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Window Cleaning Network Rules

Read this before posting any messages to any of the window cleaning groups, and bookmark this URL for future reference --    

If you make or sell products that are sold to window cleaners, or if you are affiliated with a company that does, read this information about our strict advertising policy. NOTE: Advertising rules do not apply to end users (window cleaners) with no affiliation to companies that make, sell or market to window cleaners.

We're quite serious about these rules because they allow us to carry on a professional yet frank discussion.  Refusal or failure to comply with rules can and has lead to persons being unable to post messages to WCmail groups. The moderator (Gary Mauer) has sole discretion in these matters.

The moderator (Gary Mauer) may contact you to remind you about a particular rule if there is a problem. Some of the rules pertain to things that would only be a problem if they became widespread - like forgetting to sign a message. It may seem like nit picking if the moderator reminds you to do something like that, but that's the only way we know to stay on top of things.

As you read these rules, please make your best effort to understand that the moderator is not some kind of control freak, and he doesn't wish to trample anyone's freedom of speech. Heck, he can probably out cuss you, and he probably knows as many insults and dumb jokes as the next person. It's just that there's no getting around the fact that a professional discussion can't work that way.

The bottom line on these rules is that their purpose is simple - to keep more talented professionals involved - and they've been doing that for over 4 years. 

Rules of conduct for the window cleaning email groups.

1) Respect your fellow window cleaners. Please realize that we are not trying to control thoughts - just the way people treat each other in this tiny corner of the Internet. 
It's quite simple, really. Explain what is wrong with what the other person said, but do not explain what is wrong with the other person. Don't even tell them to "get a life", call them whiners, or troublemakers. People quit when other people are too busy attacking and defending. So we will not tolerate personal attacks. 
No spelling, grammar or "you're not a real window cleaner" flames.
These are international groups, so there are going to be mistakes made - and some people are just DIFFERENT that way. Don't let yourself get all worked up over something silly like that.

Please watch your language.  Do not use profanity - don't even come close.

Also - since the mail is not screened before it is relayed, there is no way to prevent someone from offending you or anyone else if they decide to break a rule, but Gary Mauer (the moderator) DOES deal with them afterward - sometimes by preventing them from posting messages, sometimes by discussing the matter with them privately. If someone breaks a rule, you have to let the moderator handle it. 
You do NOT get a free shot at anyone. Don't try it, you may BOTH end up in the doghouse.

Bottom line - Hecklers, abusive or rude users - anyone who will not abide by the the rules will be prevented from posting messages.

2) Stay on topic. That's what keeps all those other talented window cleaning people subscribed to the email group. This is not a "chat room". Please stay on topic - window cleaning and networking issues. Before you post to the group, re-read what you wrote and ask yourself, what does it have to do with window cleaning?  You can use humor, but never send a joke just to be funny.

3) Do not post material from outside our groups. We do NOT repeat jokes, hoaxes - such as these so-called email virus alerts. We won't argue about how REAL or URGENT they seem, so don't ever think that you have one of these items that is so important you can't get in trouble over sending it to the group. You will.

Don't post mail someone else sent to you privately. Don't be tempted, in the heat of a private argument, to take it public by posting some private trash. 
And material that's copyrighted is owned by someone -- if you grab it and post it to a group without permission, you've just stolen it. That's wrong. It can get you in trouble, and it might get us in trouble. If you want the group to know about it, post the URL of the site, or summarize it for us. Normally, quoting a couple of paragraphs IS a "Fair Use" of a copyrighted work. For a discussion of "Fair Use" see this information from the  Consortium for Educational Technology in University Systems

4) Do not play Moderator Gary Mauer is the ONLY moderator we have. If you have problems with something happening on the group, do NOT complain to the group. Contact Gary privately or just ignore it. Often Gary has already taken private action to deal with the problem. If you play Moderator and jump into the middle, you will find yourself in trouble with the rules, too.
Let GARY deal with it. And if you make a mistake with respect to any of these rules, you can tell the moderator, but do not apologize to everyone. That just makes for one more off topic message. Drop it.
Remember too that there always SHOULD be several topics being discussed at any one time. If you are not interested in a subject, don't read the messages. We don't allow people to try to "kill" one subject in order to focus on another one.

5) Use useful subject lines and change the subject line when necessary. Remember to change the Subject line to match the new topic if you are taking off in a new direction. This is very important, if for no other reason than many users have stopped reading an old topic, and they won't realize that you're off onto something new and interesting. 

6) Limit file attachments to one page or 10k, whichever is less. Try to determine if a file attachment will be welcomed by a good number of users before attaching it to a group message. If there are only one or two interested parties, send it privately. Remember, this is the internet, and the BEST way to share a file is to put it on the web and give us the URL, so we can go get it ourselves, if and when we want it. If you can do that, by all means do.

7) Post quality messages. Take some time to make your messages worth reading.
Be sincere. By that we mean, don't toss out an opinion that isn't yours. Sometimes we get a subscriber who makes it a practice to write something that looks like it says one thing, but can easily be reinterpreted by the author to mean something else the next day. It's like they are playing a computer head game, instead of networking with people they respect.  The moderator won't play that game - those people are prevented from posting to the group.
The same thing can happen if you post a message as a favor for someone else. Don't do it.
EDIT YOUR REPLIES. One major frustration for users of mail groups is when people include a zillion lines from a previous message, and tack on a two or three line reply to it. It's not a bad idea to include text in your replies to the group, but edit out all of those pieces that aren't needed in the reply. If you aren't sure how to edit with your e-mail program, ask for help.
Don't send several copies of the same message, and don't waste people's time with needless "Ditto", and "me too" type messages. They add nothing to the subject at hand.
Don't send test messages. If you want to see what happens when you send a message to the group, send something that makes sense, and if you don't have anything to say, please wait until you do.
Be like Mr. Ed from the old TV show - "Mr. Ed will never speak, unless he has something to say!" It's more efficient, it's the considerate thing to do - and it's a rule.
Don't send "Thank you" messages to the group unless you also have something to add to the discussion - for example, a follow-up question.  A simple one line "thank you" message is a nice thought, but unfortunately, it's one of those little things that would be a problem if everyone did it. 

8) Post accurate messages. Don't spread misinformation. Someone may well ask how you came upon the information you share with us, and it had better be accurate. 

9) Sign your posts -- Use short, informative and truthful signatures. When you comment on window cleaning products and political issues it is imperative that we can all tell who and what you represent. Signatures should properly identify the individual who wrote the message to the group. If you won't sign your messages, you won't be allowed to post. Usually your first and last name and company name, or your full name and location will suffice - all 3 is even better.

10) . Do not post any messages as a favor to a supplier. We have always wanted window cleaners to be able to say who their suppliers are, because other window cleaners often want to know where to get supplies.
What we don't want is repeatedly advocating one supplier over another, posting announcements for a supplier - solicited or not.
Most suppliers would not ask you to go to bat for them - but if they do, you need to decline.

ALSO - Reply privately where appropriate. Understand the differences between this INTERACTIVE email group and typical email. There's a difference between replying to the entire group and replying only to the author of a message. You can embarrass yourself, and possibly cause serious commotion by accidentally sending PERSONAL messages to the entire group. All administrative messages ("subscribe" "unsubscribe", complaints and comments) should be sent to - NOT to the address which sends mail to the GROUP.

Questions? E-mail Gary Mauer, Moderator for these groups.