Should TAXACOM be moderated?

D.R. Lindberg drl at UCMP1.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Jan 12 20:52:47 CST 1995

The question of a filter on a list is a difficult one although I have
total confidence in Jim Beach's judgment and discretion if TAXACOM
becomes moderated. Personally, I find one of the refreshing attributes
of the net to be the spontaneous and unedited exchange of information,
ideas and opinions (i.e., no cops). Sure, I don't like to read
advertisements (unless I can get a good deal on some stuff I need!) or
read someone's attempt to update their rolodex by querying TAXACOM
subscribers for email addresses. I also get tired of seeing the net-
neophyte's bungled attempts to get subscribed, unsubscribed, subscriber
lists, etc. from TAXACOM rather than LISTSERV, but hey, we were all
there once.  And after posting your LISTSERV request to several hundred
of your colleagues, you usually don't make that mistake again.

And yes, TAXACOM was originally pretty much a botanical list, but
luckily for many of us it has evolved and grown to represent a general
forum for systematics and collection-based issues (Why is it that those
that study evolution are often the most resistant to change? -- general
observation). Unsubscribing from lists to avoid information, ideas,
opinions, and cross-training in other disciplines is one solution to too
many e-mail messages. Another solution might be to encourage more
informative subject headings or the use of key words. Then those
messages that are outside one's area of interest can be deleted without
being read. Too often exchanges on the net just return the same subject
with multiple "RE:" prefixes. More informative subjects or keywords
would be a start, but if you still want to read only in a more narrowly
focused area, start your own list.

The real question is whether we have Jim push the "delete key" for us or
we do it ourselves.

D.R. Lindberg [davidl at ucmp1.Berkeley.Edu]
Museum of Paleontology & Dept. of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
List Owner, MOLLUSCA at ucmp1.Berkeley.Edu

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