David Kristofferson kristoff at genbank.bio.net
Thu Mar 21 23:19:54 EST 1991


	As you are undoubtedly aware, there is a similar newsgroup for
the GCG software.  When that one was started people asked me about
discussing these things on BIO-SOFTWARE.  I said then and still
maintain that questions about *any* commercial software package can be
posted to that newsgroup.  I'm not sure that it is in BIOSCI's mandate
to establish separate newsgroups for commercial software packages and
particularly in this case where I could be construed as having a
conflict of interest I am not going to promote IG in preference to
others.  NSFnet regulations do permit commercial firms to provide
support to their research and educational customers over the network,
so the commercial side of IG could establish a mailing list (a USENET
group is a different issue) for this purpose.  This would have to be
done outside the auspices of BIOSCI/bionet.

Alternatively any group is free to conduct these kinds of discussions
on the BIO-SOFTWARE newsgroup.  I think that there is one important
point that I should emphasize here.  I occasionally see references to
the bionet USENET newsgroups as being "run by IntelliGenetics."  While
that is true in one sense in as much as the technical maintenance of
the groups occurs at IG, those who construe that to mean that IG
exercises some kind of censorship over these newsgroups or would be
offended if other commercial software, etc., were mentioned on these
groups would be seriously mistaken.  These are open forums available
for use by the scientific community.  My only guidelines when it comes
to mentioning commercial products on the networks are

1) please include disclaimers indicating that you do not have a
   financial interest in the product or company involved (in my case I am
   obviously an employee of IntelliGenetics).

2) please refrain from inflammatory comments such as "Product X is a
   #!@#$%^& of %%^^&*"  If anyone has a gripe about a product, just
   stick to posting the facts, please.  The INFO-GCG newsgroup has
   demonstrated that discussions can be held in a manner helpful to
   everyone without resorting to flames.

This is basically all of the action that I am going to take in this
regards.  If a separate list, e.g., INFO-IG, is desired, it will have
to be done outside of the auspices of BIOSCI because it would be
inappropriate for BIOSCI to get involved in this kind of thing unless
it provided similar newsgroups for other major packages as well.
Although I did get involved a few years back in an attempt to provide
this kind of service for GCG, IG, IBI, Beckman, etc., on BIONET after
being approached by others who thought that this would be a big
service, the attempt soaked up a fair amount of my time and never
resulted in much usage so I am not eager to dive in again.


				Dave Kristofferson
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at genbank.bio.net

(coming to you live from the Georgetown Inn in beautiful Washington DC!)
(Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in the Georgetown Inn except
for the bill that I am going to have to pay them 8-)!

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