"Rules of the road" for HEAR-maintained internet mailing lists
This document defines the "netiquette" required by users for participation in internet mailing lists maintained by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR). The primary purpose of HEAR lists is to provide a forum for useful interchange of information by their users.
Things to do
Things not to do
[ on topic ]
[ no politics ]
[ no trolling ]
[ using reply ]
[ text only ]
[ be professional ]
[ attachments ]
[ species names ]
[ auto-reply/vacation ]
[ self-education ]
Although the vast majority of subscribers to HEAR lists seemingly "naturally" adhere to these guidelines, the few folks that don't comply cause quite a bit of grief to other subscribers. Therefore, in order to ensure that we most effectively serve the communities which use HEAR-maintained internet mailing lists, we've had to formulate the guidelines presented in this document. Most of them are just "common sense," but some require some minimal level of understanding of how these internet mailing lists work. With over two dozen HEAR-maintained lists operating, it seems like it's appropriate to post this information explicitly so that there are no misunderstandings about how to best use the lists. Please read & heed these guidelines to ensure an enjoyable & enriching experience for all users of these lists.
In order to be an effective participant in HEAR-maintained internet mailing lists, adherence to the following guidelines is required. Failure to heed these guidelines can result in a person being deleted as a subscriber to one or more lists, and/or refusal to allow re-subscription until it's clear to the list administrator(s) that the problems caused are understood & will not recur.
The list adminstrator will police the lists stringently to ensure that posted protocols are being followed; offenders will be ruthlessly deleted to "ensure domestic tranquility" among the other users of the lists.
Things to do
Please always do these things:
- Keep messages on topic
Please ensure that you keep messages that you send to the lists confined to the specific topic area for that list. (See the list of HEAR-maintained internet mailing lists for details regarding the stated topic for each list.) For example, although there are many "good causes" in the world ("please write your congressperson RE: starving children in [insert country name here]"), and there are many caring people subscribed to HEAR-maintaineds lists, please DO NOT use these lists to send such messages. (If you forward a message which is, in fact, related to the list's mission, but may not be completely obvious to list users, please include a brief note with the forwarded message explaining its specific relevance to the list.) Also, HEAR-maintained lists may NOT be used to specifically advertise any commercial product or service.
- No politics
Please refrain from sending messages which are overtly/blatantly political in nature (e.g. voting or advocacy recommendations for particular candidates, bills, etc.). Although it is recognized that appropriate political leadership is critical for the success of any of our quests to preserve Hawaii's economy, native environment, and our quality of life, HEAR-maintained lists are not the appropriate venue to advocate particular candidates, parties, or bills. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
- No "trolling"
Recall that the primary purpose of HEAR lists is to provide a forum for useful interchange of information by their users. "Trolling" can significantly disrupt the usefulness of lists, and will not be tolerated. While every effort will be made to allow free exchange of relevant information on HEAR lists, repeated posts which might be deemed as inflammatory, or which--regardless of the poster's intent--inspire repeated complaints from list members or otherwise cause disruption or degradation of the normal functioning of a list may be the basis of restriction of the poster's use of the list, at the list administrator's discretion. (Note to list users: Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore it, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive post, hence the often-seen warning "Please do not feed the trolls." Please resist the urge to verbally attack anyone you feel is "trolling": such responses may result in your being restricted from using the lists. Instead, please report posts that you feel are inappropriate directly to the list administrator [firstname.lastname@example.org].)
- Use REPLY appropriately
Understand your REPLY button!! Realize that your e-mail system's REPLY function sends your reply to the entire list, not just the original sender of the message to which you're replying. (HEAR-maintaineds mailing lists are set up this way to ensure that discussions are not accidentally taken "offline," and the "threads" of conversations are therefore not inadvertently broken.)
- Send text-only messages
It is very important that you send only text-based messages
(no HTML, e.g. fancy colors or fonts) to HEAR-maintained lists. HTML-tagged
messages may not appear as the author intended upon arrival in others'
mailboxes. Some information is available online RE: Configuring Mail Clients to Send Plain ASCII Text; also, another resource is
available RE: how to disable
HTML format for various internet mail programs. If you have questions about
these procedures, please e-mail the HEAR list administrator (email@example.com).
