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Survey Results

Thanks to everybody that participated!


You can subscribe to the new mailing lists as usual on our mailing list webpage. The digests will be sent out once a day.


I am currently a subscriber of the swiss-list12489%
I unsubscribed recently from the swiss-list129%
I was never a subscriber11%
no answer32%
Return rate ~24%

Where should political discussions take place
On another list hosted by the swiss-list6043%
On the swiss-list5741%
On an external list129%
no answer53%

Stop spam and viruses11784%
Supress 'me too' and 'I agree' messages7251%
Redirect messages to correct list6647%
Fix subject lines5841%
No personal attacks5640%
Do not accept emails that have been written 'in the heat of the moment'2820%
The moderator should have blocked some of the emails sent out lately1712%

Options for a new list
The list should be moderated6949%
The list should be archived6345%
There should be digest5338%


Here all the comments in no particular order, including some I got by email. In all cases I've removed all names. If I should have missed a name let me know.

You are doing a great job at the Swiss-list. Separate lists (for "heated" discussions versus tax/visa etc.) would only be needed, if one of the subjects attracts so much e-mail that the other may be lost and a separation would better allow to filter/find topics.

Thank you for your efforts and thoughts

It was great how you handled it! It was interesting (and embarassing too) for me to read those opinions. But after a while I got really bored and I'm glad you took those emails from the list.

A great job has been done on the side of the moderator and the swiss list committee. This attitude appears to me very swiss: first consult and then survey. I am bi-national :-) Congratulations!

Some mails were maybe OT or written in the heat of the moment but keeping them is a sign of openness. There are several points of vue and banning someone simply because he doesn't share the same point of view is the worse thing to do. We're in the land of the "freedom of speach".

insulting/racist/extremist messages should not be allowed. I've seen a couple of these during the past weeks.

Thanks for the excellent swiss-list.

I think that it would make sense to differentiate which emails should be archived and which could be deleted automatically after a certain period of time (or not even archived at all). Some contributions just have an immediate but not a lasting value for the reader - let's say someone selling his household stuff versus tips regarding visas, where to get Swiss food etc.

I actually don't mind that the very active participation on the swiss-list at all even I am not particularly interested in each an every contribution. As I can't implement filters in my present email client I might just need to redirect the Swisslist mail to another account.

It would be nice if subject lines are correct and messages are redirected to the correct mailing list but I see this as an unnecessary burden for a moderator.

For the moderation, I think that most people should be old enough to know what to send in a mailing list.

I like the idea of having the general swiss-list for tax/housing/work/visa/car etc. and another list for exchaning opinions. The opinion list should be fairly open and non restrictive (except certainly for virus and spam obviously not originating from a subscribed member), but other than that no control should be enforced.

A separate chat room would be great. You may want to consider charging the users of such a feature an administrative fee for the required moderation - this may also help keeping away undesired spam. In addition, as a general policy, every chat room (and swiss list) author should have to identify him/herself properly. Pseudonyms should not be allowed. Thanks for your wonderful service and your efforts to sollicite the general public's feedback.

DON'T censor the list! Whoever is not interested or annoyed should just ignore the mails. I think these were quite healthy discussions but I admit there were also some bad comments. However I don't think it should be up to the list owner to block such kind of mails. If there are really bad comments or mails, the list participants will and should tell the sender.

I was a little shocked too about some people's comments. But everybody should be able to say what they want to say. I liked the reminder of the "moderator" that we all should refrain from personal attacks (attacking people within the list). I guess that should be enough, just a reminder once in a while if it seems to get out of hand. it seemed to work.

Discussions and personal oppinions are OK, but I like the idea of moving them to seperate lists and not archiving them - thus not making them accessible for people outside of the list. Also I would suggest adding a reminder on the Swiss list e-mails, that only statements people would be ready to make in general public should be made

people who repeatedly use offensive language should be removed from the list after a warning has been issued. maybe there should be a mailing-list 'homesick' - i guess that has been the primary motivator for some of the more agitated authors ;)

I wrote my comment already in an earlier email. :-) Thanks for moderating the swiss-list!

