Important: List Conduct #adminnotice

Nimer Jaber

Hello NVDA List,

This is Nimer, your friendly list owner coming to you with another message.

I would like to ask everyone, no matter where you stand on the issues at hand, to step back, relax, grab a drink, and read this message with clarity and with the mindset that I, your list owner, am doing the best I can as a human being, that I, the list owner have feelings, that I, your list owner, am not your enemy, and I, your list owner, have a duty to maintain a list full of a variety of members, with new members joining all the time, who have an expectation of discussing the list topic at hand, NVDA. Over the past few days, I have observed a number of message threads, and have walked away with the following observations:

1. With any list, there are a number of rules, and guidelines as well. As a member of a list, I must try to follow those rules, lest the list become unruly. The admins and moderators of that list set rules, and it is my duty to abide by those rules and guidelines to the best that I can.
2. With a list that has lots of members, and when that list has a stated purpose, a narrow topic, it is important to follow the purpose of the list because not following the stated purpose is violating the purpose of that list, subjects other list members to needless clutter, and gets away from the stated list purpose.
3. Many lists, including this one, are not designed as places for members to chat, they have a specific purpose. And it is the owner and moderators' role to make sure that this is enforced.
4. Consider that, if every list member in a thousand-member list on the list sent one off-topic message a day, there would be a thousand messages in excess.
5. Likewise, if everyone sends one message in agreement or disagreement of an Admin or Moderator message on the list, there would all of a sudden be a thousand extra messages.

Now, I know that not everyone on the list will send a message that is off-topic, or a message to the list at all for that matter, but as the list owner, I can tell you that I have seen many threads stray off-topic, many threads that have nothing to do with the stated list purposes, many subjects that are hijacked, and many repetitive questions asked, sometimes multiple times a day, with threads often exceeding 30+ messages.

For all of these reasons, I, along with Brian under my direction, have set together some rules and guidelines to remind us all of protocol, to allow all of us to be involved in a list that has a purpose, that is able to be helpful to the majority of users, new and veterans, and a list which represents the NVAccess community well.

Please read, and follow, the rules and guidelines as posted. Please consider the tone behind each message you send, and that we are all humans trying to do the best we can, and we all have life circumstances that are different from one another. Please consider that the topic of this list is NVDA, and anything that is not about NVDA is off-topic. Whether we allow any off-topic thread is and always has been up to the discretion of the moderator and owner of this list. We have, in the past, allowed a lot of latitude in terms of off-topic threads, but they have gotten out of hand lately, with a number of users leaving, stating they find the clutter unhelpful, etc, and I agree with them on this point. No thread on this list should be 30, 40, or 50 messages long. No thread should be hijacked, no thread should be about any topic that is unrelated to NVDA, and this is as it should be.

Does this mean that we won't allow any off-topic thread ever again? No, it does not. Some messages may be helpful to our community at large. The occasional off-topic message is not a big deal. But many messages is not acceptable. Particularly when there is a chat list, and a number of computer user groups out there whose purpose it is to discuss the items that are not on topic for this list.

In regards to repetitive messages, has a search function. If we all try to do the best we can to look up information ahead of time, by Googling or on, then we can minimize the number of messages to this list, particularly the very repetitive messages. Yes, I know users can hit delete, but some users have bandwidth limitations, and it becomes easy to miss important content when we get such into the habit of deleting things because they are asked very often, and/or they are off-topic. I don't want to discourage individuals from asking questions, but I do want to encourage users not to treat this list, and by extension list members, as their own personal tutors of whom they can ask anything and everything, repeatedly.

Finally, Brian is the list moderator, and as such, he deserves your respect as I do, for volunteering for this position and doing it often without being thanked. We are open to feedback, criticism, or whatever else you want to throw at us, but I would ask that it is done in a respectful manner, always, with the consideration that we are humans, with feelings, and we are apt to get things wrong because humans make mistakes. Please point it out to us when you disagree. Please do it in a respectful manner. And please do it on the owner e-mail address. Doing it on the main thread causes too many messages, often that don't have any relation to NVDA, thus are of no concern to list members. When a thread is locked, please do not restart it. When a moderator states that a topic should come to an end, please let it die. If you disagree, please send an e-mail to the Owner address, and you will get a response either from me, or from Brian, and if it concerns the entire list, you will get a response in the form of a letter to the entire list, such as this one is. It is never acceptable to ignore the closure of a thread by starting a new one.

IUn closing, I am directing Brian to begin enforcement of the rules and guidelines as set forth in my last e-mail and as summarized in this e-mail beginning Sunday, Apr 14. On that day, members repeatedly posting off-topic messages will be placed on a moderated status. Members posting the occasional off-topic thread may have the thread closed, with the request that it continues on the chat list, or in another more appropriate venue. Members posting questions which are often repeated will be strongly encouraged to use the archives. We may consider putting together an FAQ, which is sent out with the list guidelines, answering many of these questions. If anyone wishes to help out with this, please let me know.

If you have read this far, thank you. I hope, that with your help, we can scale back the thread hijacking, the off-topic messages, and the many repetitive posts in order to make this place a more inviting community for everyone who wishes to learn about, or help out with NVDA. Thank you for being part of this list, and thank you for your contributions. I hope they will continue. If, after you read this far, you choose to leave the list, however, please do so, please don't announce it before you leave because I don't care that you are leaving, and please feel free to return if you wish at a later time.


Nimer Jaber, NVDA List Owner

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