Thanks to one and all for their thoughts on the possibility of connecting
SCREEN-L to Usenet. Several useful comments were made and a number of
points I hadn't anticipated were presented.
(For a description of what Usenet is, see below.)
Here's my understand of the group's consensus of this issue's pro's and
PRO: Displaying SCREEN-L messages on Usenet would be a helpful way to
disseminate the group's discussions. Persons who are not (or cannot be)
subscribed to SCREEN-L could browse our discussions without having to
receive *every* message posted to SCREEN-L.
CON: Because Usenet encourages browsers, it would be very likely that
Usenet readers of b.l.screen-l would not be familiar with SCREEN-L's
guidelines and its emphases. Consequently, Usenet contributors might post
messages that are inappropriate for SCREEN-L.
Several SCREEN-Litarians voiced the concern that a Usenet connection might
flood SCREEN-L with these inappropriate messages.
Taking these pro/con's into consideration, I'd suggest...
THE USENET EXPERIMENT (in terror?)
I've concocted a way to display SCREEN-L messages in a newsgroup *without*
messages posted in the newsgroup being sent to SCREEN-L. Let's give this a
try for, oh, the summer (when traffic is slow anyway) and then make a final
decision in the fall about its usefulness.
What I've done is written to the Usenet administration and requested
bit.listserv.screen-l be established as a *moderated* newsgroup. This
means that any posts to b.l.screen-l will be sent to me rather than to
SCREEN-L, or even appearing in b.l.screen-l. That is, the *only* messages
that will appear in b.l.screen-l will be the messages from SCREEN-L proper.
When I receive a post from b.l.screen-l I will send the posting person a
message inviting him/her to join SCREEN-L and explaining our policy against
direct posting in b.l.screen-l. (I've figured out a way to automate this.)
I think this ought to work and will enable SCREEN-L to extend its reach
without endangering the focus of our discussions. And in August we'll
assess this experiment and decide about its continuation.
Thanks, everyone, for your input on this.
(Usenet, An Explanation: Usenet is an enormous Internet "bulletin board"
of thousands of topic areas called "newsgroups." The messages from
SCREEN-L could pass through a "gateway" and appear in one of these
newsgroups, which could be called bit.listserv.screen-l--abbreviated as
b.l.screen-l. This would not change how regular SCREEN-L subscribers get
their SCREEN-L mail.)
Jeremy Butler [log in to unmask]
SCREEN-L Coordinator [log in to unmask]
Telecommunication & Film Dept. * University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa