Letter: Rappnet’s 1.17 percenters

I am writing this letter at the request of a few individuals who wanted me to more widely disseminate my recent post from Rappnet, the Rappahannock-based email list-serv.

I regularly follow Rappnet, and occasionally post. I make a point of deleting new posts every day, but I recently noticed that I had not emptied my “Deleted Items” file since I got my new computer in April 2014. Over the last slightly-more-than-a-year, I had received and dumped into that folder 10,848 emails. Using the search function in my email program, I looked at who sent all these posts. If I excluded the 447 posts from five people who regularly post about the availability of food, flowers, political meetings or work, that left 10,401 posts.

Of those, one person had 2,352 posts. The next three most frequent posters had more than 1,000 each. Together, these four people accounted for 5,948, or 57.2 percent, of all posts. Another 11 people had more than 200 posts, so that the total from these top 15 posters is 9,741 — or 93.6 percent of all posts over the last year or so.

Rappnet (rappnet.org) is a great institution, with more than 1,280 members, and is a wonderful forum for news and discussion. However, please don’t think that what you see on Rappnet is a representational cross-section of Rappahannock County society. The overwhelming majority of posts come from a small and vocal group, just 1.17 percent of the membership.

By no means do I want to discourage anyone (including the top 15) from posting on Rappnet. I just want to point out that what you see posted there is not necessarily the “sense” of the county.

Doug Ward

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