Eastern European Adoption Coalition (EEAC)

INTRODUCTION TO THE EEAC MAILING LISTS AND NETIQUETTE GUIDELINES

The Eastern European Adoption Coalition (EEAC) mailing lists have been created to provide a virtual community for people who are interested in adopting or have adopted children from Eastern European countries. Others who are sympathetic to the problems and issues that these families are facing are also welcome.

The set of guidelines presented below is by no means exhaustive, but it does represent several years' worth of list administration. We expect subscribers of any of the EEAC lists to abide by these netiquette guidelines, which serve to guide our communities.

Your EEAC Board and list management team, Cynthia Teeters, Ed Hamlin, Beth Waggenspack and Clark Pickett, wishes to emphasize the issue of courtesy to others in preparing and sending your postings. We urge you to print and keep this for future reference and to consider these netiquette guidelines in every message you post to our lists.

LIST OWNERSHIP

Our mailing lists are PRIVATELY OWNED by the EEAC Board. The listowners reserve the right to establish or change membership requirements and to regulate behavior of subscribers to ensure smooth operation and civil exchange of information and opinions. Deliberate or persistently negligent misuse of a list by a list member (or someone using that person's subscription) may result in suspension of posting privileges or permanent expulsion from that list. If you believe that you have been treated unfairly or are having trouble with someone else on any of our lists, you can reach all the administrators by sending an e-mail message to internet@eeadopt.org.

SOLICITATIONS TO THE MAILING LISTS

Solicitations of any kind are not permitted unless approved by the EEAC Board. Solicitiations include (but are not limited to) product advertisements, notifications or descriptions of waiting children, agency advertisements (including price structure), solicitations to join a group or attend a meeting, or entreaties for funds or goods. It does not matter whether or not you are profiting from the solicitation.

If you do have a solicitation you would like to post, you must first request permission to post from the EEAC Board. Please send your request to internet@eeadopt.org. If permission is granted, you will be provided a statement that must accompany that posting, so that other subscribers understand that you have been granted permission, but that EEAC permission does not constitute an endorsement.

If you are unsure whether or not your message is a solicitation, please check with us at internet@eeadopt.org

HOW TO REPLY TO A POSTED MESSAGE

When you receive a message from the list, the author/sender/etc. is the mailer for the individual message or digest, NOT the person that submitted the message to the mailing list.

Please review the sample below. First note the "Reply-To:" line. If you use any of your e-mail software's "Reply to" options, you will send your message to everyone on the mailing list (because in effect, the "Reply to" is the "mailer." ) If you intend the message to go to just the original poster, you will find her/his e-mail address in the "From" line.

Reply-To: PostRL@EEADOPT.ORG
Sender: An EEAC List 
From: AdoptingRussia@abc.def
Subject: We accepted a referral!

This affects you when you intend to answer only to the original poster (Dear So-And-So postings). Unfortunately, hitting "Reply to" in these cases sends your message to the entire subscription list, not to only the person for whom it was intended.

For a message that is personal, that is, directed at one person, you should create a NEW message and send it to the address in the "From" line. This netiquette guideline applies to all messages that have a salutation starting with a person's name (Hi Beth, Beth, Dear Beth, etc.) If you want to reply to the whole list about something an individual posted because you feel that it is relevant to everyone, then you should create a new message that has a brief cut-and-paste from the previous message (Beth said. . . . ).

If you need assistance in knowing how to address personal messages, please seek help from us (help@eeadopt.org), or from a friend who knows how to post.

LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF QUOTED MATERIAL

We realize that many times you are responding to previous messages. It is helpful in understanding your response if you quote a brief part of the original message. However, it is unnecessary and aggravating to many to have to reread the entire original message.

If you don't already know how, please learn to use the Copy, Cut and Paste tools.

If you insist on using a "Reply to" option, scroll through the original message and delete all material that is not relevant to your response, including the Instructions banner (the header/footer information about signoff, etc.), which is included on each message. You can insert your comments immediately following the relevant portions of the original message. If you prepare your response as a "New Message", you can copy the portions you want to address from the original message and paste them into your message.

