Section 2 - 'Netiquette' Advice
Newcomers to electronic communication need to learn a whole new set of rules, known as netiquette (net etiquette). Most Internet service providers will provide you with files containing all sorts of good netiquette tips; take advantage of them. Here is a brief summary of some of the more important ones:
2.1 Newcomer advice
If you're new to the UKMason-list, please consider introducing yourself to us! Give us a few details, such as where you live, Lodge, rank, side degrees etc - no more than four lines however!
Feel free to let us know that its your first post...You will find that a lot of people want to say Hi and greet you well.
If you want to see if any of your friends are on the UKMason-list, you can get the information by emailing the name to a JLA who is able to search the complete list of subscribers and will be delighted to help. However, an introductory posting will alert any of your friends who are already UKMason-List subscribers and they will no doubt contact you!
If you're trying to decide whether to send a post to UKMason-list, keep in mind that you will be addressing a LOT of people! There will be well over 1000 (see section 1.8 for more details) who will get your message instantly, and many more who may get your e-mail forwarded.
Also, beware that anything you send to the UKMason-list may be reprinted in a lodge bulletins (see section 1.9)
If you were to speak at the Festive Board in front of that many people, you would take time to prepare and you would be very careful in what you say.
Please have the same respect for this electronic audience ALWAYS ASK yourself the question Is it relevant for this message to be posted to the entire List or is a private posting more appropriate
2.3 Subject matter
Please, PLEASE post only relevant material to the UKMason-list. If you heard a good computer joke, or have hot news about the latest Internet virus, or information about a dying child who is collecting business cards, resist the temptation to send it to UKMason-list...many of us have heard it before.
All members of the List are required to have an Antivirus Programme installed on their computer and it must be kept right up to date. No Member shall post Virus warnings to the List. Only the Antivirus JLA, the JLA and specially appointed professional brothers may post virus information to the Members List. If you haven't got, or cant afford a virus programme, go to www.grisoft.com and obtain a free copy of AVG or there is a good open source AV program with a live update atwww.clamwin.com
2.4 Subject Line
Please ALWAYS use a SUBJECT in your e-mail and prefix the Subject line with the [TOPIC]: most appropriate to your subject. If you're replying to another message, your subject should say Re: followed by the subject line of the original message (this is probably automatic, depending on your Internet Service Provider) Be sure that the sender used a proper Topic: !!!
It is considered rude to have a blank subject line, or an unrelated one. Please be considerate and make the effort to have an accurate subject line -- many readers choose which messages to read based on their subject lines. More important, the server archives all messages based on the Subject Line.
2.5 Page width
Your message should be under 80 characters wide, PREFERABLY 72 characters, with hard carriage-returns at the end of each line. There are many different computer systems that people use, and this is the only way to keep everyone happy
2.6 Use spaces only
Try to avoid the use of control characters in your e-mail... not even tabs!
Different systems interpret these differently. UKMason-list readers are using Macs, PCs, Unix workstations, stone tablets, etc; What may look nice and clean to you may look garbled to others when you send it out. The only safe thing to use is the plain old space bar
For your convenience, you'll find it useful to use a mono-spaced font (where the width of each character is the same), such as courier, when viewing e-mail. When composing e-mail, especially when trying to line up columns of information, you really MUST use a mono-spaced font. Otherwise everything will look very crooked to the rest of us!
2.8 Quoted text
Since there are often several subject threads going on at once, it is good practice to include a SMALL portion of the message you're replying to.
A reply such as I agree or Me, too! is often meaningless, since we don't know which message you're responding to. Usually you do not need to include the entire message; JUST A FEW LINES - a copy and paste is usually sufficient.
