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Moderation needed.

BIOSCI Administrator biohelp at net.bio.net
Fri Mar 8 02:08:14 EST 1996

In article <maga-0503961434090001 at>,
Giovanni Maga <maga at vetbio.unizh.ch> wrote:
>In article <4hgl21$kdf at net.bio.net>, biohelp at net.bio.net (BIOSCI
>Administrator) wrote:
>> Not so!!  If someone wants to volunteer to moderate this newsgroup we
>> can do the conversion fairly quickly.  Ideally the current discussion
>> leader, Robert Coelen (robert at arbo.microbiol.uwa.oz.au) should step
>> forward to do this, but we haven't heard from him in some time.  I'm
>> happy to take other volunteers if he doesn't respond.  I'll cc him on
>> this message.

Unfortunately Robert Coelen's address no longer seems to work.  If
anyone in Oz can get in touch with him, please have him contact me
about this group.  Otherwise someone else in virology research is
welcome to take over.

>That sounds different from what I read in previous postings about the
>subject. I am happy, anyway, that the Administrator was stepping in to
>clarify the situation. In general, I am interested in knowing how
>moderation works, what are the duties of a moderator and eventually take
>up the job. As most of the readers, I will have to do it in spare time
>from my research work, thus it would be useful to get an idea about the
>amount of time needed. Also I will need all the technical

We have developed a method to make moderation pretty painless.  In a
nutshell the moderator gets the postings first by e-mail.  Messages
that are approved for posting are forwarded here for distribution.
The moderator only needs to use e-mail and be able to forward messages
in a certain format (retaining most header material - we have details
available for moderators).  Thus the time involved is simply the time
it takes to read a message and pass it on for distribution in most
cases.  For inappropriate messages the moderator has the option of
deleting them without comment or sending them back with comment.  This
is spelled out in the moderation policy section of the newsgroup's
charter.  I'd imagine that, on average, we're talking about less than
a minute per message.  You can look in the virology archives at
http://www.bio.net to get an idea of the traffic in past months and
determine how much time would be required each day.  We can also allow
alternate moderators who can take over if the main moderator is away.

>am using a NewsWatcher 2.0b24 for Macintosh. Since I am connected through
>the University Computer Center via MacTCP, I would like to know if it
>could cause eccessive traffic on the University Server.

No, no more than if you personally signed up to the current group by

>Finally, the
>decision to have a moderated group or not must be taken after a public
>votation. Since I feel that moderation must be done by qualified people,
>if I will decide to take the job, I will submit a short CV for general
>approvation. I think it must be said that I will change my location from
>Zurich (Switzerland) to Pavia (Italy) starting approx. from October, 1st,
>1996 and I am not sure if I will have the chance to eventually continue
>the job.

This is not a short term job.  I'd prefer someone who plans to stay
with it for a while.

We do not need to vote on moderation particularly if a group is
getting overrun by lay people postings.  The reason we conduct votes
in the bionet domain is to gauge the level of interest in a particular
topic before creating a group.  Virology has definitely had sufficient
interest to justify its existance.  What we have done on the other
newsgroups that we have converted is to ask the discussion leader to
discuss the change with the readers and then give us the "consensus"
opinion.  In this case the discussion leader may be gone, so all of
you should debate this issue and get back to me at
biosci-help at net.bio.net.  If I don't hear from you, I'll assume that
there wasn't a strong enough desire for moderation.  If you can decide
on a new moderator and have them contact me, I'll review the
discussion on the topic and, if it looks like quite a few people are
in favor of the change, we'll go ahead and do it.  I'll provide
details to the proposed moderator.

This newsgroup was set up originally to promote research discussions
in virology, so we are looking to hear from professional virologists
on this issue.  Their opinions are the ones which will carry the
weight in the decision, so please be sure to identify your affiliation
and position.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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