ADMIN: Rules Reminder

Subject: ADMIN: Rules Reminder
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002 09:23:39 -0700 (MST)

Just a reminder....

Please, be nice to each other...give each other the
benefit of the doubt and try to work out your issues
on your own.

In other news, you may be getting unsolicited requests
for job search assistance from a Matt Fogel. He
does NOT have permission to siphon addresses from
TECHWR-L to do so, and _is_ quite aware of the posting
rules and how to go about advertising to TECHWR-L.

Please let me know if you get anything from him, although
there's not much I can actually do (he's already been
removed from the list). You're welcome to complain to
his ISP if problems persist.

Please review both the rules and some frequently
asked questions below.


POSTING RULES FOR TECHWR-L (for Technical Communication issues)
Revised 27 May 2002

I strongly encourage everyone to read and understand these
rules before posting to TECHWR-L. TECHWR-L has over
5000 subscribers and many more readers, so it is necessary
to maintain a fairly tight definition of acceptable behavior.
Any list member may be removed from the list, at the
listowner's discretion, for flagrant or repeated infractions.
Additionally, if you are abusive to the listowner or other
list members, you may be removed from the list.

* Note the TECHWR-L Terms of Service, a copy of
which is available at
* Ensure that you are not posting an ad--posting
an ad of any sort (announcements, job ads, or
whatever) to TECHWR-L results in a bill for
$50 and suspension of posting privileges.
Repeated offenses or particularly flagrant ones
result in removal from the list.
* Check the archives to see what was said about
this issue the last time it was discussed. After
nearly nine years, there aren't too many topics
that haven't been covered before. That does not
mean that you can't reopen discussions--that's
often a good idea--but it does mean that you should
be adequately informed before you do so. Archives
are available at and at

* If it is about technical communication and of general
interest, post it.
* If it is about technical communication and original and
humorous, post it.

* If it doesn't clearly and directly relate to technical
communication, don't post it.
* If it is an ad of any sort, don't post it. Contact
ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com about the right way to advertise to
* If it relates to _language use_ but not technical
communication, it probably isn't appropriate.
Don't post it.
* If it relates to _computer use_ but not technical
communication, it probably isn't appropriate.
Don't post it.
* If it continues an irrelevant thread in any way
(rebuttal, rebuke, rerun, revision, remark), don't
post it.
* If it is a personal message to a single subscriber,
don't post it. Even if mail to that person bounces.
* If you aren't sure, don't post it. Ask Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com)
* If it is a test message, do not post it. Ever. Contact
the listowner if you have problems posting or with your
subscription, or send a test message to
techwr-l-test -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com to check your mail settings.
* If it is something cute, interesting, or funny that
you found on the Internet (e.g. Dr. Seuss on Tech
Writing, origin of spam), don't post it. I assure
you that most readers have seen it already.

* Check your facts on anything you post. Do not under
any circumstances post anything about spam, virus
warnings or anything designed to be "forwarded to
everyone you know" to this list.
* Do not directly attack anyone for anything on the list.
There is a fine line between satire and attack, and
between strongly worded opinions and personal
invective. If you fear you may cross that line,
ask Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) before posting.
If you think others have crossed it, sleep on it,
then email Eric about it.
* Take issue with ideas, not personalities, and do
NOT point out grammatical, spelling, or usage errors.
This forum is not the place to exercise editorial
* Please make sure your E-mail address is included in
the body of the message you post to the list.
* If responses are sent to you--not to the whole list--please
summarize and post the entire summary back to the list.
* Ensure that out-of-office responders are not returned
to anyone based on postings to TECHWR-L.
* Direct all commentary about this message to my
address, not the list.

Revised 1 January 2002

In this message, you will find the following:

You can do everything you need to do and find anything
you need to know about TECHWR-L by visiting (and bookmarking)

Q: How do I post messages to the TECHWR-L list?
A: Send a _plain_ _text_ message to:
If you are having problems sending a plain text message,
please check first with your system administrators and
see if your Microsoft Exchange server is set to send
only formatted text. Usually, problems with sending
plain text occur when system administrators do not realize
how their Exchange server is configured.

Q: How do I filter TECHWR-L messages into a separate folder
within my email program?
A: Great idea! The specifics on filtering TECHWR-L mail
will vary, depending on the email software you use,
but you can count on TECHWR-L messages having a TO:
line including:
techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
so you should set your filters to move messages with that
TO: line to a separate folder.

Q: I would rather read TECHWR-L through a newsgroup than to
get all of these messages in my email program. Is this possible?
A: Absolutely! The bit.listserv.techwr-l newsgroup (widely
distributed throughout the Internet) is a mirror of this
list. Alternatively, you can access a private newsgroup
from news:// (which is a spam-free
TECHWR-L mirror).

