Scott Begin (0005555440@MCIMAIL.COM)
Sun, 12 Jun 1994 18:53:00 EST
Chris Haggerty has mentioned that the amount of traffic on this list has
grown a great deal since it was founded. As one of the first
subscribers (I have not been continously subscribed, though), I will
agree more messages come daily to my mailbox than in a week when the
list was first founded.
In reference to that comment, several people have commented on how much
mail comes accross the list that would have better been suited for
private mail. I agree. Congratulations (such as any for my previous
message regarding my OA membership), welcomes, "hey, I used to live
where you're from" messages, etc..., should be sent via private mail.
However, I feel there are some additional points need to be mentioned to
back this up/make it easier for people. It may be easy to say to send
stuff via private mail, but not every mail system makes it that easy.
Most internet based mailers will have a function to specify that your
message goes to the address in the "FROM" field of the mail header
rather than the "SENDER" field (which is often set as the default).
However, mailers from services like CompuServe, Delphi, MCI, or America
Online usually don't have these features. If you don't know how to use
this feature of your mailer, please ask someone on your system to find
out if it is available and how to use it. If you don't have this
feature (I don't), I ask that you take some time to write the address
down, start a new message outside of the reply function (the desk
blotter under my keyboard is covered with addresses that I done this
The second problem facing people sending private e-mail is that some
mailers strip stuff off the message header. MCI does this, and I've
heard of others users with this problem. Most of the mail I recieve
from SCOUTS-L comes with no sender's name other than SCOUTS-L. There
usually isn't much you can do about this other than asking for
signatures. It is knowing that these types of systems exist that causes
people to put "signatures" at the bottom of mail messages. At a
minimum, a signature should contain you name and your e-mail address.
Even for non list mail, this is good, as some addresses are not that
easy to translate into a name (my account in college was 34RXESC. Try
to translate that to Scott Begin:) and the name that is placed on the
"FROM:" line in the message is either nonexistant or something other
than a name. I'm not complaining if you do this, but include your real
name in your signature.
If you want to include other info, such as your position, unit,
city/state, and other qualifications, feel free to, as they can lend
credability to your messages, so long as you can do it tastefully within
a few lines (4-8 lines). If you have more qualifications than can
listed tastfully, either omit less important information or make
several signatures with different info and use the appropriate one
depending on which qualifications lend credability to your topic. If
you wan to put in ASCII graphics, please keep them small and tasteful.
Another point regards reply inclusions. Many mailers have ways to
automatically include and annotate the text from the message being
replied to. Where possible, please edit out what is not necessary to
make you comments. It makes you message clearer and makes it easier to
find you comments. If you are not sure how to do this, please check with
someone on you system to find out how (or if it is available). On some
systems, you may have to save a message to a file, edit the file, and
include it in a message.
I mention these points because many of the Scouts-L subscribers pay for
their access, including me. It can be frustrating to download the same
message 4 times because it was included verbatim in 3 replies, or to
download 10 messages that are nothing but "Congratulations" or "Welcome"
to someone else. It can be even more frustrating when you have to pay
online charges on a per minute (or per byte) basis on top of telephone
charges. Not all services charge this way (MCI charges only for
outgoing mail), however, it can also be frustrating to have that 2400bps
modem take 45 minutes to download your mail each night. Not all of us
can afford that 14,400bps modem (or would have it do any good). Remember
that a Scout is Courteous.
Speaking of courtesy, I do not mean to publically chastise anyone who
does any of the "no-no's" I've mentioned. I know that many people on
this list are getting their first experiences with the information
superhighway. Many of these people haven't been told about the things I
mentioned, which is why I post this type of message every once in a
while. In the same context, not eveyone on the information highway is
driving a fancy new sports car. Some people drive an old beater that
works, but doesn't have all the fancy features of that sports car. If
someone doesn't have a feature on their system, there isn't much that
you can do about it.
I am very forgiving about things that I have mentioned, mainly because
few of the regular, long time subscribers do these things on a regular
basis. Most new people will change habits if it is discretely pointed
out to them the reasons for wanting to change. I also feel that there
are more important things to worry about than people who send
congratulations messages to the list.
I hope we all have learned something from this message.
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin ASM, T-348, Oak Forest, IL; Calumet Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City