Technical Writer List Rules and Expectations
Before you post....Search our tech writer list archives. It contains well over 350,000 messages, and chances are pretty good that your question has been discussed before. The search on this site also searches our magazine for articles. We strive to provide useful and relevant content, and often times you can find the answer to a question, or the facts to rebut a view you disagree with. Remember that the email discussion group is 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
- 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 question about a subject or topic in the online magazine, post it (and feel free to add a comment to the article in the magazine!)
What not to post
- Anything you don't want a search engine to find. The archives are our most popular feature.
- 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 it is a "me too" message that does not add new information or perspective to a discussion, don't post it
- 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 subscription, or send a test message to to check your mail settings.
- If it's a job ad or other ad, don't post it--post it to our jobs site, contact us or read about our advertising opportunities. TECHWR-L is a free service for all technical writers and we're supported with advertising but we're not unreasonable so please reach out to us and we'll find a way to promote it to our group.
- 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 and see if it's there. If not, contact us and we'll put it into Tech Writer This Week (which then gets publicised to the list).
- When in doubt, contact us.
ExpectationsAs a contributors to the email discussion group, you should:
- 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 list.
- Summarize 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 TECHWR-L footers out of your postings, and make sure that you send only plain text messages and no attachments to the list.
- Please make sure your E-mail address is included in the body of the message you post to the list.
- You understand that all posts are in the public domain.
You should NOT:
- Directly attack anyone for anything on the list. Take issue with ideas, not personalities.
- Point out grammatical, spelling, or usage errors. This forum is not the place to exercise editorial frustration.
- Do not post ads in any form.
- Say anything that you wouldn't want others to find with a search engine because your emails are archived are indexed and searchable by major search engines.
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.