A writer’s group on the forum, getting discussion bubbling along again

After the recent Publication Assistance Workshop at our conference, Shayne Gary and I discussed the potential for a system dynamics writers group.

Interest in the writer workshops has been steadily growing. 59 people attended the first half of the workshop, which was open to all. There were so many papers accepted for this year’s workshop that it can no longer offer one-on-one assistance. This year it was one expert and 3 writers. The clear trend (I haven’t modeled this :slight_smile: is growth in writers needing assistance.

We discussed the possibly of setting one up on one of our special interest groups (SIG). However, the SIG would have to create a high-quality discussion mechanism that could handle many long posts and keep them organized. Slack and Facebook are what have been used on the SIGs for this, but both are chat oriented. Facebook is hardly the place for serious discussion. Thus, why not try setting up a writers group on this forum?

This really means a research/writers group. Personally, I’ve been puzzled by the low amount of discussion on the forum. There are so many vital issues swirling around system dynamics problem applications, methods, modeling, and so on.

I remember some ten years ago participating in the system dynamics email list. That bubbled along nicely for years. I’ve retained hundreds of interesting emails. Most importantly, the discussions and assistance led to acceptance of a paper in the review in 2010. I suspect other papers also emerged as a result of our discussions.

One factor I noticed was several people periodically sprinkled the email list with thoughtful, insightful, probing posts, most of which generated very interesting discussion. They didn’t have a problem to solve, they were just trying to encourage high-quality discussion. The group was also well self-moderated.

Perhaps we can reincarnate the email list on this forum? How do folks feel about this? Perhaps it’s already been tried?

To start the ball rolling and test the idea, I will make a separate post on a working paper of general interest.