If you create a new "discussion" list it has to be moderated to avoid unlawful contents (racism, discrimination) or personal attacks. If you personally disagree with somebody, you can write directly to the person, you don't need to share it with the rest of the list. You should encourage messages with facts and numbers, with the source of information, not like "I heard that...". If a message is "censured", inform the sender. The main list shouldn't content any discussion or personal opinion, only useful information. If such a situation happens again, inform the subscribers, it will avoid a lot of misunderstood! And as I already said to Claudio, remove all personal email address and personal web-pages of the committee members from the swisslist site. It's too easy to threat you!

Tough task. Terrific list. Keep the good work. Best of luck.

Don't worry, let the whinners be swiss and whine. The right of free speech should be allowed to all swiss-list members, even the very stupid ones.

I like political discussions, and I like fondue, although not right now, being on a diet. I'm also very interested in being able to fly non-stop from Geneva to the U.S.

I was pretty dissappointed the other day, when after having observed the swiss listers discuss U.S. politics for several days, I decided to provide my American point of view, and it was, well, for lack of a better word, censored.

Now I spent quite a bit of time composing my piece, and think it was fairly well written and balanced, not to toot my own horn. For what it's worth I tend to approve of those list members who speak their minds. In a democracy silence is death, especially from those who do not vote.

Anyhow, if you really want to get into the American spirit you should know that the one thing we really as a whole don't abide by, across the political spectrum is censorship. We just don't do it, and we get very miffed if someone does it to us, and we don't really like people censoring what we can read either.

If you want to inform yourself on the swiss mailing list, the discussions are not of big value. You loose a lot of time because you have to look at all the emails because you don't want to miss some informations. So, it would be great to move them to another list or stop them


I would recommend the discussion list to be reorganized into classes which cover some specific issues(e.g. administration, US/CH, hints, for sale, etc ..)

Anyway, as is, the swiss-list is already a good way to share knowledge and information.


I guess moderation takes a lot of time and effort - therefore a compromise between effort and usefulness must be found with time...

All jokes, question etc. are relevant. It is nice to have fun from time to time. Reply to a question should be directed to the "question" sender only. I would ask the person asking the question to summarize the answers and ask her/him as services to mail it to the swiss-list.(with no more reply)

Thank you for every thing you are doing for the Swiss and the list

Best regards

Opinions are free and it was interesting to read what people thought. If the subject line is correct, I can just stop reading those mails or filter them if I get anoyed. If people make personal attacks that refelcts badly on them, not on the swiss list.

If a new list is started for discussions, I think that the moderation should be reduce to the minimum (only to avoid nastygrams, insults, personal attacks...)... indeed, when the censure must starts? What is writing is the responsability of the subscribers and not of the swiss-list. It is therefore important to be sure that all interventions are posted by a identified subscriber and not a anonymous one. A warning message could be sent to the subscribers of the new list to remind them their responsibilities with regard to what they will post on the discussion list. Some rules can be establish in order to reduce the work of the moderator.

Thank you for your work.

I enjoyed the discussion a lot. For the time being, the less interference, the better.

A few comments from the originator of the "fondue discussion":

- Though I have not participated directly in the heated CH/US discussion of the last days due to lack of time (heavy deadlines at work), I was indeed very interested in reading all of the more or less balanced opinions voiced there. I think we live in an open society which should leave room for open discussion as long as it is within the limits of politeness and respect for other persons, i.e. have no fear about questioning any opinion but do not attack persons ("american/swiss people are stupid", "you're clueless", etc.). I was however very tempted to reply with a "Go home, then!" to some persons who strongly attacked americans at the beginning of that discussion (being very critical myself with some US policies and behaviours but I always tried to discuss them openly with my american friends and that at least forces you into a respectful tone), but as I said, I really didn't have time in the last couple of weeks for a balanced answer. And other people voiced what I had to say very well.

