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How to Use the SlackDocs Mailing List
Electronic mailing lists are powerful communications tools on the Internet. They have been around much longer than the graphic World Wide Web that you see in your browser every day. Basically, a mailing list is just a central router for incoming and outgoing emails from members of a group. It is very useful for communications between members working on projects such as ours here. For those of you unfamiliar with electronic mailing lists, we're going to offer some basic information to get you started along with links to some outside sources regarding accepted formats and etiquette when using an electronic mailing list. Let's get started.
Mailing List Howto
Joining the List
In order to utilize the SlackDocs mailing list, you'll need to register and become a member. It only takes a moment or two to register. The list needs to be able to identify you based on your email address in order to send you updates. Once registered, you can adjust your preferences as to how you want the list to send to you… individual emails or daily digests. If you want to stay up-to-date, individual emails is a much better choice for an active list like ours.
Your First Email to the List
Let's say you want to write an article about how to use rsync to automatically backup a certain file on your system every night at 2100hrs. You feel it's a useful tutorial, but you want to see what the staff editors and the rest of the community would think about it before you start writing it. That's a good thing to do, by the way. The staff and the community are there to help and guide potential contributors to this project.
- Using the email method of your choice (webmail, stand-alone email client, etc.), you formulate your message to the list.
- Choose a meaningful and concise subject line - “Advice Needed on New Submission” or something similar.
- Using plain language, briefly describe your article.
- Remember to use paragraph breaks (white space) so that your message doesn't appear cluttered and unstructured.
- Address your new message to the SlackDocs mailing list –> firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click the send button.
That's it. Your message is zooming to the central mailing list server where it will be resent out to the entire membership. Individual members who care to will now be able to reply to your message.
You Got a Reply
Great! Now what do you do? Well, let's say that staff editor Phil A. Page replied telling you that your article is indeed worthwhile and will most likely be very helpful to visitors here. You should now reply back to Phil with your thanks and your estimate of how long it will be before you submit the article.
- When replying to someone on the list, it is courteous and useful to quote all or a portion of their message to you.
- It is accepted practice to place your reply below the message you're quoting - this is known as “bottom posting or replying”.
- Again, use plain language, be concise and brief (to the point).
- Make sure you reply to the list or the list and the sender, but not just the sender (unless you are choosing to make the reply a private communication between just you two.
- Click the send button.
That's it. You've communicated via the SlackDocs electronic mailing list. The more you use it, the better you'll get at it. It's simple and effective.
We hope that you'll join your fellow Slackware Documentation Project community members on the list regularly. Much information, tips, tricks, and other useful interaction takes place there daily. Don't miss out.
SlackDocs Mailing List Archive - You can read the list in your browser.
- Originally written by V. T. Eric Layton