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Louis Martineau
03-31-1995, 05:45 PM
Fellow subscribers,

It is obvious that the present situation can only get worse as the number
of people using the Internet grows exponentially. As subscription numbers
grow, we will see more letters of introduction, repeating questions,
personal communications, misdirected Listserv commands, improper use of the
Subject heading, unsigned letters, commercial advertisements, and other
irritating practices. An equal cause for concern will be an increase in
mail volume.

In order to maintain a high signal to noise ratio, we need to define what
constitutes noise. Once we are in agreement, newcomers, both young and old
:) , will need to be taught how we wish our list to operate and what we
consider acceptable. Violations of accepted etiquette will have to be dealt
with in a firm manner. Perhaps a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ),
as found on other mail lists, could be written and sent out with every new
subscription.

As for dealing with volume, the only viable solution is the creation of
more specialized lists. Concurrently, the extremely broad scope of
BIOMCH-L ("biomechanics and movement science") will need to be narrowed. I
am not suggesting that this list be broken into smaller lists. Instead new
lists should be created to deal with questions related to movement
sciences, but which do not normally fall within the realm of biomechanics.
Subjects such as motor control, ergonomics, neural sciences, and more
physiological aspects of movement, all deserve their own forum.

My own interests lie well outside the established field of biomechanics and
I suspect many other subscribers are in a similar situation. I am currently
exploring the feasibility of founding a list for researchers using
cellular and molecular techniques for exploring questions relating to
exercise. Such a list may sound overly specialized but ensures that the
small number of subscribers it will attract will truly share a common
interest. The process of founding a list seems relatively simple and I
encourage others to look into it.

I do not believe that subscription access needs to be limited at this time.
Many less extreme strategies need to be explored first. When we consider
the fact that only academics seem to show interest in our list, it makes it
easier to tolerate the inexperienced.

I value my subscription to BIOMCH-L as it is an important, high quality
source of information for me and others in my department. I hope to see its
standards maintained.

Louis Martineau
Muscle Biochemistry Laboratory
School of Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
(604)291-4211. Fax (604)291-3040. louis_martineau@sfu.ca