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Important Information about REACH Listservice

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To all concerned.

I went back and reread the invitation I received from NAHBRC to join the REACH Listservice. I was dismayed to find that I have been providing incorrect information to members of the SEAint List - the REACH List is an invitation only listservice and, unless specifically invited, is only available to paid members of REACH. The invitation was not posted, as I thought, on our listservice, but to a limited distribution list.

I'm sorry for giving the wrong information to the SEAint List members. I personally knew that NAHBRC started REACH intending it to be a paid membership program. I did not, however, expect the REACH Listservice to be restricted to paid members and those with special knowledge. I expected the List to be open to any and all interested persons in the building industry. I believed that those paid members sitting on the REACH Committee would assimilate the information originating on the REACH List.

I am flattered to have been invited to participate, but I believe that I have no special knowledge above and beyond the other members of my profession. I am outspoken with convictions and opinions related to residential construction. I believe these are traits shared by many members of my profession who are just discovering this medium – the Internet Listservice. These individuals offer a much wider range of experiences and professional opinions that should be laid on the table along with my thoughts. This can not be accomplished by creating barriers such as paid admission.

I personally feel that restricting the List to paid members and/or by special invitation will not be beneficial to REACH. At worst, it promotes special interest by those who have paid for the privilege to be heard. I believe this to be a poor precedence to set. I doubt that many professionals, already invested in other professional activities, will be willing to join yet another activity in order to share their knowledge. This is not to imply that interested parties will not support REACH as paid members, only that those already heavily invested (time and financially) in other endeavors will be less likely to participate until REACH has sufficient accomplishments associated to its goals.

The success of the SEAint Listservice is based upon an ideology that communication should not be restrictive in order for the public, whom we serve, to achieve the greatest gain from our profession. We welcome comments from all participants without requiring paid membership. Our server is and will continue to be maintained from income derived from Advertisers on the SEAint Website and in the SEAint Online Journal. Additional income is generated from specific services offered through our website, which will, in the near future, include seminars and online training and much more. This is done deliberately to separate the need to share information among professionals from those specific needs of the Structural Engineers Association's local, regional and national chapters.

SEAint was specifically created to establish tools and standards. These tools are offered (within reasonable limitations) without charge to any individual or professional affiliation. Anything above the basic tools we offer will be charged at a reasonable rate and the returns placed back in the expansion and maintenance of the hardware. We hope that by creating these tools we will be promoting unification of the profession (worldwide) and help extend the current limitations resulting from geographic constraints and limited volunteer participation. This has been and will remain the basic ideology behind SEAint.

Moderation of a listservice is understandable. REACH has a valid right to restrict their list only to those participants with special knowledge. This can be achieved by creating an application that identifies the individuals specific abilities and, when reviewed, will authorize the applicant to participate on the REACH list.

I urge REACH to reconsider this limitation and understand that there are many engineers, globally, who have specific knowledge and interest in residential construction. The same, I am sure, holds true of architects and builders. I am sure that the need to generate income to support REACH will come, as those who recognize the importance of the goals will join. I strongly urge REACH to remove the restriction of paid membership for their Listservice and allow any and all interested parties to participate and share important information.

Dennis S. Wish PE

Although I actively participate in the work of other organizations, the comments expressed in this post are mine. They do not represent a position by SEA, SEAint, or any other professional affiliation.

PS: Engineers interested in expressing their concerns can address them to:

REACH Management
Donald L. Carr
NAHB Research Center, Inc.
400 Prince Georges Blvd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
301-249-4000 x575

-----Original Message-----
From: reach_mgr(--nospam--at) [mailto:reach_mgr(--nospam--at)NAHBRC.ORG]
Sent: Sunday, November 15, 1998 12:38 PM
To: Robert J Bossi, PE
Subject: List Processor Results.

 1: join reachnet-l
    You are not allowed to join this list.
    Please contact root(--nospam--at)NAHBRC.ORG if this is incorrect.

Completed processing request at Sun, 15 Nov 1998 15:37:56 -0500