The Bicycle Austin
Last updated: September 2013
You can subscribe to the list
(or unsubscribe) on the home page.
What is it?
The email list is a free public list for discussions
about bicycling as transportation
cycling). Anyone can join, anyone can post, and all views
welcome, as long as they don't insult other listmembers. (We
warn or remove someone
for simply expressing their opinion, even if that
opinion is ridiculous, inflammatory, or unpopular.) The list
started in another incarnation way back in 1994, on a UT-Austin
This is a truly public list, so don't say anything you wouldn't
be on the Internet, forever. Also, realize that all posts
fodder for stories by bike journalists.
Post to the web, read via email
Most of the discussion we have takes actually place
on the web forum, not the email list.
It's best to make your
posts there, and not directly to the email list, because:
While it's recommended to start threads on the web forum
not the email list, there's no rule against it, and you can
new threads on the list if you like. But replies to
happening on the web forum should be made on the web forum, not
- Every new thread started on the web forum gets listed
automatically on the front page of Bicycle Austin
within 30 minutes.
- The web forum posts get automatically sent to the
email list. So by posting to the web you hit everybody
who read the web, and those who are on the email list.
mail directly to the email list, you limit your audience to
only those on the
In practice, the email list is largely read-only.
(Post to the
web, read on the list.)
All of these rules were decided democratically by
the listmembers. (See the results
of the poll.) Remember that if you simply make your
the web forum, most of this won't matter.
- Reply to web posts on the web, not on the email list.
a discussion is happening on the web forum, don't send your
directly to the email list. Post it to the web, and let
to the list automatically. If you post directly to the
other discussion participants might not see your reply, since
might not be members of the list.
- Quote no more than about five lines of what you're
replying to, and no headers or footers. Don't
quote the whole
thing you're replying to, and especially don't quote the whole
digest. Most members get the list in Digest form, and if
quote the entirety of what you're replying to, then the posts
annoyingly repeated throughout the digest.
- Mail outside audiences separately. Don't
message the email list and a bunch of other people at the same
time. If you do, then when listmembers start doing
those other people have been made de-facto members of a list
subscribed to. If you want to send your message to the
to others, send one message to the list, and another message
- Max of two posts per day, per person. That's
for posts made directly to the list. There's no maximum
to the web.
- Don't send insulting or
harassing messages directly to members of this list about
they posted to the list, even if you do it outside the list.
feel this infringes on your right to do what you want off the
you're absolutely right. This list is a special club,
and to be in this
club you have to play by its rules. If you don't like
then you don't have to remain on the list. We had to
come up with
rule because of one problem member who was harassing other
causing them to leave the list.
Moderation, and making sure your posts go through
First, if you simply make your posts to the web
forum, most of the following won't matter.
All new members to the list are "moderated", which means that
posts are held for review before going through to the list.
That's because new members are the ones most likely to do things
quote the whole digest in a reply, or try to reply to the list
discussion happening on the web forum. After a new member
made a few replies to list posts without any problems, the
is taken off and their posts go through automatically.
Other members are set to moderated if they make a problem post,
experience shows that those who make a problem post are likely to
again soon. Though again, after making a few more replies
problems, the moderation is taken off.
If your post doesn't show up within 24 hours, there was probably a
problem with it. You won't necessarily get a notice if your
was problematic, because the moderators are volunteers and might
have the time to let you know. So if you don't see your post
show up within a
day, first try to figure out what the problem was and then try
If the problem was that you quoted more than five lines of what
replying to, try your post again, this time quoting no more than
five lines. If you'd tried to reply to the list about a
discussion that's clearly marked as coming from the web forum,
make your reply on the web forum, not the email list.
Thank you very much for your kind cooperation. :)
September: Removed invitation to vote since polling is now
closed, after no dissent from any listmember to closure
October 2010: Updated to reflect latest poll results
August 2010: Added link to live poll
July 2010: Clarified replying to web posts on the web, vs. on
the email list.
June 2010: Rewrote, and took out lots of pointers about
things that haven't been problems for a long time.
Feb. 2007: Clarified that insulting other listmembers isn't