Mailing List Questions

Which list should I post my message to?

If you're not sure which list to post your message to, please check the list rules below, and take a look at the examples at the bottom.  Many common types of postings are listed in the examples.  If you're still unsure, call the Boreal office (387-9471) and ask.  It's better to check first than to send to the wrong list and 1) annoy people who otherwise would have been potential customers and 2) risk being removed from the lists for posting inappropriate content.

The final decision as to whether a message is appropriate for a list will be made at the discretion of the Boreal staff and board.

Please also follow the list guidelines for all messages.

  • members:The members list is to be used ONLY by the management for topics relating to Boreal Access and its operation. Examples are potential down times or interruption of services, modem info, new software or hardware that has been installed.

     

  • news:The news list should be used for:

    • upcoming non-commercial events
    • public announcements
    • items of general community interest
    • requests for rides

    The news list should not be used for:

    • threads, topics for discussion or ongoing discussions - These should be posted to the discussions list.
    • political or personal opinion - Messages containing political or personal opinion are prohibited from the news list. You may announce political events such as rallies but may not include political opinions in these announcements. Please use the discussions list to post political opinions.
    • commercial messages of any kind - This includes public events held at your place of business, job openings (even for non-profit organizations), announcements of business hours or closed dates, messages inviting a response from commercial businesses, or any other item related to a commercial place of business.  All such messages should only be posted to ads. Exception: If your business is hosting a non-profit fundraiser you may post it to the news list, as long as it's clearly stated that this is a fundraising event for such-and-such an organization.
    • for-sale items - You should never post the same item to the news and for-sale lists!

     

  • for-sale: The for-sale list should be used to advertise items you're selling, giving away or looking to acquire personally. It may not be used for selling commercial items, advertising commercial services, or any commercial messages as defined above. For the purposes of the list, commercial items are defined as anything you or anyone else made or acquired for the purpose of selling or renting it, or any goods or services that you're selling or renting professionally.

     

  • ads: If you want to buy or sell something commercially, announce a special event hosted by your place of business, or advertise a job opening, post it to ads.

     

  • discussions: If you would like to participate in an ongoing discussion of issues of interest, use the discussions list. The purpose of this list is to 1) post information about the current world, national, state, or local affairs/events, 2) ask for information, and 3) offer topics of discussion or debate.

     

  • non-profit: Use the non-profit list for discussions about your non-profit organization.

     

  • beargrease: The beargrease list has been very active and is being used to help the distribution of news for the upcoming race.

     

  • birding: The birding list has been created to share information about birds and birding in the county, and bird sightings, as well as birding events.

     

  • gtwise: The gtwise email list is for residents of the Gunflint Trail Corridor and other Cook County locations. You do not need to be a Boreal Access member to subscribe to this list. This list is to be used to post information concerning forest fire preparedness, mitigation, fire danger, current fire situations. It may be used to post meeting times, schedules and information. It can also be used to discuss topics of community interest.

     

  • Examples: Below are some example items and which list they should be posted to:

    • I'm having a garage sale: Post to for-sale (ads is ok, too)
    • I'm having a sale at my store: Post to ads.
    • I'm hosting a community event at my store: Post it to ads. You may not consider it a promotional event, but the people receiving the message will.
    • I just heard about a dangerous new virus and want to make sure everyone knows about it: Don't post it to any list.  If you must post this, post it to discussions. A better idea is to forward the information to the Boreal office so they can verify that it's not a hoax and let the membership know if it's a threat.
    • There's a political protest being planned: Post it to news AS LONG AS YOU DON'T STATE ANY POLITICAL OPINION IN THE MESSAGE! If the message contains anything other than a simple statement of what the rally is for, send it to discussions. This is ok: "There's a rally to protest the president's policies". This is not: "There's a rally to protest the way the president's policies are destroying the environment and endangering our future."
    • I'm building and selling crafts as a hobby: Post to ads. (Since you're building them to sell them, even though it's a hobby for you it's considered a commercial posting.)
    • My garden overproduced this year and I want to sell the excess: Post to for-sale and/or ads.
    • I have extra space in my garden, so I use it to grow produce to sell: Post it to ads.
    • Someone posted a message to news and I want to respond to it: Post it to discussions or better yet, send your response to the individual who posted it. Any time you respond to a message that was sent to a list it's called a thread, and threads are limited to the discussions list.
    • I'm looking for help at my place of business: Post it to ads.
    • I'm selling items or hosting a fundraiser to benefit a registered non-profit organization: Since this is for a non-profit organization you may post it to for-sale or ads. Please be clear in your posting as to which non-profit organization will benefit from your sale or event.
    • I'm advertising for my business, which is registered as a non-profit: This is a gray area.  If people are paying money for the services you offer you should probably post this to ads, not for-sale.  Consider how it will appear to the people receiving it - if it reads like an ad for a for-profit business, please post it to the ads list only.
    • I need to find an item and want to know if anyone in the community has one they're willing to part with: Post it to for-sale or ads.
    • I just replaced some furniture or shelving in my store, and want to get rid of the old stuff:  Since you're just cleaning house and are not in the business of selling furniture or shelving, this is probably ok to post to the for-sale list, unless, of course, your store is a furniture store!  Please do NOT include a plug for your business in the message, however, unless you post the message to ads@boreal.org.

