THL Toolbox > Community & Communication > Mailing Lists
Contributor(s): THL Staff.
Mailing lists are addresses which, when written to, will distribute the email to everyone subscribed to the list. In addition, they can archive the email for easy reference by any subscriber in the future should they lose track of an email, or just want to follow the traffic on the list for a given time period. Thus mailing lists are simply ways to help promote discussion and exchange amongst a group of people.
This page is for a general description of how to use mailing lists. To instead view a list and description of THL and other Tibet-related Mailing Lists, see Mailing Lists Index.
There is a general protocol for participation in mailing lists which, if followed, can make lists far more useful and pleasant for everyone involved. One of the most basic is to avoid trivial chatter on the one hand (such as sending an email to the list as a whole just to thank someone) and avoid aggressive language on the other hand.
Another important issue is to avoid "top-posting". Top-posting is when you respond to an email and leave the previous email(s) at the bottom of your new message. We ask all users to take pains to avoid this practice and either clearly refer to the message that is being responded to in their own message, or quote a line or two of the relevant message as relevant. Why is this important? Firstly, and most importantly, it means that searching through the mailing list archives is greatly impeded, since one will have to filter through many occurrences of the same post as it is "quoted" passively in replies to it. Secondly, it makes it hard for people to glance at your message and glean its import, and instead forces them to filter through all of the mess below in case something has been inserted there. This is in fact a well-established practice to avoid top-posting and we would appreciate if participants in THL mailing lists would observe it.
Moderation of an email list can range from simple administrative oversight to strict filtering of all messages through the moderator prior to posting. At present, our active email lists are only be moderated at a very basic level when problems of overly aggressive posts lead to shouting matches, or trivial postings are made. In addition, moderators have to use the Mailman administrative interface as necessary to maintain the site.