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Dear soc-casi-discuss subscriber,

As many of you know, all messages distributed on this email list are
archived on the World Wide Web (the archive is accessible via ). The archive is
browsable by the public and features a search engine, making it quite a
useful research tool.

For technical reasons which I won't go into, CASI now faces a decision
about where to host the list archive in the future. After some
considerable research, the basic options which CASI faces (which
maintain the entire archive in one place and offer good search
abilities) are:
 1) Host the archive on (and transfer the past archives to) a third-party
automatic list-archiving web site (e.g. This would
be free, but CASI would have absolutely no ability to remove articles from
the archive or modify them.

 2) Continue to host the archives ourselves, at a cost of roughly 5 pounds
per month, i.e. 60 pounds (roughly US$100, I guess) a year. We would
maintain complete control over the archive, including the ability to
edit/remove posts.

[If anyone can provide us with a reliable unix/linux server with a
permanent internet connection on which we can host the archives for less
than this, please let me know!]

So the basic choice we have is whether it's worth paying 60 pounds a year
for the ability to edit the archives. The main reasons why editing the
archive is potentially desirable are:
 * if someone (perhaps accidentally) posts something they really really
   didn't mean to make public, or which is libellous, we could remove it
   from the archive
 * if a message turns out to be very misleading, at a later date we can
   add a note to it pointing out the error. For example, I added a note to
   the recent post about the Nobel Peace Prize winners, explaining that it
   had transpired to be inaccurate and pointing viewers to corrections
   posted to the list later. This increases the value of the list archive
   as a research tool, since there is less likelihood of a very
   misleading message being mistaken for a reliable source by someone
   browsing the archives.

In the past year, the archives have been edited maybe 2 or 3 times in this
way. I should point out that is not the intention to correct all factually
incorrect information - just the occassional article which we feel is
sufficiently misleading to warrant a warning being placed next to it and a
pointer given to later messages which are usually posted in correction
(and which the viewer might not otherwise notice).

To help CASI decide whether this 'editability' feature is worth 60 pounds
per year of CASI's funds, I'd be grateful if you could send me (not the
whole list, please) an email telling me what, if anything, you use the
archives for, and whether you think 'editability' is valuable.

If you think there are other options for the future of the archive which
we should be considering, please let me know (again, please don't email
the whole list about this). I will post a summary of all your responses to
the list in due course, for the curious.

Any comments/suggestions/questions about other aspects of the discussion
list would be very welcome, too.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

best wishes,


Seb Wills            Tel: 01223 363882
Clare College
Cambridge CB2 1TL, UK.

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