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Plant how to questions

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Tue Jun 9 08:04:23 EST 1998

At 4:42 PM -0400 6/8/98, Jon Monroe wrote:
>>I don't know whether it is possible, but one feature
>>of many mail-lists I am on is restricting access to
>>subscribers only.
>That may be an option for some types of groups, but not one that BIOSCI
>would be interested in.  In fact, they are pushing in the opposite
>direction and would prefer that people use their newsgroups through either
>newsreaders or the web.  The large numbers of users (>100,000
>messages/week) would probably clog their system if they all had to
>The following paragraph from the BIOSCI website might help us to understand
>what they are all about:
>"BIOSCI is a series of freely accessible electronic communication forums
>(i.e., electronic bulletin boards or "newsgroups") for use by biological
>scientists worldwide.  No fees are charged for the service. The system is
>intended to promote communication between professionals in the biological
>sciences.  All postings to the newsgroups should be made in that spirit.
>While the general public may "listen in" to the discussions, these
>newsgroups are intended primarily for communications between researchers.
>There are other forums on Usenet such as sci.bio for the asking and
>answering of biological questions from lay persons."
>At this point I think the value of plant-ed being part of an open,
>archivable system outweighs the various negatives we have come across.  If
>the situation changes in the future perhaps we could consider other
>options, but for now I think it works.

Hi Jon!

I guess I'm confused...if there is no problem what was
the original posting about?

All reasonable mail-list software archives its postings
and can be designed to be as open as the operators choose
to make it. It sounds to me like we are not sure how open
we want this list to be.

Gardening questions are better than XXX spam, but if we
still see them as spam for our group, then some kind of
additional filtering (i.e. closure) is needed.

IMHO: I don't see BIOSCI as offering the group very much
more than a processing venue...perhaps a cumbersome one
at that. I don't see it achieving the goal of "listen in
but do not post" articulated in the quotation above. The
various forms of spam we receive are the evidence.  As a
scientist, I find the fully-open-posting feature of BIOSCI
and its stated goal as mutually exclusive.

Please understand that this opinion does NOT discount the
value of the many useful posts we receive from our colleagues.
I have found plant-ed (vis a vis BIOSCI) to be incredibly
useful and helpful. The subscribers have been an excellent
crew! This forum is important...the venue is secondary and
could be different.


Ross Koning                 | koning at ecsu.ctstateu.edu
Biology Department          | http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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