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Guidelines for Posting to the List

The WWWAC email discussion list is an, unmoderated forum, with over 2900 members. In order to keep the discussions on topic and maintain a degree of order and civility, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines for posting messages to the list.

Acceptable Posts

Purpose of the List

The mailing list is the way to communicate with members of the WWWAC between the general meetings and the meetings of the WWWAC Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Also, because subscription to the mailing list is not limited to WWWAC members, the list provides a public forum for the discussion of ideas important to the WWWAC.

This is where we discuss Web design, the Web industry, and issues affecting the Web. This is a place to share questions, tips, techniques, and job information related to the Web. It is not a place to discuss general Internet topics, such as email or newsgroups, except as they affect the Web.

This is also where we announce WWWAC meetings, WWWAC SIG meetings and other events related to life on the Web.

An "acceptable post" is any message sent to the list that advances the purpose of the list, or, at the very least, does not disrupt or hinder these purposes.

Do's and Don'ts

On this list, people discuss and often debate ideas of importance to them, sometimes quite passionately. While it is perfectly acceptable to have strong opinions, personal attacks are NOT acceptable. Respect for everyone on the list is a condition for subscribership. When you post, please remember that you are communicating with several thousand people, and judge your words accordingly.

Each person on the list is expected to be responsible for what he or she says and what he or she reads as well. WWWAC is not responsible in any way for statements made by subscribers to this list. We advise that all members familiarize themselves wit h any issues they may have regarding libel, copyrights or any other issues surrounding their posted messages.

Before you post a message, ask yourself the following questions:

Every attempt will be made to deal with violations of list policies in private e-mail; however, frequent or egregious violators will be subject to public humiliation on the list and/or removal from the list and placement in the pariah file, as deemed necessary by the list administrator.

A new member can post just about any infraction short of posting a one megabyte attached file and be sure that any critique will happen in private mail; however, frequent posters have a greater responsibility to maintain the list community and will be judged accordingly. Nonetheless, infrequent posting is not a defense -- each member of the list does not have a bandwidth quota to fill.

We are not anonymous on this list. Include your real name in posts, and respect others' names. If you quote someone else's post, do so beginning with something like: "On 3 March 1996, [Quotee's Name] wrote:" so readers at least know who you're talking about.

While the primary purpose of the WWWAC list is discussion, some degree of blatant self-promotion -- for either individuals and organizations -- is acceptable, provided it is kept brief (fewer than 40 lines of up to 75 characters each). If you need to go longer, put it up on the Web and post a brief description with a URL. Note that this 40-line rule applies only to self-promotion and reposts.

Unless she or he states otherwise, or it is blatant or incontrovertible, respond to people's questions under the assumption that the questioner has a level of understanding similar to or greater than your own. Answer other people's questions as you would hope to have your own answered. And above all, remember that condescension is almost always inappropriate to this list.

Refrain from posts commenting on blatant mistakes by others or apologizing for your own; mistakes and guideline infractions are dealt with by the list-administrator, mostly in private mail. If you feel the need to add your own two cents, do so privately as well.

Digest mode subscribers should note that they receive the discussion long after most members of the list. To avoid the constant rehashing of the same answers to the same questions, they should refrain from participating in time-sensitive discussions. Remember to change the Subject in your reply to match the item you are replying to. Remember to edit the quote in your reply.

Signature Files

Please do not use signature files of more than six lines.

Job Postings

Posting of job openings is appropriate if done by the individual or company who will be the employer. This comes under the heading of self-promotion and the same rules of brevity apply. (Note: please include the word JOB in your Subject header and please remind applicants to reply to your email address.) Job postings from recruiters are allowed as long as it's clear that it's from a recruiter, generally by adding RECRUITER to the subject along with JOB.

List Team Messages

List subscribers are expected to read and heed messages from the List Team, whether issued privately or publicly. Public messages will generally contain the word ADMIN in the subject line, while private messages will not.

Violations: Things You Should Never Send To the List


Penalties & Administrative Actions


You will receive a private message from the List Coordinator or a List Team member.

Read Only

Means you will continue to receive WWWAC messages but you will not be able to post messages to the list.


Means you will not receive WWWAC messages and will not be able to post messages to the WWWAC list.


Means you are off the list permanently.

List Netiquette

When you post a message to the list, keep in mind that it will be read by a variety of people, on a variety of different types of computers. Different people manage their mail in different ways, and different systems charge in different ways for internet mail. Some people are charged by the byte or by the second for connect time and bandwidth, so brevity can be important to them.

When you see something going on that you think is a grievous breach of the Guidelines, don't post a message to the list to correct the problem. Send a message to the List Team and they'll deal with it.

Subject Headings

The "Subject:" line in the header of the message is there so that people can know what your message is about before they drop everything and read it. Try to make your subjects descriptive, and brief. And remember that when you are replying to a message, the subject won't change unless you change it.

Replying to a message

When replying to a message, pay attention to where the message is going. Each mail program works differently; you may need to edit the header fields when replying. Please make sure that the TO: field is addressed where you want the message to go.

