|The Forum: Use hints & good practices
Participation makes it easy to access the Public Library, Links & Media and other sections of the Forum, as well as receiving messages of the list in the manner you prefer. To become a member, you are invited to send an empty email to the firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which group you wish to join. After a short while you will receive a confirmation, unless there is a technical problem with your address. When you have signed up you can elect to receive feedback from this site in any of four forms:
(b) Daily digest: To receive all emails for the day in one message.
(c) Special notices. Only send important update emails from group moderator.
(d) Don't send me email, I'll read the messages on the site at leisure.
If your time is short, we strongly recommend the Daily Digest, and while you are at it opt for the "Fully Featured" version. Very clean and efficient. To accomplish that, all you have to do is check into your forum, where you will see at the top of the YahooGroups page a link, Edit Membership. From there on you will see.
If you wish to leave the list at any time, just send a blank email to
In this day of titanic, paralyzing information overload, here are a few small suggestions which I would strongly suggest you bear in mind as you work with our fora and discussion groups. It will make use the whole process more efficient for you and for all those hundreds of time-pressed colleagues who come here to learn and share.
Bear in mind that this is one of a series of more or less focused websites and discussion groups, and we try hard to keep each of them in its chosen focus. To understand this, in case you do not already, I suggest that you click here to our page "Focus programs and peer discussions". You'll see there how all this is intended to work.
When you answer a group message, your answer will in many cases be sent to all the members of the list. If you wish the sender only to receive your answer, please click on the "Forward" button instead of "Respond" and copy the sender's email address into the "To" box. Remember, there is no feeling so "sinking" as when a personal message goes instead to 500 busy, possibly unhappy people. We would ask you to be extremely careful about distinguishing between:
We are all asked to bear in mind that our colleagues are very busy people and we want to make sure that whatever comes out of this forum (I) they do not receive more than a handful messages a week on average and (ii), more important, that what is distributed to the group is quite literally "exception information", i.e., communications which address issues which are of high common interest. I hate to say it, but when we see people being a bit too casual in their choice of mode, our list administrator actually goes in and picks off what we think to be a bit too personal and indicate this to them as such. This may strike you as a bit priggish on our part and indeed is a bit of a bore to actually do; but we think it's better that than overloading people who have a lot of real work to do and who see this as a useful tool and not one more wasteful Internet chore.
Please do not simply copy and pass on the content of all previous communications. Nobody, nobody likes to wade through this stuff. Moreover, it obscures the point of your message for those whose time is important. Where you need to cite an earlier note for context purposes, please do this in a sparing and structured way ("judicious snipping" we call it). We will all appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Once a discussion of any given topic has got underway, it really helps for later reference purposes if you kindly retain the original subject heading. (This is because this heading in one of the main ways in which we can recall any given dialogue and exchange around that topic, a process of recall which we believe is extremely important to the extent to which this collective intellectual patrimony is available to be mined for subsequent uses. Likewise, if you note that the subject heading is preceded by a FWD: or Re: in any given case, it's a good idea to delete this so that your message will enter into the correct repertory.)
No more than three lines please, all in. Once you have introduced yourself to the group on joining, we all know who you are and don't need all that garble about when, where and why. Screen space and time are scarce commodities, so let's keep an eye on this small courtesy.
It is a real courtesy if you avoid background colors, large fonts or funky signatures when writing the groups.
Certainly no more than two or three per week please. In exceptional cases let's get together and figure out a strategy (since there are other options including our several "cafés".) Thank you.
Just like our grandmothers told us. Do not mock others, do not allow your anger to show, do not make ad hominem or personal remarks, do not pontificate and don't be a wise guy. Remember half the people here are smarter and know more about the subject than you (or I) do. Many of them have been at this for years and have made important contributions, They are not newbies by any stretch of the imagination, so be careful when you think you may be telling them something they have not already thought of. The odds are they have. So a bit of modesty and, as we say over here, 'retenue' will make your grandmother proud (always a good objective).
To conclude: I think it's not a bad assumption to hold in mind that at least half the people here are smarter than you are and smarter than me) and know more about the subject. Such a collection of wonderful concerned citizens and colleagues deserve a little time and attention. And hey! they will do the same for you.
At this point, after more than a decade of exchanges among our world wide colleagues we now have more than ten thousand past communications stored in these sites, a valuable resource if you are trying to get up to speed on all these international reactions and goings on. How to use it? Well, try this
With the advanced Message Search functionality, finding a particular message is not only easier, but much faster. We've updated this by integrating powerful Yahoo! Search algorithms - this results in an accelerated search experience for you. Message Search now comprehensively screens the entire message archive of a group, no matter how many messages have been posted.
What's more, new Message Search includes an "Advanced" search feature. This feature allows you to drill down on a number of fields to make it easier to find that lost message. You can use the options on this page to create a very specific search -- simply refine message search in your group by:
For better or worse, this is a "monitored" list. We do this, not because we like it, and certainly not because we enjoy playing that role, but in order to protect our subscribers and work partners from various forms of abuse and e-overload. On the one hand, we provide an additional screen to help protect from various forms of spam that occasionally manage to get through the generally pretty good YahooGroups controls. And in addition, we occasionally find ourselves constrained to reject letters that have been penned perhaps a bit too aggressively for our taste, or simply send out a reminder in instances in which someone has either sent to the group a communication that would be better routed to a specific individual, or loaded down his note with unnecessary encumbering copied material. Every once in a while we may unintentionally strike a nerve, but by and large this seems to work so we'll keep on doing it.
We have been using YahooGroups for more than a decade as the supporting platform for this central communications and information storage function. We chose to do this because we felt they provided useful functionality in support of our independent cooperative program, and because it was free (bearing in mind that we carry out all these programs under The Commons and the New Mobility Agenda without any form of external financial support... so money is scarce). The only shortcoming of this arrangement is the publicity messages and the need to sign in, but this has been judged by most of our colleagues as a bearable inconvenience under the circumstances.
On the other hand, you may have some better ideas for us. We know we can do better and want to hear from you. So if you have leads, free storage space or funds, don't be shy.
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