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RE: [CentralTexasGeocachers] Re: SPAM

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  • Nedry
    ... Ooooooh! I d love to see some email trimming in this group. :-) See #5 below. There have been a few recent mentions of Netiquette lately so for those
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 21, 2004
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      RE: [CentralTexasGeocachers] Re: SPAM
      On 11/21/04 at 10:21 AM Barry Watson wrote:
      ...and therefore may not have thought about the trimming that should be done to emails...

      Ooooooh!  I'd love to see some email trimming in this group.  :-)  See #5 below.

      There have been a few recent mentions of Netiquette lately so for those new to mailing lists or just unaware, I thought I'd share some guidelines from:

      1. Posting. Come forward and share your thoughts with the group. Keep your questions and comments relevant to the focus of the discussion group. Keep paragraphs and messages short and to the point.

      2. Welcomes. When people join an e-mail group, it is good to welcome them into the group and make them feel at home. Doing this on low-volume lists helps to stimulate conversation. On high-volume lists though, it is suggested that newcomers be welcomed using their private e-mail address rather than having several welcome messages cluttering up group-related discussions.

      3. Subject line. This should be short and informative. Many readers of a mailbox determine from the subject line whether or not to read or delete. Be sure the subject line reflects the topic. If you're starting a new topic, don't auto-reply and start a new thread leaving the old subject line in the header. .

      4. Length of message. If possible, try to restrict a message to a screen; two screen pages are still tolerable. Brevity is a definite virtue for the following reasons:
       a. Reading long text on the screen can be tiresome for both the eye and mind.
       b. Some recipients might have a local disk quota restriction or a less-than-well-endowed system to enable them to cope with lengthy and copious messages. If you have a long message that is certain to exceed two screen pages, break it up into a few short messages and denote its structure and sequence through the subject line.

      5. Trimming your quotes. When quoting another person, edit out whatever isn't directly applicable to your reply. Don't let your mailing 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 a 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: "Good Idea!"

      6. Writing style. Use short sentences and simple English. Avoid rambling running prose with complex syntax and a multitude of coordinate and subordinate clauses . Capitalize words only to highlight an important point or distinguish a title or heading. *Asterisks* surrounding a word also can be used to make a stronger point. Capitalizing whole words that are not titles is generally read as SHOUTING.

      7. Spacing. Neat, meaningful spacing can ease mental processing. Try this:
       a. Have short paragraphs separated by a blank line rather than long paragraphs with a tab indent for the first line.
       b. Put questions on separate lines rather than stringing them together in one paragraph. This makes it easier for people to annotate or answer them.

      8. Numbered items. Ideas and arguments are clearer if presented in point form; if they are numbered as well, it will make cross referencing even easier.

      9. Wit and humor. A small and occasional dose of wit and humor does wonders for a stuffy conference that is beginning to take itself too seriously, and can also break the ice for a conference with a hesitant start. Too much clowning around and too many flippant jokes or remarks, however, can be irritating and offensive to most people. Be careful when using sarcasm and humor. Without face-to-face communications, your joke may be viewed as criticism.

      10. Spontaneous or considered response. While much can be said in praise of spontaneity, if you are dealing with a sensitive or controversial topic, it would be better if you could give yourself a little more time to reflect on the arguments and counterarguments, then compose a considered response that you will not regret or feel embarrassed afterwards. Remember that electronic documents travel fast, get reproduced easily, and live long in people's files.

      11. Signature. Try to include your e-mail address with your sign-off signature. Not all mailers display the originators e-mail address. If you do not wish to receive private e-mail, you should note that in your signature line.

      12. Subscription information. When signing up for a listserv or group mailer, it's 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.

      13. Attaching files. Do this carefully. Attached files don't always remain as attached files, but sometimes get encoded and embedded as part of the e-mail. Follow the attachment commands of your e-mail program and the suggestions of your instructor for the procedures to be used in your specific course.

      14. Etiquette and protocol. Acknowledge and thank people for their comments on your views, but do so privately rather than publicly. Resist the temptation to "flame" (lambaste or criticize antagonistically) 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. Wait 24 hours before responding to any message you perceive as a flame. You may see it differently later.
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