History of Cohousing-L

2013 Note: See Messages on the occasion of Cohousing-L turning 20 years old

Jan 2008.

Tho Cohousing-L actually started on October 21, 1992, it ramped up slowly
at first so I treat Jan 1, 1993 as the starting date of the list. In the
first 15 years there were 27,110 messages distributed. An overall average
of 165 messages per month in the last 5 years.
(2007 thru 2011 average: 149/month)

As of Jan 2008 there were 1216 subscribers. 666 Digest mode, 550 Non-digest
mode. 388 of those are in No Mail mode, some because of problems with
the address over the years, some so they can post from a second address
and some so they can post but read via the archives. I do not know how many
of each tho many are due to problems.
(2012: numbers have not changed much, down a little.)

There have been 300 or more subscribers since 1994.  Over that time there
has been turnover in who is subscribed but some folks have been here a
long time.  Thanks to all who have made Cohousing-L what it is.

The list has run on listservers at 4 different hosts:
1993-1996 at my friend Jon Harder's work place.
1996-2001 at Minneapolis Telecommunications Network
2001-2004 at Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (now part of Propel Nonprofits)
3/1/04-present Tigertech.net in California.

Messages have been archived since the beginning, first in gopher format
where the listserv ran.  From 1996 to 2004 they were archived at
Communications for a Sustainable Future (CSF) in Colorado.  Thanks to CSF
founder Don Roper and especially CSF volunteer Michael Yount. CSF is now
defunct. Peter Scott developed the amazingly useful subject search for
cohousing-L with the CSF archives.

Since April 2004 the archives have been at Tigertech.net with the listserv.
They are all in one consistent format (Mhonarc) and have a full text search engine.

At MAP-NP and Tigertech (that is since 2001) Cohousing-L has run on the
Mailman listserv.  Mailman is "open source" software developed cooperatively
and distributed "free" .  Free as in freedom but also at no charge.  I find
the open source philosophy very compatible with the ideas behind cohousing.
Information about Mailman can be found at: http://www.list.org/  and
See also http://www.opensource.org

The list has been at the address cohousing-L@cohousing.org since the
move to the second host in 1996.  Having the list at our own domain
eased the move in 2001 and 2004.

The Cohousing-L Info page has forms to subscribe, unsubscribe, and
links to archives and Cohousing-L References page etc.

The cohousing web pages were started by Stuart Staniford-Chen in 1994 or so and were
moved to http://www.cohousing.org in 1996 also. They have evolved greatly since
then and are now maintained by The Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US)

Cohousing-L was started as a project of the Twin Cities Cohousing Network which was
minimally active for years but was reactivated in 2016. Cohousing-L is independent
of but cooperates closely with The Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US)

Cohousing-L's biggest problem over the years has been that it produces
more email than some people can keep up with.  As of Nov 2006, somewhat
over half of subscribers are in digest mode. The Cohousing-L Summary
mailing list ( C-L-sum ) was created around Jan. 2006.  It sent one short
message PER WEEK that summarizes the messages distributed by cohousing-L in
the past week. Each mailing has a list of message subjects ("threads") and
posters on that subject. Messages themselves can be read via the archives.
See Too much Cohousing-L email? Try C-L-Summary
The summary list never attracted many subscribers and required considerable effort to
maintain so it was shut down.

In addition to Cohousing-L I have managed a number of other mailing lists.
In April 2004, I reconceptionalized my listserv efforts as a small organization
Communications for Justice - Justcomm .
Cohousing-L continues to be the main mailing list I manage.

In March 2007 the Cohousing Wiki was started to provide a collaboratively developed
and maintained reference web pages about cohousing.  One main goal was to develop
an archive of example documents such as Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs).
The wiki could also have summaries and pointers to notable threads in Cohousing-L.
To date the Cohousing Wiki has not gotten much development effort.
Volunteers are encouraged to check out this site.  About the same time the
Intentional Communities Wiki has been developed that has significant
cohousing topics.  Both use the open source Mediawiki software that is used by the popular
http://en.wikipedia.org/ general collaborative online encyclopedia.
The Cohousing Wiki was shut down in 2011 tho the link above now is to a page about
details and wiki archives.  The IC Wiki is still around.

In 2021 Neil Planchon joined Fred to become the Cohousing-L Management Team
Thereafter list related requests should be sent to the team at
cohousing-l-owner at cohousing.org

Fred H. Olson , Cohousing-L founder and management team member