Registration Agreement

Forum, web, and listserv users, please take note of the following netiquette guidelines

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About this document.  It is common for online communities to have guidelines that describe what communication is appropriate for the community.  This document is often called netiquette.  This document covers basic communication rules that will help us communicate as effectively as possible.  In most cases, these rules will be self enforced.  In extreme circumstances of misconduct, moderators may step in to remove posts or even ban repeat offenders.  Let's hope it doesn't come to this.  Please do your part and be aware of this forum's netiquette.  Then again, we all make mistakes.  The purpose of this document is not to impose a set of rules that we are all afraid of breaking.  The purpose of this document is to create some basic expectations that will allow productive communication.

The Basics

"Be excellent to each other"
- Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Consider the three doors that charitable speech must pass through.
The first gatekeeper asks: "Is it true?"
The second gatekeeper asks: "Is it helpful?"
The third gatekeeper asks: "Is it kind?"
(adapted from the writings of Krishnamurti by James Martin)

8 Rules for Positive Online Communication
1.  Listen
2.  Take a deep breath and calm your emotions before replying.
3.  Focus on the content of the issue;  do not abuse the messenger.
4.  Personal and ad hominem attacks (using a person’s character, characteristics, or associations as a verbal weapon) are to be strictly avoided.
5.  Refrain from using ALL CAPS (shouting), profanity, belittling, accusations, and threats.
6.  Eliminate sarcasm whenever possible.  In emotional situations, wait a bit to clear your mind, then re-read your composition and make a sincere, conscious effort to clear your message of charged words.
7.  Stay on topic!  Too many tangents will add to the confusion.
8.  Give praise when it is due.

Using the GPCO Forum: Courtesies and Specifics

Know where to post.  When creating a new topic, make sure that it is under the appropriate board.  Boards allow topics to be organized in a meaningful way.  When in doubt, use your best judgment.  If you post to the wrong place, your post may be moved by a moderator.  This is no big deal.

Don't hijack existing topics. If you have something new to say, create a new topic.  Topics have a tendency to get off track.  When in doubt, look at the title of the topic and see if your post fits.  Moderators have the ability to split a single topic.  If a topic has gotten off track or turned into something entirely different, notify a moderator so it can be split.

Use proper spelling and grammar. It is best to use unabbreviated English; an example to avoid is "i HV not been 2 ur house B4."

Always read your post before sending.  This is to check for grammar and spelling errors and to make sure you are saying what you want to say.  Many people will be taking the time to read your post.  Please be courteous to them and read what you write before you post.

Keep it non-commercial. Talking about companies and organizations is allowed when it fits within the purpose of the forum and is posted in the appropriate area.  What is not allowed is advertising and self promotion when it does not pertain to this forum.  When it is okay: "The organization I work for is hosting a panel on the impacts of mining in Colorado."  What is not okay: "I am a dentist looking for new patients."

Be respectful of privacy.  Do not copy information from this forum and post it outside of this forum.  Do not post things to this forum that violate other's privacy.  For example, don't post a private email to this forum without the consent of all parties.  Do not assume that this forum is secure.  Avoid posting extra-sensitive information to this forum.

Be civil.  Treat others with consideration and respect.  It is okay to disagree.  Remember to deliberate about the topic of discussion instead of arguing about personalities.  When others don't follow this rule, take the high road.  Forgive and forget.

Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Report personal attacks for moderation.  Do not allow personal attacks to escalate.

Apologize when it is necessary. (from
Disputes, and even misunderstandings, can lead to situations in which one party feels injured by the other. The apology is a form of ritual exchange between both parties, where words are said that allow reconciliation.  For some people, it may be crucial to receive an apology from those who have offended them. Demanding an apology is almost never helpful and often inflames the situation further, though a polite, good faith request for an apology may be acceptable. Offering an apology is even better, and can be a key to resolving conflict. An apology provides the opportunity for a fresh start, and can clear the air when one person's perceived incivility has offended another.

Additional Netiquette Resources

The following are a list of helpful online resources concerning netiquette and effective online communication.  Please report broken links to the Administrator!