Bann Valley and Torrens Family and Youghal Genealogy sites
Mailing Lists.


These rules are short and simple and are intended to keep the mailing list nice for all to use and also to keep the list archives reasonably neat and tidy. However - they are rules and rules do get broken so do not be too concerned. If you do break one you'll probably get an explanation from the list master.

For full explanation of what they mean, click the link which will take you to the FAQ page.

The rules are still in process of being formulated, so use the contact button with suggestions or queries.

Send emails as plain text only

All emails to the list should be plain text only. Many email programs are set to send out an html attachment by default. So an html attachment will be sent without your even being aware of it! Make sure your email program is configured to send plain text only. See also HTML post, below.

Choose a relevant subject

Then they have a number of unread list postings, many members simply don't have time or inclination to open and read each one, so they will only look at postings with a subject that them. So think about the subject of your email and make it appropriate!
For instance a posting Subject: Mail is of use to nobody. Do not do it!

Change the subject if the thread topic changes

Just like a game of Chinese Whispers, the longer a thread is, the more likely it is that the discussion (or thread as it is called) will drift away from the original subject. So if you detect the thread drifting, please change the subject. It's quite usual to do this by leaving the old subject in brackets thus:

Subject: Geography (was Smith Family)

However - if you really are changing the subject then start a new thread. Do not reply to the existing thread with a blank email! See the next section!

Start a new thread if appropriate

If what you are writing really is a complete change of subject, it is not appropriate to send it as a reply to the post which made your mind jump to it. In this case, start a completely new posting.

The reason for this is that emails contain, in their headers, references back to previous emails, so that your email software (and the list archive software) can display it properly.

If your posting really is not relevant to the existing thread, it will get lost in that thread and the people you want to contact may well not be interested in the old thread. Your new thread, with a new subject, is likely to get more attention!

For this reason, you cannot generally 'Reply - blank' to start a new thread. Your 'blank' email will contain the reference numbers of the thread you are sending a blank reply! Most email programs have an option to "View headers" which should show you more.

Snip out bits of previous quoted text that are not relevant We've all read the previous post. Your response will be much clearer if you only quote the part of the previous email to which you are responding. If the rest is not relevant to your new comment - snip it out!

Is your message relevant to all, or should you reply off-list?

Often during a discussion, one list member's message will cause you to want to ask a specific question. Is this question (and the possible answer) likely to interest other list members? Or is it a question specific between yourself and the post you are responding to? If it is only of interst to the person concerned and not of interest to other list memvers, then kindly post it privately to the person concerned and not to the list.

If it is likely to be of general interest, maybe you should start another thread - or change the subject?

Do not Top post

Top posting really encourages bad email habits (such as not reading the email you are responding to, not answering all the points and sending an excessive amount of old email around in the form of under-layers of previous emails). Unfortunately many email programs (notably Microsoft) actually encourage top posting. On a mailing list there are almost no occasions where top posting is properly relevant and if you do so, you are likely to be jumped on by the moderator!

If you do not know what it is, there is an explanation of 'Top Posting' in my Netiquette guide.

Generally, if you cannot be bothered to use correct QUILA (again an explanation of QUILA is in my Netiquette guide) you may be better off quoting nothing at all (if your points are still clear) or starting a new thread with a new title. Please do not bottom post! Correct QUILA involves only quoting those points to which you are responding, and putting your response below the quoted text.

You will also notice, if you look at the bottom of most top posted emails, several reiterations of the lines
To unsubscribe send a mail to
List rules and FAQs:
This is because many emails do not properly handle signature lines (see explanation) - which should be removed automatically in the quoted text. Many email programs (all Microsoft ones?) do not do this.

Do not HTML post

Many email programs send out two copies of your email: the standard plain text copy and a second html copy. The problem is, they do this usually by default and without your knowledge.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language and is the standard way of writing documents for publishing on the World Wide Web. It is not an email standard, so gets sent as an attachment, i.e. two copies of the email are sent. Unless you actually use the extra style enhancements HTML gives you, it is rather pointless!

Used properly, HTML emails can be a good thing and can enliven email communications. However very few people use html properly and there are no agreed standards for how it is used, so it tends to be simply a large addition to the original message.

As there are no standards for its use in email, there is no standard way for a mailing list to handle it, nor for the archives to do so, so it makes the archives very messy and difficult to browse.. Many mailing lists simply remove it - and append a message such as 'Non-text portions have been removed'.

If you don't how to, a Google search for "turn off html" should yield lots of results!

Do not Quote previous messages excessively

We've all read the previous message. The only bits that are relevant to your posting are the bits that you are responding to. If you are too lazy to snip out the irrelevant bits, others will be too lazy to read what you have said. So if you quote excessively, expect a reprimand!

A good emailer should allow you to mark a block and hit reply. Then only the marked block will be quoted. Alternatively you should be able to mark a block in your reply email and hit delete to snip it. If your emailer doesn't do this sort of thing easily, get an email program that does. However it's usually about learning to make best use of the program you have!
Good Netkeeping Seal of Approval (GNKSA) is a good place to start looking!

Do not send attachments to the list

The commonest attachments are html, see plain text, above. However other attachments are not allowed and any email with attachments is automatically referred to me, the list master, for attention. One reason attachments are not allowed is that viruses and other malware are usually spread via attachments.

Page Information

Page's Author and © 2008: Richard Torrens
Document URI: /Lists/3_rules.html
Last modified: Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:35:05 GMT