Opening up Internal Discussions to the Public

We've been thinking about shutting down several internal technical discussion aliases and forcing these discussions into the public space so that every developer can benefit from the Q and A that occurs on these aliases.  I know this would be a HUGE win for the community and 95% of the traffic on these lists doesn't contain any Ip we'd be worried about since it's generally questions that all developers have. 

For now I’d love to just have our internal MS blogger DL discussions occur publicly on a moderated forum.  I actually think that people would then refrain from some of the flame tactics that have become so prevalent on our internal DL.  Gretchen has already unsubscribed and my own participation in a recent thread has me unwilling to post almost anything there.  I’ve decided that the following equation was probably true from day 1 on this alias. 

A + B +C = (X+1) * Potential for Disaster

Where

  • A = Everyone at Microsoft that’s opinionated enough or feels self important enough to have their own blog.
  • B = A non-moderated free for all way for group A to communicate easily with each other and an audience that spans most products at the company.
  • C = Innocent person sending mail to group A through medium B to inform or ask them about FOO. 
  • X = A 0.00 to 1.00 scale of how likely the topic FOO in e-mail C is to generate a legitimate constructive discussion.  I add 1 because even if you think this is 0… it’s not. 

This equation is based on <Potentially Offensive Content Warning> prior research </POCW> completed by the Penny-Arcade folks.  I know, everyone on this list is not to blame, but there are some that seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed way too often.  I'd say they are just naturally this way, but I happen to know some of them in person and the "alter-ego" that shows up on this DL amazes me.   They are normally great people to have conversations with, but with this DL...I’d rather talk to angry customers.