Email Etiquette for Lists or Message Boards (MB/mb) —
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1. Don’t be a novelist, you are not going to win a Pulitzer prize. Keep your message concise and to the point, and on topic.
In general, people do not like the following on a topical list:
1. Keep personal problems off lists unless the list allows it.
2. Prayer Requests — make sure this is an ok thing to post on the list you are on.
2. Use paragraphs. Use proper punctuation.
3. Don’t use too much punctuation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (????? LOL: example)
4. Remember that not everyone has the same email software or systems. Set your character limit line to 80 to prevent having to hit the enter key at the end of a very long line. What may look normal to you can look like something else to someone else.
5. Formatting is obsolete. Plain text is the way to go as everyone has that ability. Not every mail system can accept a HTML message. HTML messages take up much space in a free email account.
6. Acronyms: learn a few basic ones. LOL = laugh out loud, TY = thank you, ISO = In search of , B4 = before, a few more are contained in this article.
7. Emoticons are fun but keep in mind that this is the WWW and there are many people of many cultures and not everyone sees things the same way. Emoticons are not universal. You could be insulting someone unintentionally.
8. You learned this in school, 4th grade language, use proper salutations. Even in emails, particularly business ones, always address the person in the proper formal way: use Dear and Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss. If you address a person by their first name, fine address them the same way in an email.
9. Email signatures: you may want to include your email address under your name. Keep a signature line (quotes or links) to no more than 4 lines.
10. You can keep the message in tact when replying so others can recall what you are responding to. Keep the subject line the same as long as it is the same topic but change it if the topic has changed. Use TOT (totally off topic) or TAN (tangent) when the topic is not the specified topic of the list. Each RS list is different, some are content RS only and others have friendly everyday over the fence chatter. Know the rules of the lists you are on and abide by them.
11. Quoting. This is when you only take a part of the conversation you are replying to.
>>I am having a difficult time with my EP.
>>I need some suggestions
The sample above shows it has two level quoting (>>). This is a quote of a quote previously quoted. Keep it down to one or two as the message gets lost when you get into more levels and there is no substance.
11. Conserve paper! You don’t need to print out every email message. Create folders in your system and file them away according to topic, people, theme, whatever makes you happy and organized. You will know where to find the information. Your puter is your friendly file.
12. Don’t ever think an email is private. You may not know who is Bcc (blind carbon copy) to. Also, you could have made a typo in an address and it gets sent to the wrong person. Remember too if you are on the puter at work or the library, adminstrators can check it out.
13. Flaming. This is similiar to a word war in person only done in email or on a message board where a few people battle it out wordwise. Some people thrive on this. Most groups do not allow this behavior and can cause you the boot.
14. Do not SHOUT (LOL . . . another example). Shouting is when you type in all capitals. Very hard to read and annoying. Use caps when emphasizing an important point and on a few words only.
15. Keep in mind not all people are on line as long as you, or as frequently as you. Email is not instant. A response may take days instead of minutes. Be patient, you will be acknowledged.
16. Understand that newsgroups are not forums or messageboards. They are like announcement lists. Before posting, lurk to see if this is something you would like to do. There are thousands upon thousands of newsgroups on all subjects. Remember when responding, that your email will be exposed to a wide public. This is where the junk mail will come from, anyone who has access to that. Newsgroups get much spam and lots of flames which contain blue/off language.
17. Don’t spam. Spamming is a repeated obnoxious message to the same group of people. Posting your URL in a signature is considered a spam. Post lots of times with the URL, you are a champion spammer. We are talking everyday people here not the vendors who we all know and love.
18. Don’t spread hoaxes. You can identify one by the fact it has lots of >>>> quoting and it looks ugly and is hard to read cause the lines are everywhere, a few words here a phrase there. It also has tons of email addresses of people you do not know. There are some good sites out there to educate you on Urban Legends.
19. Do not copy and paste postings by other people without their permission. If you see something you would like to share with another group you are in, ask the original poster but do not forward it to another group. This is pertaining to intellectual property, like instructions written by them. URLs are ok to pass on or any message that contains that language of sharing with other groups and the poster gives permission to do so. You can always re-interperete the idea in your own language adding or subtracting from it.
20. If you are on digests, do not send the entire digest back to the group when replying.
Copy the single message you would like to reply to including subject and person who sent it.
Click reply which you should get the group address. Highlight and delete if necessary.
Highlight and delete all digest content.
Highlight and delete the “digest” information in the subject line.
Paste the message you are responding to into the reply box.
Highlight and drag the person’s name into Cc box or to box if you are only sending it to them only or not the group.
Highlight and drag the subject line into the subject line.
Write your message and send it off.
People get really upset when the one digest comes with another. They take up space and of course, you have to go through all the > quoting (we learned above) to get to the rest of the digest that is not quoted.
Check this site out for proper net etiquette across the WWW.