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Netiquette Of Sending
The following rules of netiquette apply to the
sending of messages, and generally apply to email, the newsgroups,
Be brief. It takes considerable time and effort
to read long messages. If you get a lot of email, and a lot of
them are long, then it is likely that you won't be able to read
them all. You can do your part to reduce this workload by using
brevity to maximize clarity.
This rule is less absolute on mailing lists,
and much less so again for newsgroup postings, since the obligation
to read these messages is correspondingly less. If you have a
good five page essay, you should feel free to post it to a newsgroup.
Potential readers will open your message voluntarily by clicking
on your subject line, and
if they don't like the first sentence of your message they are
completely free to close it and proceed to another.
Use White Space
Use white space to enhance readability. Put
a blank line at the beginning of messages, so that when they
are read by someone the message will have some
blank space between it and the header. You can send an email
to yourself, or post a message to a test
newsgroup, to see the effect.
A blank line between paragraphs greatly helps
Put a URL on a separate line, and indented a
couple of spaces.
Use Descriptive Subject
What with work, friends, mailing
lists, and spam,
many people get more email than they can easily read. You
can greatly help potential readers remember what your message
is about, and decide whether or not to read it, with a descriptive
The subject line is one of the only fields displayed
in an email Inbox or Usenet newsgroup listing. A short, meaningful
subject is the most useful element of information when one wants
to identify an email's purpose at a glance. Some examples of
ambiguous and meaningful subjects are provided below.
du Soleil tickets
for part number
9:00 Tues -- room 6
Never post off-topic messages, not related to
the subject of the mailing list or newsgroup. This takes judgment,
and you should ask yourself a basic question: is this posting
likely to be of interest to this newsgroup or mailing list, or
is there another forum that is more appropriate? You might get
a better response by searching for a newsgroup or mailing list
more directly applicable to your message.
the act of posting a message highly off-topic or otherwise calculated
to arouse controversy and hopefully cause a flame war.
The best response to a troll's posting is no response, to recognize
the purpose and ignore the bait. Additional resources on troll
control are found below:
Be Careful Sending Attachments
Be careful sending email
attachments. Unlike an email message, which is usually
about 1 kb in size, an attachment can be many kilobytes or
megabytes. Besides the fact that most email systems have
an attachment limit, you shouldn't send large attachments
by email to people with slow Internet connections, since
you could tie their machine up for minutes or hours.
Don't send attachments to mailing lists or non-binary
newsgroups. Instead, send a message inviting people to email
you directly if they want a copy.
Copy The Minimum Number of
You can send a message to more than one person
or newsgroup very easily, greatly multiplying the bandwidth your
message will require, but with proportionately lessor relevancy.
You should only copy more than one mailing list or newsgroup
if the message is genuinely useful and on-topic, and do your
part to reduce everybody's email load.
When you get a message at work with several
CC addresses, it is usually considered polite to reply to all
addresses. However, there are occasions when it may be appropriate
to delete some addresses, such as when you are discussing routine
matters and senior personnel don't need to be distracted.
If you mean to reply to just the sender of a
message, always double-check the addresses on your reply message
before sending. It is very easy to reply to an email sent by
a friend to several of his friends, and then find that your email
program has replied to all of the addresses in the original message,
and sending your personal reply to everyone by mistake. Some
applications let you change the default behavior of the standard
reply function, usually <ctrl>-r, between the options of "reply
just to sender" and "reply to all".
Include Your Email
Always include your email address in your email
or newsgroup messages.
Sometimes people keep a copy of a message or
newsgroup posting, but don't have a copy of the header with the
addresses, and so they won't know how to contact you later. This
can happen if your email or newsgroup posting has been forwarded
or copied without the headers.
A common preventive solution to this problem is to put your
email address in the body of the message itself, so that it won't
get lost if the headers get lost. Many people do this automatically,
by putting their name and address in their signature.
There are many places on the Internet that accept
and welcome commercial messages. Therefore, you should never:
- Post commercial messages to non-commercial newsgroups.
- Post commercial email to non-commercial mailing lists.
- Send commercial email unsolicited to private organizations
is a problem with this brave new world in that a lot
of people don't appreciate there's another human being
at the other keyboard. Flaming is a real problem -- especially
in comp.misc. This is all a new facet of the technology
as well. People rarely trade insults in real life like
they do on Internet. There's a tendency to stereotype
your opponent into categories. I think this is because
you're not around to witness the results.
find this more on Internet newsgroups than on Compuserve.
I think this is down to maturity -- a lot of folk on
the Internet are students who aren't paying for their
time on the system. Those on Compuserve are normally
slightly older, not so hot-headed and are paying for
their time. Damn. Now I'm at stereotyping now. It just
goes to show.
Scott Hatton, "The
Net and Netizens: The Impact the Net has on People's
Lives", Fall/Winter 1994/1995.
the act of sending someone an outrageously insulting message,
whether by private email or in a public Usenet posting, usually
because you disagree with something they have said. A good flame
mixes a razor sharp wit with a devastating put-down so that the
other person will only make themself look silly if they dare
disagree -- "The absurdity of your ideas is exceeded only
by the incoherence of your remarks, beginning with..."
Some people support the use of flaming to enforce
good netiquette on mailing lists and the Usenet. A flame can
sometimes be funny, and may feel good to the sender, but should
be resisted whenever possible. A flame can give the impression
that you are unable to respond with more reasonable language,
and can genuinely hurt the other person. In general, you should
take a disagreement with another user off of a mailing list or
news group, and into a civil and personal exchange by email between
the two of you, letting others carry on with the discussion.
Also, keep in mind the considerable limitations on accurate communication
of emotion in a