[techtalk] Netiquette explanation (was: mail format)

Steve Kudlak chromexa at ovis.net
Sun Nov 28 11:55:50 EST 1999

"Jenn V." wrote:

> Replies to grrltalk, not to techtalk, please.
> Steve Kudlak wrote:
> > What I dislike most about netequitte is that new rules which it is way too easy to trip over, seem to me get made up everyday.
> > So it is hard to run afoul of some new rule. Worse yet when one feels that the rule is a silly and petty thing. If someone
> > explains why this causes trouble, then that is the horse of a different color
> Explanations, then.
> Hopefully you will see how these rules of netiquette are extensions of 'be
> polite, be helpful'. They're courtesy guidelines - like 'try to open doors
> for people carrying heavy or awkward packages' and 'help a person get a
> stroller into or out of a bus'.
> 1. Offtopic posts moving:
> Almost everyone who subscribes to mailing lists complains of having 'too
> many' emails to cope with, each day.
> Those who don't complain are usually ones who have learned how to pick out
> the posts which are useful to them, based on the list topic and subject
> lines.
> Maintaining topic relevence enables everyone (those who have learned, and
> those who are learning) to keep their useful-to-them information level
> high.
> Everything that gets said is relevent to the person saying it - but keeping
> topics relevent enables it to get to the people for whom /receiving/ it is
> also relevent.
> Trying to send it to EVERYONE just causes people to unsubscribe.
> 2. Subject lines changing:
> See point 1.
> Subject lines are the way to keep information within a given mailing list
> relevent to the receivers. If the subject lines are maintained correctly,
> people can just junk messages unread if the subject is irrelevent to them.
> 3. No HTML messages:
> HTML doesn't come out right in a message digest, and rarely comes out right
> in an archive.
> HTML is also unreadable to a lot of people.
> Mail messages with prettified backgrounds or strange fonts or colours can
> also be unreadable, even to people who do have HTML readable browsers.
> Mail messages with font sizes specified can be unreadable to people with
> sight difficulties.
> Mail messages with both HTML and non-HTML versions included cause bandwidth
> problems for people not in the States. I know that most folks in the States
> seem to take bandwidth for granted, but in less densely populated or less
> wealthy countries, there are still people with 2400 or lower baud modems,
> paying for their access by time and/or byte.
> And as a techie, I _wince_ at the waste of resources caused by sending a
> message twice. Why waste the resources? Every byte /wasted/ (like sending
> both HTML and non-HTML mail with every message sent) causes congestion and
> slows the net.
> 4. Quoting kept to a minimum:
> Most people in a mailing list will have read the message that's being
> quoted.
> Causing them to plow through it again ensures that they /won't/. They don't
> have
> time to reread everything - remember that almost everyone who gets email
> already
> complains of getting too much.
> Pull out enough to give the context of the reply. Strip off signatures,
> strip
> out anything not actually relevent to the comment you wish to make.
> THAT will ensure that they DO read the quoted section - it also tells them
> that you've actually thought about what you're replying to, and thought
> about
> what is relevent to the _reader_ of the message.
> And a disagreement:
> The rules Debs mentioned are not new rules - they existed as part of
> standard
> mailing list netiquette when I first got online, except for the HTML one.
> That one turned up as a supplement to the then-existing 'no images or large
> attachments' mailing list one, once the HTML-mailers started to show up.
> Jenn V.
> --
>   "We're repairing the coolant loop of a nuclear fusion reactor.
>    This is women's work!"
>                 Helix, Freefall. http://www.purrsia.com/freefall/
> Jenn Vesperman    jenn at simegen.com     http://www.simegen.com/~jenn
> ************
> techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org


techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org

More information about the Techtalk mailing list