- Moderator: I am certainly in favour of a well moderated list according to the criteria marked above. However I am very aware that this may require a considerable time investment on days where the discussion traffic is heavy and I appreciate that ommitment enormously. However, if the moderator cannot afford that time, I prefer, for the sake of an open discussion, seeing more messages, even not well filtered, rather than giving up the discussion alltogether.

- Though I have no problem receiving these messages in the main swiss-list, I have no problem with a separated discussion list (I'd subscribe to it right away), though the borderline is sometimes fluid (I started the fondue discussion started with some very practical questions, to which list should they go?).

- A propos fondue, I'll try to summarize (I should have a bit more time in the next days) all the practical information I received, especially what is not yet on the swiss-list site, and post it for other people who may have the same questions. Thanks a lot for making the swiss-list such a great and useful place!

I think it would be interesting to let the full swiss-list about the discussion going on in another mailing so if they are interested they can join in. Have you thought of a chat room for such discussions instead of a mailing list? As a swiss-list user I think it is nice to be able to choose whether you want to be bombarded by such email or not. Therefore, I like the idea of another mailing list.

Thank you for the survey! I think that a "swiss-list place" to discuss openly of various topics and to share his opinion, while respecting each other personal integrity, is the essence of democracy and of progress. Of course then, while people might have different opinions, they must respect each other and respect the choices of the majority. Moderation is good and necessary, but should be limited as much as possible and should be based on criteria that leave few room to subjectivity. I have learned many things with the recent discussions and I like it. Also it makes me feel good to know that I am not alone with some of my frustrations. Moreover I found such discussions very stimulating to enjoy more the good things in an unperfect global world and to enjoy more my experience abroad! Sincerely

Dear friends, I have stopped using the general swiss-list (I'm still on the Eastcoast list) because at one time I was getting too many jokes I didn't ask for. I am so glad that you bring up the subject of these utterly boring discussions. Thanks. They are on the level of any other 'forums' you find on the net. I would be happy with just useful information/real questions. Maybe moderating is good. I have another question: When someone looks up my name on the Internet he will find my Science paper and then the archive of the Swiss-list (from when I got angry about the jokes): is it necessary to archive all this?

Thanks for trying to keep the quality of your list.

I think that overall the swiss list is great and very useful. I just think that receiving something like 30 e-mails per day of personal opinion on the US was just a little bit too much...Therefore a separate list for people who have a desperate need to express themselves would be a good solution. No censure shoud take place.

If people use meaningful subject lines, it is really not difficult to filter for your self and hit the delete button. The recent discussion on "greatest country in the world" was revealing mostly about the people who posted. I find comparisions between different coutries very interesting if they are dealing with specific issues. Initially, I considered posting a corresponding message, but I had little time and realized that this was also more about some people venting their personal frustrations, than about serious discussions. All in all, these kind of messages are so rare on Swisslist, that I think we don't really have to change anything. I hope people realize, that these are personal opinions and don't represent the Swiss, or Switzerland in anyway. Interestingly, a very similar thing happened recently on the mailing list of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Stipendiaten in response to a NYTimes article that criticized European involvement (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan. The outpouring of anti-american sentiment by some list members in my opinion has more to do with their often difficult personal situation (far away from home, homesick, stressful and sometimes frustrating work, uncertain future...) than with the issues at stake. BTW, I observed the same "anti-host" reactions in Americans, that live for a longer time in Europe.We shouldn't take them too seriously.

PS: Claudio, you can post that if you like. Also, I think you are doing a great job managing the list. Thanks a lot!

