PART 2 - MODERATING THE BIOSCI/bionet NEWSGROUPS

David Kristofferson kristoff at net.bio.net
Fri Feb 24 19:55:09 EST 1995


In article <3il9gi$aai at apakabar.cc.columbia.edu>,
Dan Zabetakis <dan at cubsps.bio.columbia.edu> wrote:
>
>  I hate to say it, but I think this is totally unworkable. I have been
>cajolling people to use bionet for years. I would say that very few people
>are going to be interested in it if they have to go through this
>registration process. If I can't take a new users, and let them get thier
>question out right away, they aren't going to find bionet worthwhile.
>And then there will be the inevitable technical problems and delays.

You might be right, but so far more reactions in favor than against
the idea have been posted.  Any decision will ultimately be voted on
before being implemented, of course.

>  
>  I don't think it will help prevent spamming anyway. A lot of new spam is
>comming in with forged Approved: lines anyway. Probably the best way
>to prevent spam is by the use of cancelbots. But these bots won't cancel
>articles in moderated groups.

cancelbots are somewhat useless for bionet anyway since they don't
retrieve mail messages to our 40% or so e-mail users.  I mentioned in
my original postings that it won't stop someone who is determined.  On
the other hand it will stop a lot of misdirected posts from newcomers
who have no idea what they are doing.  While it will be a barrier to
entry, it will also make people *read* the documentation before they
start firing off messages.  One might question whether the system
needs a four lane highway for easy access at this stage of its
development anyway.

>>On the other hand, the registration process could be more stringent,
>>requiring users to actually give some kind of proof that they were, in
>>fact, researchers, and not just curiosity seekers.  This topic could
>>be the subject of intense debate, I'm sure 8-).
>
>   This topic is plainly idiotic. I'm not interested in proving to anyone
>that I'm a Real Scientist, and I wouldn't respect anyone who went in for
>this. The ATCC may want people to have an affiliation, but they are 
>sending potentially dangerous organism throught the mail. Bionet is an
>informational forum.

Although I think that the use of the word "idiotic" is a bit too
strong, thanks for your comments on the above.  I'd like to hear from
others on this.  The motive is to restrict the newsgroups to use by
professionals while leaving some groups like bionet.general open for
general use.  Also remember that there are other lay person groups
like sci.bio for open discussions.  While I realize that net gurus
like DanZ might not appreciate such a move, I'm not sure this feeling
is shared by users who don't spend as much time on the net and want to
find relevant info quickly without sorting through questions about
"can I get help on my high school science project?"  While there is a
place for such questions on the net, we may also want to restrict
access on some forums to prevent this kind of thing from being posted.
I don't think such an idea is either idiotic or unworthy of respect.

				Sincerely,

				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net




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