Dos and Don’ts

How to be a polite subscriber. . .

DO  include a subject in the subject line of your emails to the list. Messages with no subject cannot be displayed in the list archives. The archives use email subjects for searches. When you are composing a subject for your email, think about how your subject might be searched. For example, a bad subject for a message summarizing your pre-school program survey is “Thanks.” A good subject for the same email is “Pre-School Program Survey Summary.”

DO  be aware that you always have two options: responding through the list or to a member personally. The content of your message should determine which of these you choose.

DO consider the value your message adds to the list. For example, don’t send a “thanks” message through the list. Send something like that directly to the person you’re thanking.

DO  consult the list archives at before posting a question. This is also a good way to become familiar with a list’s acceptable topics, etc.

DO NOT  forward email to the list. This also applies to email that you receive if you hit the reply button, and get your email back with a notice that it did not go out to the list. If you forward the mail, everyone receives all the code and ephemera that comes with the forwarded mail. Instead, copy just your message, paste it into a new message and address it to

DO NOT  send attachments to the list. Attachments cannot be archived, so they will not be available in the searchable archives of Museum-Ed. Attachments are also were viruses live and they may slow down other users connections.

DO NOT send HTML, rich text, or stylized email, or messages in “quoted-printable” format. Not all email programs of list members will recognize such formats. Send messages in ASCII.

DO NOT quote other emails when you send a message to the list. Remember, if you include the email you are responding to in your message, members of the list will see it for the second time. Usually, including the original subject with an Re: in front of it is enough, but if you must quote other emails, include only the specific information you’re responding to, and delete the rest.

DO NOT  forward virus warnings and the like to the list unless it’s devoted to that topic.

DO NOT subscribe to the list with an email address with an auto-responder function. This includes “Out of Office Auto-reply” and other features. Doing this creates a large amount of wasted email, which can be a significant burden on a publisher with a large email list. Most email programs allow you to make exceptions when you program an auto-reply, please make sure to add any mail from to that exceptions group when you set up your auto-reply.

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