META: Using Subject Headers

John Blanco-Losada (
Tue, 24 Dec 96 11:31:03 -0500

I hereby humbly submit my three suggestions for (hopefully) improving the
signal to noise ratio on this list:

1. Whenever possible, let's get back to using subject header tags. My
theory is that using these will force the sender to ask himself how his
message relates to Extropianism before he sends the message, which will,
at best, reduce the number of frivolous postings and at worst give the
reader a heads-up regarding the area of discussion.

I've provided an example of this (META) in the subject of this message.
If memory serves me correctly, this indicates that the message deals
with the workings of the list itself. A quick perusal of the archives
shows the use of the POL, TECH, BOOK/WEB, and LAW tags. Perhaps someone
could resurrect a list of commonly accepted and previously used tags and
post them?

2. Let's make a better effort to rename subject lines as the subject of
the thread changes. For example, a message posted today entitled "Re:
Meow (was:TWA 800: THE CAT IS OUT!!)" contains a discussion of why there
seems to be a higher percentage of males within the Extropian population
(note to the author - don't feel bad, I just picked this at random).
Changing the subject to something like "Percentage of female Extropians
(was Re: Meow (was:TWA 800: THE CAT IS OUT!!))", while lengthy, would
give readers who had lost interest in the thread an indication that the
subject had changed.

3. Think twice before posting "Me too" replies to the list. Ask yourself
how your message will contribute and add to the body of knowledge
discussed here. If it's just a commentary on something already said
which will not advance the discussion of the topic, or if it's an
offering of kudos for a job well done, perhaps your message should be
sent to the original author instead of the entire list.

John Blanco-Losada "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - M. Gandhi