SPAMS are killing Bionet!

Douglas Danforth danforth.2 at
Fri Jul 18 10:13:35 EST 1997

babco at R. Anderson) wrote:

>In <33ce1eba.1975263108 at>
>danforth.2 at (Douglas Danforth) writes: 


>>Dr. Hengen,
>>I'll respond briefly. I guess I don't see that spam is a problem in
>>this or in most other groups I read. Open just about any clinical
>>journal. I'll use the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
>>as an example. 60 of the first 70 pages of the journal are
>>advertisements. Look at BioTechniques, LCGC, Science, The New York
>>Times, US News and Worls Reports, etc, etc ...... they are all full of
>>advertisements. Most of us just don't read them, just as most of us
>>don't read spam. I agree that spam is annoying,  just like
>>advertisements in journals that I PAY to subscribe to are annoying.
>>And I have some (albeit limited) ability to filter out the spam. All I
>>can do in my journals is rip out the pages that contain ads which
>>would take me more time than to just pass them by. To me, spam is
>>little more than unwanted advertising.  I ignore ads (for the most
>>part - obviously advertising works or people wouldn't advertise) and I
>>ignore spam.
>>As the 'net continues to mature, I suspect that the spammers will get
>>more sophisticated as will the anti-spam technology. In the end, it
>>may ultimately come down to whether spam is an effective way to sell
>>product or service. We're surrounded by advertisements in print, on
>>the radio, and on television because they work!  Better than most of
>>us are willing to admit. Spam will probably continue, depending more
>>on whether it is an effective way to get you to buy what the seller is
>>selling than on our public condemnation of the medium. Don't get me
>>wrong, I'd love to be spam-free and I look forward to your article,
>>but in the end, the market may finally decide.
>>Respectfully yours,
>>Douglas Danforth, Ph.D.
>>Associate Professor of OB/GYN
>>The Ohio State University
>Doug (and Paul and others)--
>While I appreciate your analogy with J. Clin. Endo Metab., I see two
>rather significant differences.  First, in the journal, it is quite
>easy to turn to the first page of the text, or read the table of
>contents to select which articles to read, without ever even seeing the
>ads or knowing what they are about.  

It is impossible to read many journals (LCGC, Biotechniques) without
seeing ads. I have in my hands a copy of LCGC. Upon opening 5 times to
different (random) places, there were ads on 4 of the 5 pages, Not
very scientific I know, but my point is that advertisers (and journal
editors) are realizing that I used to be able to do just what you said
to avoid the ads. Even Science magazine now places ads throughout the
issue so we "happen across" them as we read the journal.

>On the newsgroup, we essentially
>are forced to read the table of contents of each one of the "ads" that
>gets posted.  So these postings on the newsgroup are more of an
>imposition than ads in the journal.  Secondly, the ads in J. Clin.
>Endo. Metab. have something to do with endocrinology, while the "ads"
>in this newsgroup get some considerable distance from molecular biology
>methods.  There are no ads in JCEM for free sex sites, phone sex, or
>"hot young teens".  If there were, there might be a couple of
>subscription cancellations from folks who find it offensive.

I agree, but I am no more interested in the fact that Daniels
Pharamaceuticals now has _yet another_ dose of Levoxyl to give to
hypothyroid patients, than I am that  "hot young teens" can be found
somewhere on the net. Certainly the "hot young teens" is potentially
more offensive and I can appreciate people having not wanting to see
that type of stuff here, but you can generally tell from the headers
whether an article is worth clicking reading.

>However, I fully agree with your second point--this IS advertising of
>products and services, and is the postings are there because they
>apparently work.  As long as the ads continue to work (and they don't
>need to work very well, given the cost of posting the ad), there will
>continue to be postings for "hot young teens" on a molecular biology
>news group, and we'll just have to live with it.  There is enough
>useful information on this newsgroup--it won't be destroyed by the "hot
>young teens" or their purveyors.
>Tom Anderson
>tanders at


Thanks for the input. I figured my response would generate some
interest. I think we basically agree. Spams in this newsgroup are a
nuisance, but not a major one. I certainly did not agree with the
title of this thread, which is why I took the time to respond to Dr.
Hengen's original post.


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