On 27 Sep 2000, at 20:54, Alan S. Harrell wrote:
> There was a mailing list that I previously owned where the world's
> leading authority of one of the major topics of my list posted up to
> the list and in his .sig there was a solicitation to purchase his book.
> In turn, I wrote him a "No No Nanette" cease and desist letter and he
> acquiesced and abided by my decision. I later gave the book my own
> personal recommendation to the members of the list. The difference
> here was that I had nothing to gain, monetarily or otherwise. On the
> other hand he did and thus that was in violation of my list rules.
Well, your list rules aside I find this 'difference' basically silly.
Remember the old saw about on the Internet no one knows you're a dog.
The "difference" has to do with something that *NO*ONE* can verify or
possibly know -- it is some vague notion out in ethics-land that has
nothing to do with the Internet or your forum, and is largely not
I've always thought that postings should stand on *their*own*, just as
they're posted, rather than having things like personal opinions about
the poster, the poster's state of mind, what business connections the
poster may or may not have, etc, end up figuring into the mix in some
nondeterministic way. If the post is reasonable, on topic, civil, not
repeated to the point of irritating folk, then it should be OK no matter
*who* posts it; and conversely if the post is NOT reasonable or off topic
or not civil or is endlessly repeated, then it ought not be OK
*regardless* of who posts it...
> Neither I know Margaret personally...at least not that I can remember.
> As you note, her book is clearly along the lines of the scope and topic
> of this list, but make no mistake, she is using us to promote her book.
> Were I paying for this list out of my own pocket, it would trouble me
> to know someone was exploiting my hard work and labor for their
> personal gain.
Oh please, I'm *SO* tired of this old argument. I suspect that the semi-
spam trailers that various mailbox-systems tack on cost you more than an
occasional reasonable, albeit self-interested, posting does.
OTOH, if you ARE paying for it out of your pocket, you can make the rules
be anything you please, I guess... But I still think this kind of hair-
splitting [for *on*topic* reasonable mentions of things that would
legitimately be of interest to the forum participants] is excessive...
If that's really what your goal is (to not let *anyone* reap commercial
benefit from your hard-earned money spent to operate your forum), then at
least be consistent and block *ALL* commercial postings, no matter by
whom, and keep your forum wholly pure and at least have your rules make
some sense [and have a shot at being rationally deterministic and
> ... How does she advise us to
> handle the so-called spammer or commercial solicitor on her lists? I
> would be interested in hearing her opinion.
I know you're not interested in mine, but as I said, my rule is easy: you
evaluate the message *on*its*own*. You don't guess about who wrote it,
what they do for a living, whether their brother in law might actually
own the print shop that does the user's manual for the product in
question nor a thousand other foolish things --- just take the posting
*as*it*is* and decide if it is a reasonable and proper contribution to
the forum and otherwise presume that EVERY header line of the message is
forged or pseudonymous and ought not be used for filtering or mkaing
other secondary guesses about... If you don't want commercial
activity/plugs/promotions on your forum, then block 'em all; if
reasonable, information, useful-to-the-participants postings are welcome,
then they should be welcome no matter WHO posts them...
I mean, I own two shares of MS stock -- so does that mean I'd be barred
from suggesting that someone use Word to print info on a CD cover in your
forum (as I just did on a different forum)? How about if I did the
artwork for the picture on the cover of the CD, and so I get $US.02
royalty for each one sold... that too close a commercial connection for
me to be allowed to mention something? How silly is the "no commercial
self-interests" rule going to go?
Bernie Cosell Fantasy Farm Fibers
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Pearisburg, VA
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