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is this group ill?

Una Smith smith-una at yale.edu
Mon Feb 15 15:40:16 EST 1993

Euan R. Taylor (etaylor at ca.umanitoba.ccu) wrote:

>: This newsgroup seems to be in very poor health, are plant scientists
>: allergic to computers? or are there just not many of us around?

There are quite a few alternatives:  the sci.bio newsgroup has been
unusually interesting lately, and there are various mailing lists,
particularly TAXACOM and PHOTOSYN.  And both of those lists have
personal e-mail directories, which encourages biologists to write
to one another directly.  Also, the ECOLOG-L mailing list has about
800 subscribers, according to the list owner, and I would guess that
more than half of those are plant ecologists.

ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk writes:

>According to the arbitron summary posted recently by Una Smith in
>bionet.general 175 people were caught actually reading bionet.plants
>out of an estimated 6600 who are suspected of doing so:

First off, I'd say ignore the estimated total readership.  For various
reasons it is likely to be way off.  The arbitron system reports data
only for those sites where someone bothers to run the reporting program,
so there are big distributional biases and a lot of error.  The number
of people "caught" may well include those unfortunate novices who use
a Usenet reader configured to automatically subscribe to *all* newsgroups
and who get confused and discouraged the first time and never look at
Usenet again.

On the other hand, these figures do not take into account the number
of e-mail subscribers to bionet.plants.


      Una Smith      Biology Department       smith-una at yale.edu
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511

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