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Discussion List Rules and Guidelines

The lists supported and maintained by Reliable volunteers are done so with their time and dedication focused on providing the most healthy environment possible. The following rules and guidelines form the basis of our management methodologies. These guidelines ensure that each and every member of each list has a pleasant experience, and can learn, share and participate freely.

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Strictly Moderated

Rules and Guidelines

[ In many of the links below you will see the text '%groupname%' within the link. Either use the links on the right to auto-magically create the link you're looking for, or replace '%groupname%' with the group to view/affect in order to make these links functional. ]

  1. Make every effort to keep the list on topic. "Near-topic" posts may or may not be tolerated depending on the specific list. Off-topic posts are simply not acceptable. The discussion topic for each list is featured on the group homepage, and may also be included in the Reliable List page.
  2. Vulgar and/or disrespectful posts, or spam will cause you (and potentially your entire domain) to be banned from every list currently moderated and all other lists we may ever moderate.
  3. Always include a descriptive and appropriate subject line such as "Connecting to an Access database" or "modify links at the client", and not subject lines such as "Help Me!" or "URGENT!". This ensures that your question will be noticed by the right people with answers and that the information provided in your thread can later be easily found by someone with a similar question. It also helps prevent people from ignoring your post or mis-construing it as spam.
  4. Before posting a question to the list, check and see if it has already been answered. Either browse the recent posts in your mailbox, or visit the list archives. This helps to ensure that the information reaching each members mailbox is new versus redundant.
  5. When posting near-topic messages - those not directly related to the topic at hand but within the general topic or field of study, it is proper netiquette to place "NT:" before your subject line. This allows members to easily recognize and filter near-topic posts.
  6. Again, please do not post off-topic messages. However, if you feel you absolutely must, it is proper netiquette to place "OT:" before your subject line. This allows members to easily recognize and filter off-topic posts. This does not free you from the "no off-topic posts" rule above, however infractions may be treated less critically.
  7. Do not cross-post or multi-post questions to these lists, or post off-topic questions, comments or articles. Repeated instances of off-topic posts, cross-posted and multi-posted messages will result in moderation, removal or ban from the list(s).
  8. Use a reasonable signature. Please do not include a five-hundred word signature with each post or reply - it greatly reduces the signal-to-noise ratio and causes people to spend endless time searching for actual content - that may not even exist. The people with the longest signatures also tend to be the ones that have limited 'quoting' capabilities. If you or your company wish to promote your own product or products, you may do so with minimal text within your signature, but not within the body of the message. Please avoid promotional advertising to the lists, as it can be considered spam no matter how well intentioned you are.
  9. Quote only what is relevant and necessary. Take a moment before you click the [Send] button to review the message to verify that the entire contents of the message contains valuable information and/or enough information for someone to help you. This may take some time to learn, and we all started somewhere. However, there is no excuse for replying to a "daily digest" and sending the entire message back to the group only to say "thank you". Likewise, it makes absolutely no sense to send a message saying only 'help me with my problem with [technology here]' - since nobody could possibly have a clue what problem you are having.
  10. Strictly Moderated = No surprises. If you joined a list marked 'strictly moderated' either in the group description, menu at right, or in the details at /List/, then you should not be surprised if off-topic messages, near-topic messages or messages that do not comply with posting guidelines included in your welcome mail are not approved. They will likewise probably not be 'rejected,' but simply deleted. If you attempted to send a message and it never arrived then chances are your account was removed or banned for something you or someone on your domain did, or your post(s) violated the list posting guidelines. Contact the List Moderator if you feel they are in error, or simply correct your behavior and try again.

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Additional Resources


The owners and moderators of these lists are volunteers, and they perform a daunting job. Though they often volunteer quite a bit of their time, that does not mean they do not have nor are not interested in having lives outside the lists. All the same, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience to help people get the most out of each list.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in please contact 'Lists' and offer to help. Please specify which list you're interested in moderating and why you are interested in volunteering. You'll hear back at our earliest opportunity.

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith

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