WOMPO - Women's Poetry Listserv
Adapted by Annie Finch, with thanks, from Jane Raeburn's Maine Pagan Mailing List guidelines
- When you reply to a post, consider carefully whether your posting is of interest to the entire list, or whether it is a response only to one person.
- Agreement and support for one another are always welcome. However, if you are simply saying "yes!" or "me too," without adding more information to the thread, consider doing so in private e-mail.
- If you must criticize another's post, consider doing so in private e-mail. If the person has made a genuine error, this allows him or her to save face and apologize for misbehavior or correct misinformation, rather than having misdeeds pointed out publicly.
- It is entirely appropriate to disagree publicly with another's stated views. Name-calling is inappropriate. Expressions of disagreement should be confined to criticizing the words or ideas of another, rather than the person.
- When expressing disagreement, the following steps are recommended:
- Express respect for the person and faith in his or her good intentions.
- Point out any themes or ideas with which you do agree.
- Express your own opinion pleasantly, with respect for the rights of others to believe differently from you. On the Internet, strong language does not enhance the effectiveness of your communication. It simply makes you look strident and overbearing.
- Offer factual information where possible, backed up with sources. Quiet statements of fact win respect from those following your conversation.
- Offer sources of factual information (books, web links, etc.) that might be of interest to others interested in the topic.
- Use humor when appropriate (i.e. when it helps lighten the tone of a discussion without being aimed at other list members)