Please, do not repost anything from the list without prior permission from the primary listowner (Cynthia@eeadopt.org) and the original poster. The same rule should be applied to private correspondence from one the list member to another; you should not send that person's private posting to you on to anyone else. While the Internet is not secure and private access is difficult to maintain, we ask you to use common courtesy (and common sense) guidelines; when something is sent privately, assume that it is meant to be kept as such.

MAKE YOUR SUBJECT LINE RELEVANT

We ask you to write a Subject line that announces the message content. Many list members prefer not read every single individual or digest message they receive, so they scan the Subject lines looking for messages in which they are interested. When they see a Subject line that says "Re: A-PARENT-RUSS Digest - Special Issue", they have no way to tell what your message is about. Subject lines like this are the result of using a "Reply to" option (see Guideline above). If you have used this option, change the Subject line to fit your content. If you are preparing a new message, you have control over what you enter in the Subject line. Please use the same guideline.

CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE

As noted in our introduction, we consider the people on our mailing lists to be part of a far-flung community brought together through the Internet. We have subscribers in nearly every part of the world. With that in mind, we ask that you remember in any community, differing values and perspectives may coexist on a relatively peaceful plane, but you have to work at that peaceful coexistence. Presumably, everyone on our lists is there because of some involvement with Eastern European adoption, and that means that they must share some values to begin with. However, with any group of people, sometimes misunderstandings or disagreements can occur.

Every time you submit a message to any of our lists, you are sending it to an audience of hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Every one has the capability not only to read your message, but to forward it to any number of other people.

Language, tone and style are difficult to interpret over the Internet. While you may think you are being clever, someone else may take your words to be an insult. Please state your ideas simply and clearly, rather than in an abstract fashion. Always consider your audience and your goals as you compose your message: Are you trying to pass on information? Are you attempting to gather information? Are you seeking advice or a virtual "shoulder to lean on?" Quite often, unnecessary confusion or difficulties occur because of a "simple" misunderstanding of the tone being used. A check of your language, spelling, and grammar before you post might point up ideas that could be put in a clearer fashion.

Please don't include in your message anything you don't want repeated. We are aware of situations where agencies that monitor a list have copied list members' postings and/or threatened the subscribers from posting. Hopefully, most of us have cordial and cooperative relationships with our agencies. However, this is not always the case.

Please carefully consider what you are writing. You are not sitting across the table from one person, or talking on the phone. You are addressing a community full of people. Compose your messages on that basis.

SENDING OR RECEIVING ABUSIVE MESSAGES

The EEAC Board created the lists to be instruments of support for adoptive parents. We firmly believe that any kind of abusive correspondence, whether publicly posted or sent privately, goes against the spirit with which we created the lists and that we strive to maintain - a SAFE place for people to be COMFORTABLE to exchange their thoughts and feelings and concerns with others sharing a common bond.

We have decided to take affirmative steps to prevent this abuse.

Here's the scenario to which we are referring: one list member sends offensive, abusive, or unsolicited commercial correspondence to another list member, either posted publicly or sent privately. The recipient has then indicated that they do not desire to receive this type of correspondence. The sender persists in sending it despite being asked to stop.

Of course, "flaming" (or acting in an uncivil fashion) is NEVER an appropriate mode of communication, either on a public list or in a private message. We cannot regulate what people say to each other privately, but we can and will work with subscribers who have been abused on a list or privately by others on our lists. Flaming might include (but not be limited to) name calling, derision of others' ideas or messages, questioning administrator's actions, and the like. Should the administrators believe that a message sent to the list is a flame, the originator will immediately be removed from posting until the situation has been resolved.

In the case of private e-mails from another subscriber based upon something posted on one of our lists, our role is a bit different. If you believe you have been the recipient of that type of abuse, please save ALL of the correspondence and forward it to: . We will investigate and act appropriately.

Please recognize that everyone has a different skin thickness, and some are a LOT thicker skinned - what seems abusive to one person may just be assertive to someone else.

If you feel that you have been abused by another member of the EEAC community, then we are here to help you. We don't want to offend you, nor to discourage you from posting messages. We do, however, want to continue to keep our lists as the best and most useful tools that they can be. In any community, someone needs to maintain a sense of order and direction, and the administrators (all volunteers, all adoptive parents) who have created these lists, along with other adoptive parents who have volunteered to help us, try to remain fair and objective.

