... farewell to an old friend, oops, acquaintance.

Toward the end of 1998 subscribers to two long-running Israeli listservs were informed that the lists were being terminated. Il-Board and Il-Ads, they were told, had run their course, and with the proliferation of numerous other forums for the discussion of internet and computer related issues in Israel, and also of advertising forums, there was no longer any reason to maintain those particular lists. Thus, when 1999 was ushered in, these lists were ushered out, and the inboxes of numerous subscribers received fewer daily messages.

A few tears were shed when these lists disappeared, but only a few. That's probably because though the people who read these lists felt a certain closeness, perhaps even attachment, to them, a closeness that developed over the years, it was more a sort of waiting room attachment. Yes, questions were raised and answers, given. Yes, over time certain writing styles and character traits became identifiable. But on the whole, these were lists that people read while they were busy with other things. They weren't on the lists because they felt a rapport with others, but because sometimes something interesting showed up on them, and thus it was a nice sort of thing to keep on a back burner.

Personally, I read them because I was interested in examining what material was and wasn't appropriate for the lists, and how people reacted when inappropriate material showed up. The closest that they came to a semblance of community was probably when hot political (or sexual) issues were raised. In cases such as this, tempers invariably flaired for a few days, someone complained that these weren't the topics for the list, someone else would respond "don't reply and they'll go away", and after a while things calmed down again. Frankly, these lists were only truly interesting (to my mind) when they weren't dealing with their stated purpose; when their accepted boundaries were breached. And that's probably because if any community existed at all among the members of these lists it was a community of strangers who chose to share a common space as a waiting room, as a window to possibilities, but not as a framework for convivial interaction.

Go to: Just browsing, thank you.