posting to SPALS

Please think carefully about what you send to SPALS

Some additional representative comments we have received, and related tips:

<< I've noticed since returning to the list that people seem to be posting more off topic material, including chain letters, humour, articles, and sometimes very long attachments. This can be very tough to deal with, especially for those of us who receive the digest -- because you have to scroll through the whole thing to get to the next message. >>

Articles, inclusive humour and the occasional off topic post are all a valuable part of SPALS -- although it is a good idea to identify these clearly in the subject of your post.

However, our SPALS Guidelines do ask people not to post chain letters to SPALS. Many members are stressed by chain letters, particularly ones that say certain things will happen if you don't forward the letter.

Some chain letters are not so obvious. Many virus "hoaxes" and well-intentioned but poorly-structured petitions are circulating in the Internet -- and these exploit the innocent good will of people who want to help others. Our SPALS Guidelines ask people not to send petitions or surveys of any kind, without prior consultation with Sara or Michael.

If you are concerned about a virus and think we should know about it, please check out under "virus hoaxes" before posting. And feel free to consult with Michael before posting -- he can check out the information to be sure the warning is necessary.

<< I've noticed a lot of people are sending out their posts in weird formats (I believe some are in HTML). Some other posts come ending with weird signs that go on forever and ever and actually fill up an entire digest. >>

Those who send email with formatting should be aware that not all SPALS members have email readers that can read the formatting. This is also true of certain enclosures. The formatting codes can make a message unreadable. Most SPALS Digest readers also have trouble reading formatted messages. And when these messages are quoted in a reply -- it compounds the problem!

<< Do you know why when many of us post to SPALS, our sent post is repeated right after the initial post, but mixed in are codes and symbols and extra letters? It is weird and takes up so much extra space. >>

This can be due to formatted posts -- as noted above -- and also posts that quote lengthy messages.

If you are forwarding or replying to posts, taking time to edit unnecessary quoted information from your post is an important courtesy and will save time (and possibly money) for your fellow members. A couple of SPALS Guidelines are worthy of repeating:

- Wherever possible, please avoid including another person's entire post in your reply. Quote only the appropriate part(s). In other words, delete *all* of the previous post except the part to which you are responding.

- If you are forwarding poetry or material you have received in the mail from others, please remove *all* the previous headers and copies of the message.