[H O M E]
[Forever FOB]

Blackcat List Netiquette

This document was originally authored by Josh Himmelsbach, later expanded by bluestraveler.net, and most recently voted upon by the members of the blackcat mailing list community. It is not meant to be preachy or know-it-all, nor comprehensive and all-powerful. But especially for those who are relatively new to our family, this might help them learn the netiquette and save people some aggravation. If you have any questions, please contact the administrator of the blackcat list at blackcat-admin@nospam.theclerk.com (remove the "no spam" part before mailing).

The following rules are are in place to protect the integrity of the list and will be up for immediate suspension:

  • Posting private messages publically and intentionally
  • Impersonating another listmember (either by spoofing an address, signing with someone else's name, etc.)
  • Any attempt to undermine the actual workings of the list (hacking, viruses, etc.)
  • Offering to sell recordings, illegal software, etc.

The following item(s) that were voted upon by the members of the blackcat mailing list are up for moderation and eventual suspension from posting:

  • Repeated flaming/trolling/baiting and/or contribution to such discussion. This will be moderated with a with a three-step process. After the first offense, the guilty party will receive a reminder of the netiquette rules by email. After the second offense, they will receive a notice stating if the problem persists, they will lose their posting privileges. If it does happen a third time, the offending party will lose their posting privileges for seven days.

The following items keep the list running smoothly:

  • In general, remember that some people won't have the same setup as you do, so their systems might not be able to handle things that yours pays no attention to. So the fewer bells and whistles in a post, the better.
  • Try to avoid sending overly formatted messages (i.e. lots of web links in them, underlined/boldface text, small/large fonts, etc). For those with only text-based email, it causes lots of ugly garble which makes it tough to read the actual content. For those with slow computers, they usually take an annoyingly long time to open. If you are using an email client that supports Rich Text or HTML [like Outlook], turn off this encoding before posting to the list. In Outlook, you can do this by going to the "Format" menu of the message and setting it to "Plain Text". For information on more clients, see the excellent FAQ at etree.org.
  • On the same note, do not send attachments to the list. They are generally large-ish files which for some take a long time to download - and remember some people are paying by the hour for net access. Also, some email systems can't handle certain attachments and they show up as pages and pages of garble at the end of a message, or worse, they crash some people's email programs. If you have an attachment that might be of general interest (like a cool BT picture) either have folks who want it contact you individually to send it to them, or post it on a website somewhere and give the URL to the list.
  • Don't send chain mail / forwards / email "totems". They are generally long and pointless, even if they are cute and/or funny, and are the pinnacle of "No BTC". Besides, chances are a lot of people on the list, will have gotten it already.
  • No virus warnings unless verified personally. Unless you get a virus warning directly from your IS group or person at work, do not forward it to the list. 95% of these are hoaxes. For more information on determining if a forward regarding a virus is true or not, visit the Virus Information Library at McAfee.com or a similar site.

Other things to remember:

  • If you absolutely MUST post something not related to BT to the list, do everyone a favor and put "No BTC" as part of your subject line. Some people run filtering programs to automatically delete messages with this in the subject line. For more information on filters, listmember Ed Blount has assembled a filters primer (in doc format). If you have something to add to this list, let us know! Excessive non-BT posts may result in your posts being moderated.
  • When responding to a post, try to remember to reply only to the list address, so that multiple copies aren't being sent out to people. If someone cross-posts messages [which shouldn't be done, as it generates huge amounts of traffic], take care to respond only to the lists you're on.
  • When a thread gets long, you don't have to include every message in the thread in your reply. Try to trim your quoted reply to only enough material that people know what topic you are referring to, and specifically what points you are addressing. It is quite tedious to scroll down through three pages of quoted previous messages only to get to a 2-line comment at the bottom. Also, trimming replied quotes cuts down on message size (thus download time -- see above). This is especially applicable to subscribers in digest format.
  • Read all the new messages before you start replying to them. Often times one may have a point to make upon reading an email, and send it along without realizing that someone else has already made that exact point in a post one hasn't read yet.