Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Mon Dec 16 15:26:00 EST 1991

        Aha!  Really substantive arguments (beyond Dave's original message) on
the pro's of a moderated announcement forum!

>     It seems to me that the whole purpose of this reorganization is to
>create a newsgroup that contains ONLY announcements - no discussions, no
>requests for help, no junk postings.

        The purpose should go beyond this.  We also want to promote the
quality and appeal of the other member(s) of the split.

>  That being the case, the only way to
>assure that the newsgroup will be used appropriately is to have a human filter,
>otherwise known as a moderator.  Self-policing doesn't work in a network
>where new users are constantly being added; they just don't know the
>rules and the constant onslaught of new subscribers means that trying to
>teach them these rules is pretty well futile.

        Policing of any sort, no matter how well intended, whether self or
other imposed, does not work well on public access networks.  Rob Harper
communicated the optimal solution in the long run.  The frequent posters must
provide positive examples of what is desired, then the others and newcomers
will follow suit.  If you doubt his argument has merit, just look at all he's
accomplished in other bionet/BIOSCI forums.

>     Under current proposals, either bionet.general would continue to function
>more or less in the same way as it does now or an appropriate substitute
>would be provided for it.  That being the case, what exactly is wrong
>with a moderated announcements group?  It's not as if the proposals
>called for moderating all the bionet hierarchy.
>Marc R. Roussel

        The current description of the announcement forum explicitly calls for
a value judgement that the announcement be of broad interest to biologists.
Even if the wording were modified, that is intended.  If the judgement is
being made by an identifiable moderator, this invites recurring commentary,
criticism, etc. in the unmoderated component about the nature and quality of
that person's judgement, character, and motivation.  This will happen, again
and again.  Use of a moderator should be a last resort, when all else fails.
We have not yet tried the more simple approach of splitting the forum,
accepting the need for personal initiative to set positive examples, and then
seeing if the volume of the announcement forum drops to the desired level
with predominantly messages of the desired sort.  If that fails, then fine,
proceed to more heroic measures.  But first just try the simple thing.


 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

    Or if you must exercise your democratic rights then go for PLAN C.
                        -- Rob ("My Hero") Harper


>This is a technical detail that the readers need not discuss/worry

        Good (I did say that I am usually a compulsive perfectionist 8-).

        BIOFORUM is a highly appealing name for the other component of the

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