Re: META doo-dah

From: Chris Rasch (
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 12:21:06 MST

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:

> Rather than emailing the complete text of newspaper articles, as
> is the common practice, I encourage everybody to
> email URLs and brief excerpts instead.
> This helps the authors and furthers extropy by sending a message to the
> publisher via their hit counter to run more articles of that kind.
> When somebody emails a copy of an article, by copying and pasting, the
> publisher knows the article has been accessed just that one time.
> But if we email the link, instead, then everybody who goes to the site to
> read the article counts as a hit on the publisher's site, which,
> wanting lots of hits, publishers interpret to mean "if I run
> more stories like this, I will get more hits, so I should run
> more stories like this." Good for the publisher, good for us,
> good for the extropic evolution of life.

I'm sympathetic to your argument, and I will do whatever seems to be the list
consensus/preference of the list managers. Personally, I prefer full-text
articles plus a link for the following reason:

Including the entire text reduces the possibilty that the poster will change
the meaning of the author's words.

I find most of the stuff on I need on the web via search engines. Most
search engines rank sites with more relevant text higher than sites with less
relevant text. If our goal is to further extropy, then one way to do that
would be to increase the rankings of the extropy archives by increasing the
amount of relevant text.

Links are ephemeral--someone searching the archive a year from now will find
many of the links to be dead. Including the entire text ensures that the
text to which the conversation refers is still available for future readers
to see.

Makes it easier to respond to multiple portions of the text. (As Harvey did
with the FDA/Olestra forward).

Sources of good articles often have other articles by the same author that I
enjoy. While including the full-text for a given article may reduce the
likelihood that others will click to see that particular article, many will
click anyway to see what else that author has written.

On the other hand, in addition to what you cite above, including the full
text has the following disadvantages:

I don't get permission from the author, who may be unwilling to allow his/her
article to be forwarded to a mailing list. Forwarding full text is likely a
violation of fair use statutes.

Readers with slow/pay per minute connections are forced to download the
entire article, when they may prefer to read the article only if the a
blurb/summary interests them.


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