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#2185: IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS: MOVING TOWARD AN ARCHIVE FOR THIS LIST
>From Bob Corbett:
Folks, I've been working with our webmaster at Webster University. We
have in place the possiblity of moving this e-mail list into a searchable
archive. For those not familiar with much other than e-mail, let me
describe the basic possibility.
1. There would be a web site set up on my web page.
2. Every e-mail from this list would go to that web site.
3. At the top of that web page would be a search engine. If you typed
something into it, the search engine would find all references
to that request.
Example: We've recently had a lot of discussion about Jacmel.
Not only all the news stories and disucssion of the murders,
but much more about Jacmel as a tourist site and so on.
If you typed Jacmel the search engine would find every
list post that contained the name Jacmel.
4. You could also just scan the WHOLE list. This way if you didn't want
to received the daily e-mails from me you could just go to the
web site when you wanted and scan the list reading whatever you
wanted. However, I am not sure if the posts will be on the
web site in the numerical order I send them out of note.
I could ask the web master about that.
There are a number of things to talk about. Until now it was expected that
these e-mails would NOT be posted on a permanent archive. I've come to
believe this is an enormous loss. While I value the discussion material
a great deal, I think that the numerous news stories, so often sent in
by Nozier, but others as well, constitute a phenomenal resource to study
contemporary Haiti. Were they ALL there is a long-term archive it would
be simply astonishing. The discussions, inquiries and other material as
well could be a great service to so many.
If I were to formally begin an archive, and I lean very strongly in that
direction, there are at serveral options:
1. Since the 2184 e-mails sent out since I started using Webster
University's major domo site are THERE, they could be the beginning of
the archive. That's every e-mail sent out since last August, some
marvelous material there.
2. If people don't want those e-mails they wrote archived, not having known
they might be, then two options are available.
A. Scrap those 2184 and begin the archive on a designated
date, say a week from Monday or something like that. This way one would
know before hand that the material was headed to an archive.
B. If only a relatively few people wanted their e-mails scrapped,
then I could first search out those and delete them from the archive before
beginning. Before I would be willing to do that it would have to end up
that this was only a very few folks, since I just don't have time for any
massive job of searching.
3. It could be done in such a way that ONLY LIST MEMBERS can search the
archive. However, since anyone can join the list at anytime they want,
that seems like a rather silly requirement, making all of us have to have
passwords and login names, when it doesn't really keep anyone out.
I would like to hear from as many of you as possible about what you
think of this. I WILL NOT POST ALL THESE NOTES TO THE WHOLE GROUP.
I will post samples of each new argument or consideration I receive.
Most importantly, if there are those of you would do not want your past
e-mails posted to a public archive, I really need you to take the
responsibility to tell me that. It can profoundly effect the direction such
an archive could take, or at least the 2184 posts already held.
If I decide to move in the direction of an archive BEGINNING ANEW, then
I would simply post a warning to all that your posts were being
archived, and if you didn't want to have them archived, then you just
wouldn't post to this forum. but, I feel especially responsible to each and
every person not to post PAST ITEMS you might not want posted. Fair is
My judgment is that if the list moved into an archive fashion that there
would be very very little loss. I think few would cease posting, though
more might post anonymously, which I would continue to allow.
I know some of you simply HATE anonymous posts. But I do want to remind
you that in effect a huge number of seeming non-anomymous posts are
actually already anonyous. People often have e-mail names that are not
their own, a fictional or virtual person, not a flesh and blood person
bearing that name. I do know that is so for quite a number of current
list members. I personally know of at least 50 who use an alias as it is
called in cyberspace talk. So I think there is no realistic way of halting
anonymous posts even if I wanted to, which I don't want in the slightest.
-- what do you think about archiving this list?
-- what do you think about archiving the 2184 posts in hand?
-- do you have questions about how this archive would work?
-- what else would you want to say to the group about this idea?
I would ask you to give this some attention. If it is to move forward
I'd like to see it happen as soon as possible so that this incredibly
rich source is available to those who want to stay in closer touch with
Thanks very much,