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Guidelines for using the mailing list

The following document was prepared as a result of feedback from several sources. Please review carefully.

INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to the Orchid Talk Discussion List, which was established in February 2001 for the sole purpose of discussing how to cultivate orchids. This does not mean that other subjects can't be discussed but keep in mind to make the topic relevant to other users of Orchid Talk who have joined this list for that reason.

Please review these guidelines which are intended to make the list a pleasant experience for all participants.

PARTICIPATE:

Participate in a supportive and informative fashion. Share your thoughts, experiences and encourage everyone to speak up and get involved. No need to be shy about posting a question. Someone else on the list is bound to find the question and subsequent replies interesting and useful.

When posting messages keep the following in mind:

POST MESSAGES IN PLAIN TEXT:

Most serious mailing list users prefer e-mail to be simple text, so that there's no compatibility problems between different software and so that messages and attachments are quicker to download and smaller to store. This is particularly relevant where a significant number of subscribers are probably not on broadband. If you're e-mailing people you know personally then use whichever format you wish, but when posting to a public or semi-public forum or list such as this (which has around 130 subscribers) then you should preferably use plain text.

Some internet users are very passionate about the rules of 'netiquette', and a badly formatted post to them can result in hostility. For example, if you try to emphasise a bit of text by WRITING IT IN CAPITALS, you might get told off for shouting, so people usually use *asterisks* or /slashes/ for emphasis, and _underscores_ for underlining.

OUTLOOK EXPRESS:

Please ensure you have not set a 'Reply' address in Outlook Express as any replies to your messages will not be sent to the list. To check, please follow these instructions:

Click on the Tools menu and select Accounts. From there, select the mail tab. Then, double click on the default mail account. In the window that pops up there should be 5 text input fields. The last two are your e-mail address and reply address. Unless these two fields need to be different, the reply address can be safely removed and left blank. This will prevent replies being sent to the original poster instead of the list.

STAY ON TOPIC:

Messages posted on the Orchid Talk discussion list should be directly related to orchids in general. Please include a Subject Line relevant to your message (but *not* in the form of the first sentence of the message!). It is helpful to mention the subject in the body of the message to help the reader to stay focussed.

FORWARDING MESSAGES FROM/TO OTHER LISTS:

Posting a message in this discussion list from or to another discussion list is strictly prohibited if you are not the original author. This is called copyright infringement. If you come across some useful information that you feel would be beneficial to other members, then its appropriate to post a link to the information but not the message itself. Copying and pasting messages from or to another group is considered plagiarism if you do not have express permission from the original author.

PLAGIARISM AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT:

If you didn't create a message or obtain rights to post it, you can't copy it or distribute it. The author or owner must explicitly relinquish rights for a work to be placed in the public domain. This includes the Orchid Talk discussion list. As suggested, include a link to the information so other members can see it if interested, but do not push information on other members by posting entire messages to the discussion list.

QUOTING ORIGINAL MESSAGES WHEN REPLYING:

When replying to a posting, please remove all parts of the original message that are not relevant to your reply such as long signatures and footers, whilst quoting enough so that readers will know what you are writing about. This will prevent messages from becoming too long and difficult to follow. Remember, not quoting anything at all is just as annoying to other subscribers as including all the older messages in a long thread.

WAFFLE:

One-line comments such as 'Nice photos' or 'Thanks for that' are better if sent privately to a participant rather than going to everyone else on the list, especially if the previous several messages haven't been removed - see the previous guideline.

SPAM:

From time to time an unsolicited solicitation, “Spam”, may appear on the discussion list in spite of efforts to prevent it. It is the resposibility of subscribers to ensure they have enabled adequate anti-spam and anti-virus protection.

LANGUAGE AND COMMON COURTESY:

One thing that we will not tolerate is foul and abusive language or aggression towards a member(s) on the discussion list. We are here to learn, share and enjoy our hobby. Nothing else. Be mindful as well that there are minors in the group!

AUTO-RESPONDER:

Most e-mail programs have an option to setup an auto reply message when you are away on business or vacation. The auto reply alerts everyone who contacts you that you are away from your computer. Before choosing and turning on this option, please temporarily unsubscribe from the list or contact the webmaster with details of your departure and return (these details will be treated in the strictest confidence). You will still be able to access the archived messages online.

Note: This document may be amended from time to time to reflect the needs of this group and member feedback.

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