This page will document some mailing list etiquette and best practices to use for Wikitroid's two high-traffic mailing lists: Wikitroid-l and Wikitroid-Admins-List.

Use descriptive subject lines when starting threads Edit

When starting a thread, use a subject line that describes the, well, subject of your thread. Don't be afraid to make your subject line long; it's preferable to have a long, descriptive subject line than a short, nondescriptive one. Also, when starting a thread, it's not necessary to include the mailing list name in brackets; that will be added automatically by the mailing list software before delivering emails.

When replying to emails in a thread, always prefix the subject with "Re:" Edit

"Re:", short for "regarding", will normally be automatically prefixed to the subject line of your email when you press the "Reply" button in your email client, but if you're replying to a thread (and not creating a new thread), it's a good idea to make sure that the subject line of your email starts with "Re:", and if it doesn't, add it.

Many email clients, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, and some webmail clients like the GMail Web client, automatically thread discussions based on the presence of the "Re:" prefix in the subject line. An auto-threader will also organize the mailing list archives by thread, and again, prefixing the subject line of replies with "Re:" allows the auto-threader to do its job.

When replying to a thread, aside from adding the "Re:" prefix, do not otherwise change the subject line Edit

As with the "Re:" prefix in the subject line noted above, auto-threaders in the mailing list archives and in various email clients also use the subject line itself to organize emails into threads. When you're replying to a thread, aside from adding the "Re:" prefix if it wasn't automatically added, don't change the subject line and keep it consistent....

...Unless you're "hijacking" the thread, in which case you should change the subject line Edit

Sometimes conversations go on tangents. That's unavoidable. However, you shouldn't fill a thread with discussion that's only tangentially related to it; in this case, you can and should change the subject line, but in a specific way.

To preserve threading, change the subject line like this. Say that you're participating in a thread about Friend Vouchers, but this has somehow gone on a tangent into whether the Wii or PS3 is the better console. Your reply originally had the subject line:

Re: [Wikitroid-l] Friend vouchers

But, since the discussion has gone off on a tangent, you should change the subject line to:

Re: Is the Wii or PS3 Better? (was: Friend vouchers)

Note that the new subject line still has "Re:" prefixing it, and again, it's not necessary to include the mailing list name in square brackets; this will be added automatically by the mailing list software

When replying to an email, remove the "You are receiving this message because..." footer Edit

Every message you will receive from the mailing list will have a footer like this at the end of it:

Wikitroid-l mailing list
You are receiving this message because you explicitly subscribed to this mailing list
Wikitroid-l [at] fastlizard4 [dot] org
To change mailing list settings or to unsubscribe from this list, visit this link:

Since one is added to every email, when replying to an email, remove the footer from the quoted message that you're replying to. It helps reduce clutter.

Avoid flashy emails Edit

When emailing the mailing list, avoid flashy things like unnecessarily large signatures, flashy multi-colored text, background pictures, and that sort of thing. Indeed, generally, emails sent to the Wikitroid-l mailing list will be stripped to plain text anyway, so any formatting changes like this will be lost.

Include summaries in very long emails Edit

If an email you're sending is very long, it is possible that people might not want to read the entire body of your email. Therefore, if possible, it's a good idea to include a summary at the start of your email (also called a TL;DR section - for Too Long; Didn't Read) briefly summarizing the content of your email. The summary itself should be no more than a paragraph or two.

Note that Wikitroid-l has a maximum size for emails, above which emails will be rejected. As of this writing, this limit is 500 kilobytes. It may change without warning in the future, though.

Special concerns for users receiving emails batched in a daily digest Edit

If you don't like receiving a lot of emails in a day, you can opt to receive emails from Wikitroid-l and Wikitroid-Admins-List batched in a daily (usually) digest. The digest will contain all emails across all threads that have been sent during that day. There are, however, special etiquette considerations you should make if you choose to receive your email in a daily digest:

Digests can contain multiple threads in one email, but please only reply to one thread at a time Edit

Don't put more than one reply in a single email, and especially don't reply to multiple threads in a single email. Keep your emails specific to a single thread, much like someone who receives emails in real time would.

Change the subject line of your email when replying to the list Edit

Digest emails have a very nondescript subject line, something like [Wikitroid-l] Wikitroid-l Digest, Vol 1, Issue 3. Please do not reply to the list and not change the subject line. It won't tell anyone what thread you're replying to. The subject line of the various emails are indicated in the digest, so make sure you change your subject line to something more appropriate in your reply. For example, if the specific email (of the many contained in the digest) that you're replying to had the subject line [Wikitroid-l] Friend vouchers, change the subject line of your reply to match: Re: [Wikitroid-l] Friend vouchers. Don't leave it with the generic digest subject line that it would have by default. This is required to preserve proper threading of the mailing list.

Don't include the entire digest in your reply Edit

By default, the grand majority of email programs will quote somewhere in the body of your reply the original email you're replying to when you hit the "Reply" button. For non-digested subscribers who receive all emails in real-time, this is fine. However, if you are digested, then the quoted portion will include the entire digest, which is unnecessary clutter and makes it very easy to hit the otherwise high 500 KB email size limit.

When replying, edit the quoted original message to only include the specific email (of the many in the digest) that you are replying to.