Scott Begin (0005555440@MCIMAIL.COM)
Sun, 4 Jul 1993 03:54:00 GMT
On Sat Jul 03, 1993 5:51 pm CST firstname.lastname@example.org said:
> I've seen nowhere by declaration, but many times by example, some conventions
> we seem to be following ... but they appear at times excessive to me, so I
> ask for guidance ...
> - Are we expected to reproduce major blocks of messages to which we make
> comment or refer?
> - Are we expected to provide 'signature blocks'?
> - Are we expected to use a mono-spaced type font for pseudo-graphics?
> - Am I expected to provide a disclaimer of AOL responsibility for anything I
> Or is it just that I don't understand the situation?
All of these things are common Net Ettiquette questions. I don't consider
myself Miss Manners, but these are general guidelines I use, which are
probably close to the general feeling of experienced netters. Comments on
questions in the order they were asked:
As I understand it, the reason most mailers can include text is that on
the Net, it is possible for a message to reach a site before the message
it a reply to. On redistribution lists such as SCOUTS-L, this isn't as
much of a problem from what I have seen. With Usenet newsgroups, it is
more of a problem (probably due to the method of distributing messages). I
understand that it started with News software, and after a while, was
added to mail software.
The style of the posting, net experience of the poster, and capabilities
of your mail software all determine if you include text. Let me look at
If you are making comments on a general subject being discussed, you
usually don't have to include anything from the last message. If you
rehash the message you are responding to, you don't need text inclusion.
If you are responding to specific statments, it is probably good to
include the text.
The amount of net experience comes into play when determining how much to
include or even to include text of a message. After a while you will
probably get the feeling for how much you need to say to let people know
what you are talking about. Experienced net users will only quote what is
necessary: the paragraph, sentence, etc.. being referenced, but not
unrelated text, mail headers (except for a line indicating who said it and
when), and signature blocks. Like anything, you will get better at this
with experience, probably from seeing poor inclusions and learning how to
use the editor on you mail software (later being a big part). If you are
going to include someone elses message, please delete unnecessary stuff.
Myself, I try to minimize included text since I pay for mail access. If a
message is too big, I get charged for a second mail message. Reducing
message sizes also conserves network resources.
I mention capabilities of you mail software because not everything has the
ability to include text. The MCI Mail interface I use from the Norton
Commander doesn't include this feature, but I can forward a message to
include it. It seems like the VM/CMS mail software I used in school would
only include the newest text (It's been a year and a half, and I didn't
use it that often).
Signature blocks are not required, but are nice. Some mailers (such as
MCI) remove header information from messages. Most of my SCOUTS-L mail
arrives with from line of SCOUTS-L with no indication of who origionally
posted the message. Signature blocks tell us basic info (name & address),
as well as anything else you think is important for the list. Often, the
signature is a way to list your credentials (since we can't see your
uniform). Net ettequette dictates that you keep your signature short, 3-4
ASCII graphics are considered rude by some (if they aren't too excessive,
I don't mind them) when included in signatures. Follow the golden rule
(Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) when creating a sig
Disclaimers relieving AOL of liability aren't necessary (It's probably in
your membership agreement or some other place). Most times, disclaimers
are used to determine that the message content is yours and not the views
of the organizations you represent or work for. If you or who you
represent don't want opinions confused, use a disclaimer. I've found that
except for a few contravetial posts or personal opinions, I haven't needed
a disclaimer. Mike Walton (who is required to use one by work), includes
his with every post. Asses your situation and CYA (Cover Your Ass(etes)).
Net ettiquette is as much of a science as ettiquette in general. Like any
new thing, it takes a little time to get familiar with the system. As
you read and post more messages, you'll get a better feeling of net
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin ASM, T-348 & 352, Calumet Council, Oak Forest, IL
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City