This is just some brainstorming. Obviously, refactor mercilessly and turn this into a DocumentMode page.
I just sent someone on a mailing list I'm on an offlist message about a flamewar they're in (asking them to back off or take it elsewhere). I usually send meta-discussion stuff like this to people directly, to be more discreet. (And, hey, nothing's more OffTopic than saying, "That's off-topic!")
But it made me think about how OutOfChannel communications affect community, and I figured I'd start this page.
Another thing that got me thinking was reading the Tao of IETF. For the IETF, only decisions that are made on mailing lists are normative (http://www.ietf.org/tao.html#3.2). There are a lot of OutOfChannel discussions, including FaceToFace? meetings, but they don't count in the final tally for what's part of a standard and what's not.
I keep thinking about our IrcChannel?.
I feel we should have easy access to the last 3 days of #wiki logs available on RecentChanges; That way it's easy for people to go see what they've missed.
Or, since #wiki isn't logged, perhaps have some sort of compromise solution- Show the last 6 hours of traffic, but don't keep it thereafter. Just show the last 6 hours, and then it's forgotten.
You could even- have a light showing the activity level in IRC- green for "active dialog," yellow for "a little dialog," and red for "nothing going on." (Or, maybe some other scheme. But whatever.)
I think CommunityTiedToOneTechnology is absolutely the problem at work here. It's just the nature of the technology. We'd love to be able to bridge over what goes in IRC with what goes on here; It's just a technology limitation that we don't.