Private responses on network

Rob Harper harper at nic.funet.fi
Thu Sep 26 06:39:48 EST 1991

ANSC6 at UMDC.UMD.EDU writes:

>I agree with yesterdays posting regarding how it's bad manners for people
>to ask for responses to go directly to the person and not through the
>net.  If the requester wants to do that, then he/she can contact the
>individuals on the list personally.
>If you use the list, then participate.

I also agree that it is good to reply to the net rather than the sender.
For example in Bionauts there are always people asking for E-mail addresses
but very rarely do you see any answers if the reply is directed back to
the sender. It also gives the impression that people are asking question
that no-one has the answer to... which I do not believe is the case.

Here are what I see as the ADVANTAGES of replying to the net.

1) Questions receive answers.
   It is important that participants SEE that INTERACTION takes
   place... otherwise we might as well be writing into thin air.
2) By sharing an answer we all learn something new.
   I enjoy learning something new from someone on the net.
   Often someone will explain how to do something or tell about
   a new service, and when I try it I am amazed that it works.
   The joy of discovery is what makes networking interesting for me.
3) The answer is stored in the BioSci.src
   This means that at a later date it can be recovered via WAIS
   or LDBASE. Today you might not be interested in an E-mail contact 
   to China but tomorrow you might be. What we write goes down in

The only DISADVANTAGE that I can think of is redundancy. That is if
lots of people supply the same answer then it tends to add to the
information overload.

Rob "content, activity, interaction" Harper

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