Optcom Rules and Guidelines

== General Description of the List ==

The Optcomlist is the oldest and most respected online discussion group for Optometrists. Founded in 1994, the Optcomlist uses "listserv" technology to deliver group messages to your email account. With well over 100 emails being delivered daily, you shouldstrongly consider using a dedicated Gmail account when subscribing. This gives you virtually all the benefits of a listserv and a forum combined, and is easily accessible via iPhone or any Windows Mobile smartphone. It is the ultimate way to communicate with your colleagues. Never delete any messages - just archive them all - and you'll have your own personal searchable database of list discussions. Use the menu above at the top of the screen to subscribe.


== Categories of Allowed Members ==

Only individuals falling into the categories below may subscribe to the Optcomlist:

  1. Practicing Optometrist
  2. Student currently enrolled in a school of optometry
  3. National or State Optometric Association Staff
  4. Faculty member at a school of optometry


== General Agreement ==

By subscribing to the Optcomlist, you inherently agree to NOT participate in any behavior that is slanderous, anti-trust, or in any manner that is blatantly insulting to the other participants. Stating facts is always welcome, but generalizing should be avoided. For example... "Company XYZ hasn't sent a representative to my office in two years" is OK... but to expand on that by adding "Company XYZ is a terrible company and we shouldn't do business with them" is NOT OK.

Specifics (may not cover all situations... moderator can change or add to these at any time)


== All List posts are public… essentially ==

I alluded to this in another Etiquette post… when posting to the List, you should assume that anyone, and everyone in the entire global surface of this planet we call Earth will read your post. The number of “moles” - people who forward messages to non-list members is unlimited. The number of people who lurk who subscribed by lying about their credentials is undoubtedly high, as well. Sooo… again… anything you post can come back to haunt you. Say what you want, but don’t be upset if you get some surprising private replies.


== Posts may not be quoted in any publication without express consent. ==

Contact Walt Mayo, OD (gmail: waltmayo) for more information.


== No flames ==

What is a flame? A flame is an insult, basically. You can call someone’s ideas stupid… but don’t call the person stupid. Yes, there is a difference. Flaming will not be tolerated and is grounds for immediate suspension of posting privileges.


== No anti-trust messages ==

Any messages that encourage price fixing, boycotts, etc. are not allowed on the list for obvious reasons. Simply reporting fees may be OK… but it’s thin ice to be sure. Many people who never show their face, nor even are legitimately supposed to be reading these messages… are reading them. While the public may not be allowed to join, or post. There are no end to the ways people get a hold of these messages to read. If you post, assume you are posting to the world.


== Keeping threads on topic ==

Make sure that you’re keeping your subject lines on topic. If you wander off topic with your post, note that in the subject line… either changing the topic completely, or adding a small addendum to the subject line. It only take a few seconds. This helps a lot, especially for selective readers. Not everyone is a “read every message” Optcomlist junkie!!


== Trim your quotes! ==

It’s a growing problem… literally. A handful of Listees totally disregard the world-wide guideline of posting no more than four lines of quotes when replying to a post. I’ve actually seen quotes that reach into the 400, 500, or more lines. Since 1/3 of Listees read the List in digest form, this is a major problem. Such long quotes makes it almost impossible to read digests. Please keep quotes to a minimum… just enough to keep some continuity to a given thread.


== Quoting Private Conversations ==

Doesn’t happen too often, but certainly email behavior that is out of line. And don’t say that it was an accident… as it’s almost impossible. I can’t think of a single email application - desktop or web-based - that will allow a CC: to the list without you specifically typing in “ optcomlist@optcom.com"> optcomlist@optcom.com” or doing a cut-and-paste. No matter how much you dislike someone, quoting their private message to you in message routed to the Optcomlist is inappropriate and likely to get you placed on moderation.


== Foreign languages are allowed ==

Once in a while we see a post in Spanish or some other language as the Listee posting may feel most comfortable posting in his/her native language. Just to set the record straight, I have not problem with this at all. In fact, if there were a time when multiple conversations were going on in a variety of languages, I’d just love it.