The purpose of this list is to discuss dollmaking. If you have a question, a tip, or you want to chat about the doll you are working on, then please post away! However, we do have a few tips to make our list time more efficient and stress-free.
No flaming. Disagreeing is fine (although there are people on the list who would disagree with me about this!) but it should never get to the point of personal attack.
Please remember that there are 800 people on this list. If your note is meant for one person, then please send it to that one person. For example, if you want to ask someone how her mother is doing, tell someone you loved their web page or their post, or that you love their dolls, then send it to that one person and not the whole list. If your note begins “Hi Agatha” then that’s a hint that you meant it for Agatha and not for 800 people. If you say something like “everybody, you should go see Agatha’s web page” then that is different from “Hi Agatha, I love the lavender background on your web page.” Just think before you send it — will a reasonably high percentage of the list members want to read your note?
Please do not forward messages to the list, unless directly related to dollmaking. In particular, please don’t forward virus warnings, jokes, or chain letters.
Virus warnings are usually hoaxes and even the ones that have merit to them are not about dollmaking. If you think you’ve heard a new one that will affect the list, then send it to me and not the list. I will send it to the list if there is need. This will keep 20 copies of the same warning from being posted at once.
Even if a joke is about dollmaking or dolls, it’s probably safe to assume that all of our friends, relatives, and tolerated ones have sent us twenty copies of it already. Every now and then you will find a good one that hasn’t been around since the Mayflower – if you have any doubt, then ask me if you can send it on. And original humor is ALWAYS appreciated.
Even the chain letters that seem to be for a good cause (petitions to sign, or pleas for help) should not be forwarded to the list. Many of them are hoaxes, and most of the sincere ones were poorly planned without a knowledge of the power of the internet (or of the numbers of exponential growth.) If everyone really does forward the letter to ten friends who send a letter back to the original address, the original address will be swamped by thousands and then millions of letters in a remarkably short time, and the server will be forced to shut down and cancel that address.
While it is true that posts should be about dollmaking, it is also true that it can get a little dry if we just talk about where to buy plaster all the time. In small amounts, it’s OK to post a bit about your private live — a new job, a new grandchild, or a difficult time in your life. It’s important to keep a balance, however, or the list turns into a gossip list in short time. We want to keep the dollmaking discussion to 80% — if you have posted 4 good dollmaking posts and want to tell us something else in your fifth post, then go ahead. But don’t use this as an excuse to forward a chain letter or start an argument or get on a soapbox. The vast majority of our arguments have started with posts that didn’t belong on the list at all.When you post something off topic, please label it OT in the subject header so those who don’t want to read it can delete it.
Remember that this is an international list with many different belief systems, political beliefs, languages, and customs represented. Don’t assume that everyone agrees with you or even knows what you are talking about.
Marketing is permitted in small, polite doses. In particular, we all buy dollmaking supplies and would like to buy good supplies from people we “know” from the list. If you would like to post an ad, please keep them down to once a month or less and put AD in the subject header so people who don’t want to read it can delete it. Even better, if you can work it into a regular discussion naturally then you’ll probably make a better impression on your audience. Many of the best suppliers on the list get a lot of good PR from being knowledgeable and helpful, and from having their list customers being happy with their supplies.
Our marketing policy also applies to your Ebay sales: If you think we want to see your auction because you are selling supplies or want us to see your new doll, then go ahead and let us know about it. But Ebay notices should NOT be the only thing you ever post to the list.
Please give your messages meaningful subject headers. If you reply to a message about wigs but you really want to talk about oil paints, then please change the subject header accordingly. If you are on the digest, then don’t post messages with the automatic digest header, or no one will know if they want to read your message or not.
If you are on digest, please be very careful not to post the entire digest back to the list.
If you want to include the message that you are replying to, then please cut it down to just the relevant portion. It can be very annoying to the members on digest to see the same post repeated multiple times in a row, especially if you only add one or two lines. (known as a “me-too” post.)
Resist the urge to correct people’s spelling. English might not be their language. A lot of visual artists seem to be spelling challenged, or at least they are better at expressing themselves visually and have to struggle a bit with the written communication we need to use in email. Many of the people you most want to learn from have poor grammar/spelling skills, so let’s all be gentle.
How the list works:
This email list is administered using Mailman software on a linux system. The server maintains a list of all the currently subscribed members. When you send an email to the list address (firstname.lastname@example.org) the software sends that email to all 800 members. Remember that most of the work is done by software, not by me. In particular, this means that I don’t see the messages before they are posted. Occasionally, I’ve received panic stricken emails or phone calls from listmembers who regretted a hasty post and who would like to cancel it before it gets distributed. Unfortunately, I can’t do that.
As a security measure, only members of the list can post a message to the list. This prevents spam or address harvesting. If you have a valid message that you want to send to the list, but cannot join for whatever reason, then send the message to me and I will forward it for you. Only members can access the archives.
I searched extensively before I chose www.dreamhost.com. Their service is good and their fee is very reasonable. However, our hosting is no longer free. If you enjoy the list and would like to help defray the costs associated with it, please consider some of these ways of supporting the list. If you can’t help out for whatever reason, don’t worry about it… this list is still free of charge to its members.
dawnwich at mac.com