Time spent
together would, from the process perspective, be non-value
adding.... But...the reps provided much more than comforting
noises. They were critical resources for each other.
John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid, _The Social Life of Information_,
Harvard Business School Press, ©2000. ISBN: 0-87584-762-5
Your discussion of the mainframe messaging system is focussing on the
wrong half of the equation. It's not the lack of value of half the
discussion, but the amount of value in the other half. By your logic,
the record lables and venture capital should shut up shop and go home.
Three in ten ventures are profitable, one in ten a major success. In
the recording field, it's 0.4% of artists that are successful. Read
again: 99.6% of artists never make back their recording costs.
> I would accept that while a job is running, a staff member might deal
> with a SAS issue, for reasons detailed above. But I would not allow
> the priority of that persons day to be determined by whomever happened
> to pop up with a problem. You will encounter "old generation users"
> like me who had to get used to not being able to call our colleagues
> and friends in other support areas directly. Their managers wanted
> their team's workflow handled by a Help Desk system, not dictated by
> an 'old boy' with a problem on a particular project, who knew someone
> and could jump the queue.
My sympathies. Read Sealy Brown.
> As an IT services person, I would have to structure the company's
> connections to the Web to allow for this increased traffic, and pay
> for it.
Text-based IRC is minimal traffic load, this is a strawman.
> I would also have to be sure that there were no vulnerabilities in the
> system... no small effort in itself.
This *is* a fair concern. There are IRC related exploit issues.
They're not significantly different from those concerning other instant
messaging systems -- AIM or Microsoft's chat. The holes can be
identified and closed down.
> Otherwise this open IP connection would become a very convenient
> portal for some bored sociopathic 'script kiddie' to deliver payloads
> onto the system, or use the system as a platform to hit other sites.
> How many IT directors are going to pay the costs or allow the
I suspect there are ample other means to do same to your systems if
someone were really bent on doing this. Your Exchange servers and MS
Outlook clients, for starters. This is largely another strawman.
> If in the face of all this, you find you have a lot of support, then I
> congratulate and commend you. But quite frankly, I doubt that many
> people or organisations will be able to participate. If you don't get
> the support you wanted, don't assume the group is lethargic, closed to
> new ideas or unsupportive, because that isn't the case in this group.
> Consider instead the commercial realities that stand in your way.
And...there's not harm in setting this up and publicizing it. Those who
choose to use it will.
Karsten M. Self <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand? Home of the brave
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