Everyone is welcome to join our mailing list: groups.yahoo.com/group/oafs
The list is not affiliated with any club (since we don’t consider OAFs a club). But all astronomy clubs and individuals are encouraged to post about their public observing events. Anyone is welcome to join the list, but newcomers may be moderated until they are known to not be spammers.
We use the mailing list to:
- Chat about astronomy;
- Chat about telescopes and equipment;
- Discuss and plan where and when to have public star parties and sidewalk session;
- Discuss and plan where and when to have private OAFs-only observing sessions;
- Make the last-minute “go/no-go” announcements for the above events;
- Pick a restaurant to congregate at to have periodic OAF-ish dinners;
- Let individual OAFs make open invites to pot luck dinners;
- Buy and sell astronomy toys;
- Complain about the weather;
- Make Monty-Python references.
OAFs started out as nothing more than a Yahoo! Groups mailing list for local friends to talk about astronomy and to coordinate observing events. It still remains largely a mailing list, and most discussion and information exchange continues to take place there.
We have a tradition of planning observing events by using Yahoo Polls to allow OAFs to vote for the dates on which they’d be willing to bring telescopes to public star parties. Since we have no designated coordinators (we like it that way), everyone is encouraged to create new polls to decide where and when to observe as a group.
One thing we don’t do on the OAFs list is to discuss how to run or organize OAFs or discuss the politics that sometimes arise in clubs or volunteer organizations. For that “boring admin stuff” we have a separate mailing list called OAFuscators. Any OAF is welcome to join OAFuscators. Discussions that stray from astronomy on OAFs will be encourage to move to OAFuscators. We like to decide issues of how to run OAFs with votes in polls on OAFuscators. All moderators of the OAFs and OAFuscators mailing lists have agreed to abide by the decisions of these votes.