Re: Posting Guidelines: One Topic Per Email

+1 to that to.


On 10/17/12 5:11 PM, "Doug Schepers" <> 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
>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.
>-Doug Schepers
>W3C Developer Relations Lead

Received on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:17:11 UTC