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Re: E-M:/ Vote NO on Proposal 1?

Enviro-Mich message from Gary Stock <gstock@net-link.net>

An informed observation regarding e-mail addresses and lobbying...

Most e-mail recipients, sophisticated or otherwise, observe the domain
of a sender's e-mail address to help them decide whether the sender is
legitimate, trusted, authoritative, and so forth.  

Whether you're conscious of it or not, this behavior is intrinsic to
internet culture.  The reality is being exploited billions of times
every day by spammers, for example, who know that folks are far more
likely to read an unexpected or cryptic message from
bob@familiar_name.com than one from any other domain.  Conversely,
millions of people automatically throw out every e-mail claiming to be
from microsoft.com, for example, since they know no one there! 

Another longstanding premise of web life is that top-level .edu domains
are associated with academic interests, most often neutral politically,
and perhaps even authoritative.  (You do need the sense to recognize
context such as "buddhism.edu," "oralroberts.edu," and the like!) 
Although policy has wavered over the years (see specifically closing
notes at http://www.educause.edu/edudomain/eligibility.asp), ICANN and
other policy bodies generally have moved toward narrowing eligibility
for .edu registrations.

In other words, people tend to believe e-mail from domains they trust,
and tend to believe material from .edu sites.

I understand there is no policy requiring "official" e-mail addresses
for Enviro-mich.  That's fine.  I also understand that interns hold onto
their college credentials while enrolled (and that some people even use
alumni affiliations to maintain a consistent e-mail address over time). 
That's fine, too. 

Given all that background, I was personally _more_ skeptical about
Proposal 06-1 after receiving this message:

> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "April Lynn Bennett" <benne217@msu.edu>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------

Then, to paraphrase:

   "Nothing can go wrong... go wrong...go wrong... go wrong..."

Clearly, that is not true.  What is the reader left to think?

With due respect to "msu," its presence may bring to mind any of:

 - someone is lobbying the list without admitting who employs them
 - MSU approves and endorses this content as unbiased and accurate 
 - college students normally are not qualified to advise on voting

I'm not saying those are truth.  I'm saying those are perception.

I hope April and others here won't take this message the wrong way. 
It's intended to help those with a genuine purpose avoid undermining
their own message -- and to remind any who might try to obscure their
affiliations that doing so is likely to backfire.  

I know April identified her relationship in her sig:

> April Bennett
> Resource Policy Assistant
> Michigan United Conservation Clubs
> http://www.mucc.org/camocoalition
> Campaign Coordinator
> Citizens Supporting Proposal 06-1
> http://www.protectyourfunds.org
> 517-346-6472

...but msu.edu in the header is ten times more powerful than a sig.

Let me be clear:  I felt _less_ inclined to vote for Proposal 06-1 as a
result of seeing "msu.edu" in the address of obvious lobbying from
someone who works for MUCC -- or in this context, perhaps even MHSA.

(Either of them certainly can afford to add one e-mail account :-)

Gary Stock                                        gstock@unblinking.com
UnBlinking                                   http://www.unblinking.com/
Googlewhack                                 http://www.googlewhack.com/

     The best proof for a claim that terrorists are crazy or evil
     would be to acknowledge that the White House is full of them

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