[LINK] Archiving Options
Tue, 22 Oct 2002 16:53:50 +1000
I think that the high signal-to-noise ratio of Link, the relative
absence of HTML emails, and the fact that a lot of what we discuss is of
global and potentially lasting influence means that it would be best to
have the archives open to the public. I occasionally hear from non
list members, including from outside Australia, writing to me about
something I wrote on Link in months or years past.
I am not sure that Google or other search engines (I can't remember any
other search engines . . . ) has indexed the entire archive, but maybe
it has, since it finds 572 instances of my email address at
http://www.anu.edu.au - and 413 instances on the rest of the Web.
That is the "public spirit" argument for keeping the archives open.
The other argument is to encourage people to join - which is more of a
matter of benefit for list members directly, provided the right kind of
people (in our opinions) join. If no-one can see what happens in a
mailing list, then why would they join? Some would, if strongly
motivated enough, but I think that the best way to encourage good
contributors to join is to have the archives public so anyone can see
what Link is about.
Making the archives only for members does not guarantee their contents
are not public or will not fall into the hands of people who might be
upset by them - it will just stop the archives being indexed by search
engines, which will certainly reduce how public the archives are.
For Link list information see http://sunsite.anu.edu.au/link/