This newsgroup is lousy. It should disband

Mike Cherry cherry at GENOME.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Jul 14 10:34:02 EST 1999

> In article <378B6888.531A3D2 at u.arizona.edu>,
> Paul Muhlrad  <pmuhlrad at u.arizona.edu> wrote:
> >I don't know why I even follow this NG anymore.  It's 99% spam.
> >Meanwhile, I still haven't gotten an answer to my ACeDB question I
> >posted a few weeks ago.  I suggest disbanding bionet.software.acedb and
> >finding a less public forum for discussing acedb.
> Most low-volume newsgroups are 99% spam.  It's nothing special to this
> group.

Good Point.  SPAM is part of newsgroups and email.  Lots of people complain
about it but no one has made a difference.

> There are a couple of solutions to this problem, neither of which
> involve disbanding the newsgroup, which I think would be a bad thing.
> 1)  Use a newsreader that allows you to kill articles that are obvious
> spam.  For instance, mine automatically discards any message cross-posted to
> more than five newsgroups, or with certain phrases in the title,
> particularly XXX and $$$.  I'm also looking into killing articles
> based on obvious garbage e-mail addresses.  Many newsreaders will do
> this for you.  See www.newsreaders.com for detailed lists of
> newsreaders available for various computer platforms.

This is common.  I personnally use procmail on UNIX to filter incoming
email that I don't like into /dev/null.  I also have no probably using
the 'd' (delete) key in my mail program.

> 2)  We could moderate the newsgroup, so that postings have to be
> approved by a moderator.  This involves someone volunteering, and a
> vote being taken.  I'm not sure how one goes about this, I'm not that
> much of a Usenet expert.

Many, maybe most, BioSci newsgroups are now moderated.  The moderation
seems to work well.  The yeast and Arabidopsis lists are both moderated.
The folks providing BioSci have a procedure for changing a group to
moderation.  It requires a volunteer and then a vote.

> The fact that no-one answered your post is unfortunate, but maybe
> no-one knew the answer.  I expect the regular readership of this group
> is very low (possibly a couple of hundred people world-wide) so this
> is quite likely.  If this were a mailing list rather than a newsgroup,
> I don't see why that would change.

I've asked many questions to newsgroups and mailing lists over the
past >10 years.  The number of times I got an answer or even a reply
would be about 50%.  Sometimes its a hard question, sometimes its too
specific, sometimes its too simple so no one takes the time to answer.
All this is part of these lists.  If you get no answer ask the list
again or ask someone specific.  Maybe its me but I don't always get
answers when I ask people in person so I don't except any magic from
these electronic lists.

> Tim.


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