TO: Subscribers to sanet-mg (SANetters)
FROM: Andy Clark, SAN Coordinator
RE: Wherefore sanet-mg?
CC: SAN Management Committee members
Wherefore: (Archaic) For what purpose or reason; why.
Sanet-mg is sponsored by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), which
itself is the information dissemination and outreach arm of the
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Sanet was
started in October of 1991 as a (then innovative) method of information
sharing, a discussion group on the Internet.
I respond reluctantly to recent discussions, because I prefer to see
sanet as a self-governed and self-adjusting body. I am not in charge of
sanet-mg, nor is the Sustainable Agriculture Network Committee. You, the
subscribers, are part of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, and you
are sanet-mg. This group has been instrumental in advancing the cause of
sustainable agriculture in the US and worldwide, and sanet has been an
important forum for sharing these issues and gathering grassroots support
for sustainable agriculture. As I mentioned in a previous message about
posting newsletters, it was encouraging to see way back in 1991 that
there were so many individuals and groups out there working towards a
more sustainable agriculture. Sanet showed me that.
So, here are a few thoughts:
1) There are no rules governing sanet-mg. However, if I could impose
one, it would be NO FLAMING! Let's respect all who post to sanet-mg.
Please critique the ideas and opinions expressed, but not the person.
2) sanet-mg is not moderated. On a moderated list, the moderator
screens EVERY message before it gets posted to the whole group. Not
only do I not feel qualified to *judge* messages sent to sanet, I don't
have the time or the inclination to do so.
3) SAN is the information dissemination arm of the SARE program, and
sanet is part of SAN's electronic presence. Sharing of information is,
IMHO, one of the most important functions of sanet. I get the most out
of informational messages: job announcements, newsletters, events,
resources for further information, bibliographic citations,
However, as others have said, discussion of the complex issues revolving
around sustainability also has a place on sanet.
4) Technically, it would be easy enough to create another list or two,
so individuals could subscribe to only the list(s) of most interest.
This came up several years ago, after a similarly heated set of
exchanges. I believe it was actually put to a vote of sorts, with the
majority decision being to retain a single list. Sanet membership has
been greater than 700 individuals since I started as SAN Coordinator in
June of 1995. That's a lot of opinions, but also a lot of expertise!
I welcome further input on this.
5) If it isn't of interest to the whole group, send your message
directly to the asker. Traffic on sanet-mg is pretty heavy... let's not
clutter it up with unnecessary postings to the whole group.
6) On a related note, be sure to send your subscribe and unsubscribe
email@example.com, not to the whole group! If you feel you have to
make a statement that you are unsubscribing, please send that statement
directly to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I compile these so the the
Sustainable Agriculture Network Management Committee can ponder the
usefulness of sanet.
7) One member of the SAN Committee has just suggested that * (stuff
deleted) ... other lists that I enjoy have a policy of removing people
after even ONE rude post*.
Again, technically feasible, but we've set this up as an open forum, and
prefer that the participants moderate themselves.
8) Another unwritten rule: No posting of resumes or asking for jobs.
It was a SANetter who reminded the group of this *rule* the last time it
happened. Let's just post the job announcements.
Thank you to all who have contributed to this important discussion. The
SAN Committee will undoubtedly weigh the ideas expressed and consider
future action. For your information, the SAN Committee members are CC'd
individually on this message.
Andy Clark, Ph.D.
c/o AFSIC, Room 304
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351