View Full Version : > 350 and posting lay-out

Herman J. Woltring
08-30-1991, 04:04 AM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

Yesterday, some 10 new subscriptions to our list brought the membership
well over 350 world-wide; about half of our subscribers is located on
the North American continent as you can find out for yourself by sending
the one-line request REVIEW BIOMCH-L (COUNTRIES to listserv@hearn.bitnet
or Biomch-L@nic.surfnet.nl.

Considering some recent postings and the ease with which one can hit the
RETURN key for final transmission, here are a few points and suggestions:

(1) Unlike many other lists, Biomch-L's profile has been set in such a
way that issuing the REPLY command to your mailer software (VAX/VMS in
my case) should address the original poster rather than the whole list.
For posting a reply to the list, you must type in the list's EARN/BITNET
address Biomch-L@hearn.bitnet or its equivalent Internet address
Biomch-L@nic.surfnet.nl. In this way, too speady a response does not have
to be regretted very much once sent (I know of a few cases of this kind!)
since the original poster only will have the benefit of receiving it.

(2) More generally, it makes sense to quietly prepare a posting within
your editor, hard-copy and proofread it, and only then send it out. The
ergonomics of screen editing are such that it is too easy to overlook simple
typing errors (as I know from dire experience). While I do try to edit the
monthly archives at the beginning of each following month, it is a pain in
the neck and I'd prefer to use my time in a more creative manner.

(3) In particular, *don't* make your lines too long because of the
wrap-around properties of many screen/software systems; for example,
some mailers have automatic quoting/indentation facilities that will
lengthen, and thus possibly wrap-around, the quoted lines, and this
does not make for good readability. Besides, lenghty lines do not
make for easy reading at all. Just compare this paragraph with the
preceeding one ...

(4) If your message is important, do try to write it in proper English;
after all, you *are* publishing to a rather large readership, and your
posting is archived for others to retrieve. As with published papers,
first impressions on lay-out etc. are important. Last but not least,
choose a telling Subject: line lest readers with 20 - 50 email messages
per day will not bother to read your posting in the first place. If
you really have problems, ask a colleague to proofread it (you may ask
me, but I may regret this offer...).

For seasoned email users like most of you, the above remarks are super-
fluous, no doubt; my apologies to them!

Herman J. Woltring, Eindhoven/NL