When sending messages to LISTSERV (or posting to the discussion board), please keep the following suggestions in mind. They will help keep the group user-friendly for everyone:
- Please include a subject line in each posting (it’s a good idea
for ALL e-mail).
- Keep each line in your message shorter than 70 characters. Longer lines
can cause problems with some e-mail systems.
- Do not include lines consisting only of "=" signs, since they
too cause some systems problems except for the one that most mail programs
generate after your header and before your message.
- When replying to another message, try to refrain from quoting entire
messages. Paraphrasing or quoting selectively are both kinder to people's
eyes and e-mail boxes.
- At the end of your message, include your name and your electronic mail
address (this is your electronic "signature".) Because it can
be difficult to interpret e-mail addresses, you are encouraged to include
your institutional affiliation.
- Long signatures are discouraged. They may be humorous the first time,
but get old quickly (and take up valuable net bandwidth and computer space).
Some folks tire of the time spent having to skim over them. 2-4 lines should
be sufficient to include any necessary information. Remember most lists
are not forums for a/social comment.
- Be extremely careful when replying to the author of a list message. The
CRAM e-mail system will send your reply to the entire list if you simply
use a reply command. If you really want to send to the entire list do so.
- Think before you post. Do I really want to say this to the world (list)?
Reread what you wrote. Did you really say what you intended to? Once a message
is sent, it can't be retrieved.
- Flames: a "flame" is an emotionally charged posting, and is
often directed at someone. Be sure you really want to post it, and remember
than some lists don’t tolerate flames.
- To signal humorous intent, use some sort of "smiley", such
as :-). Facetiousness and sarcasm can be misunderstood easily in electronic
- Replies to requests for information. Some large lists have a policy of
sending information privately to the requester. The requester then summarizes
to the list. This can cut down on traffic, but it tends to reduce the "give
and take" that some lists value.
- Please be considerate of others. Through inexperience or limited local
software, list members may inadvertently violate the above suggestions.
A private message to the offender from an experienced friend or from the
list owners is more appropriate than a public flame.
- Please participate! Your ideas are important. Just because you think
everyone knows something doesn't mean they do. If you’re not sure,
send the posting to an experienced friend on the list (or the list owner)
to see if the information may be valuable.
- This list has its own character, just like any "real" grouping
of people (such as a party, or a meeting). The list functions best when
people respect the character of the list. It’s also good to respect
the differences among list members and have a certain tolerance for our
- DON’T SHOUT—unless you really mean it. The use of all uppercase
letters is considered shouting, and therefore rude. Part of the problem
with all caps is that it is harder to read than mixed case. The other problem
is that since facial expression and tone of voice are missing from electronic
communication, some way to express strong opinions (both positive and negative)
is needed, so ALL CAPS has been designated.
- Some common abbreviations found in mail notices are:
FWIW => for what it’s worth; GOK => God only knows; HHOK => Ha, ha - only kidding; HHOS => Ha, ha - only serious; IMHO => In my humble opinion; LOL => laughing out loud; OTOH => on the other hand.