on listserv ettiquette …


I’m feeling extra grumpy for no good reason today so with that in mind let me just say …

I hate it when people do annoying things on listservs. I know there are many who feel that listservs are tremendously “old school,” but what can I say other than … Yes, I’m “old school.” I’ve been on listservs for almost as long as I’ve been online. I actually found my current job (the very best job on the planet IMHO) through an LM_Net posting by my boss!!! Here’s the thing though, I’m currently subscribed to three listservs.

On one, traffic is fairly light. It is a small group of folk who know each other well and sometimes the posts are things like, “Hey guys, I’m going to retire!” followed by, like, fifty messages from individuals to the whole friggin’ list saying, “Congratulations Betty!!! We’re going to miss your contributions to the group!!! We hope you’ll enjoy watching your grandbaby!!!” Okay, so … I knew what the list was like before I joined and the traffic on that list is fairly low so it is something I put up with simply so that I can find out what cities will be hosting future conferences and decide if I want to visit the city (and attend the “conference” of course) and plan my professional development accordingly.

The second is a geeky tech listserv and some of it is useful and some of it inane (kind of like my blogs).

The list that I’m considering quitting because it has become incredibly annoying is LM_Net. I’m thinking that it’s ratio of usefulness-to-irritation factor has tipped toward more irritating than useful. I used to find a good useful nugget of content to mine every so often, but those are becoming rarer and rarer. More often than not, people will post things like,

HELP ! My boxes are missing on my Word AVERY Labels template. I can not remember how to retirieve the box. All I have is a blank page. I can tab but no box.

Can someone help me? what do I find to check/ click?

THanks !

Okay … Everybody can use that kind of help every now and then. That’s not the issue. It’s when people follow-up that message with ones like this that really irritates me to no end!!!

Thanks to all who replied and came to my rescue. I have my solution.

Seriously??? Dude, you just asked a question to a list of 17,000 people. People took the time to give you a solution and it doesn’t even occur to you to post the instructions in case even one of those 17,000 people might have the same problem??? WTF??? The thing is that this annoying guy is not alone. This seems to be becoming the list’s norm rather than exception so the idea of the list being a community of mutual sharing and help is morphing into, “I need help. Help me. Thanks, I’m not going to help any of the rest of you.”

That sucks!!!

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