spam and private listserves

Tue Sep 25 07:46:38 EST 2001

Hi Jon and fellow Plant-Ed subscribers,

I would like to share with you some thoughts as a private

I serve a modest list on fern biology...perhaps 350 subscribers.
My list-server has not experienced much spam at all...I had
to step on a few subscribers who wanted to sell some ferns
or who wanted to sell some supplies for growing ferns. But
I have had no sex ads, no scam ads, no get-rich-quick ads.

The flip side of a private list is that someone must manage
it. My university refuses to host the list officially through its
information technologies center, so my server operates out of
a computer in my office. I have to handle all complaints about
"I cannot seem to subscribe" or "I cannot seem to unsubscribe,"
and these come a few per week (not too bad). I also have
to make sure that the server stays up 24/7 through natural
disaster power failures, maintenance-unannounced power
switches, and the usual computer crashes, viruses, and so on.
This effort is made easier by my list-server being a Macintosh...
it is immune to virtually all common viruses and worms. The
power-outage problem could be made easier if I had a budget
to install an uninterruptable power supply and a restart key
that operates remotely by modem.

I think if the plant-ed list is moving to a private list-serve, it might be
best if ASPB provided for the purchase of an non-Wintel server
(software and hardware) complete with the power-outage and
remote restarting hardware for Jon or whoever manages the

I am NOT in favor of a moderated list. I think it is too much to ask
of anyone to sit and screen all day and forward in some "timely"
manner. It would be a tedious, frustrating, and thankless job and
not worthy of the effort. It is certainly not something I would have
a professor doing at a university. I would not even assign it to my
worst plant physiology undergrad hoping s/he might learn something 
about plant physiology by reading our correspondence. It is just 
inhumane treatment.


Professor Ross E. Koning, PhD
Chapter President ECSU-AAUP
Biology Department - Goddard Hall
Eastern Connecticut State University
Willimantic, Connecticut 06226 USA

Phone: (860)-465-5327
FAX: (860)-465-5213
Pager: (860)-744-2705
email: koning at

> ----------
> From: 	monroejd at
> Sent: 	Monday, September 24, 2001 9:35 PM
> To: 	plant-ed at
> Subject: 	Re: spam
> Plant-eders,
> I was hoping the move of BIOSCI ( to the UK in '99
> and their attempt to electronically filter out spam would have done a
> better job than this, but alas it hasn't.  We've discussed going to a
> moderated format before and I think it is time to consider it again.  It
> would mean that all messages sent to Plant-ed would come first to me (or
> some other moderator) and then the moderator would forward all
> legitimate messages to a secret BIOSCI address before they would go to
> the list and to the archive.  An alternative to moderation at BIOSCI is
> to move the entire list to a private listserve.  With a listserver there
> would be no archiving or ability to search past messages, but it would
> free someone of doing the moderation and the conversation might be a bit
> more spontaneous.  
> If you feel strongly one way or another lets hear from you (up to a
> point or this conversation will drive people away!)  After a few days of
> discussion I will post a survey form with several options including no
> change, moderation, or moving the group away from BIOSCI.
> So don't bail out yet!
> Jon
> Plant-ed discussion co-leader
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Jonathan D. Monroe, Associate Professor
> Department of Biology, MSC 7801  
> James Madison University
> Harrisonburg, VA 22807 
> office: 540-568-6649
> fax: 540-568-3333
> email: monroejd at
> -----------------------------------------------------
> ---


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