This all boils down to "be courteous and concise", but sometimes more detailed guidelines are necessary.
- Keep your messages short and to the point. Don't reply at all unless you can add something new. Several hundred people will receive your message, so respect their time.
- You are talking to people, in public and on the record. Don't say anything that you would not say face to face in front of a reporter.
- Stay on topic, and stick to things that are relevant to the quality of life in Porter Square. Don't post commercial solicitations.
- Respect others' opinions even if you disagree with them. If you feel you must correct an error, address the error itself and not the person. Even better, work it out offline.
- Carefully review your whole message before you hit "send". Think twice, especially if you are upset or angry.
- Delete all copies of prior messages. Your readers have already seen them. This is particularly important for people who use smartphones, but we all struggle with over-full mailboxes. Selectively quoting a few lines to establish context is OK.
- If you are replying to a digest message, fix the subject line. "Re: [PSNA] PSNA Digest, Vol 13, Issue 17" isn't useful.
- If you find yourself in a protracted dialog with one or two others or writing one message after another on the same general topic, pause for a while or take the conversation off-list.
- If you come online and find multiple messages waiting on the same topic, please try to read all of them before responding.
- Don't forward private email without the sender's permission.
We will add guidelines as needed. Persistent violators will be removed from the list.
If you would like more information, there are numerous and much more detailed guidelines for email behavior, for example "Netiquette" by Virginia Shea.