Viva the forestry internet revolution! ---was: Death of Chat!

Larry Stamm larryst at vis.bc.ca
Mon Dec 8 11:17:36 EST 1997


On Sat, 06 Dec 1997 10:31:24 -0500, Joseph Zorzin <redoak at forestmeister.com>
wrote:

>Jostnix wrote:

>> ***Aside from a few I can count on one hand, does anyone want "live" chat or
>> would you rather use the less demanding newsgroup exclusively?
>> 
>
>Chatting is cool idea, but it's not in my opinion a good forum for
>REALLY serious discussion; because not many people can't read and type
>that fast while thinking hard. But you get MAJOR karma points for giving
>it all the effort. I see a huge promotion in your future.

I've recently discovered this NG, and appreciate the generally high level of
discussion here.  I would second the notion that the best forum for serious
discussion over the Internet are email lists or Usenet.  Many foresters live and
work in rural areas (as I do) where Internet access is only available via long
distance telephone lines of dubious quality, so a stable connection to a chat
room is rarely possible and would be prohibitively expensive to maintain when it
was.   And as I understand it, many Europeans have to pay for their local
telephone connection based on the amount of usage, so chat for them is also very
expensive.  Furthermore, much of interest in forestry is happening in areas
where WWW access is not available yet, but email and Usenet connection
theoretically are.

>> ***Is the technology (a PC Pentium with Netscape 3.0 or IE 3.01) too advanced
>> for most forestry subject chatters?
>
>I don't believe we should worry about anyone who isn't up to snuff on
>this. You can buy a pentium today with $1,000. If someone doesn't want
>to spurge for that much, they're probably not serious contenders for
>internet communication. Some web designers insist we should only do web
>stuff up to HTML 1.0. Fooey to them. But 3.0 is the level to aim for. I
>have found a few web sites that insist you acess it with IE 4.0. Too
>early for that.

Agreed, the price of technology is not a big barrier to most in North America,
but a used 386 PC was a major investment for some of my email pals in other
parts of the world.  Also, a website with too many bells and whistles will
almost invariably destroy my phone connection; the infrastructure is just not
there to support the newest technology.  If you really want to distribute
information over the Internet to the widest possible audience, keep it text
based and keep the format simple.

>Keep plugging away. We as a group I think really are the cutting edge of
>forestry on this planet; despite Don Baccus's put down. We are trying
>out different ways to communicate here in the Global Village. They're
>all good. The problem seems to be that the dozen or so of us are the
>only ones who really take notice. We try to reach out to the masses of
>forestry type people with great effort, but get frustrated when we don't
>get the massive response we feel we deserve. It's like we (the forestry
>"dozen") are up walking is space around our internet spaceship, looking
>down at the planet wondering why everyone else isn't so excited about
>this stuff; but we're having fun anyways. Some day the rest of the
>forestry world will see us as the Daniel Boone types going up over the
>Cumberland Gap to the new frontier.

Give it time.  Any kind of internet access has only been possible in my area for
ten months, and has yet to reach many forest-based communities in Canada (or
Siberia, or the Amazon Basin, or...)  I can name about a dozen forestry types in
my community who are just now discovering the possibilities of global internet
communication, and are wondering if the benefits will justify the connection
charges.  The lack of infrastructure in the Canadian hinterlands is rapidly
being addressed, but it is likely going to be another 5 -10 years before
Internet access is truly available across the country.
--
Larry Stamm
PO Box 561
McBride, BC V0J 2E0



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