 

What are the guidelines for posting to a mail list?

  • Boreal Access members are a part of the global community called the Internet. The Internet has set up rules for mail lists. These rules are not unique to Boreal, but are universally accepted. These are easy rules to follow. Many are simple common sense. So here they are...

     

    1. Be sure you post your message to the right list. See this section for appropriate list topics.

       

    2. Be courteous and respect other people's opinions. If you disagree, do it politely. Personal attacks, name-calling, profanity and threats will not be tolerated.

       

    3. You must be a member of Boreal Access to receive and post to the list. The mailing lists are a service for Boreal members only. While it's ok once in a while to post information for a friend who isn't a member, you should not make a regular practice of it. If you repeatedly post information on behalf of a non-member, your account may be unsubscribed from the mailing list, at Boreal's discretion. 
       
    4. The lists are intended to be a community communication device.  Please keep your postings community-minded - for example do not use the lists to promote business interests which are owned and run outside the community.  Do not post spam to the lists.
       
    5. You must sign your real name, not your login name, to all posts. There are no exceptions.

       

    6. Always put something in the subject line of messages you post to the list. The subject should accurately represent the topic of the message.

       

    7. Do not send HTML, rich text, stylized email, or messages in "quoted-printable" format. Reasons: This prevents scripted viruses from being sent to all members of the list, it reduces the overhead or resources needed to run the list, and not all email programs of list members will recognize such formats. The mail list software will reject all but plain text or ASCII posts.

      Check your mail program's configuration and set it to: Send in plain text. Please contact Boreal if you need help doing this, or go here.

       

    8. None of the mail lists at Boreal will accept attachments. Reasons: This keeps viruses from spreading. Attachments require a large amount of bandwidth to send and download. If you have something, such as a picture, that you think members might want to view, offer to send it individually upon request.

       

    9. Never re-post a personal email message that you have received to the list. If there is pertinent information in a private email message that you wish to have the list members read, then post only that portion, and only after you have received the explicit permission of the author of the message.

       

    10. Don't forward messages to the list. If you received information you want to share (keeping in mind the previous rule) copy and paste the pertinent information in your message. Forwarded messages are usually full of >>>'s, which makes them hard to read. In addition, forwarded messages often show the email addresses of the original senders and recipients - publishing this information over a list could be considered a violation of their privacy and of Boreal's Acceptable Use Policy.

       

    11. When replying to a message on the list (this is called threading), do not re-post the entire message. You may quote enough to make your point. No one wants to download and read the same message over and over, and bandwidth issues occur with this type of response.

       

    12. Do not type your entire message in capital letters. It implies that you are shouting and is considered rude. Besides...it is much harder to read.

       

    13. If you have information that might be of interest to the list, please try to post a link (URL) to the information rather then posting the content to the list. If you do post information which you have not authored, give proper credit. Please remove the header content of any forwarded messages.

       

    14. Don't post the same message, announcement, advertisement, etc. more than two or three times. Remember, the same people are reading your posting every time - if they see it over and over again they'll become annoyed and lose interest in whatever you're writing about.

       

    15. Don't post more than 3 or 4 messages in a day.  If you have multiple items to sell or multiple events to announce, please list them all in one message rather than sending a separate message for each item or event.  The lists are very busy and shouldn't be used to fill people's inboxes with multiple messages of the same type from the same person.

       

    Those members not adhering to the rules and guidelines set forth will be removed from the list. The list is managed by the Boreal Access office staff, with advisement from the board of directors. Boreal Access has the final authority on the use of mail lists it sponsors.

     

  • Additional information may be found at:
    www.albion.com/netiquette/
    www.dtcc.edu/cs/rfc1855.html#3

How do I post a message to a mail list?

