Archiver > BRETHREN > 2005-10 > 1130785925

From: James Shuman <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Re letter from Wanda Barrett
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 11:12:05 -0800
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>


Your "embarrassment" provides us with an opportunity for a "teaching
moment" as they say in education.

Many of us use the Reply feature of our e-mail programs whenever we
wish to respond to messages from friends and fellow researchers,
which is good, because it assures us that we will be using the
correct form of the e-address, and have the original message already
present in quoted format, etc.

HOWEVER, we must be aware that when we are replying to messages from
a Mailing List (such as the Brethren List) we are very likely to be
sending it to the entire List. The reason for this is that unless the
owner of the original message has pre-set his e-mail program with a
special "reply-to" function, the Mailing List service will set the
"Reply To" as being to itself.

That is what happened here: the automatic processes of the Brethren
List mailing service took over and set Wayne's message as one for
which replies would go to the List, not to Wayne directly.

SO WHAT DO WE DO when we don't want to send a reply to the entire
List? One option would be to begin a new message. This assures that
it will go only to whomever we choose, but it has the disadvantage of
not quoting the original message. In some e-mail programs, it is easy
to do a copy and paste into the new message, but for others, this is
not a good choice.

And for many of us, our first impulse is to simply click "Reply."
Almost all of us will, once in a while, hit the "send" button before
we realize that we haven't checked the "To" field, which is what
happened here. We need to train ourselves to look there before that
fateful moment, and make whatever corrections are required. Once the
"Send" button has been clicked, we cannot undo the action, and most
Mailing Lists are set to run automatically, meaning there is no
interception of messages before they are delivered.

In today's example, it was apparent to most of us that the message
had been intended as a private one. There have been an increasing
number of "Thank You" messages, however, about which we cannot be
certain. Our Welcome message contains this Guideline:

4. While we encourage the Brethren virtues of "caring and sharing,"
we request that you REFRAIN FROM SENDING A 'THANK YOU' MESSAGE to the
list unless it contains new material that you are sharing. A simple
thanks for what you have received should be sent privately. Remember,
each list message goes out to well over 600 subscribers!

So, thank you, Wanda, for providing this opportunity to review the
process and include a reminder. Even though we couldn't honor your
request, there was no great harm done this time.

List co-moderator

At 6:54 AM -0800 10/31/05, Wanda Barrett wrote:
>Please don't publish this letter to the whole web list. It was meant
>for Wayne only. I'm embarrassed.

James Shuman


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