Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1998)
 

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Subject: Etiquette of List Owners
From: "Nicolas Brouard" <brouard @ ined . fr>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 11:10:48 +0100
To: "list-managers" <list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
Importance: Normal

Some years ago, Amy Stinson posted on this mailing list a short notice on
List Etiquette. Is there something more substantial accessible from the WEB
now. Here in France, we do have a hard discussion on the use of ethnicity in
statitistics and its usefulness and its discriminatory aspects. The
discussion escaped recently from the scientific world (scientific reviews)
into the french media: books, news-papers (Le Monde, Libération, most of
them), TV, reviews, radio etc. because some aspects are very political.

Some of my colleagues are trying to put the discussion back on a scientific
mailing list which just started but is successful because of the variety of
the first subscribers. The etiquette of this list is not clearly enough
advertised and the owners of the list are facing some problems which are
probably common to others list owners.

For example, when someone wants to subscribe to a list foo @
 host .
 edu is it
enough to receive a message from an automated list server telling you that
your subscription message has been sent to "foo-owner @
 host .
 edu" where
foo-owner is not the names of the owners but an alias to some hypothetical
live people? I think that it is enough if the identity of the owners is
revealed in the answer to the subscription request, but other potential
subscribers might be hesitant.

On the opposite, in this particular list on ethnicity, the owners received a
subscription request from a meaningless email address without any mention of
the name and institution of the subscriber. Asking for the ethnic origins of
the subscriber might be a litle too provocative, but at least, asking for
name and institute is probably necessary and sufficient. Where are the usual
limits?

We know that some people, from the press (journalists), from the court
(lawers), from the political spheres who have been concerned by the recents
controversial attacks, want to have access to the mails without subscribing
to the list (voyeurisme). Can it be stated, for example, that messages
posted to the list should not be forwarded?

In summary, does anybody from list-managers-owners's list have ever lived
such experience and written an etiquette useful for the owners and the
subscribers.

In addition, the owners of the list on ethnicity, put a selection of the
messages posted to the list directly on the WEB. Many members from the list
disagree because of this selection. Question: is it possible to archive on
the WEB all the messages posted to this list? I know that programs like
Mhonarc do it but how to retrict the access only to members of the mailing
list?
For example, is it possible to use the password which is sent after a
subscription to a listproc (this password is used for an interactive
internet service, ilp, to retrieve old messages) as a password in the
.htaccess files. Is it operational to do it, or should the owners of the
ethnicity list change from listproc to a more WEB oriented mailing list?
What are them, preferably in the public domain?

--
Nicolas Brouard
Institut national d'études démographiques
Paris
brouard @
 ined .
 fr  http://sauvy.ined.fr/~brouard


--
Nicolas Brouard
Institut national d'études démographiques
Paris
brouard @
 ined .
 fr  http://sauvy.ined.fr/~brouard



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