The convention is to offset the quoted text by inserting > or another character before each line. This is inserted automatically in most e-mail applications
Many people have a signature file (or sig) at the bottom of their message. This is very helpful, since the person reading the message doesn't need to scroll back up to the top to see who wrote it. Don't just put your first name, we have many Jimmies, Peters etc; on the List
If you create a sig. file keep it short-general netiquette says that a sig should be FOUR lines or less. If you don't use a sig, please at least type in your name and e-mail address at the end of your message. The most informative signature will contain the following information:-
Lodge name and number
Town (or province) and Grand Lodge if not UGLE
Quotes and witticisms are OK as long as they do not take up too much space - and are not the only thing which you write! :-(((
Please be careful in your replies...a common mistake is to send a personal reply back to the entire list. Please check your To: and Cc: lines before sending the message. You may also want to set the Listserv default option to send your replies back to the sender only, and not to the entire list (see section 1.6a)
Also, you can irritate other readers by posting UKMason-list replies that contain only a word or two, such as Amen! or Yes, I agree. If you cant add something substantial to the discussion, then please Reply Privately -better still, not at all!
2.11 Test messages
Please DO NOT send test messages to the entire list! Wait until you have something useful to add, then you can test your post (And keep in mind, you wont get a copy of your own message by default...see 1.6c)
Ever since computers have been able to use lowercase letters, the use of uppercase letters has been reserved for special emphasis. If you use all capitals, people will think you're SHOUTING!!
2.13 Length of message
In an electronic medium, your writing is always vulnerable to the readers delete key. If your message gets too long, not many will wade through it in its entirety. Keep it short! **The list is set to 150 lines maximum message size**, exceed this and your message will be rejected!
2.14 Read before you post
When you join a new Internet newsgroup or mailing list, its always a good practice to refrain from posting or sending messages for a couple weeks, or at LEAST for a week. That way, you can start to get a feeling for where the discussions are going before jumping in. Use the time to become really familiar with the FAQ
2.15 Sending an attached file
Please do NOT send an attached file to the UKMason-list! It might look fine to other members of your particular on-line service and/or other users of your particular brand of computer, but it can get totally garbled on its way to the rest of us. More importantly, mails accounts default to 800k and large graphic files can be into gigs. Please send privately as to post a large attachment to the list means our server has to send it out about 1200 times - using up allowances and bandwidth.
In a similar way, if you have a huge text file that you think might be interesting to others, say that you have the file and that it is available on request privately.
DO NOT POST LARGE FILES DIRECTLY TO THE LIST, AND DO NOT SEND ATTACHMENTS TO THE LIST
2.16 Glossary of net abbreviations
Do remember that, although you might have your tongue in your cheek when you post a statement, the rest of us will not have the benefit of your smile or your intonation. Many an innocent quip has led to irate flaming (thats when smileys noted below can prevent misunderstanding most of the time Heres a quick glossary of the most-often-used Internet abbreviations and emoticons:
|BTW||by the way|
|OTOH||on the other hand|
|LOL||laughing out loud|
|IMHO||in my humble opinion|
|S & F||Sincerely & Fraternally|
|P&N||Pint & Natter|
|ROTFL||Rolling on the floor laughing|
|PAW||Pint after Work|
You will occasionally see Merkins.......Americans and Strines.......Australians
Chris White. PAGPurs. Senior List Administrator and Owner UKMASON-LIST Lodge Boadicea 3147 Essex, Internet Lodge 9659. East Lancs. UGLE.
Ted Sanderson, Junior list Administrator, P.M, PPDGReg Yorkshire, West Riding
Alan Otton. Junior List Administrator. P.M, PPAGDC, St George's Lodge 1958 & Prytaneion Lodge 9340, Hampshire & Isle of Wight, UGLE.
Section 1 - The Mailing List
1.1 What is the UKMason-list?
The UKMason-list is a Google Group that relays messages to a moderated (regulated) list of subscribers who are interested in extending and sharing their knowledge of freemasonry and who wish to use the medium of the internet to widen their circle of Masonic friends. The list began in 1995 after extended e-mail discussions between Gordon Charlton and Chris White. As at March 2016 there were around 1300 subscribers.
1.2 How do I subscribe to the UKMason-list?
Go to the following URL ukmason.org.uk and complete the application form with all of the details, properly, as asked for.
1.3 PERSONALISING YOUR SETTINGS.
Once you are a member of the UKMason-list google group you will be able to personalise your settings there.
