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RULES OF THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY, Route 97, H-PCAACA These rules governing H-PCAACA are based on experience and should serve us well over time. In afew months or so, we will reconsider and reformulate based on experience. Respond with suggestions, complaints, if you have them. By Peter C. Rollins and Phil Landon, Moderators I. General and obvious items.. Conversation on E-mail poses rhetorical challenges. Here are some simple prohibitions for H-PCAACA subscribers. --No ad hominem arguments --No bullying or aggressively derogatory messages --No silliness, although wit is welcomed --No attacks on the Moderators, the organization, etc. (See rules for complaints. A written letter on letterhead to your local Editorial Board member is appropriate.) --Letters to the Moderators are welcomed, but will be run once per week on Friday in a composite message. 2. Alternative Fora Anyone unhappy with the restraints of H-PCAACA is welcome to use the other 30 bulletin boards on H-NET or the hundreds of unmoderated bulletin boards on the Information Highway. There is a lot of cyberspace out there. And plenty of flamewars! 3. Specific items not so obvious: SUBMITTING A POSTING: send to H-PCAACA@msu.edu (The message goes to a computer at Michigan State. It then goes with other messages to one of the Moderators whose job it is to clean up headers, move items around a bit, read for content and appropriateness, and then to forward back to the Listserve in E. Lansing. (Sometimes, items will be held back because of the volume of traffic.) Upon transmission to the list, the messages flash out to members of H-PCAACA. FORMATTING THE MESSAGE: Avoid some problems ahead of time The display width for H-Net/H-PCAACA screens is 65 characters. When you save a file for transmission or mail submission, force your word processor to save it in lines that are no wider than 65 characters. If you are using 1 inch margins and 10 characters per inch in your font choice, that will do the trick. Save in the ASCII file format; do not expect to preserve underlining, italics, centering or the other amenities of personally printed documents. (Talk with the service line for your software, or call the campus computer center for instructions on how to do this right the first time.) MESSAGE HEADERS: Use the "Subject" line to advantage Many people will want to decide whether or not to read your message by the "Subject" line you enter as part of the "Header." Spend some time making this informative--rather than cute. Here are some examples of clear "Subject" entries: Subject: "SWPCA Regional Meeting Annoucement" ` Subject: "Great new book on Sports and Culture": Subject: Review of *Independence Day* A Mythic Approach Subject: Reponse to Mike Marsden Article on PCAACA Many subscribers are on multiple lists. Nobody reads all of the mail, so put up a good flag for your message if you want to have it read! MESSAGE CONTEXT: Remind people exactly what you're referring to. The messages flash past. We need reminders. e.g. "As Johnathan Yoder reported on March 29, the current batch of CD-Roms is considered slow. HOWEVER, if you are only using them for text reading applications--as opposed to images and simulated video--they are adequate." All clues are helpful in sustaining a sense of continuity in discussion. MESSAGE EDITING AND REVISION: Moderators Have Some Leeway Moderators reserve the right to send messages back with editorial suggestions. They also reserve the right to make small modifications in the texts submitted--for the sake of the net or to help beginners to look good. The Moderators will NOT change ideas or style. The Moderators reserve the right NOT to post messages which contravene the rules of H-PCAACA. On some occasions, these decisions will be a matters of taste and judgment. Like 99% of the H-Net, this is a moderated list. MESSAGE PRIORITIES FOR H-PCAACA Items related to the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association receive top priority on H-PCAACA. MESSAGE FREQUENCY: A DAILY DOSE OF H-PCAACA We will attempt to edit and forward messages daily. In some cases, we may hold items back for a cluster posting on a particular topic. Down the line, we may have special days for special topics. MESSAGE TONE: KEEP IT FRIENDLY, KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL We study popular materials, but we need not emulate the negative tone of some of our materials. Please think of H-PCAACA as a cocktail party at one of our national meetings. Keep it Friendly and Keep it Professional! Everyone has heard of "flaming"--the information highway equivalent of the behavior of a mild-mannered person who becomes a menace when empowered by an automobile and surrounded by other drivers. The apparent anonymity of the information highway can lead to two big problems: --slash and burn communications such as below: "Professor Jones is so ignorant that he has not heard of John Cawelti, a person who has written some of the basic books in our field. Nevertheless, I will take the time to explain some of the more obvious points..." This writer is showing off and polluting the network for others. This kind of message drives off people and creates tension on the bulletin board. Talk to us as a friend, a colleague! --unintended injury, such as that below: "You film people only study that kind of popular culture because you are too lazy to read." This writer probably is joking, but the joke does not work because, as in public speaking, rhetorical irony often comes across as a simple negative statement. Watch out for this problem. We Moderators have seen how these kinds of communications have hurt other networks. We will defend ours from them--either by asking for revision of messages or simply by refusing to forward a message. After two message returns, we will ask our "Disruptive Subscriber" officer to communicate with the errant subscriber. Suspension from the Net may follow. Our Disruptive Subscriber officer is Michael K. Schoenecke of Texas Tech U, a member of our Editorial Board. He is a friendly and considerate person. NO MESSAGE TAGS/QUOTES: We don't print them One common practice on the networks is adding a quotation to your signature. We discourage this and trim them off when we spot them. They typically become repetitive and are irritating for many subscribers because they are generally unrelated to the content of the message.