Mailing list

From i3Detroit
Jump to: navigation, search

List URLs

The official, members-only mailing list is:
Explicitly appropriate traffic
Communication between members about the organization, policy discussions, etc.
Communication between members about the space, tool maintenance, etc.
Discussion of announcements that were posted to -announce.
Explicitly prohibited traffic
"Me-too!" posts and other replies that add no actual content to the discussion.
Abusive posts, flaming, general cyberdouchery.
Cross-posting between this and -public. (Members are expected to keep up with both, and those who do should not be penalized by getting things twice.)
Hey guys! I saw this on the internet! and other traffic with no specific i3 connection.
Personal communication between members that holds no relevance to the rest of us.

The official, public mailing list is:
Explicitly appropriate traffic
Member-to-non-member communication, class announcements, event postings.
Non-member-to-member communication, signup questions, host-and-guest coordination. (But please take it off-list, i.e. email each other directly, once it reaches a point where that's possible.)
Job postings for LOCAL jobs that might have something to do with i3's community. (Direct, i.e. non-recruiter, postings preferred.) Particular if a member's company is hiring, but "outsider" postings are OK too if they're relevant.
General tech discussion if it has a *kerspace-related angle.
Explicitly forbidden traffic
Me-too posts, abusive posts, flaming and general dickishness.
Job postings that AREN'T LOCAL, have insignificant overlap with the community, or look spammy in general. (Recruiters aren't automatically spam, but are treated skeptically.)
Hey-guys-i-saw-this-on-buzzfeed, and other traffic with no specific i3 or *hackerspace/makerspace connection.
Cross-posting between this and the members-only group. (As above.)

The official, members-only low-traffic moderated announcement mailing list is:
Explicitly appropriate traffic
Important stuff: Parking tickets, vote announcements.
Emergencies that require alerting the membership.
Explicitly forbidden traffic
Discussion of announcements. If you wish to reply to an announcement, address it to the members-only list, above.

All members should be subscribed to all three lists as part of New Member Orientation.

Please be considerate of your fellow members and keep the chatter and "me too" replies to a reasonable level. The Members' list may occasionally be thrown into Moderation when things get out-of-hand.

Frequently asked sarcasm

  1. How should I format my reply?
    The important thing is that you do exactly whatever your mail client does for you by default. Your reply can go at the top or the bottom; it doesn't matter. More significantly, there is no need to select just the text to which you are replying to limit the quoted text in your reply. It's important to include everything so nothing is out of context. Also, if you can include 17 copies of the footer that the list server adds, that's good, because it makes sure everyone knows how to unsubscribe from the list.
  2. Someone asked if someone can do X, and I can't. Should I reply?
    Yes, absolutely. We have many members (52 at this writing) and we assume by default that each and every one of them will acquiesce to any request posted on the mailing list. Posting in the negative, preferably with an excuse like, "I'm at work", will assure your intent is clear, and more importantly, assure no one will think you are a bad person because you were unable to flip the twitterbot switch at 4 AM.
  3. Someone posted some idea and I think it's great. It's so great I have nothing to add to the discussion, except that I think it's great. Should I reply?
    Of course! We assume every idea is bad at i3. Also, when people post their ideas to the list, they aren't looking so much for contributions, but rather the kind of group affirmation that only an email can express. It's important though that everyone, and not just the original poster, sees your message; that way everyone can see how great the original poster's idea is. So, be sure to reply to the whole list, and not privately. Also, If you can make sure your reply contains two or fewer words, many of our members have set up email filters to specially handle your reply.
  4. I'm trying to coordinate schedules of multiple people. How should I do it?
    You could create a page on in your first post, but that's not necessary. It's better if everyone can participate in several rounds of schedule sharing on the list to arrive at a mutually available time. That way, people who have no interest in your event will still know when it is, and more importantly, all the times our members are not available. That way, we can avoid disturbing them during soccer practice. Don't try to coordinate anything among interested parties off list and post the result later, because you might forget.
  5. Someone is looking for an item to scavenge or hack. How should I reply?
    Be sure to reply to the whole list. Even if you don't have a suitable item, it's fine to reply. Also, assume everyone on the list, and not just the original poster, cares about whether you have the item or not.
  6. What's the difference between the "public" list and the not public list?
    There are two differences. Firstly, the public list is low-traffic and usually relevant information like announcements of events at i3. The private list requires a monthly fee, and is much higher traffic. Some of the messages are important and really for members only, like voting announcements or discussion of bylaws. However, mostly the messages are everyday banter that we don't wish the public to see.
  7. I'm frustrated with the way the list works. Can I make a suggestion?
    No! Any attempts to steer discussion on the mailing list or suggest more appropriate forums are censorship and forbidden. We have had discussions about the mailing list many times, and the outcome has been codified here in this FAQ. Do not raise the topic again.
  8. But (your favorite reference for netiquette) is contrary to these rules!
    All those rules are a conspiracy to censor the internet. They only claim to have been developed over the past five decades to make them seem more legitimate! Especially avoid RFC 1855. That document is old as dirt!

Mailing List Etiquette


  • Assume good faith.
  • Be excellent to each other.
  • Gently correct, off-list the first time.
  • Offer help, not derision.
  • If you must criticize, back it up with facts, not feelings.
  • In that case, be sure to offer a path to make it right.


  • When you make one post, roughly a hundred people to have to read it.
  • The mailing list is not chat. Please use IRC or off-list email for that.
  • If every member posts ONE MESSAGE A DAY, the resulting deluge overwhelms us
  • Therefore, strive only to post when you materially contribute to the discussion.
  • Resist the urge to "chime in", as this snowballs and doesn't add to the discussion.
  • Make your first post in a thread count. Put in all the detail you think people might ask about, to avoid the ask-and-respond message pingpong.
  • If you have multiple posts within a single thread to reply to, chop 'em all into a single reply, rather than posting back-to-back.

Choice of venue:

  • direct email is often the best, unless there's a reason we should all see it.
  • i3detroit-public is appropriate for local events, tech questions, etc.
  • i3detroit (the members-only list) is for stuff-in-the-shop, and private business.
  • i3 Forums Maybe a better place for unimportant chat/discussions ex. What should we call this....


  • To start a new thread, email the list directly or use the New Post button on the Groups website. DO NOT REPLY TO AN OLD MESSAGE WITH A NEW SUBJECT LINE. That breaks things.
  • Trim your quoted section to just the relevant parts. Some mailers do horrid things with quoted sections and we all have to slog through it.
  • If replying off-list, try to remember to change the [i3detroit] subject tag to something else, so their filters know it's not a list email.
  • Rather than playing schedule-tennis, use When Is Good? to figure out when people are available.
  • When putting together a group order, use a Google Spreadsheet or a page right here on this wiki, to track requests and payments.
  • If replying to a digest, DO NOT REPLY TO THE DIGEST. Go to the web interface and reply to the specific thread in question.

Hall of Fame

Terry's Song of the Kiln in the style of Dr. Seuss

“There was a Space,” quoth he The Rime of the Ancient Hacker.

Specific topics

Welcome new member! threads

Me-too! posts

Some netiquette advice from 1983. Some of the details have changed in the thirty years since then, but some like "use mail instead", "exhibit care", and "use appropriate titles" are truly timeless.


Moderation is usually triggered by an outbreak of incivility or an overwhelming volume of messages. Persistent offenders may find themselves moderated even when the rest of the group is not. As moderation progresses, this page will/should/may be updated with examples of messages that were zorched from the moderation queue, and why.