[Skip to Content]

Distance Learning Email List

Netiquette (or Good Manners to Use in the List)

E-mail is an informal method of communicating, but some basic rules of style or Netiquette (network etiquette) are expected.

  1. If your post is relevant only to one member of the list, please contact that person using personal e-mail. For example, some people have responded to a group wide message by typing an answer and then hitting the reply icon. The result is that every member of the listserv receives the message.
  2. Use the subject line to announce your topic. We all get a lot of e-mail and a descriptive subject line will help to identify a message from a Distance Learning colleague.
  3. Use only one topic per message.
  4. Be thoughtful when posting information from other listservs. Many of us are on several listservs such as edinfo and eductech. Instead of a simple forward of the posting, add a note about why you found the article informative.
  5. This listserv is confidential. Do not forward or share others' e-mail without permission.
  6. When responding to another's message, don't quote back the entire message. Delete the excess and make your comments at the very top before starting the quotes.
  7. Avoid "Me, too" and "Yes" messages. We really are interested in reading what you can add to the discussion.
  8. DON'T TYPE IN ALL CAPS. This is perceived as shouting.
  9. Use emoticons (also known as "smileys") when trying to convey a tone of voice :-)
  10. Consider carefully what you write; it's a permanent record and can be easily forwarded to others.
  11. Write succinctly. Don't waste bandwidth. E-mail may be inexpensive to most, but not to all.
  12. Don't send entire web pages to a discussion group, just the URLs (web page address).
  13. Don't blatantly promote your business by posting an advertisement to a discussion group, unless it is clearly an accepted use and you have cleared it with the moderator (if there is one) first. Otherwise, you are "spamming."
  14. When forwarding messages, put your comments at the top of the message.
  15. Don't overuse acronyms like BTW (by the way) or IMHO (in my humble opinion). Not everyone is experienced with this jargon and they may not want to admit their confusion - possibly losing your point.
  16. Do not forward personal e-mail to a discussion group without getting the author's permission first.
  17. Read over your e-mail before you send it. Although e-mail is a more informal method of communication than writing a letter, be sure you make your points clear and concise. Use a spell checker if available.

< Listserv