Aside from the standard commotion any heated discussion causes, some of the surprises arise because many know Switzerland only through their holidays and dreams. Lots of issues affect Switzerland, and the Swiss are a diverse bunch of people. While any heated discussion always includes inappropriate messages (if they take over, take action, otherwise, let freedom of expression reign, please), they rocked the image some of your audience had of Switzerland. And that's not necessarily bad, Switzerland is not a fairy tale country.

having said this, Swiss-list, is a very informative forum. So if these types of discussions increase, I am very much in favor of starting a separate list. The only problem with a separate list is that the quality may degrade in that separate list; as it is right now, your audience is aware that they are taking up quite some bandwidth and may show more restraint than they otherwise do.

Kind regards, and thank you for moderating the list.

Where do you think should such discussions take place in the future? I don't think that is interesting but I am agree for to creat another list for that.

As long as the traffic on the list is as low as it is now (even during the recent heated discussions it was very reasonable), everything is fine. Users can delete or filter emails if they wish so. Should the traffic increase drastically in the future, measures could be adopted. It will be time for a new poll!

I think the solution should be to use chat room or discussion board on the Swiss List web site, rather than the email system today.

One email could be sent when starting a new discussion, and those interested can join in, without bothering those not interested.

I am among those whoi did not find at all interesting to have dozens on email to upload, on often very personnal comments.


The multiplication of email list is not a solution acccording to me. If people are not interested in a subject, they can delete the emails thanks to the subject lines! Otherwise, thanks for your effort in keeping this website and list up!

Thank you for the job you are doing, I have always found the list very helpfull. The topics of dicussions don't always interest me and in that case I simply don't read them.

Have a nice day,

I enjoyed the debates, particularly the swiss airlines stuff. I don't think this should be censored at all, frankly the flame level was quite low compared to some other mailing lists...

I found those recent discussions very interesting. Maybe I have been here for too long already, but it was refreshing to see that even Swiss can be opinionated and in some cases full of it! But, after all, we are all just humans ;)

I did not always agree with what was said and how it was said, but that is not the point: Different people with different background => Different opinions! Respect them! When the responses are not exactly proper or called for, keep cool, or else they will only escalate!

For those that have heated responses, I would like to implement the following: Breathe in and out three times! If heart rate still has not come down, wait 24 hours before replying.

Good luck and keep up the great work!

Keep in mind that the swiss-list represents an important aspect of Swiss academia. as such messages should stand up to our intellectual level/background It (the list) can easily be understood as part of official Switzerland, discussions should keep this in mind. We are guests in this country. I don't support purely political discussions on the list especially if they end up in an archive accessible by the world.

archiving is useful to deal with recurring issues (taxes, visa) that belong to a FAQ. archiving is inherently indexable and searchable, and should not contain personal names or email addresses. the best solution IMO is a forum that allows one to receive postings through email (either as digest or individually). it would allow people to stay private if they so choose.

keep it up!

It was very interesting to have all these discussions.... I personnaly understand that some of them have been written in the heat of the moment and don't bother me ! (as long as there is no "bad and under the belt" personal attack !!!). People should be able to write what they think but should also be aware that lots of people are reading them and not only swiss !!!!!!!!

I have requested to be removed from the "Swiss-list" mailing list, and are surprised to receive this questionaire. During the few weeks of my subscription, I have been exposed to more negativity and immature and insulting political opinions than in any other forum. Please take my name of your distribution list. Time on earth is too precious to be waisted. Thank you,

I think that the important thing is that we respect anybody's opinion, as long as it's constructive and not insulting.

There should not be too many restrictions. If the moderators filter out emails, the discussion would reflect the moderators opinions and hence would be biased. It is everybodies own deciscion to participate, write and read what they want (freedom of speech). Also it is up to everybody how to take the messages (feel offended, fell annoyed, feel pleased). Every emails belongs to the discussion and simply shows the diversity of the swiss-list. This does not mean that I agree with insulting mails but people writing these usually only show how clueless they are themselves. Let's keep it an open forum in the name of democracy and freedom of speech.

