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Chapter 12

Handling of Friendly Reminders

This class of infraction is of the type that most people can ignore, once. Friendly Reminders may be handled by any list guide personnel, but are generally the province of the list guide. The List Guide on duty should send private GUIDE mail to the subscriber pointing out the problem and suggesting how the member can improve their post to gain compliance with the Netiquette Guide. Polite professionalism should be practiced at all time. Always request their cooperation in the matter. Assume that they did not know, or that they forgot, and that they will be more than willing to comply with the rules. These posts are just friendly reminders of what is expected.

NOTE: Should a member post more than one message to a list containing breaches of the netiquette guidelines, the LG on duty should decide which guideline deserves the most attention and send a Friendly reminder on that guideline. In other words, no single member should receive more than one Friendly Reminder post per day, per list.

Netiquette Guidelines

Staying On Topic
Each list has a charter of acceptable content and topics. Posts consisting of subject matter that is not part of that charter, are not permitted for any reason. If it's off-topic, it's not appropriate for the list.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements, and a pointer to the HWG page containing the list charter, http://www.hwg.org/lists/hwg-listname/index.html, where specific acceptable topic information can be found. You may also include subscription instructions for the list you are REDIRECTing the thread to. Also, you need to remind the member that if they see responses to the off-topic post on the list, any responses they make must be sent via private email and not to the list. NOTE: In addition to citing the member, if the topic fits within another HWG list's charter, the Guide must post a REDIRECT (with the appropriate info) to the list.

Playing Topic Cop
Member posts that publicly criticize or advise on list behavior is forbidden. That's what we are there for and it's not done publicly.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and a reminder that all List Guiding is done behind the scenes in private email and that playing topic cop by posting to the list only encourages flames and creates additional list noise.

Posting Job Ads on the Mail Lists
The Guild has an area set up specifically for posting RFPs, jobs wanted and jobs available. Because of this, job postings are not allowed on any of the mailing lists.

NOTE: The RFP area is not yet operational. In the meantime Job postings may be submitted by to the lg-business@hwg.org address for approval.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and an explanation of how to properly request permission to post their request.

Warning of Content
Our lists are rated PG-13. For critiquing purposes (or any instance of requesting members to visit specific sites) a warning of commercial or sensitive content is necessary.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and a reminder that members deserve to informed/advised of content when asked to visit a site (so that they can knowingly judge their interest).

Crossposting
Posting the same request/message to multiple lists at the same time (crossposting) is not permitted. The member should find the most appropriate list and post it there. Determination of crossposting will be made from the mail header of the message. We do allow (but don't encourage) multiple posting to the lists. This means that you may send individual messages about the same thing to different lists. These messages must fall within the lists' charters and abide by the rest of the rules.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and an explanation of why crossposting is not permitted (e.g., the pitfalls of members "replying to all", etc.)

Reasons for not allowing crossposting include:

  1. If a user cross-posts a message to two lists, two completely separate conversations start up which the user then has to try and follow. Several members that are not subscribed to both lists will in turn, miss out on the conversation that occurs on the other list.
  2. Ah but that is not all! Since many members reply to messages using the "reply to all" function in their email software, their messages are also crossposted to both lists. Depending on how widely subscribed the members are, they will all be receiving duplicate copies of each message, the server will have to devote its resources to sending all these duplicates out... Just a big waste of time and resources with the potential, depending on the topic and the lists, to really load the servers to capacity.
  3. If that isn't bad enough, since several of these "unintentional cross-posters" are not subscribed to both of the lists, many of their messages will be "bounced" (you must be subscribed to post to one of our lists). This will make it so that those trying to follow the conversation on a particular list will start to see responses to messages they had never seen. Considering that most of us edit the replies that we send to lists, there will be no way to truly follow any in-depth conversation on a cross-posted thread.

Language and Flaming
Posting foul or abusive language to the lists is forbidden. This includes obscenities, verbal harassment, or comments that would prove offensive based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. (Determination to be made by the List Guides and/or Mail List Managers). Our mailing lists are rated PG-13. Strong emotions and heated discussion happen and are part of discussing things people care strongly about -- but that is no excuse for abusive language, using obscene language just for shock value, or harassing other users.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and a reminder that all flames, or foul and abusive language should be sent via private email and not to the list.

MIME Enclosures and HTML Enhanced Posts
Posting messages that use HTML enhancements, MIME encoding or include e-mail client generated enclosures is not permitted. Not everyone can read these types of messages and these configurations increase message size and waste bandwidth

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements an explanation of why we desire plain text only and either instructions for disabling the undesirable settings or an offer of assistance should the member be unable to solve the problem on their own.

NOTE: a variety of email client fixes can be found at: http://www.chesco.com/~char/email.html DO NOT post this address to the list member, please copy the information from the page to your message.

Editing
All posts with quoted text should be trimmed as much as possible. As the Netiquette Guidelines state, only enough to provide a logical flow from the question to the answer is necessary. However, keep in mind that this amount is a subjective quantity. Consider each post to a thread separately and err on the lenient side. The absolute minimum down-edit would remove the header block and signature(s) of the originator and any subsequent poster's. Retention of a portion of a signature to serve as an identifier of the questioner is allowed.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and a reminder of what is expected in the way of editing, i.e., you need only include enough of the original to provide a logical flow from the question to your response. The absolute minimum down-edit would remove the header block and originator's and any subsequent poster's signature; however, additional down-editing is expected whenever logically possible.

Private vs. List Mail
When replying to a message members should decide if it's of general interest to the mailing list first. If it's not, it should be sent by private e-mail to the subscribe(s) they are replying to. This will keep the "noise" level down on the lists.

GUIDE mail should contain: the template requirements and a reminder that their post to the list is sent to 1000+ subscribers and that they can save bandwidth by replying privately to interested parties when their comments are not of general interest or do not add to the overall knowledge base of the list content.

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