A little bit about our List
Folks, we have been having some private questions regarding posting (sending a message)
to the list that are of sufficient quantity to try and address.
I have tried to remember most of thequestions asked and then answered them below.
If I have missed yours, please send it to me and I will try to answer it as well.
Q. When sending a message to the list, how do I address it?
A. Address it to email@example.com . Make sure to show a description in the Subject portion.
Q. I am reluctant to ask a question as I feel as if it might be a dumb question.
A. What is a dumb question? If you don't know and want to know, ask it. I have found a lot of answers that may fall into this category, but never a dumb question.
Q. The mail is overwhelming, is there a way to reduce it?
A. Yes, as explained in your "Welcome Message", you can accept our Digest Mode which generally delivers 2 to 3 messages per day in various formats. This way you can read the messages at your leisure and respond as you wish. There are better ways to sort it too. If you need help, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org . Many find that once they are on Digest, the mail is more difficult to read and to respond to and come back to ACTIVE mail, but some also have problems managed their mail for various reasons. Those that wish assistance in managing their mail need only to ask the list.
Q. Rather than
receive the large volume of mail, is it possible to just read the Archives and
answer messages from there instead? I do learn much from reading the Archives and like to
participate but would prefer the No Mail provision.
A. Many mail lists such as ours do allow a No Mail provision just for this situation, however we have taken a different stance on this issue for the following reasons;
1. Because we are a support list, we are here to help others learn about their disease.
This is through a daily interchange of information from the folks that have lived with it,
with the folks that have just been diagnosed and still learning about it.
2. Because we are an Activist List as well, we need daily input as to what we can do about seeking more effective treatment and hopefully a cure for our disease.
When a person is on No Mail, we lose track of them. We have no idea if they are interested in participating in our list or not. We must assume that they elected the No Mail provision as they did not know how to un-subscribe and therefore are not participating or deriving information we work very hard to provide.
3. If you are on digest, at least we know you are receiving our mail and must do something with it, even delete it if you must, but at least we are doing what we can to ensure that it is available to you.
Also, on digest, you still have full access to our archives and can continue to use them as you wish.
So, we have taken the stance that No Mail can be arranged on a Temporary Basis for illness and vacations, for up to 30 days, but otherwise Digest would be more acceptable.
Q. Why can't we just have "on topic" discussions on the list instead of the chatter.
A. If you mean "textbook" talk, then how would we know all about our disease? By talking about all the things we are experiencing, we are building a "database" or knowledge about our disease that most clinicians would envy.
Q. Why not have a "Moderated" list?
A. A "moderated" list is one where someone intercepts all the messages and reads them, then decides what is appropriate for the list and posts it and discards the rest. This is very difficult to manage. We are an open list where folks can ask and respond to situations to learn more. It is important that all information be discussed. Our mail is heavy largely due to the fact that we have nearly 900 members and do have more *active* posters than most lists.
Q. Is our mail censored?
Q. Are there any dues or costs to being a member?
A. There is no charge for being a member, nor are donations required, although they are always appreciated and help defer the expense of the list.
Q. I sent a message to the list, and someone sent me a very nasty note about what I had said.
What should I do?
A. Unfortunately, someone might have simply misunderstood the meaning of your message. Sometimes, the stages of our illness tend to bring out some nastiness that really does not normally exist. Some lash out at folks without realizing it. The best thing is to be as considerate as you can and to not become embroiled in an exchange of heated messages. This is difficult, but will save a lot of unwanted anxiety if you can. It really is better to just sit on it until the next day when you can think a little more about it. Sometimes it looks a lot different the next day. *** Also, please realize that sometimes lists such as ours are "infiltrated" by folks that derive some type of diverse pleasure in upsetting and ridiculing various members and discussions on the list and might contact you privately in an effort to have you become involved or be influenced in their activity. If this occurs and you do not wish to participate, please let management know and we will handle it. Many times just asking if that person is a member is sufficient to determine how legitimate they are as they usually will join under an assumed name then send messages under their real name as if they were a legitimate member.
Q. I see a lot of chatter on the list rather than important information,
shouldn't it be more pertinent.?
A. Yes, there is a lot of chatter, but we have to remember that this is also the "support part" of our list. Now, I do have to point out that if some folks are holding a group conversation that does not involve our disease, then they should do so by using private mail rather than the list. We do also have the FUNDAY list that is a good outlet for the "chatter" side.
Q. What is the FUNDAY list?
A. An email chat list where we go just to talk with each other and to have fun and games and just plain get acquainted. It is available only on Sundays. Ask anyone about it or look on our website. http://www.emphysema.net/funday.html . You must be a member of EFFORTS for at least 14 days before joining this list.
Q. There seems to be a "clique" of the same people posting, I feel uncomfortable saying anything.
A. There is no "clique", these are folks that have come to know each other from posting back and forth. We welcome all who wish to post messages in line with our goals and objectives. Just join in the conversation anytime.
Q. I am tired of writing all these letters, why can't we just be a support list?
A. Don't feel guilty because you aren't writing letters or participating in that part of the activity, go ahead and work the support side of our group and help talk with others that need the support aspect. Those that are writing the letters can also use your support and pats on the back when they get replies.
Q. The mail is just too heavy for me to handle.
A. This is a toughie because it depends on your situation. We do have some choices, but it really depends on how important the information really is to you. Send a message to anyone on the Executive Board and we will try to help you, even to the point of helping you to work your computer to sort out the messages.
Q. What about "freedom of speech" on the list?
A. This IS a privately held list, and as such, there are certain things that are simply not allowed. Usually good judgment of the individual controls this, sometimes that individual might lose that good judgment temporarily and post carelessly to the list. At that time, management will exercise whatever measure necessary to regain control and to maintain the dignity of the list.
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