eGroup Etiquette

A list of recommendations for good manners when participating in eGroups. 
When sending messages, please keep the following suggestions
in mind. They will help keep the eGroup user-friendly for everyone.
In 2000 January eGroup became 

Please include a meaningful subject line in each posting 
(it's a good idea for ALL e-mail). Use a different subject line 
if you are changing the topic of discussion.
Keep each line in your message shorter than 70 characters. Longer lines
can cause problems with some e-mail systems. i.e. If posting via web at please ensure that wrap words is clicked.

When replying to another message, try to refrain from quoting entire
messages. Paraphrasing or quoting selectively are both kinder 
to people's eyes and e-mail boxes.
At the end of your message, include your name and optionally your
electronic mail address (this is your electronic "signature".) Because
it can be difficult to interpret e-mail addresses, you are encouraged
to include your institutional affiliation.
Long signatures are discouraged. They may be humorous the first time, but
get old quickly (and take up valuable net bandwidth and computer space).
Some folks tire of the time spent having to skim over them. 2-4 lines
should be sufficient to include any necessary information. Remember most
eGroups are not forums for a social comment.
Be extremely careful when replying a eGroup message. The Egroup
e-mail systems will send your reply to the entire eGroup if you simply
use a reply command. If you really want to send to the entire eGroup
do so.  To reply only to sender please use the Email address (or Email-link 
on web) given at the end of the From: line next to the name.
Think before you post. Do I really want to say this to the world (eGroup)?
Reread what you wrote. Did you really say what you intended to? Once a
message is sent, it can't be retrieved.
Flames: a "flame" is an emotionally charged posting, and is often
directed at someone. Be sure you really want to post it, and remember
than some eGroups don't tolerate flames.
To signal humorous intent, use some sort of "smiley", such as :-).
Facetiousness and sarcasm can be misunderstood easily in electronic
Replies to requests for information. Some large eGroups have a policy of
sending information privately to the requester. The requester then
summarizes to the eGroup. This can cut down on traffic, but it tends to
reduce the "give and take" that some eGroups value.
Please be considerate of others. Through inexperience or limited local
software, eGroup members may inadvertently violate the above suggestions. A
private message to the offender from an experienced friend or from the
eGroup owners is more appropriate than a public flame.
Please participate! Your ideas are important. Just because you think
everyone knows something doesn't mean they do. If you're not sure, send
the posting to an experienced friend on the eGroup (or the eGroup owner) to
see if the information may be valuable.
Each eGroup has its own character, just like any "real" grouping of people
(such as a party, or a meeting). The eGroup functions best when people
respect the character of the eGroup. It's also good to respect the
differences among eGroup members and have a certain tolerance
for our individual eccentricities.

DON'T SHOUT--unless you really mean it. The use of all uppercase letters
is considered shouting, and therefore rude. Part of the problem with all
caps is that it is harder to read than mixed case. The other problem is
that since facial expression and tone of voice are missing from
electronic communication, some way to express strong opinions (both
positive and negative) is needed, so ALL CAPS has been designated.
Some common abbreviations found in mail notices are: FWIW => for what
it's worth; GOK => God only knows; HHOK => Ha, ha - only kidding; HHOS =>
Ha, ha - only serious; IMHO => In my humble opinion; LOL => laughing out
loud; OTOH => on the other hand.

Credit goes to Peter Milbury and Mike Eisenberg, co-owners of the LM-NET listserv for School Library Media Specialists and to Jennifer Chandler, University of South Carolina College of Library and Information Science.