- Be professional
Please be professional in your approach to messages sent to the list; no personal attacks! Certainly, list members may disagree on various topics; but remember that rebuttals must be factual and not personal. Posts which are deemed to be inflammatory are unacceptable.
Access to University of Hawaii Information Technology services--including HEAR-maintained lists--is a "PRIVILEGE, not a right" [emphasis directly from source], and it is imperative that all list users respect other people's time and bandwidth (source). Repeated complaints from other list users about a particular member's posts will be grounds for removal of that member from the list.
- Use attachments sparingly and appropriately
Please ensure that attachments are sent only when necessary; that any attachments sent are appropriately formatted; and that any attachments sent are appropriately sized.
"Appropriately formatted" means GENERICALLY formatted; e.g., use the generic RTF (Rich Text Format) rather than transmitting a MS Word or WordPerfect document. Also, word processing/etc. documents should NOT contain large embedded graphics (see next bullet point RE: size of attachments). (Ask the list administrator [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you need help converting your documents to this format.)
"Appropriately sized" means SMALL!!! Please don't send attachments totalling in size any greater than about 50Kb. If you'd like to post a document substantially larger than that, feel free to send it to the list administrator (email@example.com), who will post it temporarily to a website which can be referenced in your message to the list; interested readers can then access the document, but others who may not be interested will not have to wait for the document to be downloaded when retrieving e-mail. (If you have any question about determining the size of an attachment you'd like to post, please contact the HEAR list administrator [firstname.lastname@example.org] before sending the attachment. The HEAR list administrator can also help resize graphic images to appropriate sizes for attaching to list-bound e-mails.)
For attachments that are too large for the list, you have several options:
- shrink the file size (using various software tools, depending on the file type)
- post the file online and refer to its URL in the message (most ISPs allow this, or you can post documents or information to a blog [search for a free blog])
- e-mail the too-large attachment(s) to email@example.com
- we can post those attachments to a temporary URL (or permanent URL, depending on the nature of the document) and we'll let you know when it's posted; then you can refer to the URL in your e-mail; or...
- you can send the text of your message at the same time you send the attachment to us and we can post the message on your behalf (with reference to the URL)
- Use scientific names for species
Please always use scientific (Latin) names when sending messages which refer to particular species. You may opt to use common names in addition to scientific names, but common names are much more ambiguous and can easily be misinterpreted.
- UNSUBSCRIBE *before* enabling "auto-reply"/"vacation" features on your mail service
Ensure that you UNSUBSCRIBE (or postpone*) ALL your HEAR list subscriptions *BEFORE* enabling any "auto-reply" or "vacation" features on your e-mail service. Failure to do this may result in immediate deletion of your account from ALL HEAR lists; you will NOT be able to re-join the lists until you convince the list administrator that you understand the problem and that it won't happen again! (*See additional online documentation for how to set your subscription to "postpone." UNSUBSCRIBE effects virtually the same result.)
- Educate yourself!
You should be familiar with at least the basics of how to use internet-based lists. Minimally, you need to understand the information in this document (that you're currently reading); how to send a message to the list; how to appropriately use the "reply" button of your e-mail program with respect to these lists; and how to UNsubscribe yourself from lists. (See the HEAR list FAQ document for details on topics not covered in the document you're reading now.)
Things not to do
This list is basically the "opposite" of the above list, but just to reiterate:
Please don't send off-topic messages!
Please don't use the list for any commercial purpose!
Please don't send overtly political messages!
- Please don't use "reply" when you mean to send a message to just one person!
- Please don't use HTML (fancy formatting) in messages you send!
- Please don't be unprofessional or petty in your submissions (this includes "trolling")!
- Please don't send LARGE attachments!
- Please don't attach documents in proprietary formats!
- Please don't set "vacation" or "auto-reply" features on your e-mail without FIRST UNsubscribing to all HEAR-maintained lists!
(More information regarding each of these "please don'ts" is available in the "please do" section.)
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This document was created on 24 June 2002 by PT, and was last updated on
08 August 2011