Fri Feb 28 02:01:25 EST 1992

Peter Muriana writes:
/ [stuff deleted]
/In regard to the "no" vote being able to hold back creation of a newsgroup,
/I agree with those who feel that those "no"-netters *have* the capability 
/of not subscribing to that newsgroup and should not use this "power" to 
/hold back scientific colleagues who have interests different than their 

I think that we should have the choice of voting NO to a proposed newsgroup 
because a new group could have a negative impact in one of several ways if
the new group is similar or overlapping in subject matter to a current
group, which is quite frequently the case. Such a group could a) dilute the 
message content of the current group; b) lead to confusion as to where to 
post a message; c) result in a number of multiple postings to many groups, 
which everyone hates. Because of the uncertainty of where messages will be 
posted, people who read just one of the groups risk missing messages of 
interest, so they will need to read them all anyway. Let me give an 
example: At the moment I'm thinking about looking for some software that 
will serve a specific purpose for large-scale mapping projects. Should I 
post it to CHROMOSOME-22, GENOME-PROGRAM, BIOSOFTWARE, or all three to make 
sure I don't miss anyone who doesn't follow the other two groups? Given the 
opportunity, I would have voted NO for creating the COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY 
newsgroup because it seems to me that it completely overlaps the BIOMATRIX 
group whose traffic already approaches zero.

/Combining similar newsgroups to bolster postings is fine, but how about 
/using the "no" vote for this type of voting.  Combining the newsgroups,
/however, would take away someone's ability to unsubscribe to a 
/disinterested newsgroup.

I'm not quite certain what you're getting at here, but I think you mean 
that someone who is only interested in messages on one of two groups that 
were combined would have to suffer through messages that would have been 
posted to the other group if they had not been combined. Presumably groups 
would only be combined if they were related, so this wouldn't be a serious 
problem. Furthermore, newsgroups would only be combined if neither had much 
traffic, so there wouldn't be many messages anyway. There would probably be 
more subscribe/unsubscribe messages to suffer through. (I just had a 
thought: would these type of messages contribute to the yearly average?)

Steve Clark

clark at  (Internet)
clark at salk               (Bitnet)

More information about the Bioforum mailing list