Ellen Brewer ebrewer at
Tue Mar 7 16:59:11 EST 1995

I am a computer/statistics support person who reads bionet newsgroups.

Since I'm not a biologist, I've always been reluctant to post to bionet
newgroups. You might say that I'm self-moderated. But I do read some of
them (I read bionet.announce daily, others far less often) so that I can
be informed about computer trends in biology and so that I can pass various
information on to biologists here.

I am posting now partly because I resent the fact that I may be seen as
"unworthy" to post to bionet newgroups. I don't think I have ever posted to 
a bionet group before in the 5 years I have been reading them, but I'd like
to have the option when I feel it's appropriate.

The best way to improve the content of bionet newsgroups is for those who
have something interesting and appropriate to discuss to say it *and* for
everyone else to keep quiet, even if some of the posters don't follow the 
"rules". Anything else only increases the noise! If you feel you have to
comment on an inappropriate article, do it by email to the person who posted.

Except for newsgroups designed for short announcements rather than discussion,
moderation of any kind seems like overkill to me. If it's really needed in a 
newsgroup, let the folks who read that group vote; they'll be the ones who
have to live with the result.

Part of the problem for bionet users is the usual culture clash that occurs
when mailing list subscribers and netnews readers mix. It's so much more 
personal when a bunch of junk mail clutters up your email. Some of the bionet 
mailing lists gated to the newgroups may need some form of filtering or 
moderation or digesting to keep the frustration level of email subscribers
low, but again I think this should be decided by the subscribers to each list.

Ellen Brewer (ebrewer at
"Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco."

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