Etiquette for mailing lists, emails, IRC, etc...

Most open source organizations use IRC and/or mailing lists to communicate with one another.  If you keep the following items in mind when communicating with your mentors, community members and other students this will help make a positive, professional impression with the community.

  • NEVER SHOUT! Using all capital letters is the same as screaming and is never looked upon favorably in email, forums or IRC.
  • Be considerate. When you are asking for help, being rude or pushy will rarely get you an answer to your question. It  will also cause people to immediately have a negative response to you, not something you ever want. If you respond to someone else’s question be polite in your response. If the question is something that you feel everyone should already know, just answer the question - don’t make the person feel dumb for asking the question.
  • Never put your personal information in a mailing list or on IRC - no phone numbers, or home addresses, etc...
  • When responding to an existing post/email, please include relevant text from the original message. It should still be possible for somebody who did not read the original message to understand what you are talking about. This is called responding inline.
  • Keep subject lines short and to the point. Likewise, keep your message to the point, no need to write a page about your problem/question.
  • Don’t attach files to your email unless your mentor has specifically told you to do so.
  • Never use personal attacks or profanity, if you would not say it in a crowded room for all to hear, do not write it in a message.
  • Plain text is always best, avoid including graphics, charts, and images.
  • If you are having trouble using English in your communications ask a friend for assistance or use Google translate or another service to help you.
  • Remember, anything you post on the internet is there FOREVER.