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.
From: Self <spcarr>
To: Tom Stuckert <stuckert -at- LUCY -dot- FINDLAY -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re: Findlay Student Messages: IMPORTANT!!
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 13:49:17 -500
Reply to message in TECHWR-L on 18 Oct 95 at 1:53 from Tom Stuckert
Tom, you and your students got a typical response to your error. Your
purpose in making the assignment is irrelevant. The effect is
comparable to the clamor you would raise if you assigned the same class
to attend an STC meeting and ASK A QUESTION. You created multiple
interruptions of a professional forum with hundreds of participants.
I've been communicating electronically for more than 10 years. While
it's true that Netiquette does vary from group to group there are
several constants in all but the most forgiving (newbie) areas.
1. Read the FAQ or RULES for the group
2. LURK for at least a week or two before posting to get a feeling for
the group culture.
3. If you have an URGENT need for information or help, then be
apologetic about not following 1 and 2 above.
4. Expect to piss off someone, no matter what you say.
If you had been paying attention, you'd have seen at least one set of
flames, in one of the groups you subscribe to, over some niggling
issue that some considered inappropriate. You'd certainly be aware
that the 'net is often not polite.
You may have even had the courtesy to ask the list about your proposed
assignment before you implemented it with your class. Someone might
have told you that several "newbie" posts from the same server in a
short time would generate some antagonism. Asking about the idea in
advance could have defused the issue by predisposing the list to
tolerance in furtherence of your educational aims.
Your "fit of pique" unsubscribing and characterization of the group by
the negative responses you received are as naive as the initial