Date: 2001-03-02 10:43:00 UTC
Subject: What's on Topic and posting guidelines
Someone said, (points finger at Brett)
<Since our revered moderator seems to consider ferret ethology as
<being on-topic for the <group, I have a behavioral question of my
Which gives me the perfect intro to kind of touch base on what's on
topic. When choosing the title for this list, I selected the word
health carefully. I considered the word "medical" but that was much
too narrow. Medical is a primary interest of my own, but I also see a
need for nutrition, behavior (applied ethology), psychology,
pharmacology, biology and all the other areas that make up ferret
health. On second thought maybe I should have chosen The Ferret Ology
List as a name.
While we are incredibly blessed to have Dr. Bruce Williams give his
time, not only to be active on the list but also as a member of the
steering committee. We don't intend to stop there. The FHL is
aggressively recruiting recognized authorities from all aspects of
ferret health. We want this to be the best resource for ferret health
My primary concern was to provide an environment for the intellectual
exchange of information. To be truly effective such an environment
needs to be free from flames and trolls and things that go bump in
the night. What good is a list if someone is afraid to relate an
experience with a particular medication because they open themselves
up to attack by having an opinion.
We, the moderators, have agreed that an off topic post is a lesser
transgression. A deliberately inflammatory post is almost
unpardonable. So let's do our best to keep it in the broad range of
ferret health and above all, be kind to one another!
Two quick items...
Subject lines - This is your chance to get a vet or nutrionist or
pharmacologist or someone who has "been there done that" to notice
your post among 60 or 70 others. Think of it as your little
advertising space for your post. If it says "ferret digest 13"
someone in a hurry to get to the medical posts is going to skip it
thinking you have a problem with that particular digest issue and
expect someone who handles the admin to catch it. Don't set yourself
up to be accidentally ignored. Let your subject line reflect exactly
what you are posting about. If a response it should be Re: and the
subject line of the post you are referring to. That way people who
read us on the web can follow the thread and your response won't be
lost to them.
Quoting - It isn't necessary to quote an entire post to address one
item in that post. A well established internet rule of thumb is that
the quoted material should never be more of the message than your
response. If you are quoting 50 words to send 5, something is wrong.
We are at 376 members as I type this. These easy guidelines will make
the list a better place for everyone! If you have questions or need
help posting, please contact me and I will be happy to help.
PS- I think we need to remember too, Michael Janke, Sukie Crandall,
Dr Ruth Heller, Dr Allison Skipper, Dr Bruce Williams, Brett
Middelton and a host of other professionals are volunteering their
time when they post. They are giving us their experience as a gift,
the least we can give them back is a safe place to do it. I'm proud
to note that this has not been a problem on the FHL. Kudos!