phycology newsgroup?

James Mahaffy mahaffy at
Sat Sep 10 11:31:33 EST 1994

Steven L. Manley (slmanley at wrote:
: is there any interest among you phycologists on the net for a 
: phycology newsgroup? i was under the impression that the phycological 
: society of america was going to facilitate the creation of such a group 
: but i have seen nothing. i know there is a clamy group but we need a more 
: general one. any comments?

I would like to see such a group.
I cover the algae fairly strongly in a Plant Morphology class I teach.
It shouldn't be that hard to start a group. I include the answer to the
question of how to start a group from the bionet FAQ.  It really should
be started by a phycologist and not a paleobotanist that likes algae. Go
for it. 

I am sure Dave K., will be very helpful. 

Here is the FAQ answer:

	    BIOSCI/bionet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
		      (last revised - 28-JUN-94)

How does one start a new BIOSCI newsgroup/mailing list?

BIOSCI's goal is to promote the use of electronic communications among
biologists and we are here to assist you in establishing new forums at
no charge.  There are currently two options - create a full newsgroup
or a prototype (mailing lists only):

For full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup status (also see "prototype" rules below):

Proposals for new groups must contain a statement of purpose for the
group and the name of a person designated as discussion leader unless
the group is in the service category such as METHODS, EMPLOYMENT, etc.
Discussion leaders are responsible for ensuring that a reasonable
level of activity is sustained on the newsgroup (see Newsgroup
Termination Policy below).  The discussion leader can also propose the
creation of moderated newsgroups if he/she agrees to serve as
moderator (this requires access to USENET news software at the
moderator's site).  Proposals should be sent to
biosci-help at

When a proposal is received it will be posted on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce.  A ten day period for discussion on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general will follow and precede the call for votes.
After the discussion, the person proposing the newsgroup may modify or
withdraw the proposal prior to the call for votes.  The modified
proposal will then be included in a call for votes on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce.  The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30
days and the number of YES votes must exceed the number of NO votes by
at least 40 to pass.

BIOSCI management must be informed in advance of any intended efforts
to advertise the newsgroup proposal in other forums.  While BIOSCI
wishes to inform potential users of the creation of newsgroups that
might be of interest to them, promotional efforts should be focussed
in forums likely to be utilized by professionals in the subject area
covered by the newsgroup proposal, and should seek participation in
the discussion of the proposal within bionet.general/BIOFORUM rather
than promoting separate discussions in other forums to which portions
of the BIOSCI readership may not have ready access.

If a proposal is not passed by the readers, there will be a three
month period before it can be brought up for another vote.

Newsgroup Termination Policy

Any group with less than 52 msgs in the previous calendar year will be
put on notice by posting an announcement to the newsgroup (not to
bionet.announce) that it faces cancellation.  It can be reprieved if
80 readers respond within two weeks (this policy will be stated in the
termination announcement).  It then has two months to reach a usage
level of one message per 3 days or else it will be abolished.  Appeals
to the BIOSCI management about high content albeit low volume on the
group will be considered.

Newsgroups for Professional Societies in Biology

BIOSCI will create a moderated newsgroup in the
domain without voter approval for any professional society in the
biological sciences which has a membership of at least 500.  Smaller
groups must go through the regular BIOSCI/bionet newsgroup creation
process.  Because these groups are not discussion forums, they will be
exempted from the 52 message per year minimum posting limit and would
only be discontinued if the society in question no longer wishes to
use them.  If usage seems extremely low on any group in the domain, the BIOSCI/bionet staff will contact the
society in question and ensure that the newsgroup is still wanted.

BIOSCI "prototype" newsgroup creation policy

We will be happy to establish and administer a straight *mailing* list
*without* an associated USENET newsgroup for a six month trial period
for anyone that wants to try to form a new electronic community in the
biological sciences (We stress that the topics are limited to
professional communications though.).

The mailing lists will be maintained *initially* only at
instead of at both BIOSCI sites.  It will be the responsibility of the
person who proposes the list to get it up and running within the six
month period.  They will have to handle promotion; our involvement at
BIOSCI at will be limited to creating the list, putting
out one announcement about it, and handling subscription requests.

After six months, the list will be put out for discussion and a vote
according to our procedures for full-fledged newsgroups above (unless
the organizer decides to bow out).  If it passes it will become a
full-fledged BIOSCI newsgroup at both and
and will also have a parallel USENET newsgroup.  If it fails, the
prototype mailing list at will be shut down.

Note that this service does not preclude people who have an idea that
has widespread appeal from following our current newsgroup creation
policy and going to a vote after a 10 day discussion.

If you have an idea for a prototype newsgroup, please send it to
biosci-help at

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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