Posting Guidelines for CPCUG CONENT-D
CONENT-D is an announcement/discussion list for computer consultants and entrepreneurs using computers.
The list is provided by the Capital PC User Group (CPCUG) to support and augment CPCUG's Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG.
Topics | Attachments | Promotion | Too Many Questions | Off Topic | Me, Too | Tips | Concluding Thoughts
Appropriate topics for discussion and announcements are those related to business, to technology, and to computer hardware and software selection, setup, installation, maintenance, and upgrade. Appropriate announcements include those about activities of the CPCUG Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG. Announcements of upcoming non-CPCUG events of interest to those in business, technology, and/or computer consulting may be made, but should not be repeated more frequently than monthly.
Politics, for example, is rarely on topic for this list. If you want to talk about politics, subscribe to and participate in a list about politics—don't do it here.
If you really want to make an off-topic post, find another list where the post will be on topic, or at least another list allowing off-topic posts—don't do it here.
When there are off-topic posts, sometimes even just one thread, discussion of computer and business issues fades and can be lost in the noise. Another negative consequence often is signoff of list subscribers who neither asked for nor want off-topic posts. In addition, allowing off-topic posts often results in a substantial increase in posts that contribute nothing to the knowledge base of other subscribers.
If, in response to a plea for help, you'd like to share information about and offer freeware of more than 100 kbytes, resist the urge to post it directly to CONENT-D. Instead, ask that those interested request the file from you directly.
At this time small attachments are allowed for purposes of asking questions and soliciting opinions related to graphics, such as questions about a proposed logo, with the understanding that those posting to the list will use attachments only when necessary. Whenever possible, use pointers to a URL instead of including an attachment.
For example, one question posted to this list was directly related to a specific photograph, and its file size reasonable at 51 kbytes, so the distribution of the photo file as an attachment was acceptable for this list. If files you wish to discuss are larger than about 100 kbytes or so, however, provide a URL or offer to send the files directly to those who request them.
Sales pitches and other promotions should not be transmitted via attachment on CONENT-D.
If attachment use becomes more than occasional (or if virus problems occur), attachments will be prohibited.
In summary, in most cases subscribers should be able to avoid sending attachments to CONENT-D by using pointers or asking for private e-mail requests.
Answering a fellow CONENT-D list subscriber's question or posting an on-topic tip gives subscribers the opportunity to publicize their services and products via a signature block at the end of their messages. If you want fellow subscribers to know more about you and/or your company and its products/services, be sure to include in your signature the URL for Web pages that describe your background and/or your offerings in more detail.
Short promos with URLs are acceptable in the following and related circumstances—
Attachments should not be used to augment promos. Promos should be brief and provide a URL or an offer to send additional information via private e-mail to those expressing interest (rather than sending the information to the entire list).
The advantage of this approach is that those who might want to pitch their services first gain a solid reputation (via worthwhile, thoughtful, helpful on-topic responses) as valuable contributors to this list, benefiting all subscribers. Then when they add a short
Just agreeing with a previous post without adding substantive content of your own is "me-too-ism," which is discouraged. This tactic should not be used as a promotional opportunity—that is, replying to the list with only an "I agree" and a business signature block.
Everyone subscribed to this list has his or her own areas of expertise and is encouraged to post substantive comments when these topics arise.
Naturally, some of us have more experience/expertise than others. Thoughtful posts take time and effort, and fellow subscribers appreciate the time and effort it takes for our experts to craft and post helpful answers. Our members as a group possess much knowledge on diverse topics. No one person should feel obligated to respond to every question that arises on the list.
Those joining the list are welcome to introduce themselves, telling us something about themselves and a little about the services and/or products they provide, inviting folks to contact them directly for more information. If you're not a new list subscriber, but you've never introduced yourself, feel free to do so.
Many CPCUG E&C SIG members take advantage of social and networking opportunities at the monthly meetings of E&C SIG and its frequent post-meeting gatherings at Nanny O'Brien's pub across the street from our regular meeting site at the Cleveland Park Library. For more information about these gatherings—
If you have lots of questions, before posting them to CONENT-D, try searching our archives:
[Note: Using descriptive subject lines for and key words in your posts will make them much easier to find for those searching the archives.]
The answers you seek may already be in the archives, just waiting for your search.
If you have many questions at a fairly elementary level, consider finding lists targeted to your specific topics of interest. You'll be able to review those list archives, which are likely to have the answers to your questions. If not, post your questions on those lists where there are likely to be a number of experts on your specific topics.
For example, if you're having numerous problems setting up an Access database, subscribe to CPCUG's Access discussion list, ACCESSSIG-D.
To find public LISTSERV® discussion lists, visit CataList, the official online catalog of all the public LISTSERV® lists worldwide:
To find other discussion groups on the Web, visit Google at
and/or Yahoo! at
[Note: If you'd like more than just a little help from any one CONENT-D participant, offer to pay and negotiate a mutually agreeable letter of agreement or contract off list.]
Off-topic postings should not be sent to CONENT-D. Adding "OT:" to a subject line of an off-topic message does not make it appropriate for this list—don't do it..
If someone does, however, send an off-topic post to CONENT-D, don't respond to the list, that results in 5 or 10 other subscribers responding to the list with their own posts, sometimes with multiple posts that add nothing to the value of the list as a discussion forum for the CPCUG Entrepreneurs and Consultants Special Interest Group. Worse, such responses can degenerate into mean-spirited posts that result in valued subscribers signing off the list.
If someone posts an off-topic message, just send a private note to the listowner (and/or to the person who sent the inappropriate message to the list, if you feel the need).
If you want to respond to the topic raised by the subscriber sending an off-topic message, send your response privately, not to the list.
If you ignore an off-topic post, the thread dies. If a list subscriber who sends an off-topic post ignores private listowner warning and continues to send off-topic posts, his or her subscription will become moderated. (This hasn't happened in the 10-year life of the list.)
In summary, let off-topic posts die a natural death by not responding to them via the list. The listowner sending a private note to the poster should be sufficient to resolve the issue.
Although it can be very tempting, please, please refrain from sending "I agree" posts to the list that share no additional insight or content of value to the discussion at hand. Look at it this way, would you really want everyone on the list to send "I agree" messages to the list every time someone expresses an opinion?
Subscribers who follow these list guidelines and actively participate on this list can benefit from discussions and/or answering questions, helping others, and building a reputation as an expert.
If you have input and/or concerns about appropriate topics for discussion on CONENT-D, or suggestions for this posting guideline, contact the listowner.
Return to the home page of CPCUG's Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG.
December 1, 2007