Longer discussions; keep them, but have a way to shift them.

GHJ at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk GHJ at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jul 18 15:39:00 EST 1991


Just a thought about longer or more trivial discussions. Really they
ought to happen - the real issue is that some of us want to avoid the
stream of messages & others don't. Just to quote two pointers from
others:

   Dave Kristofferson sugguests creating a new parallel bboard more
more general (miscellaneous) discussions as a possibility.

   Samuel Scheiner says:

s> ... Although it is true that
s> BIONEWS should be reserved for general announcements, it
s> also serves as the one place for starting a discussion that
s> crosses discipline lines.  I, like many, only subscribe to
s> a handful of the specialized lists and those only in areas
s> of direct interest.  The beauty of having something like
s> BIONEWS is that people from outside ones own sub-specialty
s> can bring up ideas and talk to across the lines without
s> having to track them down.  THE ONE LIMITATION WITH THE
s> CURRENT SYSTEM IS THAT THERE IS NO GOOD WAY TO "SPIN-OFF"
s> A BRIEF (IE 1-2 WEEK) DISCUSSION INTO SOME CORNER. [my emphasis]

   Nicely put. What is needed is once a discussion has started to shift
it elsewhere to continue & let the original bboard go back to other
things. This needs to be routine & trivial. Obviously there needs to be
an easy way of "catching on" to the change & following it (simply send a
message I guess).
   Simply creating a new bboard as Dave sugguested will help, but with time
the user will come bogged down with mail that is irrelevant to them again.
Think of the "conference bar analogy" - conversations tend to break into
groups which drift off into their own direction, etc.
   In the interim the new board is a good idea - but thinking towards a real
solution would also be worthwhile (?). I should add doing this manually is
out of the question - poor Dave will suffer some terrible illness trying to
look after it all no doubt!

   Grant.

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Grant Jacobs                            /|\
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