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Is bionet.virology dead ?

Marnix L. Bosch marnix at u.washington.edu
Wed Oct 1 12:03:19 EST 1997

A little over a year ago it was decided to change the bionet.virology ng
to a moderated format. The hopes of all the people who proposed and
supported this idea was that by filtering out the garbage this ng would
again become a forum for virologists to discuss virology. I have been one
of the four moderators and I mmust conclude at this time that our goal was
not met. The number of posts submitted to the moderators is extremely low
(on average maybe 1 per day) and of those half or more are of the 'get
rich quick' or other internet-nonsense format. Of the remaining posts
quite a few are well meant requests for information, generally from
high-school students working on a project. Often with some coaxing these
are reformatted by the original poster so that they can serve as starting
points for potentially interesting discussions, which unfortunately rarely
seem to gain any momentum.

Maybe it's time to reenter the discussion we had when moderation was
proposed and accepted. Moderation has never been a goal in itself, but was
adopted as a tool to improve the quality of the ng. As such it has failed,
even though it may have served a function as a filter. 

Questions that I have are:
- how much interest in there to continue this ng, in whatever format ?
- should moderation be maintainted ?
- are there any suggestions to make this ng come alive again ?

At the same time I must take the step to remove myself from the moderators
list. It turns out that my schedule is too unpredictable and I have found
myself travelling during times that I was supposed to perform my task as
moderator. I hope that either the other three moderators can step in, or
that someone else comes forward.

Marnix Bosch

Marnix L. Bosch, Ph.D.
Dept. of Pathobiology and
Regional Primate Research Center
University of Washington
Box 357238
Seattle, WA 98195-7238
tel. (206) 543 7619
fax. (206) 543 3873

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