history/commercial messages on the list

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:42:47 PDT
As a former list administrator of this list, I'd like to come to Ellen's 
defense. This list was started on yahoo and then moved to my server 
where I paid for it. In early 2003 we moved it to ibiblio.org where it 
and the wiki has been hosted for free ever since. The majority of the 
members of this list are not paying members of the Pacific Bulb Society 
and when the list was started we agreed that if it was open to anyone 
who was interested in the subject we would all gain by the information 
shared. But for a new organization with few members and not a lot of 
money, having the list be free was a big help. One of the requirements 
for being hosted for free was not being a commercial organization that 
posted items for sale. We knew people would be interested in what was 
available so we tried to come up with a way of sharing that information 
without putting losing the list and the wiki at risk. We suggested that 
people who had things to sell could announce when their web site was 
updated and that they had something special to sell with a link or an 
email address to learn more, but requested that this not be a frequent 
posting. Most people were really good about following those rules. We 
experimented with having a place where people could sell and trade bulbs 
when Ellen kindly offered her website when she stopped selling bulbs. 
But it wasn't used enough to justify the continued operation. And we 
allowed sharing information about what someone else had available by a 
short message with a link to learn more. And Mike came up with a way to 
add sources of bulbs to the wiki so people could search there (provided 
someone on the list recommended the source because they had a good 
experience and shared that information with one of the wiki volunteers 
who could add it to the wiki.)

 From time to time there has been discussion of moving the list once 
again, especially since ibiblio is concentrating on collections, not 
lists, and not longer offering the latter service to new groups. 
However, this organization has a very limited number of volunteers that 
do all the work and moving involves some time and effort (and expense). 
Whenever there is discussion of changing the nature of things, there are 
diverse opinions about what is best as well with a lot of people liking 
it the way it is.

If everyone who subscribes to this list was allowed frequently to post 
what they had for sale, I expect you would have a lot of requests from 
people to unsubscribe. It's difficult to find a balance sometimes, but 
that is what this list has attempted to do.

Mary Sue

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