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Re: EAI (E-mail Accessibility Initiative)

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 13:32:31 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199808101732.NAA05547@access4.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
to follow up on what Kynn Bartlett said:

> I realize this.  On the other hand, this is the way I've been
> writing email (and Usenet) messages for 12 years now, and I'm
> not likely to change my style any time soon.

> -- Kynn, maintaining that liability rep

Funny, the last time this topic went around it was someone from
"the other culture" that expressed disbelief that we would ask
people to change their email-writing behavior.  However, it is
appropriate for email lists to have behavior norms and for
different lists to have different norms.

You're not a liability, Kynn, unless all of us are liabilities.
Remember Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and they are us!"

I have been doing business by email for a few more than 12 years
and I am actively engaged in learning how to do it.

Some observations on what I have seen during that time:

People who learned email in a desktop and LAN context tend to
assume that prior correspondence will be attached, not edited.
Those who learned in a mainframe, Unix, or internet context tend
to assume that prior correspondence will be interleaved with new
commentary.  Both protocols work, but they don't cross cultures

We want to be a team drawing people from both worlds.  We need to
come to some understanding that fits our mix of players.

Mailing lists are infrastructure to serve groups of people.  It
is appropriate for such groups to form and articulate norms that
vary from group to group.  Email is not Usenet, tends to be more
socially bonded within the group and tends more to variation in
group norms from group to group.

Many people learned manners before they learned email, and they
think it is impolite to discuss manners in public (on the list).
It is still best practice to write privately to an individual if
you feel offended by their manners, etc. but "guidelines for
participation in _this group_" is a topic which should be
addressed openly by the group.  This usually means that some
traffic on the list will be on this topic and "the authorities"
should treat some of this as "on topic."

If we won't sit still long enough to listen to one another about
email habits, then we are never going to get the Web population
to sit still and listen to us about Web practices.

Al Gilman

Reference (the last time around):

w3c-wai-ig@w3.org from October to December 1997 by thread

Received on Monday, 10 August 1998 13:32:30 UTC

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