The Institute For Impure Science (IFIS) has (at the moment) 4 mailing lists available:
- announce is for the broadcasting of important information amongst IFIS members. Meetings, new books just released, new series about to appear on our TVs, etc. (This might (perhaps) later be moderated so that only committee members can post directly. All other posts will be sent to a committee member to check first.)
- chat is for members to generally chat about anything science fiction related. Anything at all. Burning the books, how crap last night's episode of "Voyager" was, who would win if the death star met the borg, anything. This list is not moderated. Anyone can post to it.
- writing is for the exchange of creative writing. In other words, somewhere where IFIS folks can post Fantasy & Science Fiction writings of their own, and have them "gently critiqued" by the other readers.
- project is for talking about the latest IFIS project. At the moment, there's a vague plan that we make a science fiction movie, I think.
To mail one of the lists, you mail firstname.lastname@example.org, where 'listname' is one of names listed above. You can manage all your subscriptions on the website or by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org a blank message.
If you don't fancy filling your mail accounts with emails from the lists, you can read and post to the lists via the archives as if they were a message board. It's strongly recommended though that you keep receiving at least the announce list, so you keep informed about what the society is up to.
Ages ago I wrote some approximate guidelines for the 2 main lists, and nobody's objected to them, so I'll quote them here:
For the moment I suggest (but won't rigidly enforce) the following guidelines:
- "New series of blakes 7 starts december 12th" if you're intending to chat about it too.
- "that science fiction shop in egham is actually quite expensive"
- "where's our bloody library"
- "grumble moan insult the committee whine whinge"
- "Why have I got too much email"
- "Should we have a new IFIS mailing-list for blah?"
- "what should we do about all these damned ex-students?"
- "what should we do about all these damned students?"
- "borg v death-star, value of pi near black holes, etc etc etc"
- "isn't Pratchett's / Rowling's / whoever's new book really cool?"
ifis-chat should probably be the kind of stuff we TALK about down at the pub. ifis-announce should probably be the kind of stuff we grab everyone's attention for and SHOUT about down at the pub, and/or put up posters for, give out leaflets, etc. Replies to the announce list should (obviously) go to the chat list.
Finally, some important bits of "nettiquette":
- Do NOT quote the whole of a 5-page email to just add 2 or 3 lines of reply. Trim where appropriate... On the other hand, DO leave enough context that people know what you're answering. An email suddenly saying "yes" in amongst 20 different conversations does NOT make any sense.
- Chain letters, virus warnings (esp fake ones) test posts, and non-science fiction related humour do NOT belong here. Try to stay on topic.
- Try to keep flame-wars off the list. If you're getting angry at someone, please take it to private email so the rest of us don't have to put up with it.
These are just my guidelines. As you can see, I'm not even certain about all of them myself. Better suggestions are welcome - rant and rave about this on CHAT please, not ANNOUNCE.