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Re: Proposal for Usenet gateway

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  • Re: Proposal for Usenet gateway

    >Dear subscribers,
    >Several of you (most recently Art Kuo of the University of
    >Michigan) have asked me if it is possible to read Biomch-L
    >postings through Usenet News. At the moment, this is not
    >possible, but maybe the time has come to change.
    >Usenet news does not go to your mailbox, but is stored in a
    >publicly accessible filesystem on your University or Internet
    >provider and can be read with special software or even with most
    >Web browsers. Such newsreaders can identify 'threads' (messages
    >with similar Subject lines), making it easier to follow
    >interesting discussions and ignore others. An advantage for the
    >list moderators is, that Usenet does not generate bounced E-mail.
    >We (that's myself, Krystyna Gielo-Perczak, Mike Young, Christoph
    >Reinschmidt, and Pierre Baudin) are spending a lot of time
    >dealing with those error messages, and adding/deleting/changing
    >subscriptions. We would rather spend our time on content than on
    >technical problems. But it's doable with five co-moderators.
    >Technically, it is easy to install a gateway between Biomch-L and
    >a newsgroup (say, sci.biomechanics) and we can have the best of
    >both worlds. We just have to decide which options we want.
    >Every solution has some advantages and disadvantages. The major
    >concern is, that Usenet tends to generate more junk and Biomch-L
    >will become less interesting and lose its best contributors.
    >This can be prevented by having a moderated newsgroup.
    >I propose (at least for a trial period) to start a moderated
    >newsgroup sci.biomechanics, with a bidirectional gateway to
    >Biomch-L. Biomch-L postings would automatically appear on the
    >newsgroup, but postings sent to the newsgroup would have to be
    >approved by a moderator, before they are distributed to the
    >newsgroup and to Biomch-L. People subscribed to Biomch-L on
    >LISTSERV would still be able to post without approval. I have
    >described the advantages already. Some disadvantages are:
    >- Delay of postings due to approval procedure (we have an
    > approval procedure already, applying only to non-subscribers)
    >- The REVIEW BIOMCH-L would no longer list everybody
    >- Someone would have to log in several times every day to see if
    > anything needs approval
    >- Because of the threading, Usenet tends to have more a
    > discussion format than a question-answer/summary format.
    > Sometimes discussions never end because people who occasionally
    > read the news may reply to a question before they realize that
    > the same points have been raised already. Such contributions
    > could be rejected by the moderator, of course.
    >Please note that LISTSERV would *continue* to operate. Any
    >change will just increase your options. The only consideration
    >is, whether these new options will have any unwanted
    >What do you think, should we give it a try? If you have any
    >strong feelings, in favour or against this proposal, send your
    >reaction to Biomch-L if you want to discuss this in public, or to
    >Art Kuo , who has volunteered to do the
    >groundwork for the gateway, or to me. After your reactions, we
    >will decide if we go ahead with this. Remember, we can always go
    >back to LISTSERV-only if we don't like it.
    >-- Ton van den Bogert
    > Biomch-L co-moderator

    It's a great idea, if moderator can afford the time. I believe this will
    improve debate and lend itself to a wider audience.

    Micah Forstein
    Motion Lab Engineer
    Childrens Hospital Los Angeles