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Mail lists... what a GREAT tool! But like any tool, not used properly, not following the instructions can cause major headaches as well as NOT getting the results you were anticipating.



Netiquette Guidelines for Email Newsletter/Mail list "subscribers"

  • Look for unsubscription directions, and follow them.

  • Do NOT assume that hitting "reply" with "remove" in the subject field (for example) will get you off the list.

  • Don't expect the publisher to remove you manually: you subscribed; you can remove yourself.

  • Save your welcome messages with list rules and unsubscription information.

  • Do not subscribe to lists with an email address with an 'auto responder' function. This includes "Out of Office Auto reply" and other features. Doing this creates a large amount of wasted email, which can be a significant burden on a publisher with a large email list. (It can also cause your in box to exceed its limits and your list messages will 'bounce' back to the list administrator... A sure way to be automatically unsubscribed...)

  • If you have a problem, take it up nicely with the list administrator (List Mom).

  • Do not mail a single individual when replying. The question may be something that other people are also wanting to ask. These other people have no way to read the reply, but to ask the one person the question. The one person consequently gets overloaded with mail while the rest of the list misses out. (Now if there's a 'connection' and you want to further that connection, then emailing each other only makes sense! The rest of the list has no interest...)

  • Most, if not all, mailing lists require that you are subscribed to allow a mail to go through to all the subscribers.
    If you post without being subscribed (or from a different email address than the one you are subscribed as) your mail will be held until an admin either approves or discards it. The reason for this policy is, of course, the internet disease called spam.

  • Please do not reply to an existing message as a short-cut to post a NEW message to the lists. Many mail programs and web archivers use information within emails to keep them together as "threads", a collections of posts that discuss a certain subject. If you don't intend to reply on the same or similar subject, don't just hit reply on an existing mail and change subject, create a new mail.

  • HTML is not for emails. Please switch off those HTML encoded messages. You can mail all those funny emails to your friends. We speak plain text emails here.

  • If you are the one who asks, please consider responding once more in case one of the hints was what solved your problems. The guys who write answers feel good to know that they provided a good answer and that you fixed the problem. Far too often, the person who asks the question is never heard of again, and we never get to know if he/she is gone because the question was answered or perhaps because the problem was unsolvable!

  • Getting the solution posted also helps other users that experience the same problem(s) or have the very same question. They get to see (possibly in the web archives) that the suggested answer actually has helped at least one person.

  • People on the Internet often get far more email than they can deal with. As a common courtesy to do your part to minimize this email, you should always check the Frequently Asked Questions files (if available), search the Internet, and search the newsgroups for the answer to a question before sending email to a human being. If it turns out that the question was easily obtainable in an obvious place, you may annoy the other person and embarrass yourself.

  • Flaming is the act of sending someone an outrageously insulting message, whether by private email or in a public Usenet posting, usually because you disagree with something they have said. A good flame mixes a razor sharp wit with a devastating put-down so that the other person will only make themselves look silly if they dare disagree -- "The absurdity of your ideas is exceeded only by the incoherence of your remarks, beginning with..."

    "Flame wars" are never allowed on any mail lists and can be grounds for permanent removal from any/all mail lists (RootsWeb as an example). Again, if you have a problem with a fellow list member, take it up with the List Administrator!

  • Most, if not all, List Administrator's are volunteers! They have lives outside of the mail list you are researching! So please be patient! Some administrators moderate their lists 24/7 while others check in occasionally...
 

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