TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Every so often it's good to refresh your memory on the rules for
participating on the list or via the community forum. Not that anyone's
been disruptive of late, but it's sort of like those billboards that tell
you to fasten your seat belt.... you know you should, but sometimes you
Before You Post to the Forums & Email Discussion List:Search the tech
writer list archives <http://www.techwr-l.com/archives/>. It contains well
over 400,000 messages, and chances are pretty good that your question has
been discussed before. The search tool on this site indexes our email
archives, magazine and research portals for articles. We strive to provide
useful and relevant content, and often you can find the answer to a
question, or the facts to rebut a view you disagree with. Remember that the
email discussion group and the forums serve as the central hub of a
community of *professionals*. Trolling, list baiting, ad hominem attacks,
and other disrespectful activities are not tolerated. Professional, civil
and lively debate and discussion are encouraged.What to Post:General
- If it is about technical communication, content management (CM), or
customer experience management (CXM), and it's of general interest, post it.
- If it is about technical communication, CM, or CXM, and it's original
and humorous, post it.
- If it is a question about a subject or topic covered in the online
magazine or research portals, post it. Our system allows you to post your
comment directly to the magazine, via email, or online and continue the
conversation seamlessly on the forum.
Vendors / Commercial & Non-Profit Organizations
- If you're a *vendor or organization*, you MUST identify yourself as a
such in all posts.
- When answering questions posed by other forum participants, *always
answer the question as an SME, then if appropriate you can mention your
product.* Please contact us <http://techwhirl.com/contact-us/> for
guidance before posting.
*We'll warn you the first time, ban you for a month the second time, and
ban you for life the third time you post without identifying yourself or
only post advertising versus answering the questions as an SME.*What Not to
- *Anything you don't want a search engine to find*. The email list
archives are one of our most popular features and both the forums and the
archives are searchable.
- If you're a vendor and your response is only an advertisement for our
product or company, don't post it. Please consider advertising
<http://company.techwhirl.com/advertise/> on us.
- If it *doesn't clearly and directly relate to technical communication,
CM, or CXM*, don't post it.
- If it *relates to language use but not technical communication, CM, or
CXM,* it probably isn't appropriate. Don't post it, or contact us for
- If it relates to *computer use but not technical communication, CM, or
CXM*, 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 you think it* may require "OT" in the subject line*, it's not
appropriate. Don't post it.
- If it's a *job ad* don't post it--post it to our jobs site
<http://jobs.techwhirl.com/>. If it's any other kind of ad, don't post
it--contact us <http://techwhirl.com/contact-us/>or read about our
opportunities <http://company.techwhirl.com/advertise/>. TechWhirl
provides its services free of charge to all technical writers and content
developers, and the way we pay for everything is with advertising. But
we're not unreasonable, so please reach out to us, and we'll find a way to
promote it to our communities. Be warned that we have very little tolerance
for those who violate this rule, and we will ban you from posting on our
site. We'd rather be poor than have our valuable community members bothered
by rude people.
- If it is a *personal message to a single member*, don't post it.
- If it is a *"me too" message that does not add new information or
perspective* to a discussion, don't post it. Instead, use the "Reaction"
buttons on each discussion to show approval.
- If it is a *test message*, do not post it*. Ever*. Visit the support
pages, or contact the TechWhirl Admin if you have problems posting,
subscribing to the email list, or registering for the forums.
- If it's an* announcement about an event*, don't post it to the
event announcements to our calendar
- If it's a *link to a survey*, don't post it. Contact us directly, and
we will work with you to determine if its appropriate and to announce it to
- 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. Rest assured, most readers have seen it already. If it's really funny,
first search the archives or the forums to see if it's there. If not,
contact us and we'll put it into Tech Writer This Week
<http://techwhirl.com/focus/tech-writer-this-week/> (which then gets
publicized to the list). If it's original and funny, contact us and we'll
immediately make you a member of the SWU
- *If you aren't sure, don't post it. When in doubt, **contact us*
Expectations*As a contributor to Community Forums and Email Discussion
List, you should:*
- Understand that *all posts are in the public domain*.
- Check your facts on anything you post. Do not under any circumstances
post virus warnings or anything else designed to be "forwarded to everyone
you know" to list or the forum.
- Treat other members of the forums and email list with the respect you
want to receive in return. You never know when you'll actually be
auditioning for your next position. Please report bullying or any indecent
behavior to us.
- Summarize email responses sent directly to you and post the entire
summary back to the list. A summary should include attributions so others
can pick up conversations offline if necessary with original posters. When
you send a summary back to the list, use the word "SUMMARY" as the first
word of the "Subject" line.
- Edit all unnecessary quoted messages and TECHWHIRL system-generated
footers out of your email posts, and make sure that you send only plain
text messages and no attachments to the list.
- Quote only the most relevant part of a previous post when you post to
- Make sure your email address is included in the body of the message
you post to the email discussion list.
- Create a professional profile when registering for the forums. Do not
use profanity of any sort.
- Contact us at admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com if you find SPAM on the Community
Forums/Email Discussion list. We ask that also mark it as SPAM in the
online Forums, which have a community policing capability.
*You should NOT:*
- Directly attack anyone for anything on the list. Take issue with
ideas, not personalities. This is the easiest way to be evicted from our
- Point out other members' grammatical, spelling, or usage errors. This
forum is not the place to exercise editorial frustration.
- Express political, religious or cultural opinions. Other forums are
designed for these kinds of debates, they are not appropriate for
- Post ads in any form (see above).
- Say anything that you wouldn't want others to find with a search
engine, because your emails are archived and indexed. Remember, both emails
and forum posts are searchable by major search engines.
- Register using your work address, because people change jobs and it's
sometimes impossible to gain access to that email if there's an issue.
*Helping the world explore the art of content and communications*
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