Phyl Giford on The everyone@ rite of passage:
Start-ups generally have a mailing list to which everyone in the company is subscribed, handy for news of website updates, mentions in the press and company announcements. Of course, in a laid-back company of, say, a dozen people, the list will also be home to plenty of amusing URLs, jokes and argument over the evening’s pub. Inevitably, there comes a point where management decides the list should host only official company business and all the incidental chatter should, as if by magic, disappear.
It reminds me of something that blew me at Netscape. I joined not so long after the pivotal term from startup to serious business, pointed to by many veterans complaining that this company was "not the fun startup it used to be" (and just when it was starting to be a seriously money-loosing business too). At that time, the 4000 or so employees enjoyed 7000 internal discussions/distribution lists, almost 2 for every person! You could find a list for people selling red SUVs and another for those seeking to buy green bicycles. And the senior management was "spamming" the whole company with regular email polls ("do you think the java browser would be a killer application?"), but that didn't last long.