Also note that when replying to a job offer, reply to the individual posting the job, not to the list.

From time to time the List Team will post public ADMIN messages, and these messages should not be replied to on the list. If you feel you must comment publicly, then you must remove the word ADMIN from the subject line, as it is reserved for use by the List Team for official messages.

Message Formatting

There is a wider variety of email client software and devices than you can imagine and you must take steps to insure that your messages can be read by everyone. If the line-lengths in your messages are too wide, they become unreadable in many mail-readers. Try setting your window to less than 80 characters (72 is a common number), and set the font to a fixed-width font like Courier. If you use a word processing application to compose email messages, be sure you turn off "curly quotes" and other such typographic substitutions first.

Many email clients provide additional text formatting options (MAPI, HTML). Turn all these options off for any mail posted to the WWWAC list. If your email client supports "Quoted Printable" characters turn that option on. This will encode any accented characters and many special symbols in a mannner compatible with most Internet Mail Servers.


This is a good way to include contact information, and a bit of self-promotion. A short, well-designed signature is less likely to be annoying, and it makes you look more skillful and professional. Some mailreaders allow you to create several signature files, and to select the appropriate one at the time you send an email.

This stuff uses bandwidth all over the net, not just on the WWWAC server. So we require that signature files be six lines or less.


Your email address will appear in the header of your message to the list. However most addresses do not show your name. So sign your messages with your real name. A signature file (of no more than 6 lines) that includes your name is acceptable, but your name alone is just as good to us.

There are methods of sending messages via anonymous-email, and ways of forging an email address. Anyone caught doing this on the WWWAC list will be barred.


Please do not post private email to the list without the permission of the author of the message. If someone sends you mail privately, it is a violation of that person's privacy to quote that message in public without their explicit permission. That exposes both you and the list owner to civil and/or criminal liability.

The reverse is also true. Anything posted on this list is the property of the person who posted it. It is protected by copyright law. You should also assume it is intended to be read by the members of this list community, and treat it as private correspondence.

The file of WWWAC list subscribers is protected, and will not be given to anyone. The email addresses from postings to this list should not be used to generate spam. Add someone to your own mailing lists ONLY if they specifically ask you to do so.

A NOTE OF CAUTION: Subscribers to the list are not screened, and it is a very big list. So remember that what you post to the list may eventually be seen by almost anyone, and post carefully. For your personal privacy and safety, do not include your home address or phone number in your message. Friends, colleagues, business competitors, journalists, and even kooks, may be subscribed; assume that what you post here may eventually arrive in the hands of someone other than your intended audience, so be discreet and tactful.

Copyrighted Material

Copyrighted material is anything that anybody creates. When you create something, you own the exclusive right to copy it. Someone else's email, an article from an on-line 'zine, material on a web page, articles posted on this list (or any other list), are all explicitly or implicitly copyrighted. This means that they should never be posted to this list without the author's permission.

The law allows quoting short excerpts with proper reference to the actual author. That applies on the WWWAC list too.


It is good to quote part of the message you are replying to, so that people reading it can easily find the context of your reply. It's usually sufficient to quote just a few lines, rather than copying the entire previous message. Everyone on the list received a copy of the original message, so quoting all of it is quite unnecessary.

Most mail readers have an option for quoting the previous message in a reply. Please remember to cut out the parts that aren't necessary, when adding your reply.


A flame is when you call someone names, are overtly rude, or are blatantly sarcastic or condescending. It looks immature and unprofessional. Anything worth saying on this list can, and must, be stated in polite terms.

Noting the shortcomings or advantages of a platform or piece of software can be informative. But ridiculing Windows, Mac, Unix, Netscape, MSIE, or any other piece of technology is insulting to those who created and those who use the technology, and it is provocative.


Attachments are not allowed on the WWWAC list. The Software does not handle them properly.If you want to share a large file or a copy of a document, put it on your web site and put the URL in your message. If you want to include a small document (40-lines), cut-and-paste it into the body of your message.

Do not include encrypted material in the body of your message. A PGP-encrypted digital signature is acceptable (as plain text, not as an attachment), but should normally be unnecessary for postings on this list.

Spam, Mass-Mailings, & Junk Mail

This list may not be used to send junk-mail of any kind. Anyone who uses the WWWAC list for this purpose, no matter what the subject, will be unsubscribed and permanently barred.

Self-Promotion, Job Listings, Advertising

Some self-promotion is allowed on this list.
But advertisements are not.

You just got your web-site up, or you're trying out a new technique or piece of technology, and you'd like some helpful advice and criticism. Your book (about the web) just came out. You want to let others know about an event or a web site that you think they'd find interesting or useful. That's kewl.

But remember that this is a discussion group, not an advertising billboard. So do not post extensive job descriptions, resumes, for-sale notices, apartment ads, press releases, or flat-out advertising. Think of the list as a gathering of your friends and phrase your message in a way that won't make them feel exploited.

Updated: 99/04/22 LA listhelp@wwwac.org

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