File - Member Guidelines
- LIST ETIQUETTE - Please Read!
These guidelines are designed to help list members participate in the Homeschool Links and Forms group discussions conscientiously, compassionately and in a way that will maximize everyone's enjoyment of and benefits from the list.
(This file is automatically sent to new members and to the list on the first of each month)
A Guide to Effective and Considerate List Membership
Homeschool Links and Forms is intended to provide a safe place where members can feel free to share experiences, ideas and resources, ask questions and find encouragement. This is principally a focused discussion list, where members may agree with one another's views, or simply agree to disagree with civility; and secondarily a resource and networking list. Email lists are necessarily diverse, and strongly principled and opinionated members from practically every walk of life are often members, so it is vitally important to refrain from being easily offended! Offense is almost never intended, and when taken, almost always is the result a of misunderstanding.
You can educate yourself about email etiquette at: http://computing.wayne.edu/email/netiquette.php
If you want to learn the meanings of "DD" and "DS" and "LOL!" and other
e-mail shorthand, including the use of "emoticons" (smileys, etc.) here's a site that explains them: http://topcc.org/articles/jokes/emoticons.html
BEFORE HITTING THE "SEND" BUTTON:
Make sure that your subject line is a reliable indicator of message content. "Digest Number 'x'" is not a good subject line. If the topic of the discussion changes take a moment to change the subject line to match.
If you've become emotionally charged by a topic, consider holding your message overnight and reading it again in the morning before sending it. Time to reflect often does wonders for meaningful and compassionate communications, and in avoiding misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
WHEN POSTING AN EVENT:
Remember that this is a national list and members hail from all over the US and a few other countries besides. Please list as much pertinent information in your message and/or on the calendar as possible. In addition to the name of the event, please include the state location and date in the subject line so people know at a glance what, when, and where. Websites and telephone numbers are always a plus in case someone needs more information.
WHEN REPLYING TO A MESSAGE:
Please only include the pertinent parts of the original post in your response. In other words, clip out anything to which you're not directly responding; don't include the whole message and tack your reply to the top or bottom.
Including all of the previous post in addition to your response can cause difficulty for those in digest mode (on busy lists like this, many people take that option), requiring them to scroll, scroll, scroll, to find the new text and possibly miss important and pertinent information.
In addition, leaving in entire previous messages jams peoples' inboxes with unwanted material, uses up bandwidth with unwanted material, and fills the list archives with unnecessary material.
If you are very new or otherwise need instruction on how to clip or "snip", ask! Most list members will be happy to offer you guidance in exchange for a smoother-running list.
**PLEASE REFRAIN FROM:
. Posting simple agreements such as "That's a good idea," "thanks," or "me
too." Instead, add something to the conversation; a new idea, an illustration of the concept, an experience that relates to the topic. It *is* appropriate to send thanks directly, off-list, to the person you wish to acknowledge.
. "Hogging" the list; replying to numerous messages, which can overwhelm list mates, and discourage those who are more reserved from contributing to the conversation. Consider combining replies to several related notes, rather than answering each one individually.
. Curse, post rude or accusatory remarks ("flame"); forward jokes or third party anecdotal "chain" stories; spam (send unsolicited mail to a number of people); send commercial announcements; or use ALL CAPS (in E-mails, that means you're yelling). This is a * Homeschool Links and Forms* discussion/resource list, and it's requested that discussions, website, resources and posts remain as topical to our focus as possible.
. Jump into the fray if a political or religious debate occurs. Because religion and politics are hot button items that can quickly boil over - even on our broad minded, highly inclusive list -- moderators reserve the right to request discussions that become highly charged be taken off the list.
. Post advertisements of any kind, including in tag lines
. Hesitate to ask questions
. Feel free to add new, informative and resourceful information or insights to conversations or posts.
. Encourage and support one another whenever possible.
. Use the list to connect regionally and locally to announce events and happenings.
. Grow and learn from one another.
It is common for list mates to engage in off-list exchanges which can be enjoyable and create friendships "IRL" (in real life). Occasionally, however, an aggressive person may attempt to engage a list member off-list for purposes other than friendship and mind-expanding discussion.
If this happens to you, it is suggested that you: save a copy of all aggressive messages and politely tell the person to stop contacting you (save a copy of your message). That should end the connection. In the rare instance that it does not, and the person continues to contact you, has sent highly objectionable material, or threatens you, contact the list moderator immediately so steps can be taken to help resolve the problem.
Scan all messages of a thread (subject line) that have come in since the one you would like to respond to. Finding out what has been said since then may change how you respond, or whether you respond at all.
GIVE NEWBIES A BREAK:
Remember what it's like to be new to the Internet or to discussion groups. If a newbie makes a mistake (and we all do) offer kind suggestions and information, preferably off-list.
IF YOU FEEL ANGRY AT SOMEONE'S POST:
Think through your replies before posting them. If you feel hostility toward someone, consider asking for clarification of the post, off list or briefly on the list. Write a draft of a reply, if that helps you feel better, and then refrain from sending until you have cooled down and re-read your post.
When in doubt, save the message overnight and reread it in the morning before hitting the "send" button. Your thoughtful and considerate disagreement could be the deciding factor in changing someone's mind (even members who are just lurking) to continue to be a part of our group. Likewise, if a list member has posted a flaming message in hopes of starting a flame war, don't play into their game by responding. As another list owner once said, "Ignore it and it will go away."
IF SOMEONE MAKES A SEEMINGLY INAPPROPRIATE POST:
You can let the moderator know by private response. In many cases the post was made without thinking, and sometimes by accident, and the thread will die out quickly if ignored on-list. If you respond on-list with a complaint, you will most likely only exacerbate the problem.
When you see an inappropriate post that has little response to it, remember that you only see what was posted to the list. The poster likely received plenty of private messages pointing out their mistake, and the moderator may also have warned them privately or reduced their posting privileges.
This list is archived, and all your messages will be available for others to examine for as long as this list exists. Remember that nothing online is ever private, and consider how you want to be viewed in the long run
. We all share a love of our kids in common, but hail from a wide variety of backgrounds and philosophies, so personalities and ideologies may not always mesh. For the best list membership experience, please respect and honor list guidelines and netiquette rules.
. Be slow to anger, and quick to support and encourage.
. Remember your choices about responding to posts that create strong emotions in you. You can:
1) Do nothing. This will usually produce the best outcome, by allowing the annoying element to dissipate. Pointing out annoyances, especially on-list, often causes a flare-up and does nothing to improve behavior or increase understanding.
2) Respond *off-list, after you have used the "draft and cool down" approach.
*If the other person has noted that it would be okay to contact them off-list.
3) If you must make a "formal" complaint to the moderator, do so off-list and include the necessary information: the name and/or E-mail address of the offending poster, the specific content you find offensive. Don't expect the moderator to accept a vague complaint.
. Use and enjoy this list for its intended purposes: the sharing of educational and learning resources and information, and the sharing of related life experiences and insights.
Be patient and tolerant of one another, supportive and encouraging, and you'll be rewarded with a warm and uplifting online experience that can reverberate throughout your real time life experiences!
Adapted, with gratitude, from VaEclectic: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VaEclecticHomeschool/