1.4 How do I send a message (post) to the entire mailing list?
WARNING: You really need to read section 2 of this FAQ before you send e-mail to the entire list. If you don't, you may be unaware of some of the netiquette conventions
Note that your acceptance onto this list is not an automatic process It relies on a real person reading your message and being available to add you to the list. In most circumstances the process will be complete in 24 hours; however, if that person is exceptionally busy or away your enrolment could take up to a couple of weeks.
PLEASE, don't panic and resend your subscription straight away. If you have not heard after a few days contact one of the list administrators
1.4a What do I do if my message doesn't appear on the list?
If you send e-mail to the list and it doesn't appear straight away dont panic-There could be any number of reasons why your mail did not get straight through. Mostly messages will appear within a few hours of posting however, it has been known for them to take a day or two if there is a problem with one or more of the internet gateways
DO NOT RESEND YOUR MESSAGE!!
If you really think that maybe your message didn't get through, then please go to your Sent box, pull up you're your posting and examine the Header of the message 98% of failures occur here. The JLA receives all of these messages from the Server, so be very careful he's a nasty ruffian!
1.5 HELP! I'm getting too much e-mail!! How can I handle it?
The UKMason-list can often carry 50+ messages per DAY, which can be overwhelming. Before you go and unsubscribe though, you should know about some other options available to you.
To set yourself nomail / digest . visit the google group page.
1.5b Alternative e-mail addresses
You may also be able to establish an e-mail account just for receiving UKMason-list, thus freeing up your normal account for regular mail. Many commercial services, allow you to have multiple e-mail addresses for each account for no additional charge. Ask your service provider if you are not sure whether this option is available or not
1.5c Mail Filter
You may have internet software that will enable you to use a mail filter.
You can set it up so that any message containing the string ukmason-list gets siphoned off to a file, rather than going to your main mailbox then you can read this file whenever you have time All messages will have [UKMason-list] at the front of the subject line.
1.5e Complaints against Listings:
if you consider a listing is inappropriate for whatever reason, please adopt the following procedure:
Report the fact that you feel the posting is inappropriate and why to Alan Otton for evaluation. DO NOT air complaints directly to the list. These are to kept private.
The JLA will either:
a) Inform you that he has looked at the article concerned and in his opinion, it is OK for it to remain an active topic.
b) Decide that there is cause enough to cancel the topic thread and will notify this to the whole list with his reasons for so doing.
Important Notes to the above:
1 - In this, the JLAs decision is binding.
3 - Emails concerning complaints are NOT to be posted and must be sent directly to the JLA.
4 - Postings must not contain anything untoward and must also not go against the customs and practice of the UGLE and GLs in amity with it. This means practice out of the Lodge those things you are taught in it. Of course, Light-hearted banter and the odd joke such as one would encounter at a festive board is OK but at all times, Please Be Nice To Each Other!
5 - Just because a topic is declared fit for the list by a JLA, that is not irreversible if the topic deteriorates below expected standards.
6 - Emails to the JLAs must not be posted direct to the List.
7 - Don't be surprised if, in the case of a serious breach of the rules, your account is immediately set to 'nomail' or at worst, deleted from the list altogether.
1.6 Receiving Topics
You can decide which topics you want to receive and which you prefer not to have sent to you.
1.7 Are there other freemasonry related newsgroups?
Yes....If you are reading this, you have access to the www and can use search engines such as Google to find Masonic sites and lists. Frequently you will find references to these in members postings to the List, and you can always ask for information, the brothers are always most helpful on all matters of enquiries.
1.8 Who reads the UKMason-List
A reasonable guess is that three quarters of the list are members of the Home Grand Lodges, i.e. about 750. Of those remaining it has been estimated that somewhere between a third and a half are UK citizens living abroad, or overseas members of one of the Home Grand Lodges
1.9 Can we reprint UKMason-list articles in our lodge newsletter?
Whether or not you can reprint articles you see on the Internet without asking permission is a matter of current debate in many newsgroups. On the UKMason-list mailing list, however, it is generally agreed that anything we write is fair game for publication in a non-profit making lodge newsletter, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the posting.
If you do reprint an article, or part of an article, please give credit to its author, and to the UKMason-list. Not doing so is plagiarism.
