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Guide to efficient use of Mailing Lists

Details for text in List Guide

Mail subject line
use specific identifiers like "Emigration John Peterson b 1878", "Henderson family in census 1900 ?", "Translation of job titles", "Translation of -testes- in birth record"
2  re-use the old subject line when replying to a previous mail of continuing the same thread
1  use subject lines with only a few general words like "Family lookup", "Emigration CD lookup", "Translation please" or worse "HELP!". There is a big risk that recent mails by others used the same line and it does not create an interest to read and reply.
2  use an old subject line referring to a Mail Digest volume. Always replace the entire line with a relevant topic line.
3  reuse an old subject line unless the new mail is about the same topic or belongs to the same thread
Include your intended use of requested info
Some persons are using the free services of mailing lists to gather information and then sell the results to their clients. This is a clear violation of list rules stating that all mails are copyright the sender and that the lists may not be used for commercial purpose.
Please include a brief note saying why you want this information. Examples: "Researching my family", "helping a friend". Such a statement would force the "pirates" to lie as well and probably make some of them to refrain for that immoral use. So please make it clear that you are researching for personal / family use as opposed to commercial use. 

Thank you note

My mail to Sweden list members on 2003-11-23:

When you have received a reply to your question to the list a thank you note is definitely in order
When you write that please consider that

1  It may have taken a long time (maybe hours) and sometimes even costs for the responder to produce the reply.

2  A "thank you" is the only "reward" for responder. I'm sure most of us would like to know if and how the reply was of use since the responder took a great interest in your research. Some replies even saved you tens (if not hundreds) of dollars. Please spend more than 15 seconds writing a one line mail saying "Thank you all <your name>"

3  Sending your "thank you note" to the list is OK but I'm sure many would appreciate more a personal mail when substantial help was given.

4  If you send your "thank you note" to the list DO NOT include a quote of any of the responses you got. It is an unnecessary waste of time and space since the people you are addressing are well aware of what they wrote. Make a short text reference to the question that was answered and name the person.


If you have comments or suggestions on this topic - please drop me a line:

To home page List Guide Last updated by F Hae 2005-05-28 08:24 Fredrik Haeffner, 2003-5