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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000083.txt from 1993/12

From: Cary Karp <nrm-karp@-----.SE>
Subj: Tips for users of BITNET/Internet distribution lists
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1993 03:36:49 -0500

There is more information sloshing about on the networks than I suspect
most people here imagine. Nobody has the slightest hope of following
everything that they might regard as even nominally interesting. Here are
a few techniques commonly used to alleviate the resulting anguish.

1. Always read all the messages in your mailbox before replying to
anything. If possible, include your comments on multiple messages in
one single reply. Resist the urge to comment on everything; most
especially by writing nothing more substantive than, "I agree".

2. If you suspect that a discussion may be of interest only to a limited
number of list participants, move the discussion to private e-mail. Most
mail programs will allow you to set up your own mailing lists. Learn
how to do so. Always double-check the "To:" line in every message to avoid
sending e-mail meant for an individual to an entire list.

3. Rather than paraphrasing the message that you're commenting on, include
direct quotes from the original. The usual way of doing this is by
preceding every quoted line with a ">". Most mail programs will allow
you to include the original message in a reply. Learn how to use this
facility, but also make sure that you edit out any lines that are not
relevant to your reply.

4. Make sure that every message you write has a concise and informative
title. Don't hesitate to change the title in a reply to a previous
message if you change the subject of the reply. This is especially
important if you are writing a single reply to several messages.

5. If the title of a message doesn't interest you or you are not
interested in what a certain contributor has to say, simply skip over the
message. If you have a choice of selecting messages to be read from an
index rather than by simply going through the one after the other, do so,
ignoring anything that you suspect might waste your time.

6. Never try to steer the scope of anyone's participation in the list by
open discussion on the list. If you think you have a legitimate gripe
about someone else's use of the list, write to them about this directly.

7. Be considerate of others on the list. Many people pay for every minute
that they are on-line. Imagine yourself in this position before treating
others to unbridled verbiage.

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