Also, as a courtesy to the author, you really should send him e-mail to let him know that his article will be appearing in your publication.
If you are publishing something other than a non-profit bulletin, then you should work out some arrangement with the author.
If you are writing an article for the UKMason-list and do NOT want it to be used freely in Lodge newsletters, then you must state this explicitly in your posting. (Otherwise, it will be ASSUMED that it is reprintable.)
You could have a disclaimer like this: For electronic distribution through the UKMason-list ONLY. Reprinting PROHIBITED without express permission of the author.
1.10 Reposting private e-mail (please don't do it)
Private email is just that-PRIVATE. When someone is writing to you alone, their comments are private between you and them. You should NEVER, EVER repost their private email in a public forum without their permission.
Doing so is like secretly tape-recording a telephone conversation, and then walking up to the podium in a crowded convention hall and replaying their conversation over the loudspeakers for all to hear. People have different tones when talking/e-mailing to one person than they do when addressing 200 people, and rightly so Please respect this
1.11 Who are the list administrators?
The following people can intercede on your behalf to help you solve problems with your UKMason-list subscription (or they will find a man who can!)
W. Bro Chris White admin at ukmason.org.ukt - the Senior List Administrator, who is charged with the well-being of the listserv and computers. If you have a technical problem, he's your man.
W. Bro Duncan Heritage duncan.heritage at gmail.com , and
W.Bro Alan Otton alan at otton.co
- the Junior list Administrators will be keeping the list under control. Beware their wrath... Do read the FAQ & do use the most appropriate Subject of your posting
As a courtesy to these guys, please do everything you can on your own to solve your problem before asking them to help. (Start by reading the UKMason-list FAQ!) However, there are times when the only solution is to ask them to help, such as when you need to CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS :
Send a private posting to Alan Otton and in the body of the message, state your old address, followed by your new address and full name, stating when you wish it to be changed. Please be timely in this matter!
What is the UKMason-List?
UKMASON-LIST is the foremost Internet Mailing List and Google Group for all United Kingdom Masons and interested overseas Brethren recognised by UGLE. It is a closed (non-tyled) list.
UKMASON-LIST is intended to complement existing services, not to compete with them. The primary intent of the list is to permit the discussion of purely parochial matters within the United Kingdom, the majority of which would be of very little interest to overseas based Brethren.
Matters of global interest are best dealt with in international groups. UKMASON-LIST is not set up as an international group, neither do we intend it to become such. Although there may be a desire for a closed international mailing list we are not qualified to run such a group (the complexities of remembering who recognises whom at any given time are, IOHO, prohibitive).
UKMASON-LIST has been given global publicity for two reasons, firstly to contact UK based masons, and make them aware of our existance, and secondly as a service to overseas Brethren who may be considering visiting the UK and want to post a message along the lines of "Are there any online Brethren in Nether Wallop?" without increasing the noise level of the international mailing lists and newsgroups.
The closed status of this list is a convenience to keep the noise level down, not to permit discussion of ritual matters, and to discourage subscribers who would have little real interest in the postings made to the group.
This section deals with the FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions. However, this has evolved over time to become a mini instruction manual.
As with all Usenet newsgroups and mailing lists, it is considered proper “netiquette” for you to carefully read the FAQ files before posting anything to the list.
There are Do‘s and Don‘ts” some of which are specific to this list and some which are generic throughout the internet as well as the rules and guidelines which MUST be followed by members.
Nettiquette - is the etiquette or courtesies that are usually given and expected when posting to the internet in general and this list in particular.
Remember that people‘s opinions of YOU, of the List and of UK Masonry in general are formed from what YOU post. The list owner and administrators will monitor the content on a daily basis.
Click a Link...
Dear Sir and Brother,
The "UKMASON-LIST" is a closed list for the discussion of matters relating to Freemasonry in the UK by Freemasons. It is anticipated that most subscribers will be Masons in the UK but also that members of overseas Grand Lodges may also have an interest in Freemasonry in the UK.
The "UK Mason List" also provides an opportunity for Brethren visiting the UK to make contact with UK Brethren and vice versa.
Behaviour on the list must be Masonic at all times.
Please provide the following details: