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[yak] Some Netiquette Suggestions

Orchid is Awesome!

I include for the general health of Orchid and all list servs
the following.

The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette - by Arlene Rinaldi

Used with permission and attribution more info available at:


Some mailing lists have low rates of traffic, others can flood your mailbox
with several hundred mail messages per day.
Numerous incoming messages from various listservers or mailing lists by
multiple users, requires extensive system processing
which can tie up valuable resources. Subscription to Interest Groups or
Discussion Lists should be kept to a minimum and
should not exceed what your disk quota can handle, or you for that matter.

When you join a list, monitor the messages for a few days to get a feel
for what common questions are asked, and what
topics are deemed off-limits. This is commonly referred to as lurking.
When you feel comfortable with the group, then
start posting.

See if there is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for a group that you
are interested in joining. Veteran members get
annoyed when they see the same questions every few weeks, or at the
start of each semester.

Follow any and all guidelines that the listowner has posted; the
listowner establishes the local “netiquette” standards for
her/his list.

Keep in mind that some discussion lists or Usenet groups have members
from many countries.
Don’t assume that they will understand a reference to TV, movies,
pop culture, or current events in your country.
If you must use the reference, please explain it.
Don’t assume that they understand geographical references that are
local or national.

Don’t join a list just to post inflammatory messages - this upsets most
system administrators and you could lose access
to the net (“mail bombing”).

Keep your questions and comments relevant to the focus of the
discussion group.

If another person posts a comment or question that is off the subject,
do NOT reply to the list and keep the off- subject
conversation going publicly.

When someone posts an off-subject note, and someone else criticizes
that posting, you should NOT submit a gratuitous
note saying “well, I liked it and lots of people probably did as well
and you guys ought to lighten up and not tell us to
stick to the subject”.

When going away for more than a week, unsubscribe or suspend mail from
any mailing lists or LISTSERV services.

If you can respond to someone else’s question, do so through email.
Twenty people answering the same question on a
large list can fill your mailbox (and those of everyone else on the
list) quickly.

When quoting another person, edit out whatever isn’t directly
applicable to your reply. Don’t let your mailing or Usenet
software automatically quote the entire body of messages you are
replying to when it’s not necessary. Take the time to
edit any quotations down to the minimum necessary to provide context
for your reply. Nobody likes reading a long
message in quotes for the third or fourth time, only to be followed by
a one line response: “Yeah, me too.”

Use discretion when forwarding a long mail message to group addresses
or distribution lists. It’s preferable to reference
the source of a document and provide instructions on how to obtain a
copy. If you must post a long message, warn the
readers with a statement at the top of the mail message. Example:

If you crosspost messages to multiple groups, include the name of the
groups at the top of the mail message with an
apology for any duplication.

Resist the temptation to “flame” others on the list. Remember that
these discussions are “public” and meant for
constructive exchanges. Treat the others on the list as you would want
them to treat you.

When posting a question to the discussion group, request that responses
be directed to you personally. Post a summary
or answer to your question to the group.

When replying to a message posted to a discussion group, check the
address to be certain it’s going to the intended
location (person or group). It can be very embarrassing if they reply
incorrectly and post a personal message to the
entire discussion group that was intended for an individual.

When signing up for a group it is important to save your subscription
confirmation letter for reference. That way if you
go on vacation you will have the subscription address for suspending mail.

Use your own personal Email account, don’t subscribe using a shared
office account.

Occasionally subscribers to the list who are not familiar with proper
netiquette will submit requests to SUBSCRIBE or
UNSUBSCRIBE directly to the list itself. Be tolerant of this activity,
and possibly provide some useful advice as
opposed to being critical.

Other people on the list are not interested in your desire to be added
or deleted. Any requests regarding administrative
tasks such as being added or removed from a list should be made to the
appropriate area, not the list itself. Mail for
these types of requests should be sent to the following respectively:

I hope this helps!

All the best,

Mystical Grits
Wm. Augustus Mason
Reclaim Your Personal Power!
Metaphysical Art Jewelry,
Energy Tools for Light Work
Crystals & Gems, Lapidary,
Original Spiritual Space Jazz Heart Music
Furniture Design
Ideas, Fantasies, Visions, Conscious Creations
Feel Good, Be Happy, Enjoy LIFE!
POBox 2651
Easley, South Carolina 29641 USA
864-306-9910 or 864-855-5218

Since I’m new to the net, Wm’s post was especially interesting.
Most I had already figured out, but I finally know, now, what all
those " :)" and “:(” mean. Thanks, Wm. :slight_smile:

However, there are three comments I want to respond to:

  If you can respond to someone else's question, do so through
email. <snip>
  When posting a question to the discussion group, request
that responses be directed  to you personally. Post a summary 
or answer to your question to the group. 

I question both of the above. The reason I subscribe to Orchid
is because I’m eager to learn from other’s experiences and
willing to share, when I can. I question whether the person who
asked the question would always be able (or willing) to write a
summary that captures the full intent and substance of all the
responses. Without the questions and answers I’m not sure what
function the Orchid list (not the rest of the site, of course)
would provide. Please, clue me in if I’m missing something.

Other people on the list are not interested in your desire to
be added or  deleted. <snip>

If you are generally a ‘lurker’ the need to tell everyone your
leaving the group is unnecessary, but if you have been a
productive contributor, I would like to know why you’re not
around anymore.

Remember, that delete button, its just a click away. Just my 2