Newbies & the quality of their posts

Subject: Newbies & the quality of their posts
From: Michael Andrew Uhl <uhl -at- VISLAB -dot- EPA -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 08:42:50 -0500

TECHWR-Lers (esp. people new to technical communication and job

I recognize that as subscribers to a listserver, we type our posts
rather quickly and should be generally forgiven typographical and simple
gramatical errors, I have a caution to people, especially those new to
this profession and job seekers: craft your messages carefully. I see
mispellings and grammatical errors that are likely *not* mere
typographical problems. I read sentences that are poorly constructed and
arguments based on weak or no logic.

Many of our colleagues who post messages to TECHWR-L set a quality
standard that we all ought to pay attention to. (I am tempted to name
some of the people, but we know who many of them are.) If you are
looking for a job or are new to this profession, be aware that your next
job interview may be with someone who has read your messages to

This is also not just an issue of grammar and spelling. It's also about
following instructions. Eric Ray provides us with some very clear
guidelines for posting. There are also common rules of Internet
(netiquette) and social etiquette we all ought to follow. In evaluating
job candidates, I certainly take into account their willingness to
follow rules and respect the time and computing resources of their
colleagues. I have subscribed to TECHWR-L since 1993 and I have in mind
names of subscribers that I greatly respect and trust and those whom
I avoid and for whom I have little or no professional respect. I base
this, accurately or inaccurately, on the pattern of their posts over the
months or years.

Respect your TECHWR-L colleagues by following the listserver posting
rules; craft your messages with some care; and, if you don't want to do
this out of concern for others, do it for your own sake. You reap what
you sow.



Michael Andrew Uhl (mailto:uhl -at- vislab -dot- epa -dot- gov)
Lockheed Martin - U.S. EPA Scientific Visualization Center
Ph. (office) 919.541.4283; 919.541.3716 (lab)
P.O. Box 14365 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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