COMING CHANGES: BIONEWS/bionet.announce and BIO-CHAT/bionet.general

David Kristofferson kristoff at
Mon Dec 9 13:24:41 EST 1991

I don't intend to start another flame war here.  This posting is just
to clarify some future plans for bionet.general which bear on the
purpose of the forum:

The original intent of bionet.general/BIONEWS was for posting
announcements of widespread interest to the biological community (such
as meeting announcements).  The newsgroup (probably because of the
".general" connotation in the USENET name) is instead becoming
something of a catch-all for any item that does not seem to fit in
elsewhere in the BIOSCI/bionet heirarchy.

Most likely in the first quarter of next year BIOSCI/bionet will be
undergoing some extensive reorganization.  As part of these changes,
bionet.general will officially become a "free forum" where people can
chat and brawl to their heart's content.  The e-mail name for the list
will probably be changed from BIONEWS to something like BIO-CHAT.
BIONEWS will be associated with a new USENET newsgroup called
bionet.announce which will be a ***fully moderated forum***.  Current
e-mail subscribers to BIONEWS/bionet.general will be automatically
subscribed to the new BIONEWS/bionet.announce newsgroup, but e-mail
postings from the new BIO-CHAT/bionet.general newsgroup will only be
sent to people who request e-mail subscriptions.  Anything deemed not
appropriate for the moderated bionet.announce newsgroup will not be
(shudder) censored but will instead be redirected to bionet.general.
This will allow those who subscribed to BIONEWS/bionet.general as a
more serious, lower volume forum to limit their receipt of messages to
bionet.announce postings.  The new bionet.general forum will give a
forum to those who desire one for discussing whatever in biology is of
interest to them.  People who subscribe to the new newsgroup will do so
with the knowledge that they will be receiving postings on a wide
variety of topics.  The other BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups will continue
to serve their *specialized* purposes, and we will request that
discussions on specialized newsgroups that are "off the topic" be held
instead on bionet.general.  Although these requests to shift to
bionet.general will undoubtedly still greatly annoy some people, we
need to take such actions to avoid annoying the greater number of our
readers who don't want to engage in flame wars or
stream-of-consciousness discussions, but instead want to read messages
about topics to which they have subscribed.

Happy Holidays to friend and foe alike; peace on earth, goodwill to


				David Kristofferson, Ph.D.
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at

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