plant-ed future

Mon Jun 16 12:28:07 EST 1997

At the risk of wasting any more bandwidth on this, let me post what I 
replied to Kathleen Archer, with some additions:

I'm only responding because no one seems to have mentioned the one 
solution that the bionet reccommends to us every single month in their 
FAQs posting-reading the newsgroup through the web or a usenet reader.  
It cuts spams a lot by making them really obvious, keeps your mailbox 
uncluttered, and best of all, keeps bionet in business by helping their 
advertisers get exposure.  If the junk email is getting to you, bookmark 
the newsgroup on the web and read it there-at your leisure instead of 
first thing in the morning.

Plant-ed is a newsgroup, not a mailing list.  If you receive it by email 
it's because you elected to read it that way, though bionet discourages 
it.  I belong by email to 2 listserved mailing lists and 3 newsgroups, 
one of which is moderated.

some thoughts:

1) moderation greatly slows the the list down, but it works to reduce 
spams.  It increases multiple postings, because people wait a day, don't 
see their post, and post again.  There is a days delay in a moderated 
group, the price one pays for not using delete.

2) in another unmoderated newsgroup, the daunting task of finding 
someone who was willing to screen posts everyday-weekends, holidays, 
etc, convinced the group to just delete the spams (and they get every ad 
that plant-ed gets-the software that generates these spams hits all the 
newsgroups).  Because the topic of that newsgroup is women in biology, 
no one wanted newcomers to be unable to find it in a web search and join 
in the discussion.  If you have a listserver, people have to find out 
about the group, join the server, and then see what the discussion is 
like-you can't browse a listserved discussion.  Thus, the growth of the 
list can be very slow.

3) one of the listservers (a science ethics group) had to simply end 
last week, after 3 years, because the university that hosted the list 
decided to get rid of the server, and another host couldn't be found.  
The service (hardware/software) that bionet provides has to be paid for 
by SOMEONE (a university if not bionet) and so is always in danger of 
funding cutbacks by the university.  

I throw these out as just some things to think about before we jump to 

Julia Frugoli
Dartmouth College

visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-847-8805

"Evil is best defined as militant ignorance."
																										Dr. M. Scott Peck

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