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[nafex] Why Yahoo?, Why nafex unlisted?, etc.

There have been questions about Yahoo, finding the list, etc in the 
last few months.  All of these questions have been answered at 
some point in the various incarnations of this list.  What the heck, 
here's one more time for those who haven't heard it before.

Yahoogroups.com is the latest incarnation of what was 
egroups.com before it acquired onelist.com, the first automated 
version of this list (thanks again to Miekal And for his help in finding 
this FREE automated service.)  For those wondering, every 
message prior to that was *manually* forwarded by me to the list 
members, after editting the message headers to indicate 
nafex@cet.com and other niceties.  Over the course of several 
years this did add up to several thousand messages.

So where are we now?

1.  Yahoogroups demands cookies, etc. to access their web site.  
They (and the prior incarnations) have insisted this helps protect 
against spamming by people using fake email addresses.  That just 
happens to be part of the condition for this free service.  They also 
tack a little ad at the bottom of each message, which many people 
may not have paid any attention to prior to now.

2.  There has been debate since DAY ONE, when the list totalled all 
of about 10-15 members whether the list should be for dues-
paying NAFEX members or open to all who choose to subscribe.  
Concerns about eroding NAFEX membership, content of posts, 
quantity of posts have been balanced against input from a broad 
expanse of experience.  To date the more open standard has been 
in effect, which in no way minimizes the strong opposition several 
respected contributors to this group has to this practice.  

One concession is that the instructions on how to get to this list 
would be printed only in POMONA, the official publication of 
NAFEX.  The other exception is invitations extended to other similar 
organizations like the BC Fruit Testers Assn. "Unapproved" 
pointers to this list have leaked out, as is inevitable on the internet, 
but that is why this list in "unlisted" on yahoo, as is was on 
egroups and onelist.  (And yes, the info on the cover does need a 
little updating.)

3.  Not all NAFEX members (who nonetheless pay dues) choose to 
participate in this list.  Using NAFEX funds to finance a benefit open 
to non-NAFEX members just doesn't seem right, although I am sure 
someone can make an argument on why this not-so-rich 
organization should fund a service that is available for free (with a 
catch).  That catch is that there are some ads in the footer, which 
prior experience with the subscribe / unsubscribe instructions 
suggests most people don't read.  

For those get animated, flashing, or other types of messages, time 
to turn off those bells and whistes in Outlook.  <g>.  I use plain 
vanilla email, and there is indeed beauty in simplicity.

As to whether there is room for improvement, the answer is yes.  
Tom Olenio has recently forwarded some good suggestions that I 
will implement in the near future.  Thanks, Tom.  

I do still intend to follow the general principles of keeping a loose 
hand on the tiller.  If you think about it, the number of off-topic 
posts are relatively few, people are generally civil, and the content 
is good.  The mission of NAFEX is to disseminate information on 
unusual fruits and nuts, which I think this list promotes.  There 
really isn't that much in need of fixing on balance.

Greg Miller

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