maize newsgroup

Daniel M Goldman dangold1 at iastate.edu
Tue Aug 25 08:51:35 EST 1992


    I recognize the concerns of those who think the creation of a newgroup
ought to be justified by the amount of traffic on an existing newgroup first.
Likewise, I would not like to see the proliferation of underused newsgroups
clutter the e-waves.  However, maize is not some fringe subject, and I think
the establishment of the newsgroup should go forward for several reasons:

1) The rules for establishing the newgroup don't seem to include a 
   a requirement for previous discussion.  It focuses on who *would* use the
   newgroup, not the volume of people who *have* used it.  There are probably
   good reasons for this, as I can see.  I work with many people who work with
   corn, and corn only.  Whether you think this sort of specialization good or
   bad is another issue, but in my opinion, many of these people will never
   really be interested in something like "bionet.plants".  They just wouldn't
   want to wade through all the other "stuff."  In contrast, I think it is 
   very likely that they will participate in a maize newgroup, and would make
   it a lot easier for me to interest them in at least considering 
   participating.
  
2) Many plant biologists work on important topics, and can choose from many
   crops as subjects.  For example, if you are studying photosynthesis, you 
   can work on anything from apples to zinnias, depending on which species 
   best serves your purpose. However, there are those who specialize in a crop,
   not on an area of physiology, anatomy, etc.  Corn happends to be such a
   crop.  We have corn breeders, corn physiologists, corn pathologists, as 
   well as millers, food scientists, biochemists (heck, even ethanol people)
   etc. who work with nothing but corn.  Many of these people would become
   active participants in a maize newsgroup, if there was one.

3) Corn is a highly international topic, and is appropriate for a newsgroup
   with world wide discussion.  It may even prompt institutions, and even whole
   countries, to make an effort to get on the net which never showed any 
   interest before. If nothing else, it might provide the justification to put
   together the necessary computer hardware, as for some countries, corn is a 
   vital staple.

   My argument is simple: the rules specify a minimum number of votes to
   start the group, and I think the votes will be there.  Further, I believe
   the existance of the group will stimulate participation, and I am glad
   to see this has been initiated.  For those of you who deplore 
   specialization, think of this:  if somebody is so tunnel visioned that
   they can't see past their own specialty, hand them something like their
   own newsgroup to get them on the network-maybe then they will discover
   how much else there is available which may be equally as interesting.
   For those specialists which are not particularly tunnel visioned, they
   might just become active users of many other existing newgroups, even
   bionet.plants, which they might never have ever discovered had there 
   been no bionet.maize to get them started!   

   I say GOFORIT!
   -DmG  Iowa State University Corn Breeding Computer Room



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