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.