ADMIN: Newly Revamped Rules with Addition

Subject: ADMIN: Newly Revamped Rules with Addition
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 13:48:50 -0600


In the future, instead of simply posting the rules,
I'll be providing an annotated version of specific
rules and the reason they're there, or of what's
happening behind the scenes.

In general, and as a jumping off point, let's start with
what happens with off-topic postings in general.
As I cruise through my mailbox, if I see an off-topic
message, I flag it (to come back to it after I've finished
reading all of the messages). Then, based on the content
of the message, I do one or more of the following:
* If it's off-topic and a hot issue that's likely
to erupt (based on bitter experience) or a
fire-in-the-crowded-theater warning, I'll post on list
and try to quash it. Examples of this would be virus
warnings (particularly hoaxes) or PC/Mac superiority
* If it's off-topic and likely to remain fairly quiet, I'll send
a personal rebuke offline, on the assumption that
public humiliation isn't necessary most of the time.
* If it's an egregious violation (e.g., I know that we're not
supposed to forward stuff that we found on the 'Net,
but I just saw this wonderful posting by Dr. Seuss...,
or, I know that we're not supposed to post virus
warnings, but I just got this one about the Good Times
virus and thought everyone should know about it),
I suspend the posting privileges immediately, and
usually reinstate them upon acknowledgement of the rules
and agreement to follow the rules.
At the same time, I also send out the "too many quotes" form
letter to people who have their mailers configured to send
MIME or HTML garbage, or to those who quote wholesale
complete previous messages.

As a rule, I send out about 10 "too many quotes" messages
each day, along with a few (roughly three) off-topic warnings.
I suspend posting privileges for individuals roughly once per
day, and reinstate 95%. The remainder leave in a huff.

So, that's the short version of what happens behind the scenes
at TECHWR-L Headquarters.

As always, please read the rules.

Revised 31 July 1998

I strongly encourage everyone to read and understand these
rules before posting to TECHWR-L. 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.

CHECK THE ARCHIVES BEFORE POSTING! Archives are available at
and at
and 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 is a job offer for technical communicators, post it.

* If it doesn't clearly and directly relate to technical
communication, don't post it.
* 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.
* If it is a test message, do not post it. Ever. Contact
the listowner if you have problems posting or with your
* 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 virus warnings or anything else
designed to be "forwarded to everyone you know" to this
* Do not directly attack anyone for anything on the list.
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
* Edit all unnecessary quoted messages and TECHWR-L footers
out of your postings, and make sure that you send only
plain text messages and no attachments to the list.
* Please do post job ads -- they are welcome. Please
put the location and general job description in the
Subject line. E.g. something like
JOB: Sr. Tech Writer, SF, California, USA.
* Do not post job ad critiques. If you don't like the
job, don't apply. If you have an issue with the
terminology or phrasing, take it up off-line
with the company.
* Please do not post other ads in any form, for they are
not welcome. The one exception is for ads that directly
address a topic under discussion on the list. For example, if
a reader posts a question about snazzling software and
the company you work for makes Snazzler for Doors, posting
information about the product would be fine.
* 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.
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."
* Direct all commentary about this message to my
address, not the list.

* Eric J. Ray, ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com,
* TECHWR-L Listowner, co-author _Mastering HTML 4.0_
* _HTML 4 for Dummies Quick Reference_, and others.
* RayComm, Inc., currently accepting contract inquiries.

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