2nd RFD for uk.rec.lepidoptera

Chris Raper triocomp at dial.pipex.com
Mon Nov 30 10:12:57 EST 1998

On 29 Nov 1998 21:41:49 GMT, "Phil Howson" <p.howson at dial.pipex.com>

>I still think the addition of Uk.Rec.Lepidoptera will be a force for good. 

Hi Phil,

I beg to differ :-)

>For example, it is difficult to credit the loss to anyone of postings being
>made to the URL as opposed to SBEL.  Surely you just subscribe to the other
>newsgoup too if it is a problem.  

The problem with this argument is that many users of SBEL do not have
any access to Usenet. This is because they use systems provided by
their employers or universities who block Usenet access. The LEPS-L
email list server provides a gateway betwen these people and _only_
the SBEL group. 

Remember that LEPS-L is used by many UK-residents and ex-pats who are
very interested to see UK-related postings.

>More importantly, the reason I think it will be a good thing is that it
>will encourage the interest of alot more people.  

If anything I think we should just be encouraging more people to post
to the SBEL group. Currently SBEL has a nice mix of professional
scientific and amateur users from all around the world. 

>My two young nieces who spend alot of time on
>the internet are young members of the RSPB (Royal Society for the
>Protection of Birds) and the successful approach of the birding community
>(who, of course, have the uk.rec.birdwatching newsgroup) is something I
>think would work just as well for lepidoptera.  

I think we would all like to see an increased awareness of butterfly /
entomology issues but I think the comparison between the proposed
group and the u.r.birdwatching one is just not valid. The birdwatching
community is huge compared with the whole entomological community and
I don't see this ratio changing very much in the future - I don't like
it but birds are just more cuddly than butterflies. :-)

>With 0.001 UKP per minute
>dial up connections to the internet and free internet accounts I would hope
>there would be more interested people.

True - lets hope that demand increases. If we have a situation where
we are deluging SBEL with posts about UK sightings then perhaps we can
argue the case for a seperate group then. At the moment SBEL users
seem very happy to see UK-related posts - just as many US users seem
very keen to tell us about their sightings.

>Of course, any international issues can be cross posted and if I ever see a
>nymphalis antiopa (known to my nieces as Camberwell Beauty) here in
>Shropshire, UK  you can be sure we will post to SBEL.

Well, from the interest I have seen in SBEL over the years I (and many
other current SBL users) will be cross posting _all_ our messages to
both groups.   

Basically, I think the new group is an interesting idea (and a few
years ago I would have supported it) but I have been using SBEL for a
while now and am not just happy with what we have now but think that a
new group would be divisive and counter productive.  :-(

Reasons for:
- possible increasing in UK interest

Reasons against:
- a good group already exists
- current LEPS-L users will be excluded
- low volume of traffic
- increased confusion about which group to post to

Best wishes,
Chris R.

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