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rec.org.sca / Rialto Frequently Asked Questions - part04/04

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Archive-name: sca-faq/part04
Last-modified: 1998-10-24

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                  rec.org.sca and sca@mc.lcs.mit.edu FAQ


                                    or


                 Questions Frequently Asked on the Rialto
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Guide to Posting Style

   Each line of text posted to the Rialto is stored on thousands of
   Usenet machines, and is also processed through the digestifier
   software and mailed out to every recipient of the digest. Many of the
   readers of the Rialto must pay for disk space and connect time.
   Keeping this in mind, here are some common-sense guidelines for polite
   use of the Rialto. These are just suggestions: there are no rules.
   However, following these guidelines would be a courtesy to your fellow
   Rialtans, and to the good and generous institutions whose machines
   support our communication. Many of these suggestions are adapted from
   regular postings on news.announce.newusers, notably "Rules for Posting
   to Usenet," "What is Usenet?", "A Primer on How to Work with the
   Usenet," and "Hints on Writing Style for Usenet." If you have access
   to that newsgroup, please take the opportunity to read these postings.
     * Keep it short. Say what you have to say, but in the fewest words
       possible that make your meaning clear. Brevity that obscures
       meaning is not very useful.
     * Quote only what you must from previous articles.
          + Don't quote someone's entire signature, or blank space.
          + Don't include an entire article in order to append a single
            line of text.
          + Often a paraphrase will be clearer and more succinct than a
            quote.
     * Use white space as necessary for clarity in your posting, and no
       more.
     * Use a signature, but keep it short. People appreciate knowing who
       and where you are (SCA and modern). Include your email address in
       your signature, and enough of your name, titles, location etc. to
       ensure an unambiguous identification. People do not appreciate
       paying phone bills to transmit over-large signatures, and Usenet
       etiquette frowns very strongly on many-line signatures or
       signatures with graphics.
     * Reply by mail, unless your message is going to be of general
       interest. Of course, the Rialto is eclectic enough that a serious
       discussion of almost any relevant topic will interest some people.
       Use your best judgement to balance the level of general interest
       against the cost of posting your message to the Rialto. Postings
       whose content amounts to "you're an idiot" or "I demand you
       apologize for ..." are most emphatically *NOT* welcome.
     * If you have a problem reaching someone by e-mail contact your
       system administrator, write to postmaster at your correspondent's
       node, or ask someone on the net who seems to know a lot about
       e-mail. Please avoid posting a message about it - you are trying
       to send something to someone on ONE system. Posting sends it to
       all the thousands of systems throughout the world that make up the
       Rialto - which is going to cost someone, even if not you, a lot of
       money.
     * Please don't post local event announcements. This is another
       "balance the general interest value against the cost" issue. Local
       event announcements probably will be of interest to only a small
       fraction of the readership of the Rialto. A brief mention of an
       event in a signature, or a 2 or 3 line summary with "email for
       more information" is perfectly in order.
     * Write carefully. People reading your postings can't hear your tone
       of voice or see your expression, and probably don't know you well
       enough to know whether you are serious or joking. Sarcasm is
       guaranteed to be misunderstood by someone. It is better to avoid
       it entirely, or at least clearly mark it with something like
       <SARCASM ON> ...sarcasm... <SARCASM OFF>.
     * LOTS of people read the Rialto, and the newsgroup is completely
       public. Don't post anything you wouldn't want to say in a room
       filled with complete strangers, your boss, your parent's
       relatives, reporters from the National Enquirer, the peerage and
       royalty of your kingdom, etc. They might well be reading. Take the
       time to re-read your posting, and to think whether you *really*
       want to say that.
     * Don't get offended, and don't offend others - most of the people
       reading the Rialto are SCAdians, and would prefer being your
       friend to the alternative. Treat people well and they will
       assuredly respond in kind. If someone appears to be offended by a
       posting of yours, especially if the offense is unintended, the
       best response is to apologize via email. Also, note that "I'm
       sorry you took it that way" is inadequate as an apology -- better
       is "I'm sorry I offended you." The first implicitly shifts the
       blame to the offended person, while the second does not.
     * Use the subject line. If you can describe your topics in the
       subject line of your posting, please do so. Posting with Subject:
       Various is pretty pointless, isn't it? :-) If you are replying to
       a previous posting, and you have shifted the topic, please correct
       the subject line. Some people will make note of the previous
       subject like this: Subject: Two-sword technique (Was Re: Pennsic)
     * Avoid posting binary files. This includes graphic files (.GIF,
       .JPG, .BMP, etc.) as well as most word processor files, and
       especially file attachments. Even if your email system says it
       does MIME encoding, don't count on the recipients of your message
       being able to make sense of anything but a simple ASCII text file.
       This includes binary files that have been encoded with UUEncode,
       or a similar program. Such encoding will allow the files to pass
       through news and mail systems without damage, but take up very
       large amounts of space and network bandwidth. Instead of posting
       these files, better to find a place to put them that is accessible
       via ftp or http (World Wide Web), and post a note to the Rialto
       announcing their availability. This will allow those who are
       interested and have the technology available to make use of your
       file to retrieve it at their convenience, while minimizing the
       inconvenience and expense to everyone else.


                  ---------- End of Rialto FAQ part04 ----------

========================================================================
Thanks to all who have contributed to this article.

This article is a work in progress.  If you have other topics you'd like to
see included, send me email with the question(s) and your suggested
answer(s).  If you have comment on the items included, please send me
(polite) email.

          PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE ON THE RIALTO! ! !

The whole point of this effort is to reduce traffic.  I will summarize
comments sent to me, if it seems necessary.
========================================================================
A special thanks goes out to Robyyan Torr d'Elandris/Dennis R. Sherman
for all the work he has put into this FAQ. Without his work, this would
not exist.
--
Phelim "Pug" Gervase                        Richard "Pug" Bainter
Barony of Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra             Austin, TX
                               pug@pug.net

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