I think there's agreement that it would be useful to clean up mailing lists that are no longer being used.
In terms of the specific process, (IMHO) this is something that has to be done non-disruptively. This means getting in contact with each individual list, and talking stuff over. (There are 110 of them, so this process will take a while.)
Here is my first draft at a proposed cleanup process.
For each mailing list:
- Write to each mailing list + mailing list owner, asking: "is this list still active, or can we retire it?"
- If list says it is active, then leave as is.
- If list says decides it can be retired, then go to "retire" case below.
- If no response after one week, assume that the "still active?" question never made it do the list. Add an obit member as list owner, and repeat the process. (Sending the "still active?" question as list owner ensures that it will get through to list members).
- If no response after two weeks, go to "retire" case below.
- Attempt to get some form of consensus on what to do with mail archives. If people would like to keep them, then keep them. If people would like to have the archives deleted, then delete them.
- Attempt to get some form of consenus as to whether people would like to remain on a low-frequency announce list (i.e, "everyone"). If people are amenable to being on an announce list, then add them. If they're not amenable, then don't. (In this step, we'll have to honor individual requests).
- There are a couple of cases where this procedure may not be suitable. I'm thinking of lists like daily digest and info tent. We'll probably need to take these on a case by case basis.
It would be great if several people were willing to take on this work. (And, I think that there are several people willing). It light of that, I'd suggest keeping a `Changelog' of clean up work. This doesn't need to be very elaborate. For example, we could create a wiki page where each section is a mailing list name, containing contains a bullet point list of steps taken.
The changelog would serve two purposes:
- To avoid duplicate work (i.e., you can see who's done what)
- To provide transparency. If someone asks, "what happened to mailing list X", you can point to the changelog and say "we talked to persons Y and Z, and decided to do this ..."