Personal vs BioSci solicitation of discussants

Foteos Macrides MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
Sun Mar 15 17:31:00 EST 1992

In article <9203140036.AA23015 at> with subject 'RE: Proposed
plant list' mwfolsom at (Mike Folsom) writes:
>Now the real question is how do we talk all the recalciumtrant plant
>people to join in?  I have enough problem getting 'em to think about
>e-mail.  The idea of getting them to join a discussion group seems
>much more difficult.  Besides talking 'em into investing the time
>what can I do about technical issues?  For example, I just sent off a
>message to assorted beings on a plant taxonomy mailing list.
>Basically I told them that a discussion was going on in bionet.general
>about creating bionet.plants.  ((Dave was notified!))  Anyway
>now I'm getting back questions that I can't handle.
>Any advice on where to direct people.  For example, somebody just
>told me that they had never heard of Usenet before and asked how
>they subscribed to everything.  Ehhh gads!  What a concept.
>Someone else assured me that their campus didn't get such a creature
>(they're at the Univ. of Kansas - they just have to get Usenet)
>but if bionet.plants formed let them know how to subscribe.  Should
>I encourage this person to look for Usenet or just let 'em know how
>to subscribe.  Advice anyone?

        One possibility is to send your informational messages about the
discussion of a proposal (or have the BioSci management themselves send them)
with the Reply-to field set to BIOFORUM, as is done with the initial calls for
discussion posted to bionet.announce/BIONEWS.  A consequence, unfortunately,
is that bounced mail ends up posted to BIOFORUM as well.

        You also raise an issue worth considering further.  Such messages are
likely to elicit some (many?) replies not specifically related to the
proposal, but instead are questions about bionet/BIOSCI that might be most
efficiently handled by the BioSci management (e.g., by sending the respondent
the BioSci info sheet, and/or the FAQ Dave is developing, and/or any other
information not already in those documents).

        I therefore wonder whether it wouldn't be better if, as a matter of
course, informational messages about the discussion of a proposal be sent to
relevant Email lists or NEWS groups with biosci at indicated as
the source.  This need not be a "formal" policy, but I suspect that *anyone*
who sends such messages under his/her own signature is *also* likely to end up
wondering what to do about all the replies directed to him/herself instead of
to bionet.general/BIOFORUM (and should, at least, be cautioned about this
possibility when Dave is contacted about one's plans to send out such

 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

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