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The Bicycle Austin email list

Last updated:  October 2017

You can subscribe to the list (or unsubscribe) on the home page.

What is it?

It's a way to get the posts from the Bicycle Austin forum emailed to you.  The forum started out as an email list, then moved to the web.  We kept the email list to make it easy for members to get the posts from the web forum directly to their inbox.  The way it works is, post to the web, read via email.

Below is the OLD, OBSOLETE, HISTORICAL info about the list.

What is it?
The email list is a free public list for discussions about bicycling as transportation (not sports/rec cycling).  Anyone can join, anyone can post, and all views are welcome, as long as they don't insult other listmembers.  (We won't 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 server.

This is a truly public list, so don't say anything you wouldn't want to be on the Internet, forever.  Also, realize that all posts are 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:
  • 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 -- those who read the web, and those who are on the email list.  If you mail directly to the email list, you limit your audience to only those on the list.

In practice, the email list is largely read-only.  (Post to the web, read on the list.)

Special Rules

All of these rules were decided democratically by polling the listmembers.  (See the results of the poll.)  Remember that if you simply make your posts to the web forum, most of this won't matter.
  1. Reply to web posts on the web, not on the email list.  If a discussion is happening on the web forum, don't send your post directly to the email list.  Post it to the web, and let it flow to the list automatically.  If you post directly to the list, other discussion participants might not see your reply, since they might not be members of the list.

  2. 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 you quote the entirety of what you're replying to, then the posts get annoyingly repeated throughout the digest.

  3. 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 Reply-All, all those other people have been made de-facto members of a list they never subscribed to.  If you want to send your message to the list and to others, send one message to the list, and another message to the others.

  4. Max of two posts per day, per person.  That's for posts made directly to the list.  There's no maximum on posts to the web.

  5. Don't send insulting or harassing messages directly to members of this list about something they posted to the list, even if you do it outside the list. If you feel this infringes on your right to do what you want off the list, 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 this restriction then you don't have to remain on the list.  We had to come up with this rule because of one problem member who was harassing other members, 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 their posts are held for review before going through to the list.  That's because new members are the ones most likely to do things like quote the whole digest in a reply, or try to reply to the list about a discussion happening on the web forum.  After a new member has made a few replies to list posts without any problems, the moderation is taken off and their posts go through automatically.

Other members are set to moderated if they make a problem post, because experience shows that those who make a problem post are likely to do so again soon.  Though again, after making a few more replies with no 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 post was problematic, because the moderators are volunteers and might not 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 again. If the problem was that you quoted more than five lines of what you're replying to, try your post again, this time quoting no more than about five lines.  If you'd tried to reply to the list about a discussion that's clearly marked as coming from the web forum, then make your reply on the web forum, not the email list.

Thank you very much for your kind cooperation. :)



October 2017:  Officially declared the list to be read-only.
September 2013: 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 allowed.

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