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Subject: Administrivia


From: Walter Henry <whenry>
Date: Friday, December 1, 1995
A number of you have commented in recent months about commercial
content in DistList postings, with criticisms coming from both the
commercial and not-for-profit sectors. The DistList has always
accepted messages with commercial content if their *primary intent*
has been to offer information which serves the general welfare of the
conservation community. On the whole, DistList participants from both
the the commercial concerns and not-for-profit institutions (who
in some cases compete directly with commercial concerns and
therefore should play by the same rules) have been admirably
responsible about keeping their messages from crossing the 'blatant
advertising' rubicon. In some cases, where a message's *balance* of
useful information to self-serving is dramatically weighted toward
the former, I have been a little more lenient about the latter. The
conservation community depends heavily on its vendors of supplies
and services and communications between all players is crucial. At
the same time, we do not want to do a disservice to our commercial
participants by un-levelling the competitive playing field, so I
would like to formulate a clear, consistent policy on this matter
and include it in the welcome material sent to new participants.

I would appreciate your considered opinions on this topic,
especially in the form of explicit policy statements. They will not
be posted to the list; I'd like to continue to keep the list free
from meta-list discussions, except of course for my own :-). This is
a murky topic, so I'd be most grateful for any guidance leading to a
clear statement of what should/should not be acceptable with regard
to messages with commercial content.

With this in mind, and with an eye toward provocation, I am posting
two messages--one from a not-for-profit institution, the other from
a commercial vendor, either of which could be considered blatant
advertising, both of which provide (I think) useful information to
the community. See

    Subject: Publication on fossil vertebrate types
    Subject: Publication on cleaning antiques

below. Consider whether these are appropriate postings, and
would they be appropriate if they offered information about some
other matter (say conservation services).


                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:45
                 Distributed: Friday, December 1, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-45-001
Received on Friday, 1 December, 1995

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