5.5. Do you need a listmom?

Social lists and technical lists have very different dynamics. This should come as no surprise to anyone. What may be news to you, though, is that social lists often need two administrators -- a technical one and a social one. The social administrator is often referred to as a "listmom" or "den mother" or some other maternal kind of name, and is in fact often female (though not always). Her (or his) main activity is ensuring that the list members all play nicely and that nobody gets hurt.

If you run a busy social list, you might like to consider formally splitting the administrative roles so that you have separate people, with separate titles, looking after the social and technical aspects of the list. This can relieve some of the time and effort burden, as well as allowing people to do what they're best at. Let's face it, not every techie can be a social leader, and not every social leader is technically skilled.

If you run a technical list, you'll almost never have to do anything of this kind.