Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Listserv Etiquette for Lists Managed by GLRPPR

Please read all of the following if you are a new subscribers or continuing subscriber to any of the listservs that are managed by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable


General Guidelines] [Content Guidelines] [Format Guidelines]  

General Guidelines

  • Do not use automatic e-mail reply programs. To do so creates a mess, as they generate a message for each message received. Because you receive a copy of any message sent to the list, you create an infinite loop. If this happens, you will be unsubscribed from the list as soon as the problem is detected, but in the meantime you will have annoyed your colleagues on the list. (If you feel you need to use these programs, write the list manager and ask to be unsubscribed while you are away. You can be resubscribed to the list when you return.)
  • Do not turn on any feature that confirms receipt or reading of an e-mail message. This creates the same problem as the automatic reply programs, and similar remedies will result.
  • Do not send file attachments to the list that included special formatting. This means any documents saved as .doc, .wpd, .html, .ppt, .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, or other file formats that utilize large amounts of character space. The reason for this is we have only a limited space on our host server for messages exchanged through the list; for most lists, it is 40,000 characters per message. This is not very much. If you must send an attachment, please save in Rich Text Format (.rtf). RTF removes fancy formatting inserted by word processors and other software that uses valuable character space. Otherwise, simply post a message stating that you have a document and that interested persons should contact you directly for an emailed copy.
  • Avoid posting extremely long messages. Not only is the message less likely to be read because most people do not want to read long documents online, but also some list members may never even see it if the message is rejected by their systems.
  • Before you "send" a message, make sure your message is addressed appropriately. Be careful to send to the list only items that will interest everyone on the list. Personal replies should go directly to the individual. (Check your e-mail program to ensure that you do not automatically reply to everyone, otherwise a personal response can end up on the list – to your surprise and possible horror.)
  • Direct all list problems to list manager. Problems with the list or difficulties unsubscribing from the list should go to the list manager.
  • Make it easy for people to respond to you directly. Include your e-mail address and other contact information at the end of your message. Also, this is helpful in highlighting your expertise or professional experience to other list members.

Please adhere to the following guidelines for content and format:

Content Guidelines

  • Always keep to the topic and purpose of the list. The more topic-specific contributions are, the more useful the list is for everyone. Try to resist the urge to send helpful e-mail about current viruses or breaking news to the list. There are other outlets for this type of information.
  • Do not send chain letters, spam, or any message that can be construed as commercial in nature.
  • Always, always be courteous. Do not subject any list member to a personal attack. Do not use profanity. If a message angers you, wait until you are calm before responding. Posting messages containing personal attacks and profanity are grounds for immediate removal from the list.
  • Problems with another list member's posting should be directed to the list manager, not the individual member. No list member should criticize another; problems should be dealt with by the list manager.
  • Do not post private e-mail to the list that you have received from someone else without their express permission to do so.
  • Do not post copyrighted materials.
  • Use descriptive subject lines. The subject line is the main access point for archived lists and for following a specific discussion. If you are responding to a message, preface its subject line with "Re:". This   makes following an e-mail discussion (or thread of a discussion) much easier for all members.

Format Guidelines 

  • Be concise. Quote from a message you are replying to as necessary, but only quote what is necessary to understand your reply. You may choose to summarize a lengthy discussion instead of quoting it, but be careful to be accurate.
  • Do not post messages in all caps. This is the equivalent of shouting.
  • Keep your line length under 80 characters per line. Under 72 is better. Longer lines may wrap and be difficult to read.
  • The less formatting the better. Some e-mail reader software insert formatting that can make reading the message more difficult for people using ASCII readers or other UNIX programs.

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
One East Hazelwood Drive Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-8940

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