So far I am pleased with the way the swiss-list is being handled. A digest version might be a good idea to avoid an overflow of emails. I would like to thank you for the work you are doing.

I appreciated the open discussion and the variety of opinions.

It's dangerous when we start censor opinions. Would the swiss-list become zero tolerance? I hope not! A.H. are everywhere, and it is easy to identify them.

Some of the recent emails about US/CH were rude, irrespectfull and should not have been allowed on this list. I unsubscribed following these emails after 5 years on the swisslist. I do not want my name and Switzerland to be associated with these rudness and irrespect of different countries, people or cultures. Freedom of opinion is fine, but I do not want to be associated with rudness and intolerance. By subscribing to the swisslist, I feel that I associate my name to the swisslist, like a membership in a club. If this club is not respectfull, I quit.

Swissair/Swiss was a marginaly OK discussion since we were criticizing our own country/culture. The fondue discussion was ok, even if it was borring.

If I do not like a message or am tired of a thread I just hit the delete button. Seriously I think that people have a right to express their opinion but should refrain from personal attacks.

Claudio, thank you for making such a survey! As a general comment, I think the swiss-list has been very good for sharing useful information and helping newcomer to the US and the Bay, discussions on tax, visas, social security, shopping for Swiss products, etc... I have 2 specific comments: 1. There is a difference between discussions on material that are meant to seek or provide information, such as those described above, INCLUDING the so-called heated discussion on the fondue, but EXCLUDING debate on Swissair or on the US / Switzerland in general. I suggest that the swiss-list continues to distribute the mails related to INFORMATIVE discussions, but re-direct debates such as US/CH and Swissair to other discussion groups. 2. I happened to take part in the so-called heated discussion on the fondue. I found that I needed to add some information about bringing cheese in the US and a location to buy some here, and posted a message on a Tuesday afternoon. However, my message was sent late Wednesday night or even Thursday morning and in the meantime, we received messages from 2 persons that provided the same information already. My point here is, because of the delayed delivery system, quite a few messages are redundant and pile up in our mailboxes, including mine, which was totally unintentional from my part. I suggest you guys address this problem.

Anyway, I wish you good luck in your endeavor to organize the swiss-list! Cheers,

Hi Claudio,

Concerning the email I sent you last week, I was not angry, but really concerned of how bad it could affect the way people (especially american) could see the swiss and Switzerland. In a sense we all are "ambassadors" of the swiss culture and it seems we are somehow a certain "elite"...among swiss people. So of course if intolerable narrow-minded comments could be read on the swiss-list, written by "clever and smart people", gosh (!) what a bad advertisement for our country !!! So, THANK YOU very much for your concern on that VERY delicate topic, I appreciate a lot !!! See ya,

I think it is absolutely wonderful to be able to express one self freely. It is ppl who are insecure and take themselfs to serious, who feel attacked. A certain amount of good manors, not to hurt somebody on purpose, should not have to be told, one should know that.To accept other ppls oppinions, which in term don't have to be our own, is called making an effort to live peaceful with each other. If I don't like a discussion, I never get into the middle of it. I did like to read what other ppl had to say and hope sencerely it will continue. To the managers, you will never ever do right by everybody anyway, soooo, keep doing what you did until now, works for me!!! Thank you and best of luck,

1) If the response is personal ( I agree/disagree) one should respond to the sender and not post it to the mailing list. Please keep saying what you think ! even if it's on the heat of the moment...Once you make a fool of yourself online, you usually learn to tone your message down. 2) I was quite annoyed by the discussion, and trashed most of the messages without reading them (unless it was a new and somewhat interesting subject), however the straw that broke the camel's back was the message "looking for a swiss mate" , maybe we should have a swissmatchmaker-list? (kidding of course)

