An Email Community for the Determined!
In the digital age, networked communication platforms and mediums are becoming more and more user friendly and allow for multitudes of types of interaction, voices, and exchanges of images, sounds, and text, both synchronously and asynchronously. Messages can be sent, voices can be heard, and events can be realized with organization and clarity that never before existed. In particular, emailing lists have become important means of maintaining ties within groups, relaying important information among peers or collaborators, and forging a sense of community that transcends all national and cultural boundaries.
Currently, we are actively encouraged to join public email lists. Unless a list adheres to certain rules, is password protected, or made private, anyone with a valid email address can join the discussion. We are also used to conventions of email lists such as subscribe/unsubscribe functions, digest mode, broadcast mode, and public archives of threaded messages. BumpList functions like a standard, public listserv, but adds the constraints of limited membership (currently only 5 people can subscribe at once) and the urgency of forcing people to re-subscribe if they get bumped and want to continue the conversations, discussions, arguments in which they are engaged.
In the discussion there are no rules. BumpList is an open forum just like any other email list. However depending on how much you want to participate in the discussion, it might be to your advantage not to advertise your subscription to the list. The more people you encourage to join, the greater the chance you will be bumped. Currently only 6 people can be on the list at any one time, thus making it an exclusive place so make your voice count!
BumpList exists as an extension to the well-known, open-source mail manager, SmartList. By using SmartList, the project maintains all of the security and subscribe/unsubscribe features of the manager and runs with the robustness of a widely used and distributed application. When subscribing, each participant gets a preliminary email telling them they are subscribed. When they are unsubscribed, they receive an email telling them they were bumped and given an option to rejoin.
Picture of BumpList on display at “My Own Private Reality: Growing Up Online in the 90s and 00s” (5/11/07 – 7/1/07)
Picture of BumpList on display at “The Art of Participation” @ SFMOMA, (11/08/08 – 2/08/2009)