JOTA on the Internet
Ward, Bruce (bward@SMTPGWY.AGRIC.NSW.GOV.AU)
Fri, 21 Oct 1994 16:23:35 EST
Last Sunday, I posted a message from some of my Scouts seeking contact with
other Scouts via email. I thought it would be a good idea to report back on the
I should point out that this was only a trial for me, being a very new internet
user, with limited access to some internet facilities (no access to News or IRC
From our posting on Sunday, we made contact with 20 Scouts and Scouters from the
Australia (home) 2
I have prepared a report on my trial for the administrators, and my conclusions
1. Email on the internet is a viable option as a JOTA-like activity.
2. The computer we used did not have access to an interactive 'chat'
utility (IRC), and this would have been an advantage for the initial
establishment of email addresses, for later more detailed contact.
3. The email activity requires significantly lower technical
training, and with a few minutes teaching and a command card nearby, most
teenagers would be able to communicate effectively without a licensed operator.
Despite this I would suggest constant supervision to maintain standards and
prevent misuse. (There is some pretty disgusting stuff available on the Internet
<not on SCOUTS-L of course...>).
4. For a proper activity, it would be better to set up at a
location other than a home. Family members get a bit tired of being cut-off from
the telephone after 8-10 hours! (let alone all weekend)
5. World time-zone differences make it difficult for those who want
instant gratification. Our responses are still coming in a week after the
activity. Email gets around the time zones to some extent, particularly if
individuals were able to visit the JOTA station more than once over the weekend,
to reply to messages.
6. An internet activity would be an excellent addition to a
traditional JOTA station.
My special thanks to those who responded, particularly those hardy fiew in North
America, who were still up hacking away at 2.00am!
PS. I have changed to a LAN based email server within our larger computer
network, and it appears it may be sending out a different return address to that
used before. If you have trouble try the alternative address
Sorry for any inconvenience...Bruce
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City