  • The easiest way to post messages to the news, for-sale, ads or discussions lists is by using the online form at http://kite.boreal.org/majordomo. You'll need to enter your Boreal user name (without the @boreal.org part) and password to use this system.

  • Or... email your message, in plain text format, to "list-name"@boreal.org. For example, to post to the news list send your email to news@boreal.org. In a few minutes, your message will be sent over the list. If you don't see your message arriving over the mail list within an hour, it probably didn't go through. For possible reasons, see the next section.
  • Be sure to follow the guidelines outlined here.

Why aren't my messages getting posted to the list?

  • Have you waited long enough? Remember, it can take up to an hour for you to see your message come over the list. Please wait at least an hour before assuming the message didn't go through.

     

  • Are you a member of the list? You must be subscribed as a member of the list in order to post to it. Click here to see how to subscribe.

     

  • Are you sending your message from a different email address than the one you subscribed to the list with? The message must come from the same email address you used when you subscribed. For example, if you're sending a message from work, the email address your work computer uses must be the one that is subscribed to the list.

     

  • Does the message include any attachments? Boreal's list software will reject any message that includes an attachment. This prevents viruses from being spread through the lists and keeps message sizes manageable, especially for our dial-up members.
     
  • Are you using Netscape vCards or Outlook Express Business cards? A vCard or business card is automatically included as an attachment to all your messages, and the lists will reject messages with attachments. To turn off vCards or Business cards:
    • In Netscape Communicator: Go to the [Edit] menu and select [Preferences]. On the left side of the screen, under "Mail and Newsgroups", click on "Identity". At the bottom of the screen on the right is an option to "Attach my personal card to messages". Make sure it is un-checked. If it's checked, click on it to uncheck it, then click OK.
    • In Outlook Express: Go to the [Tools] menu and select [Options]. Click on the Compose tab. At the bottom is a section for Business Cards. Make sure Mail is un-checked in that section. If it's checked, click on it to uncheck it, then click OK.

How do I set up my email program to send messages in plain text?

Although we no longer require list messages to be in plain text format, it is still recommended to send your messages in plain text.  Use the instructions here to set your email software to send plain text messages:

  • In Netscape Communicator:
    • Click on the [Edit] menu, then click [Preferences].
    • On the left side of the screen, double-click on "Mail and Newsgroups" to expand the list of items under it. Then click on "Formatting".
    • On the top right side of the screen is an area called Message Formatting. Click "Use the plain text editor to compose messages" to select it. Click OK.
  • In Netscape Mail version 6.0 or higher:
    • Click on the [Edit] menu, then click [Mail and Newsgroups Account Settings].
    • On the left side of the screen, click on your email address.
    • On the bottom right of the screen is a line reading "Compose messages in HTML format". If it is checked, click on it to uncheck it. Click OK.
  • In Outlook Express:
    • Click on the [Tools] menu, then click on [Options]. Click on the [Send] tab at the top of the screen that comes up.
    • At the bottom of the screen, under "Mail Sending Format", click on "Plain Text" to select it. Under "News Sending Format", also click on "Plain Text". Click OK.
    • Alternately, when you are composing a message, you can set just that message to plain text by clicking the [Format] menu and then clicking [Plain text]. This will only affect the message you are composing - it will not change your permanent settings.
  • In Outlook:
    • Click on the [Tools] menu, then click on [Options]. Click on the [Send] tab at the top of the screen that comes up.
    • Click the [Mail Format] tab on the window that appears.
    • Change the "Compose in this message format" line to show "Plain Text" in the drop-down box, then click OK.
  • In Eudora:
    • Click on the [Tools] menu, then click on [Options].
    • On the left side of the screen that comes up, scroll down until you see [Styled Text]. Click on it.
    • On the right side of the screen, click "Send plain text only". Click OK.
  • In Thunderbird
    • Click on the [Tools] menu, then click on [Account Settings].
    • Click the "Composition and Addressing" option in the column on the left side of the screen.
    • On the right side of the screen near the top, click to uncheck "Compose messages in HTML format".  Click OK.

I thought commercial postings were prohibited from the for-sale list! Why did you allow so-and-so to post his store's sale?

  • Commercial postings are prohibited from the news and for-sale lists.  However, Boreal does not pre-approve most messages before they're sent out.  We generally see inappropriate postings the same time you do - when they go out over the list.  At that point we send a warning message to the poster and may start monitoring their posts.  Repeat offenders are removed from the list.