Introduction to List Guide Program

The purpose of this document is to provide the general membership an overview of the List Guide program, its purpose, and its personnel.

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

List Guides act as liaisons between the general membership and the Governing Board (GB) where the mailing lists are concerned. They fall under the reporting control of the Vice President of Member Education who serves as a liaison between the program and the Governing Board.

NOTE: If you're interested in serving as a List Guide, application details can be found on the Applying to become a List Guide page.

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2.0 General Overview

The HTML Writers Guild mailing lists were established to promote discussion of topics relevant to HTML authoring. Both general and topic-specific lists are available, and vary according to the individual list charters.

The rules of the Guild for mailing list usage have been designed for the very purpose of increasing the quality of the useful posts and decreasing the amount of noise on the lists. Some of these rules are necessary to satisfy legal obligations and avoid liability.

All members, as a condition of subscribing to the Guild's lists, are asked to follow these rules. The primary function of List Guides is to improve the Guild's mailing lists by requiring all members to abide by the Guild's rules.

The quality of the Guild's mailing lists that contributes the greatest to their value is the open and free forum provided by the Guild. Interference with the open forum by official Guild representatives is conducted on a limited basis, when deemed necessary. The Guild makes no guarantees of content on our lists, but only guarantees the forum and means of exchanging that content.

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3.0 Reporting Chain of Command

The Guild is based on a corporate model, and as such has a defined chain of command for reporting and accountability. The following shows the levels involved:

The structure of command for the List Guides appears as follows:

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4.0 Definition of Function

4.1 Vice-President of Educational Services: is responsible for the general management of volunteer personnel involved in the List Guide Program, functions as an adviser to the Program Management Team, and acts as a conduit of information between the List Guide Program and the Governing Board.

4.2 List Guide Manager (LGM): develops and institutes policies and procedures used by the List Guides and reports to the Vice President of Educational Services. The LGM has the ultimate responsibility for recruiting, training, and managing all List Guides and program activities.

4.3 Assistant List Guide Manager (ALGM): An assistant to the list guide manager has duties of helping the LGM and performing delegated duties such as recruitment and web page maintenance.

4.4 List Guide (LG): one of several persons assigned to one or two lists, depending on the volume of those lists. Each list may have two or three list guides assigned. On any given day, one list guide will be expected to read all the messages sent on that list, and take appropriate actions against list disruptions, according to a schedule drawn up by the LGM. "Floating" LGs may be designated as substitutes when a List Guide is unavailable. Typically, a list guide will be assigned to a list for 3-5 shifts per week.

List Guides must possess good judgement and a thorough knowledge of guild policies. List Guides are expected to act in an ethical manner and are expected to comply with all rules of the Guild in order to maintain credibility with the membership.

4.5 List Owner Manager (LOM): is responsible for maintaining the HTML Writers Guild's email lists. This position recruits members to act as list-owners, finds hosts on which HWG lists can reside and does general list maintenance. The LOM also serves as a point of contact for members having problems resolving issues with the list-owner for their list, or members who need help with anything to do with the technical aspects of the lists that are not covered by the guide program.

4.6List Owner (LO): provides the administrative and technical support (and sometimes the machine resources) for one or more of the mail lists. They support the tasks of getting the messages out in a timely manner, receiving and verifying valid addressing of incoming mail, assisting member in subscribing to and unsubscribing from the lists, and other functions related to these. In general, they act as a liaison between the HTML Writers Guild and the Internet site providing the machine space and resources for the mailing list they manage.

4.6 The Membership: Anybody and everybody who subscribes to the Guild's mailing lists. This includes the Governing Board, Program Managers, List Guides, and general members of the Guild. All are subject to the rules, and no person will be immune to following the rules. In other words, all members, regardless of position in the HWG, shall be treated equally.

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5.0 Actions to be Taken

The action levels are outlined and detailed in the Mailing List Policy document. General practice is to assume that a member has not violated ANY of these rules intentionally.

5.1 Netiquette Guidelines

The Netiquette Guidelines cover the following areas of list behaviour:

  • Staying On Topic
  • Warnings of Content
  • Crossposting
  • Language and Flaming
  • HTML Posts
  • Edit Replies
  • Private vs. List Mail

The Netiquette Guidelines are an agreement between the members to act in a polite and constructive manner. The Guild generally does not attempt to enforce politeness, but encourages all members to self-police these rules.

In cases where netiquette problems are disrupting the productive atmosphere of mailing lists, the List Guides may collaborate to correct such problems using whatever actions they determine are reasonable and just at that point in time.

5.2 Actionable Rules

Official responses are sent to members who violate the Guild's Actionable Rules portion of the Mailing List Policy document. The Guild's Actionable Rules cover the following areas of on list behavior.

  • Do not post material without including the copyright holder's permission.
  • File attachments are not allowed on the Guild's lists.
  • Guild business is off-topic on all mailing lists. Forums are provided for this purpose.
  • Advertising of any kind is forbidden, except as noted.
  • Price discussions are not allowed, for several reasons.
  • Do not post virus warnings or other public service announcements.
  • The Guild lists cannot be used to attack a company or individual.
  • Spamming or harassing other list subscribers is grounds for removal.
  • The Guild's lists cannot be used for illegal purposes.
  • Anyone purposely abusing the lists can be removed at any time.

Violations of this level are determined and sent by the List Guides. They are regarded as serious offences and can result in anything from a warning to expulsion from the Guild. Generally members will be warned if they break these rules, but willful and blatant disregard for these rules will result in a member being removed from one or more of the mailing lists.

A person who has been permanently banned from all the guild mailing lists, whether over a period of time, or at one time, may be forwarded to the Governing Board with a recommendation for removal from the Guild. This action will be taken at the direction of the Program Managers. All notifications and actions will be done in private e-mail.

5.3 Appeal Process

Members wishing to appeal against being removed from a mailing list should contact the List Guide Manager for a review of the message and the rule applied. The List Guide Manager is invested with discretionary powers to mitigate the removal of members from the lists. If not satisfied with the appeal decision the member may petition the Governing Board for a final decision.

5.4 Guides Who Commit Violations

Guides who are found to have posted one Actionable Rules violation will be on probation for no less than one month. A second Actionable Rules violation will result in the Guide being removed from the Guide program.

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6.0 General List Guide Policies

6.1 Scope of Powers

List Guides will enforce violations of the HWG's Actionable Rules, informing members of the fact officially, and making recommendations to the List Guide Manager for the removal of members who are seriously disrupting or damaging the Guild lists.

List Guides do not officially address violations of the HWG's netiquette guidelines. However all list guides and members in general are encouraged to do this privately, suggesting to members who violate the netiquette a better way of posting.

6.2 Discretion

All List Guides are expected to exercise good judgment in the handling of list duties. Discretion is paramount. If they feel that they can not handle a situation, they should refer it to either the List Guide Manager or the Assistant List Guide Manager.

6.3 Complaints about List Guides

Complaints about the conduct of any List Guide or the Assistant List Guide Manager will be thoroughly investigated. If excessive complaints are received about an individual, they will be advised of the investigation and relieved of duties in the case of flagrant abuse. The List Guide Manager is the primary person responsible for determining the action to be taken but may consult with the VP Educational Services and/or the Governing Board if necessary.

Appeals regarding action from the List Guide Manager should be directed to the Vice President Member Education and/or the Governing Board if necessary.

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