This is a really rough draft. Comments and criticisms welcomed!

This is, of course, only a few guidelines.
None of the following are rules or regulations, but they are conventions. They have attained this status for very good reason. It mightn't seem obvious just yet, but some of this stuff is worth remembering.

Reading these, and remembering them, will make what you post more readable, more entertaining and considerably more likely to have the effect you desire.

Contrary to what some newcomers believe, RedBrick members are not impressed by cryptic injokes, personal abuse or tough-guy tactics.

Text on a screen isn't big and menacing. Tough talk looks really daft. If you do it, doubtless you will too.

Make what you write readable. If it can't be read easily then it won't be read at all.

Don't repeat yourself. There's no point. Typing "free me" five times is pointless. Huge lists of exclaimation marks, brackets, smileys look just as silly:

Peter Jackson (most innovative director of the 90's) is directing lord of the rings?....sayits true :) ...THERE IS A GOD!!!!!! /a is VERY VERY VERY happy :))))))))))))))))))))

If you're following up to someone else's posts, please cut out the crap that is irelevant to what you're saying. Folks ain't stupid; if they're reading your reply, they have already seen the original post. They don't need to scroll through screens of previously read text to get to your marvellously witty and incisive reply. Cut out anything that's not relevant. And put a blank line after the quoted text, and before yours, so your masterpiece can easily be picked out at a glance.

The Newsgroups are a public discussion forum. The system shouldn't be used for private discussions. If I look at a thread and see only two or three people are posting to the thread, then it's pretty obvious that is doesn't belong on a public forum. Private messaging = email.

As a follow-on, replies like: "Yeah", "Deadly", "Me too!" et al are pointless! For the love of sanity, either resist the temptation, or , if you must, mail it.

Smileys are cool :) Text on a screen lacks any of the subtle inlfections given normally by your tone of voice. If you're not careful sarcasm can get lost in what you type, and you've got lot of pissed off people on your hands. There's loads of web sites with hundreds of smileys - many of them so wierd and rare that nobody will understand them, but they'll look impressive :)

Signatures: short. The shorter the better. 5 lines is usual. Large numbers of blank lines are out! Who wants to read empty space?

12 March 1999

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