Mailing List Etiquette

Occupy Berkshires uses several mailing lists so that members can keep in touch and more easily organize. Here is some simple etiquette we all should keep in mind when using these mailing lists.

Be Respectful

All of our members are entitled to their opinions and everyone should be treated respectfully. It is good for members of the group to have differing opinions and perspectives, so we need to make sure this is an environment where people are treated politely and respectfully, even when disagreements occur.

Make Messages Brief and Readable

Be brief. It takes considerable time and effort to read long messages. You can do your part to reduce this workload by using brevity to maximize clarity.

A blank line between paragraphs greatly helps readability.

When adding links, put the URL on a separate line and indented a couple of spaces.

Use Descriptive Subject Lines

The subject line is one of the only fields displayed in an email Inbox. You can greatly help potential readers remember what your message is about, and decide whether or not to read it, with a descriptive subject line. Some examples of ambiguous and meaningful subjects are provided below.


Bad Subjects Good Subjects
Misc Preparation for Thursday Seminar
Ride Ride needed to Pittsfield Event
Meeting Meeting – 9:00 Tues — room 6


Stay On Topic

Never post off-topic messages. This takes judgment, and you should ask yourself a basic question: is this posting likely to be of interest to this group, or is there another forum that is more appropriate?

Send Email to the Minimum Number of People

To reduce everybody’s email load , you should only send to the group mailing list if the message is genuinely useful and on-topic to the entire group. Otherwise reply to just the people or workgroups who need the information. All workgroup contact info can be found on the Workgroup webpage.

If you mean to reply to just the sender of a message, always double-check the addresses on your reply message before sending. It is very easy to reply to an email sent to the group then find that your email program has replied to all of the addresses in the original message, and sending your personal reply to everyone by mistake.

Include Your Name & Email Address

Always include your email address and name in your email. This makes it much easier to see who is speaking and who to get in touch with, especially if the email posting has been forwarded or copied. Many people include this information by putting their name and address in their “signature” – a bit of text that automatically is added to each outgoing message. Here are some ways to set up signatures for common email applications:

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