Q: Can I post to bit.listserv.techwr-l?
A: Yes, but your posts will not get propagated to the mailing
list (they will only be visible to people reading the
newsgroup). You must subscribe to TECHWR-L in order to
post to the mailing list.

Q: I would like to use a Web browser to read TECHWR-L. Can I?
You can read TECHWR-L through the archive address at
To post, you'll have to subscribe and send the
"SET TECHWR-L NOMAIL" command to LYRIS -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM -dot-

Q: Why am I having trouble posting to the list?
A: Due to problems with spamming, the TECHWR-L list
is restricted. Only subscribers to the list can
Additionally, the first posts from new subscribers
are moderated, so there will be a delay in your first
posting appearing on the list.
If you are a subscriber but your E-mail address
(as shown on your outgoing messages) has changed, you'll
have problems and have to make your subscribed address
match the address from which you post.
You can do this either through the Web site at
or by unsubscribing (using the instructions at the end of
every message you get from the list) and resubscribing.
(Note: There's no point in getting surly -- subscription and
verification of your identity both take place automatically
via the Lyris software. If, as is highly likely, your address
changed without your knowledge, your local system
administrators are the only ones to yell at.)

Q: Why did my message bounce back from Earthlink (or AOL or
any other address besides something
A: You post an article. You get a bounce message a few minutes
later. You swear, "Rats, it didn't work." You post again.
Trouble is, you can get a bounce message because there's one
bad address on the subscriber list (someone who didn't
unsubscribe before losing an account, for instance). The
bounce message generally tells you that, if read carefully--
or you could just wait and see if your article shows up.
So, before reposting a "bounced" article, please be sure
it was truly bounced from the whole list and not just
undeliverable to a single addressee. Contact the listowner
before reposting if you have any doubt. (Thanks to Stan
Brown for this one. EJR)

Q: I tried to post a message and had it returned to me with
a rejection message about attachments or HTML or something.
What's going on, and what should I do?
A: The list processing software is set to reject all HTML-
formatted messages as well as all attachments. Additionally,
messages containing more than 30 consecutive quoted lines
will also be returned. These limits exist to keep attachments
from polluting the list (they show up as garbage for many
readers, and can spread viruses and the like when they don't
end up as garbage) and to discourage wholesale quotations--like
including the entire digest for a one liner comment.

Q: I can't email a plain text message and my system administrator
isn't helpful--does that mean I cannot post to TECHWR-L?
A: You can post directly through the Web site at
or could get a free Web-based email account (from,
for example) and use that for posting.


Q: Can I get spam from using TECHWR-L?
A: Raycomm does not distribute, sell, rent, or allow
lists of email addresses from TECHWR-L (the site or
the list) to otherwise become available. Additionally,
when there is a clear connection between TECHWR-L and
spam, we aggressively pursue all available remedies
against the spammers.
That said, postings to TECHWR-L are archived on the Web,
mirrored to a Usenet newsgroup, and sent to some 5000
subscribers. Any address used for posting to TECHWR-L
is not a secret, and certainly not immune to being
collected by automated email address collection tools
on the Internet.
If you suspect you received spam as a direct result
of using TECHWR-L, contact Eric at ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot-
Do not post to the list about your suspicions--the
Rays have strong convictions about spam and the like,
and tend to react very negatively to being directly
or indirectly accused of being in cahoots with them.

Q: In a moment of pique, I posted some information to
TECHWR-L that I really regret. Could you please
remove my posting from the archives.
A: That's quite unfortunate. Given the fact that
TECHWR-L postings are immediately mirrored to
Usenet (and the various Usenet archives that exist),
multiple Web sites, and sent to some 5000 subscribers,
anything posted to TECHWR-L effectively becomes
public information, and eradicating all copies becomes
virtually impossible. To avoid the issues that could
arise with selectively removing messages from the archives,
not to mention the futility of doing so, we simply do
not remove postings from the TECHWR-L archives.

Q: Why is it that you let other people post off-topic stuff, but
then you remind me about what the posting guidelines are? If
they can do it, I can do it!
A: The listowner does not generally moderate this list. That is,
virtually everything sent to the list appears on the list. Phrased
differently, the listowner cannot exercise any control over
what other people post, but probably reminded them about the
posting guidelines as well. In unusual cases, the listowner
does moderate posting from specific individuals, or filter
messages (sight unseen) based on specific keywords or content
in the message.

Q: I have a message that would interest many of the subscribers,
but don't want to post it to the whole list. Can I just get
the list of subscribers and send it myself, or at least send
selectively to many subscribers?
A: No. You can post an ad through
but that is your only option.

Q: Are archives for TECHWR-L available on the Web and how do I
get them?
Q: Dear Listowner, I inadvertently deleted some Techwhirl
messages and need them back. Could you please send me....
A: TECHWR-L archives are available through the Web at and at
and probably other places.

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