Re: ADMIN: An Open Letter to the TECHWR-L Community

Subject: Re: ADMIN: An Open Letter to the TECHWR-L Community
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2004 15:58:21 +0000

Mike O. wrote:

Maybe STC would like to take it over.. they are actively looking for ways to add value, and this list is probably the most valuable single resource they could add. Sounds like synergy to me, though.

Not sure what the business model of such a transaction would be, though :-) Maybe STC could create a small group of "charter members" to sponsor the transfer.

This idea horrifies me, and I suspect that a lot of others feel the same way. If the STC were capable of providing the services that Techwr-l does, then surely Techwr-l would never have come into existence in the first place.

In particular, one of the reasons that Techwr-l has been such a valuable resource is that, unlike the STC, the Rays have been neutral, with no particular axe to grind. I think that this neutrality would be one of the first things to go if the STC took over the site.

As a frequent contributor to the web site, I also appreciate the fact that the Rays are open to offbeat ideas, such as my articles about prescriptive grammar and Linux and other open source topics. While I don't have figures for other articles, I suspect that few other articles on Techwr-l have been reprinted, translated, linked to, and quoted as often as mine. Just the other day, I saw one of them quoted on the OpenCD, the collection of Open Source software for Windows, and I have seen a couple of them used as school assignments. Yet, judging from the contents of official STC publications, I seriously question whether these articles would have appeared if the site had been an STC vehicle. For one thing, I doubt that I would have been offered payment for my time.

For another, I long ago promised myself that I would not waste my time on the STC, so I never would have approached Techwr-l to do the articles in the first place.

In fact, if the STC ever does take over Techwr-l, I would insist that all copyrights on my articles be reassigned to me, and the articles removed from the site. I will not have any my work appearing under the STC, nor in any way that suggests that I support the STC.

Unlike the STC, Techwr-l is useful. Obviously, the Rays can do what they want, but I hate the idea of the STC taking it over, and I hope it never happens.

Bruce Byfield


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