Posting replies to plant-biology net inquiries.

Terry Brown tb at
Sun Oct 8 16:09:02 EST 1995

Shifted from bionet.plants

tconley at BIOSCI.MBP.MISSOURI.EDU (Terry Conley) wrote:
>Dear Plant-Biology "Netters"
>        Lately I find my electronic mailbox filled with multiple replies to
>questions that have been posted on the 'net, for example, the recent
>question regarding the meaning of "cv." and the many replies to questions
>asking for information on the "care and feeding" of houseplants.

Off topic posts are of course a problem, general house-plant questions are
probably better in rec.gardening, if such a group exists.

>        I would like to suggest that such replies be made directly to the
>person posting the question, rather than to the 'net as a whole.
>Certainly, if the question is on a subject that is of general interest to
>the plant biology group, the replier could always ask that the replies be
>compiled and posted as a summary of responses.

This idea is ok when a large number of responses that are of little use
individually are expected and the original poster undertakes to post a summary,
but for more general queries it is unlikely that many people would take the
time to post a summary.  It is unfortunate when someone posts a query and
generates many responses to something that seems obvious to you (personally I
though cv stood for coefficient of variation :-), but I think the only viable
long term solution is to access the bionet.* forums via. a usenet news browser
rather than personal email.  

The ease with which topics that don't interest you can be ignored or even
filtered out greatly reduces their nuisence value.  If you are using a dial up
service for email you might see if they can supply a UUCP feed... well, don't I
feel silly - I've just looked at your email address to see where you are and
noticed the BIOSCI... I guess that means your involved in the administration of
the BIOSCI system?  I think you'll find it much easier to suck out the contents
of eggs if you put a small hole in the other end as well :-)  Anyway, might as
well post this having written it, as the point's still valid for many people,
although having moved it to bionet.general to reduce noie in bionet.plants will
probably mean most email subscribers miss it, ho hum.

Cheers -tb

Terry Brown                      email: brown at
Lincoln Environmental  
Private Bag 3062 Hamilton        Ph. 64 07 838 5901 W 64 07 855 9001 H
New Zealand			 Fax 64 07 838 5372

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