[bksvol-discuss] Re: Keeping The List Open To Searches

  • From: "EVAN REESE" <mentat3@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2008 16:35:38 -0400

I may be in the minority as well, but I agree with you. I'm not overly 
concerned that the Bookshare lists are publicly searchable, and I hadn't 
thought of some of the reasons you have given here why it might be a good 
thing that they are. I do like the fact that email addresses are blocked 
out, so I'm fine with the way things are set up right now.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 4:22 PM
Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Keeping The List Open To Searches

> Hi, everyone. I have been reading the posts on this list about how and
> by whom the volunteers' list can be accessed. Some of you are asking
> Bookshare to close the list to searches, and I respect your feelings.
> I'd like to understand what types of information you'd like to be kept
> private since Freelists is already marking out your email address when
> people do a search. Maybe that would help me understand your position
> better.
> I think I am in the minority for now, and I'd like to share why I like
> having our list archives open to everyone. I hope that our list stays
> open for three reasons. The first is that people who are in the
> process of learning about scanning can access ideas from this list
> while they're in the planning stage of choosing OCR software and
> buying a scanner. We don't usually get a person signed up to this list
> until after the deed is done, and that means we get a lot of people
> with poor tools as they begin. Due to the cost of the software,
> they're often locked into a product that doesn't suit them and makes
> scanning harder. Since our list archive is open, they can use Google
> to find out which scanning software works best and get real opinions
> instead of sales hype.
> The second advantage of having an open list is that using Google gives
> me more specific search results if I'm trying to learn about a topic.
> The Freelists search feature isn't very specific and gives me all
> kinds of results that I don't need. With Google, I can do a search for
> a phrase containing scanner recommendation or suggestion but not
> Opticbook. This would quickly let me see scanner recommendations for
> brands of scanners other than the OpticBook. I can do this search from
> the computer store while I'm looking at scanners. I can even do this
> search on my cell phone while riding to the store. This would be
> impossible to do if the list were closed. Being able to do this search
> would save the entire list from getting another round of "which
> scanner should I buy." That's a thread that already pops up once a
> month or so.
> The third reason I think the list should stay open is that closing it
> won't actually protect anyone's privacy. Having a closed or private
> list doesn't make it safer but does give its members a false sense of
> security. Email itself isn't very secure since all a person would
> have to do is forward a list member's email to someone else or even
> paste its contents onto a website. After that, all bets are off.
> Someone from the Bookshare Discuss list proved that last summer when
> she posted one of my messages from here to a list where we had been
> asked not to post about a certain topic. She used her email client's
> forward message button, and my post hit that list ten seconds later
> with my email address and Skype name in full view. I had to deal with
> the fall-out of that choice for weeks. Having this list closed to
> searching wouldn't have changed the situation at all except for one
> thing. I was about to be banned from that list, but I asked the
> moderator to search our archives so I could prove that my message was
> written in response to a question on this list and that it was never
> intended for anyone on her list. Because she was able to see that my
> email had been posted without my consent, I was not banned.
> Right now, Freelists marks out your email address for searches of the
> archives. It even filters out email addresses in your signature too.
> So only your name and what you write about are visible in searches. I
> think it's unwise to put your phone number or mailing address at the
> bottom of messages going to lists. That's not because of the open or
> closed list deal. It's because anyone on the list can post or forward
> that information anywhere he or she wishes with just one keystroke.
> So for these reasons, I hope Bookshare will leave the list as it has
> been for the past several years. I think it will help our community as
> a whole as well as serving the needs of its members.
> -- 
> Monica Willyard
> Visit my blog at http://www.scannersguild.com
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