Selecting the right newsgroup for discussions

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at GENBANK.BIO.NET
Tue Oct 9 11:20:18 EST 1990

Here is a sample comment that I got back from a user regarding the
recent electronic publication discussion on BIONEWS.  I would note
first that when the topic first was raised I suggested moving the
discussion to the BIO-MATRIX newsgroup, but this was ignored.  BIONEWS
should be used more for general announcements of widespread interest,
not for extended discussions on single topics.  I don't want to have
to start moderating groups, but if we get many complaints on this
topic we may have to change BIONEWS to a moderated forum and leave the
other specialty groups in the current free-form style.

In response to the mail backlog issue raised below, I will note again
that the adoption of newsreading software at each computer site and
the elimination of e-mail subscriptions is the only good long term
solution to this issue.  I wouldn't want my personal mail file
inundated by bulletins, and I feel a bit sorry for those who still
have to receive postings in this fashion.  Nothing will change at your
site, however, unless your systems manager gets enough requests to do
something about it.


				Dave Kristofferson
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at


Is BIONEWS the appropriate place for extended discussion of sometimes
esoteric topics? I refer in this case to the electronic journals
debate: I am interested in the subject, but not to the tune of
10 messages a day! Maybe discussion after the initial query/suggestion
could be limited to the BIONAUTS bboard, but I don't know how you
would ensure this always happened, without having a moderator.

I'm not trying to make work for you, but I think it's important
to get as many people as possible signed up to the networks.
These casual users may be put off by excessive verbiage in the
'mainstream' bboards such as BIONEWS. If I don't log on for
a few days, I can have 100 mails waiting to be read, which can
take a while to wade through.

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