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Re: ADMIN: Searching the SEAOC Archives - a listservice problem

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How difficult would it be to set up a search engine similar to the 
DejaNews searcher?  Seems to me that would be a great help.

Dave Evans, P.E.
TNH, Inc.

> From:          "wish" <wish(--nospam--at)>
> To:            <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
> Subject:       ADMIN: Searching the SEAOC Archives - a listservice problem in need of a solution
> Date:          Wed, 4 Feb 1998 17:48:53 -0800
> Reply-to:      seaoc(--nospam--at)

> I have gone back to the SEAOC web site to search out old posts from our
> listservice in the archived listings. Unfortunately, it does not appear that
> we have a decent search utility to find specific posts. This raises some
> issues that we, as a group, need to discuss.
> It is the intention of the CAC in the very near future to create separate
> listservices for each of the committees, each chapters board of directors
> and one for the state board members. Over time the usability of lists will
> grow as more organizations and SEA chapters, hopefully, use the SEAOC server
> as the center of the distribution of information. This poses some very real
> problems that we, as the explorers of this new communication media, are best
> to resolve.
> 1. Without the use of coding or abbreviations, how do we make the
> information that we store accessible for retrieval. At this time, we can
> only sort the archived list, but can not search either subject line or
> content for key words. We have almost three years of archives on the web
> which takes considerable time to look through when you need information and
> the subjects are not clear.
> 2. How will we ensure that the valid information is transmitted bothways
> through channels. In other words, committees will draw upon our "general"
> list for opinions on the work that they may be doing. An alternative would
> be to provide volunteers to summarize subjects and physically forward them
> to appropriate committees. Considering the information starts on the list,
> moves to a local chapter committee, is then refined and moved to a state
> committee - it should be sent back to the members for review and comment and
> then placed back into the cycle until it reaches state or national board
> members.
> Conversely, the boards of each chapter, state and national associations need
> to inform the list membership of what is occuring at that level.
> I think you can begin to see how complicated the transference of valid
> information becomes. One thing to remember is that, although SEAOC or each
> chapter, would hope to gain membership dues, the information moved back and
> forth includes opinions of non-members or members of other professional
> organizations. I wanted to clarify this since it is important that the use
> of the word "member" is associated to list subscriber and not exclusivly to
> paid membership in a chapter.
> I think the first step is to make our subject headers easier to understand
> and sort. I have started (as Bill Allen noted) to use abbrievations in my
> subject lines. We discussed this some months ago and many of you do use
> abbrievations to help simplify our topics. However, for the most part, many
> of you responded that the work involved to accomodate a growing list and the
> need to lookup the abbreviation prior to posting was too much work and would
> discourage you from particpating.
> I also believe that this is a very real problem that we need to start
> addressing as a self-proclaimed Listservice committee for SEAOC. This would
> be one way to create a model of the electronic committee and to see how
> sucessful we are in reaching a standard to help control the flow of
> information and the means we already need to retrieve information.
> Please, jump in on this discussion.
> Sincerely,
> Dennis S. Wish PE