GOWDY-L ArchivesArchiver > GOWDY > 2002-01 > 1010648385
From: "John A Hansen" <>
Subject: [GOWDY] Admin> Helpful Hints on Postings > other misc items > 1-10-2002
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 23:39:45 -0800
This Post was created by Sue Swiggum from the The Ships List.
She has a creative writing ability and creates these really
wonderful posts every 3 months or so. She has gracefully agreed
to let us publish her memo. I'd like to see her publish
a book on the subject but until then the rest of the admins
will just continue to plead with her to let us send her
memos to our lists :-). I've modified her memo slightly to
cover our particular situation as compared to her list.
So thanks again Sue.
John A Hansen
Subject Lines -- Subject Lines -- Subject Lines -- Subject Lines -- plus ...
a few tidbits and gentle reminders which you might find useful.
Regarding "Subject Lines" .... you'll see my other comments for Digest
members below. Do include your surnames ( in Caps) in the
subject line > location > dates and then include them again
in the body of your message where you give the full details of
your ancestor. If your details are sketchy at
this point, then just put what ever you do have; sometimes
the most minor of details can often provide the breakthrough.
Subject lines such as "HELP" may not get you any HELP ... "PASSENGER LIST"
may not get you any PASSENGER LIST ... "NEW SUBSCRIBER" may only get you a
HELLO if you are lucky. The reason is not because you are being
intentionally ignored, but rather because our wonderful members with the
resources to help you are VERY busy, so they scan the subject lines looking
for a subject about which they have knowledge. Sometimes they have no time
to open every message and peek to see if they can help, so do yourselves a
big favor by drawing the right kind of attention to yourself and giving an
assist to those with the resources and knowledge who are able to help.
If you are making a general or other emigration/immigration inquiry,
take a moment to read your own subject line first, to check if it is
meaningful for your query. Put as much info in the subject line
as can be reasonably done. Try not to _begin_ your subject line with
numbers, as the robot handling the list mail sometimes rejects those.
ps. A list member (who is one of our big helpers) has also suggested that
when any of us respond to a message with an inappropriate subject line,
that we alter it slightly. I do this sometimes, but on a busy day I
sometimes overlook this step.
If you able to answer another member's query, then please share that
with other list members ... UNLESS, the reply is very specifically
directed to the poster [such as, "we have a Bill Smith living next door
... could he be yours?"] If your answer will be of interest to other
list members, such as ship movements, dates, ports, microfilm numbers,
"how-to" research immigration/emigration related sources etc., etc.,
then please share that with the list.
When responding to a query on the list, by all means quote the original
message so that we ALL know what you are talking about. BUT, edit <snip>
the original message to just illustrate the part which you have answered.
On my recent roll call for instance, the actual post for the roll call
should have been snipped.
As mentioned above, "snipping" [editing] is recommended, to save from
excessive "quoting" and wasting band-width by filling up the Digests.
List Mode members, also <snip> the 'tag-lines' from the original post,
refrain from sending any "piggy-backed" messages with your post unless
they follow the thread.
++ Forwarding Mail:
When forwarding mail [Fwd:] because you may have mis-addressed the
or you are sending a repeat of an earlier query, take a moment to edit
all the unnecessary 'headers' and taglines etc. They take up too much
and serve no purpose. Some may just "delete" rather than paging down to
find your message. Consider copy/paste into a new message, rather
Do not write your message in "CAPS" [Capital letters]. Messages/Queries
written ALL in CAPS tend to be difficult to read, for most of us. In the
"world" of cyber-space, CAPS are considered the equivalent of SHOUTING!
Save CAPS for ship names, surnames, or anything else you wish to stress.
(CAPS are okay from vision-impaired members)
Do not "quote" an entire web page, rather, POST the URL and give a brief
description of the site, and an explanation of why you found it useful.
When quoting any information found elsewhere, eg. ... a web page, a
a document ... always cite (give credit) to the website, and/or the
author, the publication etc. Apart from being common courtesy, it can
also cover many possible copyright infringements when you quote an
from an original document/publication. Content from a public document is
not copyright, but the compilation of those facts can be.
++ Subject Lines:
These are SO important as this is your "headline" to attract the
attention of those who may be able to help you. Digest members .....
remember to change the subject line to reflect the topic. If you send
a subject which says ... Re: Surname-D Digest V02 #xx ... then this
is meaningless, and may go unread. Also, include your year of interest.
++ Thank you:
Please NEVER forget to send a thank you to someone who has answered your
query. It is so nice to send some appreciation to those who have helped
you. These should be in the form of a PRIVATE message, but I won't mind
if you have been totally overwhelmed by the number of responses, and
you wish to thank everyone by means of the list. :-) It only takes a
moment, and shows that you don't take any contribution for granted.
Most often any info request etc should be posted to the list
. Do not reply to me as list admin because
I then just forward to the list. Please reply to the List even if
you are on the Digest .
++ Not A Subscriber.
You will sometimes get a "Not A Subscriber" notice. These are posts that
get bounced to me because the poster is sending from a different address
than they are subscribed with. I forward these to the list. The address
that you are registered with can be just slightly different, sometimes
the ISP inserts a extra server or other identification in the email id.
To check your own address, send your self a email and look at the
to look at your "from" address. Make sure your email program inserts
this address in your post and then subscribe to the mailing lists of
++ Virus alerts
Please just send these directly to me and keep the discussion off the
++ Signature Blocks
Signature Blocks and Lines are your address at the bottom of
your message. No signatures lines over 4 lines. The VLF will
automatically put anybody on moderate that can't seem to get their
sig line down. Large sig lines clog up the search engine
and the archives.
VLF is a patented system from Piglet (the Listowners admin)
and she rents it out for a royalty fee per use.
VLF = Very Large Flyswatter to keep posters in line :-)
++ Be Nice
No Flames, No Selling, No Religion, No Politics
These are all interesting and emotional items.
Trying to admin a list under those circumstance just
takes to much time from my Genealogy and my Grandchildren :-)
Hope all this helps.
John A Hansen
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