Dear Mr. Fleiner I am a Costa Rican-born Swiss citizen. My father's family emigrated here after World War 2. I have lived all my life in Costa Rica, my main culture is Costa Rican, but I feel the Swiss part of me has a very big influence in my opinions and personality. I studied Civil Engineering, and this year (2002) I will be traveling to the US to start a Master of Architecture program. I don't know yet where exactly I'll be going, but my highest hopes are put on Harvard, Yale, Rice or UCLA; I wish at least one of them accepts me. I know I am a very uncommon Swiss-lister, because most of the people here are linked to the IT or biotech sectors, and their academic level in general is far higher than mine. I like the Swiss-list because I find it very interesting that certain specific traits that help shape the notion of "nationality", are still present in most of us, globalization or postdoctorates notwithstanding. The "fondue" discussion was one of the warmest ones I have seen here, because it helped show a very innocent, human side in all of us. Most people discover fondue at an adult age, whereas for Swiss people the word triggers memories of infancy. That came out clearly in the discussion. I think I am responsible of having started the Swiss Airlines discussion, which went to places I would not have imagined, and helped me gain perspective thanks to the diverse opinions. I didn't mean to cause a chaos, though. I found the "Best country" discussion completely unnecessary. For example, ask any Argentinian which country is the best (I do not have anything against them...they talk in a really nice accent, their literature is great and the women are beautiful). I cannot imagine two countries being more different than the US and the CH. Sure, Americans have some weird traits, but so do we and so does everyone in the world. I think trying to "grade" or select which one is better is exclusively a matter of personal taste, and once someone has made a decision about this subject, most likely it won't change. I don't know if you are familiar with this, but every Costa Rican grows up hearing that "Costa Rica is the Switzerland of Central America". Some people take this as an insult, but the fact is that there are some physical resemblances (Country size is about the same, there are lots of mountains and valleys, and the landscape in some places could be mistaken for Appenzell or the Berner Oberland). And a more interesting part is that there are also uncanny similarities in the personality traits of the typical Costa Rican and the Swiss. One of them is that we think we are better than our neighbors. Other is that sometimes we think that, surrounded by our mountains, protected by our Social Security, locked within ourselves and trying to keep to old "tried and true" ways, we will forever have a safe haven from the dangers of the outside world. Maybe that point of view is mistaken, but anyway, it sounds familiar, right?

Please excuse me for the lengthy comment. All in all, I like to be able to hear Swiss people's opinions on the most diverse subjects, and I think the Swiss-list is great at that. However, receiving 22 emails at once on a subject that maybe doesn't interest me at the moment, is somewhat annoying. In my opinion, the best would be to have a "bulletin board" in the website, similar in format to the "archives" section, where everyone could read or answer whichever message they like. Entrance requisites should be set, like email identification and fixed member names, even login passwords, in order to prevent misuse and to make moderation easier.

Thank you. I would surely like to meet some of the Swiss-listers in person when I am in the US. Even if it's only for beer and Rösti!

I personally enjoyed the recent discussions very much. As a journalist, I write quite often about Swiss living in the USA. It is important for me to have a sense what the range of opinions is on any given subjects. I think criticism and even impassioned manifestos are okay, as long as they are rational and do not contain flagrant personal attacks. But I understand that some people would prefer not to be part of long, political discussions, which is why I think it might be best to move such discussions on to a separate list, if that is possible.

Fondue problems, tips and news are ok (I mean tax, jobs, airlines visa ...), but 'I know better than everybody else' is boring online and are better discussed around a real stamm-table.

In order to make it easier and flexible for the moderator, I suggest he intervenes before 'matter of opinion' subjects grow too hot by sending an email and by blocking subsequent messages (too late concerning the 'swissair' and 'best country of the world' in my opinion). That way subjects are not totally censored, people cool down and go on with something else. No need for a secondary list, people interested can reply privately.

Thank you for your time.... That list is very helpful.

You are doing a great job, so I hope you don't get demotivated by all the negative feedbacks expressed by some people lately. Thanks for keeping this list alive !

