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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
con's:
 
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.
 
--Jeremy
 
(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.)
 
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  Jeremy Butler                                [log in to unmask]
  SCREEN-L Coordinator                           [log in to unmask]
  Telecommunication & Film Dept. * University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa
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