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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Note From jms
    Date: 4/3/1996 4:58:00 AM  

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Took AOL a while to show this group on their newsreader, but it finally
came through today. Some preliminary thoughts tossed out for discussion,
for the record, for the heck of it.

Yes, the new group is now moderated. But no, that should not be taken or
interpreted by anyone as inhibiting constructive criticism. We learn by
doing. That means sometimes we make mistakes. When that happens, it's
not just a Good Idea to let us know, it's *necessary*. If you can point
to something in an episode that doesn't work...then point. If it's an
objective goof, then it's something we can learn from. If it's a
subjective opinion, then it opens up discussion from all sides.

During the whole moderation discussion, I tried to be as quiet as I
humanly could, to avoid influencing the decision. People have to vote
their conscience, nothing more or less. Those who voted for or against
the group did so because they felt it was the Right Thing To Do. Nobody
should have a problem with that.

This group, fundamentally, is for the users. For all those who felt they
had to stop posting or just drop out of the prior group, and those who
stayed in the original group and want some options. The purpose, as I
understand it, is to moderate those situations where you have someone who
is chronically abusive to other users, engaging in personal attacks.
Simple truth is we're all gonna lose our temper from time to time, use
terms in the heat of an argument we probably shouldn't...but it's my sense
that this shouldn't be interfered with until and unless it becomes a
chronic problem.

That said, however, I leave these determinations to the moderators,
suggesting only that a light hand is better than a heavy hand. If along
the way some of my messages get blipped as we feel our way through this, I
don't have a problem with that. (This to those who said it would be a

(An aside: I heard that some were arguing that this was about "control."
And they were right. But not the way they wanted to be right. To control
means to limit your options. The few who used this argument did so
because they knew that if you want to participate in B5 discussions on
Usenet, without paying for one of the commercial services, there's only
been one game in town. You had to go there and listen to them, and put up
with their abuse. That is as much a form of control as anything they were
railing against. Now, users have options, choices. You can go either
way, enjoy whichever environment you prefer.)

The purpose of this, from my side, is to continue the experiment in
interactive television that's been going on on-line for several years.
I'd hope that folks take advantage of this to find out more about how
television is made, how this kind of story gets produced, to help
demystify television so that in the end we can get better choices by
knowing what to ask for, and understanding the medium. In a way, the
answers and information I give are only as good as the questions that get
asked; I'll try and anticipate questions and areas of interest, but it's
up to you to mold this forum as you see fit. Make it something that fits
your needs and interests. Don't lurk. If you have a great question, put
it out where everyone else can profit from it.

The welcome mat is out, the porch light is on, and there's lemonade over
by the front rail. I hope you'll all sit for a while and hang out. Looks
like it's gonna be a nice night....


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