Mailing list

From Project VRM
Revision as of 20:00, 28 November 2017 by Dsearls (talk | contribs) (clarified the plain text thing)
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ProjectVRM has an active mailing list of more than 600 participants. You can see the archive and subscribe here. Because the archive is exposed on the Web, it is public. Bear this in mind when you post to the list.

Our main frame is VRM. But subjects can be anything.

On the subject of etiquette, there is lots of good guidance in the world. Nearly all of it is for (and by) organizations that provide many more rules than we have here, and they are all worth reading. Here is ours:

  1. Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. (Thank you, Stephen Covey. Note that all of what Covey covers in his "7 habits are good advice for mailing lists.)
  2. Don't characterize other people. Nobody likes to be called anything, even if what they are called is accurate. Implicit in any characterization is reduction to a label, or something less than the whole person each of us are. We are all more and other than than any characterization. Being characterized nearly always makes people defensive. And once we start defending ourselves from characterization, the conversation goes sideways to the characterization itself and away from whatever the real subject was in the first place.
  3. Don't use "you" statements. These put people on the defensive as well.
  4. Don't flame. This includes baiting. It's a subtle thing. Usually it's saying something you know is going to piss people off. We've had relatively little of this; but it's still worth bringing up.
  5. Default to writing in plain text. If you don't need to format what you write (e.g. bold, italic, links, bulleted or numbered lists), or long fully-exposed links might interrupt the flow of what you're writing about, writing in plain text assures that what you write will be easy for others to read in whatever typeface and size their email client defaults to. There are so many ways that formatted (aka "rich") text in one mail client will look wrong in another (e.g. Microsoft Outlook text tends to get tiny on Apple's, and rich texts from some clients fail to wrap on others), and only one way that is always easy to read. That way is plain text. Sadly, all major email clients today (e.g. Apple's Mail, Gmail, Outlook) default to "rich" text. But it's worth setting up your email to default to plain text, and switching to rich text when you need it. Find out how to toggle those, and you'll make life easier for yourself and everybody else.