PART 3 - THE BIOSCI SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM

David Kristofferson kristoff at net.bio.net
Mon Feb 27 16:01:39 EST 1995


In article <3indfo$8bn at newsreader.wustl.edu>,
David J. States <states at ibc.wustl.edu> wrote:
>BIOSCI Administrator (biosci-help at net.bio.net) wrote:
>
>: We will *not* be opening the system up to broadcast commercials as we
>: believe that this is the quickest way to disgust scientists and stop
>: them from participating in the newsgroups.
>
>The bionet.jobs group has been an active service that is explicitly
>advertising.  I think it would be appropriate to impose a moderate fee
>for posting in this forum.  A posting fee would generate revenue and
>discourage casual postings that were not serious opportunities.  I
>don't think $25 would be an excessive burden on job candidates or $100
>for prospective employers.  This is still alot less than the cost of
>placing a classified in Science.

This might raise revenue but would also necessitate a *lot* of
administrative work to bill for postings and then try to collect
afterwards.  Working at a company and doing a lot of other things in
addition to BIOSCI, I have a keen appreciation of wanting to keep
admin to a minimum on this project.  The idea behind the scheme that
we have proposed is to keep BIOSCI from becoming commercial, not to
move it down that path.  I am sure that people will see more
commercial services along such lines as the Internet "matures," but
we are, perhaps naively, trying to keep this system going by gathering
a few sponsors instead of turning it into a business.  It remains to
be seen if our approach works.  The proposal above has so many other
implications that I don't even want to take the time to start a debate
on them.

>
>I also think there would be interest in a commercial "new products and
>announcements" forum,  particularly if it was associated with a
>structured and searchable archive and web page.  I object strongly to
>ads appearing unsolicited in my email or in a scientific forum, but if
>I have made the decision to look at a commercial forum, sure ads are
>what I am looking for.  This forum might carry the sort of
>announcements that appear in the back of Science and Nature under the
>"New Products" heading.  A couple hundred dollar posting fee is still
>alot less than postage costs to produce even a modest surface mailing.
>What do the journals charge?

I have thought about options like the above for a long time and would
do this if we were trying to turn this into a for-profit service.
However, I think all of the people that have entrusted the running of
this operation to us over the years would then be completely justified
in screaming at us for using it for personal profit.  That is why we
are going the "PBS route."  We could, of course, raise only enough
money as suggested above to cover operations PLUS the bill collecting,
but I'm optimistic that we won't have to take on this additional
overhead.

>A final note: if you are going to establish a "registered subscribers"
>database, copyrights, security and privacy will become issues.  I
>certainly don't want someone downloading (or you selling) the entire
>list so that advertisers can bombard me with junk email!  Sorry for the
>dig about your possibly selling it, but over the years typos in my name
>and address have allowed me to identify numerous instances where
>prestigeous institutions of higher learning have done exactly that.

It's hard to sell the BIOSCI address database when it, like other
BIOSCI services, has always been freely available on the network.  Our
sponsorship plan sells space on our Web and gopher servers - that's
all.

				Sincerely,

				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net



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