I'll probably lurk for a while and see whats happening, and desperately hope that I'm not gonna be one of these "newbies" that floods and kills an obviously alive and low noise list like this one.

I don't think a reasonable person who has just signed on expects to dominate the scene.
this is a very common occurence in groups that generate as much mail as this one. the effect of minimal particapation is to leangthen the time that other members need to get to know you. sporadic particapation of even well reconized members is expected at times.

I for one, being a recent subscriber am finding participation very difficult at this moment. As a woman, I am finding the recent messages by one participant extremely hurtful and insensitive.
Another thing I've noticed is the number of times I've felt compelled to reassure people here that I'm not being critical, that I'm not some force-to-be-dealt-with Consultant, that I'm not a slyly sarcastic crypto-flamer. Does this happen with all newcomers? Is my shrink-hood the issue? Did you guys get trolled and flamed a lot just before I arrived?
You are very important here, not because of your profession, but because you are "new blood" and without that we will probably just become bored with each other and wander slowly away.
Lists also need an open gate at the front end to combat the natural attrition that occurs as members lose interest, move away,or develop other committments.
When I came onto the net, I learned one thing: Prepare to get your ego bruised. I won't go out of my way to make a new member feel uncomfortable. In order for me to give anyone a hard time, they first have to cross my path.
In regard to these systems ideas, we have not been able to establish a situation in which we can work -- or not for very long. We have tended to behave like a closed group which is either close to capsizing or in a dead calm from entropy. We've chased most newcomers away, or have (re: Steve, after an initial skirmish) treated them as if they were our long awaited leader.
jumping in is exactly the way to get acquainted.
And if you don't want to explain why you decided to jump in now, say so. Having been a 'fringe' person most of my life, I hate it when I finally screw up my courage enough to say something -- and then have people ask me "Why are you doing that now?" Who wants to explain that they have been afraid? Especially when there isn't any "real" reason for being afraid... just an -- internal... personal... maybe emotional -- one.
I have been a subscriber to this list for some time but have never felt that there was a way in for me into the discussion.
Yea...maybe ya gotta start as a lowly associate member, earn your stripes, pay your dues and *then* be voted upon whether ya qualify for full membership. Hey, it's an idea. And hell, there's been shifting sub-groups around here since list's inception. Why not a newbie subgroup? Or a newbie subgroup with an individual sponsor for each newbie. Or one sponsor for the newbie group. Blah*blah*blah.

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