The UCPO Misc New Members' FAQ

This FAQ is not intended to give firm instructions for how to use soc-ucpo-misc, and we have no official Acceptable Use Policy. However, as this will be the first mailing list of its kind that many people will have been on, I've compiled some basic 'Netiquette' that should help you to avoid pissing anyone off unintentionally (you can piss them off intentionally if you want...)

How to filter your SUM mail

On joining the list, the first thing you're likely to notice is that mail can arrive at a very high rate if enough people are bored. This can be a pain in the arse if you actually need to receive important mail at the same time, so it's helpful to separate it into a separate folder. The exact instructions depend on how you check your e-mail:

If you read it directly on Hermes, then you can filter the mail into a seperate folder from your main inbox. Telnet or SSH into Hermes, and select 5 (Config), 1 (Mail), 5 (Filter), 2 (Recipient). Enter soc-ucpo-misc@lists.cam.ac.uk and press enter. Enter something like 'UCPO Misc' for a mailbox name. Enter 'Q' until you get back to the main menu. Your spam will now be delivered to your new 'UCPO Misc' inbox, where you can easily delete it ;)

If you use Outlook Express, create a new folder called 'UCPO Misc' somewhere in the directory tree view of OE. Now go to Tools/Message Rules->Mail..., choose 'New Rule', and select 'When the To or cc: line contains people'. Click on 'people' and add soc-ucpo-misc@lists.cam.ac.uk. Choose 'Move it to the specified folder', click on 'specified' and select your new folder. Give the rule a name, and your inbox clogging problems should be over...

If you use Kmail, the procedure is similar to the above, but using 'Settings/Configure Filters' to add a new filter rule, matching on 'To or CC' 'contains' 'soc-ucpo-misc@lists.cam.ac.uk', with action 'move to folder', 'apply this filter on incoming messages', and stop filtering on match.


Guidelines for posting to SUM

In general, SUM is a very tolerant list, with few restrictions on what can be posted. However, this is based on the fact that everyone knows everyone else in real life, and so you cannot get away with sending extremely offensive mail unless you want to lose all your friends. If you send really offensive mails (especially anything racist, homophobic or otherwise bigoted), you will probably find yourself suspended for a few days until you calm down. Repeat offenders will be permanently banned, but this has never been necessary in the entire history of the list.

Don't send attachments of any kind to the list. This particularly applies to images, sounds and applications. Hermes will automatically reject anything executable anyway - remember that many people read SUM over modems - put whatever it is online and send a link to it instead (if you don't have any access to web space, I may be able to help).

Don't post just for the sake of posting. Competitions to see who can send the most mails piss off everyone else on the list that isn't taking part. Similarly, don't have conversations with one or two other members over the list, a line at a time - use ICQ or something similar.

'Earn your bullshit' - you'll notice that certain list members get away with posting extremely pointless or random things quite frequently. These are usually the people who've been on the list for years, are well known to all the other list members, and who post a lot of interesting (or even sensible) things as well. If you post similarly pointless stuff before anyone knows you in real life or online, you give a bad first impression - and people tend to form opinions about each other much quicker online than is necessarily sensible. Give it a few weeks, and people will start to accept your bullshit too...

Finally, always remember that your mail is being read by many more people than are actively posting. A lot of members only post about once a term - so if you bitch about someone behind their back you could discover they were reading every word. Bitching to peoples' faces online causes less trouble in the long run, but if you start a flame war, don't be suprised if you get burned... flame wars seem to happen at roughly termly intervals (especially near to exam periods).

Replying to posts

When you reply to a SUM post, there are several things to remember to avoid irritating people:

  • Remove all the extra addresses from the 'To' and 'cc:' fields - the only address should be the list address. Failing to do this means that people get several copies of each message.
  • Remove other peoples' signatures and the irrelevant parts of the mail - include enough quotation that people can see what you're replying to.
  • Following on from this, don't 'top post' - put your reply under the relevant quote, not above it. When people reply to each other several times, this allows people to understand who said what.
  • Failing to do these won't get you kicked off, but people might complain at you if they're in a bad mood...

Basically - don't worry too much about posting. If you watch the list for a while once you've joined it, you'll soon get a feel for how it works. Start off gradually so you don't piss anyone off by sending too much spam, and soon you'll be posting like Nick :)

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