The goals of the swiss-list are clearly stated in http://www.swiss-list.com/about/index.shtml. IMHO it does not include some of the recent political discussions (swiss, US vs. Switzerland, ...), as well as advertising of goods for sale. Fondue is o.k. as it improves everyday life (goal #4).


Remove political discussions completely from swiss-list, remove offensive contributions. AND Create new list for goods for sale. OR Change/update goals/purpose of swiss-list.

I am thinking about quitting swiss-list due to the recent discussions. This mixes in with my professional emails and reduces my productivity. Discussions should be conducted in an online web-based forum (pull-system), whoever is interested to participate can and not via email (push-system) where you don't have the option.

It was getting a bit much with all these discussions, but it is so easy to delete emails, I don't worry about this.

Usually a really great thing and an email is easy to delete if you don't like it. Thanks for all the work!!

Whatever the discussions. I belive that they serve a purpose and seem to be a good indicator of the mood of Switzerland associated people here in the US.

I am against censoring the discussion, but do belive that a certain level of decency should be preserved!

The many emails on the above topics were a bit annoying. But I have subscribed to the Swisslist for almost a year and it doesn't seem to happen too often. Therefore, I don't mind if these emails are posted on the main list (as long as it doesn't happen too frequently). An alternative would be to post the first such message on the main mailing list and then divert the responses to another list. However, some daily or weekly messages should be posted on the main mailing list, saying how many new messages on a particular subject were posted. In this way, we could have a push instead of pull model.

Thank you very much for administrating all this.

I think you couldn't call it a swiss list anymore if some topics are barred. would it have been such an interresting discussion if it were on a separate list? maybe you should just warn new subscribers of the fightlike discussions that can occur on this unique list. if somebody dosen't like to debate they should just delete the mails without reading. over all I'd like to thank you for your mediation and your super job! kind regards

If someone has an important question (say, regarding taxes) it should be presented clearly and conscisely, ending with 1. Answers please to (E-mail address)with Subject "Answers" 2. Anybody wanting to see the answers,please E-mail (to E-mail address) with subject "Answers received"

Swiss List is a very useful tool to share common useful info such as taxes, job, academics, returning to CH, ... This list should be moderated to avoid the natural tendency to turn it into a personal opinion on life and death forum. Another list for people to vent should be created. Thanks for proposing this survey and doing this!

Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite, Democracy, Freedom of Speach

It was interesting to see the narrow-minded reactions of some Swiss people in regard to Americans, and I wondered why they are here in the US. Not all is perfect here, and not in Switzerland either. I am getting my suprises too when I got back to visit CH.

first, I appreciate this poll!!!

As Hansjoerg mentioned in his first email, users who don't like this should setup a filter... I have this for a long time, all email lists get into their own folder and I don't see them when I don't want to see them... But I guess, not everyone realy nows what this is :(

1) Where do you think should such discussions take place in the future? me, I don't care! But with the reaction it seems it would be wise to put them into a seperate discussion list which is not archived. Since this is swiss-list related, keep it under this domain name.

2) Moderating I appreciate all your effort of moderating the swiss-list. I would prefer if this wouldn't be necessary at all! Anyone should be old enough to know what is acceptable! So keep it simple, because it is your time and no-one pays for it!

My vote: - separate email list: 'discussions@swiss-list.com' - no archive - umoderated

emails sent to the moderated lists that don't belong there should be redirected to the discussions list.

Thanks for your great work!

One other unrelated question: Was there ever the motion for a regular Stammtisch? A get together once a month for a beer? Maybe in SF?

Show the listeners how to create a filter to take out mails they do not want to see. If I'm not interested in mails I just set a filter and have them forwarded in the appropriate mail box. I still may have a look at them before I trash them.

