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Contributing to Conversations

Whether you follow conversations closely, or just keep track of them, at times you will want to contribute a message or files. You can do this via email or via the web. Whichever of these methods you use, it is important to write good subject lines, clearly delete the text of previous messages, and write clear and thoughtful posts.

Contribute to Conversations via Email

LURK allows group members to contribute a post by sending it in to the group as an email message. The subject line of the email should be the topic of the post, and the text of the post should be written in the body of the email message. Files should be attached as usual.

Advantages

  1. You do not need to log in to the website.

Disadvantages

  1. You must have access to your email.

Contribute to Conversations via the Web

LURK allows group members to make a post and add a file via the website.

Advantages

  1. You do not need access to your email.

Disadvantages

  1. You must log in to the website.

Write Good Subject Lines

Accurate subject lines enable group members to identify the topic of an email message before they read it. Subject lines are also used to organize posts on the website into readable sequences known as "topics". Well-organized topics make it possible to follow multiple concurrent conversations. It is therefore important to add to existing topics where appropriate, and to write good subject lines when starting new topics.

Advantages

  1. Group members can quickly identify the topic of your post.
  2. Your post will be correctly archived as belonging to the conversation to which you are contributing.

Disadvantages

  1. It can take time to find out whether a topic already exists for the subject you are writing about.

How To

  1. Look at the Topics area of your group to see how it organizes posts into a readable sequence.
  2. If you are responding to an earlier post, stick to the topic specified in the subject line.
    1. Use the same subject line if you are replying on the same topic.
    2. Change the subject line if you are replying on a different topic.
  3. Try to find an existing topic for your post, and add to that.
  4. If you cannot find a suitable topic to add to, write a subject line that accurately describes your post.

Delete the Text of Previous Messages

When replying to a post via email, quote from the text minimally and clearly, or delete it altogether. The text of the post has already been archived in full in the Topics area of the group.

Advantages

  1. Readers can identify your points more easily.

How To

  1. When replying to an online group email, identify any key sentences that it is necessary to refer to in your post.
  2. Delete the rest of the text.
  3. Write a clear and thoughtful post.

Write Clear and Thoughtful Posts

The more clear and thoughtful your post, the easier it is for others to understand. When people can understand your message, they are more willing to pay attention and respond to it.

How To

  1. Delete the text of the previous message.
  2. Consider your audience.
  3. Bear in mind that posts to online groups are permanent. Anything you send to the group will stay there.
  4. Make the key point first, and add detail below that.
  5. Quote from the previous post minimally and clearly.
  6. Keep your post as short and to-the-point as possible: if it becomes longer than two paragraphs, check whether everything you have written is necessary.
  7. When you finish writing, re-read your message with your audience in mind.
    1. Does it make sense?
    2. How might it be interpreted differently?
    3. Are there any spelling or grammatical errors?

A Cautionary Tale

What happens when you don't follow all of the above?