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Time for a new SCREEN-L experiment...
 
For the next four weeks SCREEN-L will be a moderated
discussion group.
 
What this means is that all messages sent to
[log in to unmask] will be filtered through a moderator before being
distributed to the SCREEN-L membership.  Messages that do not
fit within the SCREEN-L guidelines will not be distributed and
will be returned to the persons who sent them.
 
In addition, during this trial period I will save all of the rejected
messages.  On December 1, I will make them available publicly.
Then I will open SCREEN-L to a free, unmoderated discussion of
the pros/cons of *continuing* SCREEN-L as a moderated
discussion group.
 
Hopefully we can come to some sort of consensus about the
moderating of SCREEN-L at that time.
 
The moderating process will be mostly invisible to the SCREEN-L
membership.  To post a message on SCREEN-L, you still address
it to [log in to unmask]  To reply to a post that came from
SCREEN-L, you still just use your mail system's "reply" function
and ship it back.  The only notable difference is that each
SCREEN-L message will begin with a line like the following:
 
--------------------------original message----------------------
 
This gets stuck in the message when the moderator forwards it to
SCREEN-L.
 
Also, when you send in a message you get a note saying it's been
sent to the  SCREEN-L "editor" (i.e., the moderator)--instead of a
note saying it was distributed to the membership.
 
What types of messages will be rejected?
 
1.  *Personal* attacks on individuals.
 
Healthy disagreement and differing opinions are welcome,
but when that disagreement turns into venomous insults
and hateful verbal assaults it will not be tolerated.
 
2.  Comments that have absolutely, totally, fundamentally
*nothing* to do with the study of film or television.
 
The study of film/TV will be interpreted *very* broadly.
E.g., it's fine if someone wants to discuss Vietnam War
policies and then at the end of his/her post ties it in with
the films of Oliver Stone.  But if a poster rambles on about
the beauty of the autumn leaves in Vermont this weekend
(with no reference to the semiotics of foliage in autumnal
film/TV), his/her message will not be distributed.
 
3.  Personal notes to individual SCREEN-L subscribers
accidentally sent to the group.
 
4.  LISTSERV maintenance requests inadvertently sent to
SCREEN-L.
 
In order to UNSUBSCRIBE from SCREEN-L or change
anything about your subscription, you must mail a request
to [log in to unmask]  Often this mail gets sent to
[log in to unmask] by mistake and then is distributed
to the SCREEN-L membership.  Moderating will prevent this.
 
5.  Posts that duplicate information that has already
appeared on SCREEN-L.
 
If someone asks what the sled was in CITIZEN KANE, only *one*
reply will be distributed.
 
That's it.  A pretty short list.
 
I'd say about 90% of the messages that have appeared on
SCREEN-L in its three years of existence would make the cut.
 
As you may have surmised, I will be doing the moderating--unless
I can con someone else into it.  Messages will be processed at
least once a day (though maybe not every Saturday and Sunday).
 
So, keep an eye on SCREEN-L between now and December 1 and
start thinking about whether it's better or worse as a moderated
list.
 
P.S.  I'll try to make the transition to a moderated list as smooth
as possible, but don't be surprised if there's a glitch or two the
first week.  Thanks for your patience.
 
----------
Percentage change, 1992-94, in NEW YORK TIMES articles mentioning
the "information superhighway":  plus 2,025.
----------
 
| Jeremy Butler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [log in to unmask] |
| SCREEN-L Coordinator                                                   |
| Telecommunication & Film Dept * The University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa |