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Chapter 11

Template-Required Parts of a Friendly Reminder level Post

To be used in addressing all netiquette rules level posts:

  1. Subject Header: the header of all Friendly Reminder posts should contain:
    1. Proper TAGS for a Friendly Reminder post
      1. The words Friendly Reminder - this should be included at the beginning of the subject line ... all lower case or mixed case are both acceptable and they should be off-set from the next section of the header by a hyphen, dash, colon, or extra space
      2. The full e-mail address of the List Member - the address may but does not have to be enclosed inside of <>s.
      3. The original subject header including or excluding the Re: depending whether you are addressing the original post or subsequent replies. Example: Friendly Reminder: <scroggs@netiquette.com> Original Subject Line Here
    2. Additional Tags Utilized at this Level - see previous section for a discussion of individual tags and their usage
      1. FTR:
      2. REPLY:
      3. REDIRECT:
      4. RFA: (title abbreviation)
  2. Internal Privacy Header
    1. **Please do not respond to this on the list. Thank You** This line is mandatory on all posts and should appear as the first line of all Friendly Reminder posts (before the greeting or anything else)
    2. **this message has been sent in private** This line is optional; but, when included should follow directly after the mandatory line.
  3. Greeting - address the post to the individual member whenever possible; use other identifier if name not provided. This gives the GUIDE message a more personal touch and makes it look a little less like a form posting
  4. Introduction - remind the subscriber that the purpose of the List Guide Program is to be of assistance. This should be brief and informal and not a reminder that we're here to make sure they follow the rules.
  5. Identification of Offense - identify for the member the behavior you are addressing, the netiquette guideline their post didn't comply with (remember you are not issuing a citation for and NG violation) Whenever possible explain the justification for including the guideline in our netiquette guide, i.e., how does compliance contribute to the efficiency of the list or benefit its individual members. All "Friendly Reminder" posts should include a full URL pointer to the HWG Netiquette Guidelines at http://www.hwg.org/lists/cover.html
  6. NOTE: DO NOT cite the netiquette guide numbers associated with the guideline and DO NOT quote the Netiquette Guide verbatim.
  7. Closing - the closing paragraph of the "Friendly Reminder" post should accomplish three things: request compliance, thank the list member in advance for their cooperation with your request, and offer the member an opportunity to respond via the lg-alias.
  8. Signature - Your signature should include (minimum) your name, title, and list affiliation. Signatures should be kept as close to the four line recommendation as possible, should comply with all netiquette guidelines (including advertising and pricing), and should include absolutely no ASCII art.
  9. Original Post and Inclusionary Header - notify the member that their message is included for reference by use of one of the following: "you wrote" or "message quoted for reference" Be sure to retain all headers. This record will be used to substantiate an clarify the reason(s) for the actions being taken.

Additional Requirements, Suggestions, and Tips for writing "Friendly Reminder" Level Posts
  1. Remember to BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) or FWD (Forward) all correspondence with list members to the lmoms list for documentation and archival purposes. If you can't BCC please make sure you forward your posts so that the list members are not alerted to the location of our private admin list.
  2. If you are contacted by a member who wishes to argue his innocence or appeal a citation refer them to your Area Guide Manager; this should be accomplished by sending a RFA: (AGM) to -lmoms. The appropriate Area Guide Manager will then forward the message to the appropriate Senior List Guide. The line of command for addressing complaints about "Friendly Reminders" is from LG to AGM to SLG. The AGM should be cc'd on all posts for information purposes and so that they will be aware of any impending problems. If satisfaction is not achieved at this level, the appeal is sent back to the AGM for further action. From here, should it be necessary, the chain would be AGM to LGM, to MLM, to GB/EC contact.
  3. Remember that everything you say is reflective of your position in the Guild. Be aware that your wording, spelling, grammar, use of humor or sarcasm, and use of emoticons will effect the perception of your message and will in part influence the member's response. We are moving toward informality... but, this doesn't lessen our need to be professional. Use a spell checker, if possible, and proofread your work before sending. It is a good idea to check ALL headers to ensure that you haven't missed something - such as, the "list address" remaining in the TO or CC field.
  4. Stand Alone Rule - it is important that you look at each message independently. You should not allow the overall thread content, list situation, personal feelings about a subscriber, etc. influence how you judge an individual post. As much as possible, you need to be objective and consider each post on its own merit or demerits. Current ideology is to err on the side of leniency.
  5. Addressing things outside the current Netiquette Guide - The items left out of the Netiquette Guide are no longer guidelines that HAVE to be followed and though it's not a bad thing that members be kept aware of these additional helpful guidelines we need to be real careful about how often we send out notices based solely on guidelines we decided not to include in the current listing or rules and guidelines. As a general principle it would be best that we only point out items not listed in the Netiquette Guide if we are already addressing another NG error or if you go to the trouble of answering their question.
  6. Remain professional and polite. If you feel unable to retain your objectivity, due to the particular circumstances of the post or list situation, request that another list guide handle the citation.
  7. For readability purposes the citation should be broken into paragraphs with spaces between. Each paragraph should equate to one of the template areas.
  8. When expedient, help out the member by including the answer to their question or pointing them to an appropriate resource. This includes unsub requests.
  9. When addressing re: posts acknowledge the member's efforts to assist a fellow list member.
  10. When appropriate, thank the member for the contributions they have previously made to the effectiveness or knowledge level of the list. This could do much to improve member perception of the GUIDE system and also increases their propensity to cooperate with our requests.
  11. Fulfill the purpose as outlined in the template and exhibited in later samples; but, include some variety in your citations. Individualize your citations to the particular circumstances, as time allows. Allow your personality to show through, while remaining professional. This not only makes the message more personal; it also makes the list member aware of the time and effort put into guiding the list.
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