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Revised list guidelines

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  • Matthew Winslow
    Dear MythSoc list members, I am writing (again) on behalf of the Society s Council of Stewards, following up on our recent post to the list outlining new
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2005
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      Dear MythSoc list members,

      I am writing (again) on behalf of the Society's Council of Stewards,
      following up on our recent post to the list outlining new guidelines
      we felt would help with the smooth functioning of the list. The
      response to those guidelines has been incredibly varied from strong
      disapproval to strong approval. We have taken all the opinions that
      were sent to us into consideration and have revised the guidelines,
      posted below.

      One of the main concerns was that the guidelines as originally posted
      would squelch the free discussion of topics appropriate to the list.
      To address this issue, our revised guidelines stress the *voluntary*
      nature of these guidelines. These guidelines are based on common
      practice on other lists and on basic and long-accepted basic tenets of
      "netiquette" (such as detailed at
      http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html). Only the most
      egregious or repetitive violation of the revised guidelines will
      result in any action by the moderator or the Council of Stewards.

      One of our main concerns that prompted us to issue these guidelines is
      that this list may be the only experience that many people have of the
      Society, or--even more importantly--it may be the experience upon
      which they base their decision to join the Society or not. Since one
      can participate without joining, people who are thinking of joining
      use the list to "test the waters". Encouraging new members is vital to
      the survival of the Society. Thus, it is the desire of the Council of
      Stewards that the revised guidelines will help encourage both open and
      free discussion as well as give potential Society members a taste of
      the quality of discussion that takes place in our non-Internet-based
      meetings and activities.

      Unlike many of the long-time members on the list, many of these new
      people may not perceive the Society the same way. They may lack the
      knowledge of institutional history or "corporate culture" of this
      group and thus our behavior on this list is vital to the health of the
      Society. These new people may ask a lot of questions that are very
      basic or are considered naïve by long-time members. They may be
      intimidated by the kind of give-and-take that is second nature to
      academics and/or long-time members who know each other. We should
      seize the opportunity to educate them, in a positive way, about areas
      we're passionate about. We should refer them to the sources we've
      provided that cover the basics (such as the "A Beginner's Bibliography
      of the Inklings"). We should use their questions to suggest how we
      might add to and improve the information we provide on our web site.
      We should endeavor to follow the reference librarian's dictum: "the
      only stupid question is the one you don't ask."

      The Council of Stewards appreciates the diversity of voices that we
      have on the list and we do not wish to squelch that in any way. With
      these revised guidelines, we hope that we can grow and increase that

      The following document will be sent to all members who join the list
      so that they know from the beginning the expectations of the Society.

      If you have any questions, please contact me offlist.

      Matthew Winslow, on behalf of the Council of Stewards

      --begin guidelines--

      Greetings and welcome to MYTHSOC, the discussion list of the
      Mythopoeic Society. As a (new) subscriber we would like to ask you to
      read the following document carefully. If you cannot agree to adhere
      to these simple guidelines, please send an "unsubscribe" message to
      the server now. If you have any questions, feel free to write to the
      list moderator, Joan Marie Verba at <verba001@...>.
      Thank you.

      MYTHSOC provides a continuing and informal means for fans, readers,
      and scholars of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Charles Williams, as well
      as related authors in the field of mythopoeic literature (including
      film), to communicate with and learn from one another. Our purpose is
      to share and spread our appreciation for and understanding of these
      authors, their works, and other works of mythopoeic literature.
      MYTHSOC is not a chat room, nor is it a forum to discuss anything
      under the sun. Rather, it is a forum for those who appreciate, read,
      and study the works of these and similar authors to share ideas and
      discuss these authors and their works. Please remember that this forum
      is owned/run by the Mythopoeic Society, and as such it may be the only
      experience some people have of the Society. Therefore, we ask that all
      list members show proper netiquette. We recommend that fans, readers,
      and scholars new to these authors and literature visit the Mythopoeic
      Society's website <http://www.mythsoc.org> to learn more about these
      authors and the Society. For example, on that site one can find a
      basic Inklings Bibliography, information about the Society's
      publications, links to member websites, and other information. All
      MYTHSOC discussions are archived on the Yahoo! Groups website and thus
      become a permanent record of these communications.

      All subscribers are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:
      1. In keeping with the list's primary purpose, discussions should
      normally focus on subjects to do with JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Charles
      Williams (the Inklings), and other writers and works of mythopoeic
      literature (including film).
      2. Normally a posting should not exceed 200 lines in length. If a
      posting is longer, it must be marked as such. If you are not sure
      whether your posting is too long, check with the list moderator (see
      3. Each subscriber is asked to limit their postings normally to five
      per day so that all members of the list are encouraged to participate
      without feeling their voice will be 'drowned out'. We realize that
      times will arise when members will need to post more than five times
      in a day, but we feel such instances should be the exception rather
      than the norm.
      4. Postings to which you are replying should be edited so that only
      the pertinent material is included.
      5. Questions or requests for information should be contextualized:
      always indicate what sources you have been able to check yourself. If
      you are a high school or college student, please do not ask members of
      the list to do your basic research for you; you are encouraged to use
      your local high school, public, or university library for locating
      sources and materials before asking the list members for help.
      6. Use subject lines appropriate for the contents, modifying them
      anytime you change topics.
      7. Canons of civility must be observed at all times. There will be no
      tolerance for ad hominem arguments, or for publicly accusing another
      list member of ignorance, or for flames and flaming, or for racial
      slurs or ethnic epithets, or for any other breaches of civility.
      Similarly, postings that demean, berate, or belittle other list
      members will not be tolerated and list members who send such will
      immediately be put on moderated status.
      8. Members who routinely violate any of these guidelines may be placed
      on moderated status until such time as the list moderator (or the
      Stewards of the Society) deems appropriate; those who repeatedly
      violate any of these guidelines will be put on moderated status and,
      if the violations are particularly egregious, may be permanently
      removed from the list.

      Matthew Winslow

      Currently Reading: I, Jedi by Michael Stackpole
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