Maize newsgroup

Mike Cherry cherry at
Mon Aug 24 19:23:00 EST 1992

In article <t3-n63a at>, mwfolsom at (Mike Folsom) writes...
>2) It seems to me that the arabadopsis group is fairly active.  I 
> see no reason why bionet.plants.maize should not be at least as 
> active as the arabadopsis group.  In fact, by all rights, it should
> be more active.  There are many more people working on corn than
> there are working on arabadopsis.    

I'd like to add a comment about how the Arabidopsis group became a
success. The Arabidopsis BioSci group started about 1.5 years ago but a
mailing was started the summer before at MSU. The success of the
Arabidopsis mailing list is mainly due to Chris Somerville setting up and
stimulating the use of a mailing list for Arabidopsis researchers on one
of the MSU mainframes. The postmasters of the mainframe wanted at least
100 subscribers on the list. So Chris sent messages to every Arabidopsis
lab for which he had an email address and asked that everyone pass the
message on. Within a few months the mailing list had few hundred
subscribers. Then the list was transferred over to the BioSci domain, but
it was productive and quite large at that time. 

I think the last estimate of the readership of the Arabidopsis group was
well over 600, these estimates are generally pretty bad. In the
Arabidopsis database AAtDB we have about 300 email addresses for
researchers around the world and I'm sure we are still missing a large
proportion of those that have email access. I would also guess that the
large major of the Arabidopsis community that reads the BioSci group
receives it via direct email and not via usenet. 

I guess my point is that to get a specialized group off the ground someone
needs to do a little work. I believe the maize newsletter from Ed Coe
would be one good way of getting the word out to the maize community. Also
you'll get a larger response by pointing out the mailing list and not the
usenet group. Slowly folks will then discover usenet, however many people
really want the message to come to their electronic mailbox. 

I would suggest going for bionet.plants.maize becuase when it does catch
on the number of users should grow fairly fast. 

Mike Cherry 

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