Creation of newsgroup uk.rec.lepidoptera

Neil Jones Neil at
Mon Nov 23 16:46:08 EST 1998

In article <73bd2a$kbn$3 at>
           richard.herring at "Richard Herring" writes:

> In article <911780465snz at>, Neil Jones
>  (Neil at wrote:
> > I agree with you but it doesn't alter the fact that most people on leps-l
> > do not use usenet. The reason is is that it is probably only entomology
> > that they use the net for. I know because I check author profiles.
> > There is a general rule on usenet that you lurk for a while before posting.
> > I do feel that the spirit of this should also apply to those setting up groups> > particularly if their actions would disrupt a group in which they do not
> > participate. 
> You seem to be suggesting that the creation of a uk.*.lepidoptera group
> will cause crossposts to the sci.* one and therefore to the gated list.
> But how likely is that? Surely one of the reasons a uk. group is 
> being proposed is because people want to get away from the international
> group to a uk-focused one? If so, they won't be crossposting back to
> the sci. group.

Firstly I strongly dispute that "People want to get away from the international
group" To reiterate. I have NEVER heard this point and I am promenantly
involved in the societies which cover this subject in the UK.
 I will return to this but let me first deal with your question.

People will crosspost very very often. To understand this point it is 
necessary to look at the psychology behind the wish to post.
You haven't posted to S.b.e.l /Leps-l before so you may not be familiar
with the contents of postings. Certainly others will not be.

A typical post for example would be a sighting of a Camberwell Beauty
(Nymphalis antiopa). The whole point of posting is to tell _EVERYBODY_
Now  many of the users of the existing list can only get it through
email. They are behind odd firewalls, using odd systems, or simply do not
know how to get onto usenet. In order to get the message to _EVERYBODY_
it would be neccessary to crosspost. The proposed new newsgroup would
not be available via email. Those people who didn't crosspost
would be doing so more out of ignorance than deliberately.
The whole point of gating Sci.b.e.l was to avoid these problems.
Now a "newbie" is putting a spanner in the works.

Now let me go back to the question of whether people do not like
international discussions. There is very very little evidence of this.
All we have is the proponent making an assertion. He is evidently
new to usenet and is making a false assumption which is not backed up
by the facts.

 Lepidoptera are Butterflies and Moths.
Most of the postings are about butterflies. We only have about 60 species
in Britain and people love to go abroad to study them. Most British 
lepidopterists love hearing about foreign exotics.
Butterfly Conservation has around 10,000 members and supporters in the
UK and I receive a copy of every Branch newsletter. Almost without fail
there is an article about foreign butterflies in every one.
The one for Dorset Branch arrived this morning and it contains TWO
articles refering to foreign butterflies.

Furthermore let us look at the publishing industry for a parallel.
These people know their business and where the market lies.
There are two kinds of books available which will enable you to identify
British Butterflies. Those that cover just the UK species and those that 
also cover European species. The best British only guide is generally
accepted to be the RSNC guide by Dr Jeremy Thomas. It is, I understand, out
of print, yet there are several European guides available currently.

If a UK only forum is created we exclude the Europeans who have the same
species and some more as well. We do not need an extra group we already have
one and it is gated to an email list. What on earth is the point of taking
people off a relatively low volume newsgroup to put them on an even
lower volume one?

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

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