Re: "Netiquette Nudge" (Long)
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 02:46:20 -0500
John's idea of periodic reminders for Scouts-L subscribers has some
merit. Many folks never quite get around to reading the Welcome message
or over the course of time have filed it away where it escapes
retrieval. Over the last year there have been dozens of postings going
back and forth complaining about line length, folks that begin a line
with a period cutting off the digest, identities of senders, quoting too
much, sending what should be private e-mail to the list, not sharing
general interest stuff with the list, etc.
How he has gone about it seems to have sparked a few comments that bear
Regarding the 3Gs - The attempt to remind ourselves that we need not
waste bandwidth on issues that we cannot resolve here in a brief, concise
way may have been over-reaching. Jon Eidson's statement in the welcome
message is worth repeating:
>As you can imagine, not everyone here is in total agreement every day
>with all issues and resolutions of issues. We do argue, we express
>ourselves with deep personal emotion, but we also remember that we are in
>the company of fellow Scouters...people who understand that disagreements
>are a part of being human; that the disagreement is with the other point
>of view, and NOT the other person. Therefore, you will NOT find here the
>outlandish language and ongoing discussions about topics that have no
>real answer to them. We don't have time for such nonsense...we're too
>busy discussing issues that CAN be resolved.
>We try as hard as we can NOT to censure or ignore ANYONE's point of view
>or thought on ANY topic, but we have "driven some topics deeply into the
>ground." Please check the logs *before* bringing up a sensitive topic
>that we have talked about before. Also, please think before replying to
>a issue which "may set off firerockets." If you have any concerns,
>please let the list administrator know or send him a copy of your
>proposed posting BEFORE you post it to the list.
While rec.scouting has some wonderful discussions, there was a point
before the usenet group split that all too much of the discussion
revolved around flames back and forth over the 3Gs that seemed endless
and after awhile fairly pointless. Many times there were personal
attacks and postings that were clearly not Scoutlike. Scouts-L has and
should remain a place where we as Scouters and Guiders can gather
comfortably before the virtual campfire to share and exchange ideas in a
friendly environment with respect for each other and the diversity of
viewpoints we bring to share.
If an issue is divisive and stirs up folks to the point that Scoutlike
conduct is no longer apparent, then we will have lost the safe haven we
have to discuss issues and share ideas that go to the heart of why we are
Scouters - that of delivering the promise of Scouting to the youth members.
Yes we have the right to discuss whatever we might want to discuss and no
there shouldn't be any censorship. We know what our rights are, but what
is the right thing to do? If we expect our youth to learn tolerance and
developing understanding, then we need to exemplify the same here and in
our Scouting endeavors. Perhaps John's effort at a reminder notice
should not include the statement regarding the 3Gs, but we should also
strive to be responsible in how we use this list to keep it the valuable
resource that it is and not have it degenerate into acrimonious
discussions about issues that are beyond our resolution.
Regarding linking the Scout Law to netiquette,
The listowner's Welcome message includes the following:
>First, a reminder to everyone about network "etiquette". The so called
>"flaming" (insults) do NOT belong on the SCOUTS-L list and will not be
>put up with. Personal vendettas will NOT be tolerated. The Boy Scout
>Oath and Law is the best guidelines I can think of in these matters.
>PLEASE remember this! Flaming will result in action by the list
>Discussions will naturally bring disagreement, however, rebuttals should
>always be made in a rational, logical and mature manner in public. What
>has made SCOUTS-L such a success is the manner in which most subscribers
>handle their postings and how they address a topic. Let's keep it up!
Whether stated in the reminder notices or not, our conduct here should be
governed by the courtesy and kindness expected of a Scout or Guide
adhering to his or her country's Scout oath, promise, law, etc.
Considering our many members in many countries and organizations, it may
not be appropriate to recite BSA's law with links to netiquette as a
matter of form. Perhaps it might be better to make a simple statement
encouraging the substance instead.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Dep.Dist.Commissioner-Training, G.W.Dist., NCAC, BSA (Virginia)
U. S. Scouting Service Project FTP Site Administrator (PC Area)
ftp1 or ftp2.scouter.com/usscouts E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City