I think generating a digest of the new list(s) is a good idea. The digest could actually be reduced to just the subject lines, with a link to the thread in the archive in case people are interested. In one of my previous companys, they did just this. People could subscribe to the "general" mailing list/newsgroup. At the end of the week, everybody received an email with the authors/subject lines of the posts to that mailing list. Sounds like this could be moving to a newgroup format rather than a mailing list.

P.S. I was troubled that many of these emails did not give proper respect to the other members of the swisslist. Perhaps one should regularly send out a netiquette document, so that people at least become aware that not everything is appropriate. I wouldn't want to burden the moderator with censoring those emails, though.

How about creating a chat room on the swiss-list website, instead of a new email list? This seems like a better way to handle lengthy discussions. It could be handled this way:

-- After six responses on the same topic go out to any particular email list, a chat room on the topic will be created on the website for further discussion. An email will be sent by the moderator inviting everyone to the chat room. All further emails on this topic will be redirected to the chat room.

Great job by the way with this Swiss-List. It seems to be growing and becoming quite interesting!! It would be fun to plan some events...

Claudio, I mostly agree with: 'Me too' or 'I agree' messages that do not include additional infos should be stopped.

I agree that the discussion got a bit heated (great country...) and by the end went in circles.....However, I do not think this should be censored: opinions and the way they are expressed reflect on their writer, and partly cultural background. Usually, these people get honest feedback - and on several occasions the feedback was instructive. In a way I think this heated debate was educative for many.....

As an American married to a Swiss I found the recent anti-USA discussions very hurtful, but at the same time it is useful to know that a sub-set of the Swiss population feels that way. My conclusion is that the discussions are healthy, even if they are painful. However, the idea of separating them out into a discussion list makes a lot of sense. Thanks for all your efforts, and best regards

I am a firm believer in a liberal policy regarding what is allowed on the list. I use the list both for factual information and to get a read on what ex-pats like myself think and care about. I don't believe in filtering much of that. It is very hard to determine the boundaries if the swiss-list went that route and it would limit the liveliness of the discussion.

I think participants are always free to ignore a stream of messages if they are not interested (as I tend to do if a tirade gets unleashed about some topic or another.

However, we don't need to be protected from an open exchange of opinions.

if the Swiss on this list have anything close to some sense of dignity and (self-)respect as the oldest living democracy, they will have to admit that their host country (the USA) has a democratically legitimised constitutional right of free speech (1st amendment to the US constitution) which we should honour.

This holds true of course at the the risk of getting a lot of garbage between the interesting and well-educated comments.

End of discussion!

I am not reading the swiss-list on a regular base, so I did not know about these heated discussions. Generally, I feel quite annoyed by heated internet discussions. My personal policy is that what you cannot tell somebody in the face, you should not write in an e-mail. The internet should not be the place to wage war behind the anonymity of an e-mail address. After all we are Swiss and should not forget about our good manners.
I belong to the silent majority and I got seriously annoyed with the flood of unnecessary emails concerning the comparison of the U.S. with Switzerland. I did not enjoy this discussion at all and sympathize with all the people who felt offended by some of the more stupid emails. It did not make me proud to be Swiss ! I even thought of unsuscribing but decided instead to just deleted the email unread. I would highly appreciate it if such useless discussions could be prevented for the sake of all the good aspects of the Swiss-list. I will definitely unsuscribe from the Swiss-list if it continues to promote these sort of discussions. This would be a real shame, since I really like the Swiss-list otherwise.
Dear administrator,

I think as long as the netiquette is kept I do not see a reason why it should be not possible to have an opinion (it looks like that in the US individualism, critics and personal opinions are not desirable). So, why the people who don't like critics, don't use the delete button if in the subject line is a topic, which they don't like. I got some nasty emails directly as well, but to tell you the truth, I ignore them. Because the mailing list would do well without them as well. MfG

I think the best would be to create a forum@swiss-list.com for all "debates" ?
Hi Claudio, I liked the discussions and when I got bored, it is easy to delete them, as long as the subject has the right title.
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