Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Duplication Triplicaton Quadruplication OKERSON@UMDC.BITNET 17 Jul 1991 19:36 UTC

Having stifled all urges to reply to a number of postings on discussion lists,
let me go on record with the following paleolithic view:  many times the
greatest service one could perform to the community out there in Netland is
to stifle.  (You can see this is an oxymoronic message, telling people not
to do what I'm just doing...)  A good rule of thumb is, if you think that
on your list there are others who might know the answer -- or have an opinion--
wait 24 hours to post your reply.  If after that you still feel it's useful,
go ahead.

My friends know me as an avid network addict.  However, lately it has been
very timeconsuming, not to say tiresome, to read the same message on three
or four related lists -- mostly librarians telling academics, over and over,
about things that need to be said briefly if not at all; sometimes (we) librar-
ians discussing things about which we have many opinions and very little in-
formation.  THEN, your friends and colleagues think this is a message you
too ought to read, just in case you are not on some-or-another list (or
you haven't suffered enough that day) and, eh Voila!  Three more copies of
that self-same message.

One of my academic e-mail interlocutors suggested we could get filters for
our computers, which recognize duplication and beyond.  I've begged for more
information on this development.  Surely we have just as much to be concerned
about the quality of what we "utter" as double and triple-cross indexing that
of dubious value.  Sounds like we've managed to reach the same level of
debate about lists as about scholarly journals.

By the way, there is a standard format being developed for machine-readable
files which should at least give us a MARC format.  And an ARL library, the
ARL, and national standard-creators are discussing a project to at least
catalog/classify these somewhat "moving targets."  That doesn't reach into
the bowels of the electronic files themselves, but I'm not sure we need to.

Ann Okerson/ARL