W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > October 2012

Re: Posting Guidelines: One Topic Per Email

From: Tobie Langel <tobie@fb.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 16:16:45 +0000
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, "public-webplatform@w3.org" <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F9981AFB970564408FEB7DFCF62D44084367CEFA@SC-MBX01-4.TheFacebook.com>
+1 to that to.

--tobie

On 10/17/12 5:11 PM, "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org> wrote:

>Hi, folks-
>
>I think over time we should gather our posting guidelines for this list
>into a place on the wiki, but for now, I just wanted to suggest the
>following:
>
>Only post a single topic per email.
>
>
>It's tempting to just list several things you've noticed with the site
>into a single long email, but I've found through years of standards work
>via email that this practice has some serious downsides in a large
>collaborative environment.
>
>1) People tend to put off reading long emails, delaying (or even
>preventing) the conversation;
>
>2) People tend to respond on only 1 or 2 points, and usually at least
>some points get lost (even important ones);
>
>3) It's hard to follow conversations that have multiple threads in the
>same email;
>
>4) Short emails with targeted points more often lead to quick
>conclusions and immediate action, while longer emails tend to result in
>longer conversations without conclusions or actions;
>
>5) It's harder to find archived conversations that don't have a clear,
>simple thread (and a good descriptive subject line), when you go back
>and look later;
>
>6) Emails with multiple topics are more subject to "topic drift", in
>which some related point is raised from one of the points, and the
>conversation goes off on a tangent leading even further from any of the
>original points.
>
>
>Inevitably, someone will post an email with multiple topics. When you
>respond to these, an effective strategy for keeping focused is to only
>respond to one of the points, trim out the rest of the email, and change
>the subject like from "Re: Here's a braindump" to "The Foo Issue (was:
>Here's a braindump)".
>
>
>On a final note, I want to emphasize that posting emails with multiple
>topics is not "bad behavior"; it's not breaking netiquette, it's not
>rude, it's not trolling, and it's not antisocial. It's just less
>effective than posting one topic per email. So, don't feel bad if you've
>done this, but do consider this suggestion when writing future emails on
>this list.
>
>
>Regards-
>-Doug Schepers
>W3C Developer Relations Lead
Received on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:17:11 UTC

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