List Guidelines

First and foremost, this is a business information and networking list with a mission of supporting women in technology. We’re here to ask questions, discuss issues, and share resources in order to make contacts, learn more, troubleshoot projects, and advance our careers.

Part of what makes this a valuable group is that the membership works very hard to keep it professional and civil—this is a safe list to receive at work and requires no battle armor before entering. Usually the list moderates itself, staying on topic and on tone. Occasionally a Steering Committee (SC) member will send a “play nice” casual warning to the list or member(s). Even more rarely, the SC will privately send a formal censure.

List guidelines

Required topics and headers
Trim posts when replying
Inappropriate list use including gray areas
On-list vs. off-list
The matter of tone
Warning and censure

Required topics and headers

When you compose a new message to the list, put the topic header (expectations below) at the beginning of the subject line, and follow it by a short, clear description. For example, if you are asking a question about upgrading your computer, your subject line could be: (tech) How much memory do I need for Vista?

This is important because many members subscribe to a sub-set of the list based on a header in the subject. Messages require a header in all posts and if you’re on digest, update the subject when replying.

(discuss) Discussions about optimal screen resolutions, career issues, business practices, and general catch-all category.
(tech) Questions about getting something done in a particular software application or troubleshooting code.
(design) Discussion about design of web sites, and other technology-related design concerns.
(event) Announcements of events of interest to members. Including the date in the subject often helps our busy subscribers notice in time.
(news) Links to articles with a snippet of contents (see below regarding copyrights).
(job offered) A job opening in your organization or one you’re passing along as “just the messenger.” See also our job submission form.
(job seeking) A request for assistance in your job search, not that of a friend or client—see below.

Trim Posts When Replying

If you reply to a post on the list, please trim the “original message” portion of your reply, so that only the relevant part of the post you are replying to is left in your reply message. This is especially important if you are subscribed to the digest version of the list, because if you do not trim your message, several irrelevant posts will be included in your reply message, along with the particular one you are replying to.

In addition, remember to amend the subject line of your message so that it reads (discuss) Follow-Up to (subject you are touching on).

Inappropriate list use including gray areas
You’re always welcome to write an SC member if you’re unsure whether your post is appropriate for the list.

Forwarding messages

Please get consent from the original poster before forwarding a message outside the list.

Posting for third parties

Your friend or colleague is welcome to join the free list to get information. Otherwise, please refrain from posting messages for them. It is fine to post questions that you are researching for a client.

Copyright or other intellectual property infringement

Most often this applies to news articles. Please snip an excerpt and provide a link to the publisher’s site for the entire article.

Off topic posts

This includes plumber referrals (unless it’s for your office), jokes, chain letters, inspirational passages, etc.

Rate discussions

You are welcome to discuss in general how you price your work, such as fixed project fees vs. hourly and whether you use rush charges or late fees—especially why that approach has worked for you. You are also welcome to post links to public sites which contain pricing information, whether general resources such as salary surveys or your own price list. However, please do not post your actual rates to the list as the Department of Justice Antitrust Division views such discussions as price fixing.

Advertising including self-promotion

Members may make the occasional announcement for classes they are teaching or a book release that is of interest to the membership, but this list is about people wanting to learn, not promoting your business. So, please make at most one announcement per book/class, and try to have a signature shorter than your messages. Also keep a balance—your self-promotion posts should always be far fewer than your replies to others’ questions.

The SC has zero tolerance for mining the membership list for spamming.


Again, a fine line as members treasure a candid personal assessment of a company culture or service. Please be clear in your messages that you’re writing about your personal experiences, and avoid hyperbole or generalizations beyond what you have seen yourself. Pre-emptive “warnings” about problem firms or individuals are almost never appropriate. This is a time an off-list reply may be the best choice.

Persistent argumentativeness or rudeness

We all have off days and touchy subjects, but if you are persistently uncivil and/or unhelpful, the hosts may ask you to leave the party.

On-list vs. off-list

While you are welcome to share side comments off list, please remember that DigitalEve Seattle has a large percentage of “lurkers” who learn from the posts going by, even if they never send a message themselves. So, if you’re providing a technical solution or resource, please send to all.

Note that off-list communication is subject to the same guidelines as on-list, so if you receive an inappropriate message from another member, please report it to the Steering Committee.

The matter of tone

Sometimes all it takes is a word or two for a message to go from helpful to snarky—especially since e-mail is such a notoriously misinterpreted medium.


“In my experience…”
“For me…”
“Studies [link] show…” vs. Argument

“You’re wrong.”
Ping-pong conversations between two individuals where neither is budging.


“Try using [jargon] in your search”
“This isn’t quite what you’re looking for, but may be a good starting place…”
vs. Not

“Google it.”
“I can’t believe you’re not familiar with…”

Any time the list heats up, it’s a good time to step back and ask yourself whether you really want your next message to be how 1,500 professionals (i.e. potential co-workers, clients and employers) remember your name. Certain topics, such as gender discrimination, are sensitive areas for many members and it may be wise to tread more carefully than you normally do in your e-mails.

Warning and censure

The Steering Committee is the final judge of what is or is not appropriate to the list. If we step in, please listen to our request and explanation. Our primary goal at all times is to keep this list a useful resource for many more years, and not see it degrade into flames or spam like so many other forums have. Sometimes we are acting solely on our own experience and the guidelines; at other times we are also incorporating private feedback sent by other members.

Informal warnings to the whole list

Sometimes a SC member will send a “Keep it civil,” “Light not heat,” “Stay on topic” or similar post to the whole list. This means the thread as a whole is still providing value, but it’s showing signs of trouble. While you may have been a recent poster on the topic, please do not think we are singling you out in that public arena.

Informal warnings privately to members

Any time we have a warning or request for a specific member, it is always sent direct, with a copy to the SC. Most often, this is due to a member straying into a gray area of topic or tone.

Formal warnings and censure to members

Any message which includes the word “formal” means either a single post or accumulation of your posts has crossed a line. Most of the time, this is a warning, requiring only that the problem posts stop. In extreme cases, formal warnings will include a notice that your posts are being placed on moderated status (held for review) for a period, or that your membership privileges have been permanently revoked.