Top Twenty Netiquette Guidelines for New Internet Mailing list Posters/Subscribers.....
1.Remember, it's a DIFFERENT email address you send subscription, unsubscription, and other "list processor" commands to than the one you POST messages to. It's a program that handles subscriptions, not a person. Posting a message which says "Please unsubscribe me" to the list itself will only annoy the other subscribers and NOT get you unsubscribed.
2.Lurk before you post. Observe what's going on, what is and isn't appropriate material for a particular list. Lurk for 1-2 weeks before "announcing" your arrival with a posting introducing yourself.
3.While lurking, observe and try to learn all the special Netiquette that applies to Mailists. Like not posting private replies.
4.Be sure and respond privately, and not to the entire list, when your answer or comment isn't going to benefit others on the list. Be careful using the "REPLY" features of mail browsers unless you're sure of who it REPLIES to - the original poster, or the entire list.
5.Stay on Topic.
6.Set DIGEST mode to receive 1-2 BIG email compilations per day rather than dozens, or even hundreds of individual emails, if your list manager program (majordomo, listserv, listproc) supports it.
7.Take disagreements and flame wars off-line, that is, into private email rather than broadcasting your arguments with some idiot to the entire group. After all, he feels the same way about you!
8.Absolutely, positively SAVE the "welcome" directions that you received when you first subscribed to a maillist. For starters, they tell you how and where to unsubscribe.
9.Be careful about using sarcasm, satire, tongue in cheek humor. Often it's misinterpreted. Use lots of smiley faces :) winks ;) and all to express actual emotions, like ;) when you're kidding around.
10.Don't copy an entire email when replying to it. Highlight only selected portions. Use ... or *snip* to indicate removal of body text.. Include the original poster's email address when possible.
11.Don't post ASCII ART or "signatures" longer than 5-6 lines. If posting more than one item per day to a list, turn your signature "OFF" on subsequent posts. Some people have slow modems, believe it or not.
12.Never, ever, ever post a file to a maillist. Will get you flamed faster than Richard Pryor smoking crack. Do not ever USE, LAUNCH, OR READ an unsolicited file received from a list. It might be virus laden. Do the wise thing -- delete IT!
13.A "Sig" announcing what products and services you or your firm offers is OK provided it's not too long. Posting something that is clearly advertising isn't cool, and will probably get you flamed. Ocassionally put something interesting in your sig like the address of the joke-of-the day maillist, or an interesting URL.
14.Avoid posting "Me too" type messages. Send them directly to whoever posted whatever it is you're agreeing with.
15.If someone asks a question that's been asked a million times, DON'T ANSWER IT! Leave it for someone with more time on their hands. If you are really, really worried the person won't get their question answered:
- 1. Wait a day or two before posting an answer
- 2. Send them the answer privately instead of posting it to the list
16.If you only sort of "half know" the answer to a question, wait a day or so to see if an "expert" posts a really good answer before bothering to post your "half answer". In short, don't be a maillist co-dependent.
17.Do not EVER post chain letters, chain mail, or the like, including email "petitions" requesting France quit setting off "LeBombes ThermoNu-Clear". If you like a certain chain mail or think it's funny, clever, or cute, email it individually to YOUR friends, not to maillists. You will be flamed big time for breaking this rule.
18.Remember to add a short, but descriptive SUBJECT line b4 posting your .02 worth. Don't change SUBJECT lines in mid-thread as some folks set up filters to filter in or out threads they're interested/bored with.
19.If posting questions, try and ask one or two specific ones at a time instead of posting a lengthy essay incorporating dozens of questions about the meaning of life, Mac, the universe and everything. BTW, The answer is 43.
20.Don't be a mail-list anal-retentive and point out all the minor netiquette violations folks make UNLESS they are blatent, intentional, or oft repeated. Always cut newbies some slack and if necessary, send them a KINDLER, GENTLER reply explaining why what they did was bad instead of flaming them like a marshmellow.
The final word:
When you subscribe to a list, you will typically receive a "welcome" message, describing the purpose of the list and telling you how to unsubscribe. Save this message! Otherwise, 3 months from now you won't be able to figure out how to send an
unsubscribe message and more importantly WHERE to send it to!
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