We are deeply disappointed that this step has become necessary, but we recognize that realistically, in any community of 3,000 people, there are bound to be a small percentage of abusers.

RE-READ YOUR MESSAGE BEFORE YOU SEND IT

By re-reading your message before you send it, you will avoid many of the problems addressed by the guidelines discussed above.

First, check the Subject line. Is it relevant to the subject in your message?

Second, consider again whether you want to send this message to hundreds of people or to only one person.

Third, read the body of your message. Does it make sense? Does it say what you want it to? Check your spelling and punctuation. While there are probably a few teachers out there who would like to grade your message, they aren't really going to. It should look at least comparable to anything you would submit to a newspaper or magazine as a letter to the editor. If your e-mail program has spell check, consider using it. A properly spelled message is one which receives more appropriate attention.

Fourth, make sure you are sending the message you wish to send. Does the tone convey the content in the way you want? Have you considered the vast, diverse, multinational audience which subscribes to this list?

Finally, scroll through the entire message. If you do this, it should be obvious where you have quoted entire digests or messages that you didn't intend to. You can use this as an opportunity to delete everything that is not relevant.

FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE

** Don't post administrative requests (signoff, change list modes, change email addresses) - instead send the question to help@eeadopt.org or internet@eeaodpt.org. Especially don't post signoff (unsubscribing) requests to the list -- you will be prohibited from ever resubscribing.

** Please limit your signature to * 5 * lines or less. Don't include business titles or similar information unless it is relevant to the list theme of adoption. Avoid repetitively posting a lengthy list of the sequence of events and dates in the progress of your adoption.

** Stick to the list theme of Eastern European adoption! Avoid off-topic postings and especially don't republish Internet jokes, poems, rumors, chain letters, or similar messages. Most likely, people have seen them all before.

** Don't post virus alerts or similar messages. In the unlikely event that there is a genuine computer virus threat that needs to be disseminated to list members, one of the list administrators will post it.

** Don't post attachments or encoded messages. Many people's software is not automatically set up to receive them. If you don't know how to remove the encoding from your e-mail program, please send an otherwise blank e-mail message to encode@eeadopt.org, and you will receive our basic instructions.

** Keep your content in good taste. Remember that what may be funny or interesting to one person may be extremely offensive to another.

** Tolerate the viewpoints of others -- try to learn something from what they have to say, and realize how boring life would be if everyone sat around saying "I agree! I agree!"

** Try not to be offended by what others may post -- most of the time, the person did not intend to cause offense. (And, if they did intend to be offensive, let the listowners take care of the problem.) Feel free to write directly to that poster, but don't carry out your crusade to the whole list.

** Don't post to the list asking if the list is working, or why you're not receiving messages from the list. (Think about why this is pretty silly...) Post any administrative requests to the listowners.

** Avoid posting copyrighted material unless the copyright owner has given permission. (And remember that the list may not be redistributed in any form without prior permission from the listowner!)


Because of the amount of traffic that we generate, we have had to institute some limits to allow all who want the chance to participate the opportunity to do so. We have programmed our listservers to reject messages that are too long or exceed the allowed number each subscriber may send per day.

Welcome to our EEAC virtual community. You will be making some close friends with whom you will laugh, cry, complain, worry, and hope. You will shake your head at some of the issues that others must go through. You will develop your own picture of people that you will likely never meet. Such are the possibilities of the Internet. We welcome your input, your joys and sorrows, and your successes and setbacks. We hope that you find our lists to be a place of information sharing, friendship making, and community building.

EEAC CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact any of us at internet@eeadopt.org or individually at:

Cynthia Teeters--Webmaster, EEAC Website, and Owner, EEAC Mailing Lists Cynthia@eeadopt.org

Clark Pickett--Co-Administrator, EEAC Website and Mailing Lists Clark@eeadopt.org

Ed Hamlin--Co-Administrator, EEAC Website and Mailing Lists Ed@eeadopt.org

Beth Waggenspack--Co-Administrator, EEAC Website and Mailing Lists Beth@eeadopt.org


Last updated 99/12/17
© EEAC 1999.
Copied with permission.