Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Fri Dec 13 17:07:00 EST 1991


        I have done a statistical and content analysis of postings to
bionet.general/BIONEWS during the past several weeks.  The study was not
rigorous enough to be published ;-(, but yielded some interesting (IMHO)
observations and thoughts.  On Dave Kristofferson's request, I submit them
as a re-reorganization plan for critical evaluation by this forum's
readership.  I haven't yet seen Dave's recent posting on this matter (WFEB2
is BITNET-only and some node in our chain must be down), but it's just as well
cuz I'd rather put this forth tersely, and then read the discussion.

        We have been averaging about 60 messages per week.  Based on factor
analysis by my neural semantic-information-processor, they are evenly
distributed among four categories.  If we added THREE sub-forums to the parent
forum, according to these categories, all four forums would yield an optimum
level of inundation per forum (average:  2-3 messages/day;
                                 range:  0-6 messages/day).

        Here's my latest version of the re-reorganization plan:

                        Bionet Name           BIOSCI Name
                =========================     ===========
                bionet.general                  BIONEWS
                bionet.general.biochat          BIOCHAT
                bionet.general.discussion       DISCUSS
                bionet.general.helpme           BIOHELP

         The parent forum, for general announcements of widespread interest to
biologists.  It would include a brief, weekly README posting explaining that
it is only for announcements, and summarizing where to send other types of
messages.  At least for USENET, the bionet.general sub-forums would make the
proper placement of messages (that are currently all going into bionet.general
and BIONEWS) relatively self-evident.  The brief, weekly posting would we be a
self-correcting mechanism w.r.t. mis-directed messages from e-mail

        A forum for informal, "let's get to know each other better" exchanges
and occasional comic relief (more or less related to biology 8-).

        A discussion forum for any matters which arise and don't yet have an
appropriate bionet forum.  This could help identify the need for new forums,
as well as handle issues that might become of high interest or concern to
biologists, but predictably for only a limited period of time.  It would also
be used for clarification of announcements.

        A forum for relatively brief, to_the_point exchanges like those in the
specialized technical/information forums, but on matters that don't yet have a
specialized forum to deal with them.  Also, an entry point for new users who
might not yet know about a specialized forum which already exists for help or
information of the sort they are seeking.



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

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