*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

Barry Wellman wrote:
> The apology basically implies that people live their lives encapsulated in
> one group. But we networkers, of all people, should know that people have
> multiple connections to multiple networks. So to reach them, you gotta
> cross-post!

Actually, the taboo against cross-posting dates from the halcyon days of
Usenet; it is intended to prevent accidental misallocation of messages
and/or other confusion caused by posters sending replies to other groups
without realizing it.  Some posters would then reply only locally,
creating even more confusion in other groups (who would sometimes see
replies to the replies, but miss the original response).  Cross-posting
was also used by early trolls to start flamewars, by sending
deliberately incendiary material to ideologically opposed groups.
Incautious users' replies were automagically sent to the opposing group,
generating a wave of threads which could last for months.

Thus, the taboo, and hence the apologies you cite.

See also the Jargon File:

"cross-post: vi.

     [Usenet; very common] To post a single article simultaneously to
several newsgroups. Distinguished from posting the article repeatedly,
once to each newsgroup, which causes people to see it multiple times
(which is very bad form). Gratuitous cross-posting without a Followup-To
line directing responses to a single followup group is frowned upon, as
it tends to cause followup articles to go to inappropriate newsgroups
when people respond to various parts of the original posting."

(I suppose this post ought to have an apology for being off-topic for
the list, but that might generate a whole new apology thread....  :-))


SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.