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These are things that make people want to kill you. I'm serious. Read this. Live by it. I have nothing more to add to this introduction.
Quote an entire story
Most e-mail programs work like this:
You receive an e-mail. You read the e-mail. You hit the button to reply to the e-mail and the e-mail program automatically quotes the original message underneath your response. If you receive a story in your inbox via a mailing list and you hit "reply" to send feedback to the list, the story is automatically quoted under your response. If you do not scroll down and erase the story, it will be sent to the list again along with your message, except this time it will have annoying arrows down the side of it.
Stories are generally long and take up a lot of space on a mailing list. Normally, this isn't a problem. The list is there to post stories. But seeing it twice is an enormous pain in the ass to the other people on the list. It also results in digests that take up way more space than they should. This becomes more annoying when the message you sent is one sentence, so we have a 15K post that should have been 1K.
Next time you reply to a story on list, or even to the author, scroll down to make extra sure that you're not quoting the entire story.
This is doubly applicable if you subscribe to the list in digest form. If you respond to the digest and aren't careful, you'll quote the whole damn digest again. I see it happen all the time. It's loathsome. It also sends those of us using freemail accounts with a fixed amount of space into a tizzy.
Post a message saying "please unsubscribe me from this list"
It works like this:
You want to join a mailing list at eGroups, so you head over to eGroups and set up an account. Then you join some lists. When you join a list, you are given a set of three options. You can receive the list via individual e-mails, which means you'll get the messages one by one, as they're posted. You can receive the list via digest, which means you'll get one big e-mail per day containing all the messages. You can select the "no mail/web only" option and just read the messages on the web site so nothing comes to your inbox.
Each and every time you go to the eGroups main page and log in, you are taken to a page - http://www.egroups.com/mygroups - that lists all of the mailing lists you belong to. Next to each mailing list is the option you've chosen. There's a pulldown bar where you can change your option, and at the bottom of it is "unsubscribe." Select "unsubscribe" next to the list you want to flee and then hit "save changes." You can also use the faster method of sending a blank e-mail to email@example.com.
These are the only ways you can unsubscribe from a mailing list.
Do not post a message to the list saying "please unsubscribe me." Do not, do not, do not. It's not up the list owner to log in to her account, find your name on the list of hundreds and unsubscribe you. It doesn't matter if you send an e-mail to the list with "unsubscribe" in the subject line and fancy characters in the body of the e-mail. Unless you send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or log in to your account and select the "unsubscribe" option, you will still be subscribing to the list.
Some days I just have to ask: is this too fucking hard for everyone to understand?
Instructions on how to unsubscribe are given when you sign up for an eGroups account, when you sign up for a mailing list, in the introductory message you get from the list owner and often at the bottom of every single message and/or digest that comes from the list. Can people not read this? And if they can, why does it still happen over and over and over again? It is probably worth mentioning, for the people who cannot read this, that when I say "email@example.com," I am using an example. In reality, replace "listname" with the name of the list.
If you post a message to the list that says "please unsubscribe me," the only reason that every single person on the list does not tear you a new asshole is because they are so tired of people who commit this crime. The next time I see this happen, which will be tomorrow, I am going to roar so loudly that you will hear me from wherever you live. This. Drives. Me. Crazy. It drives me even crazier when someone posts a message saying "please unsubscribe me" and follows it up with the reason he or she is unsubscribing. "Please unsubscribe me from this list. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be...." I don't give a shit. All I want to know is why I'm getting a message in my e-mail box from Eugene Frappledork in Two Egg, Florida with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
I've just explained to you how to unsubscribe from a mailing list. Please write it down, print it out or stamp it on your forehead.
Ignore the FAQ
Many mailing lists come with an FAQ. Often the FAQ is mailed to you when you join a list. Please read it. It contains pertinent information. The list owner did not compose it for the good of his or her health. The list owner did not compose it because he or she had some time to kill while waiting in line at the bank. The FAQ contains information on what may and may not be posted to the list. If you do not read the FAQ and post something that is not allowed, there's going to be trouble.
You may not necessarily agree with the rules in the FAQ. The FAQ may be long-winded and self important. But read it anyway. If you're going to engage in a one-man battle over the mailing list rules, at least know what the rules are before you draw your guns. If you do not read the FAQ, your fic may be archived somewhere and you won't know about it. Your posts may be free for everyone to read on the world wide web and you won't know about it. Anything could be happening and you won't know about it. Read the FAQ and the world will be a much happier place for all. If you're going to be spending time on this list, you can at least spend a little time at the beginning reading the FAQ.
Post a fic that doesn't belong
This should go without saying, but I've still seen it done. I use Buffy for every example, so I'll use it here. Even if you post Buffy fic to a Buffy list and everyone goes crazy over it, that doesn't mean they'll want you to post your Sentinel fic, too. Make sure you know what fic is allowed and what fic is not allowed. (This can be done by reading the FAQ.) If a list is devoted to a specific pairing, do not post a story from the same fandom with a different pairing. No one wants it there.
Send personal e-mail to the list
Okay, I have to admit that I've done this an embarrassing number of times and I'll probably do it at least a dozen more before I die, but try your very best not to do it. If someone posts something to the list that you want to respond to via a personal e-mail, please remember, when you hit the reply button, to change the address in the "to" slot to the person's e-mail address. Otherwise it will be sent to the list. Then you will be stuck red-faced and apologetic and feeling very stupid. This is especially true if you're e-mailing that person to talk trash about someone else on the list. I've seen this done and I couldn't help but laugh and wince.