Chinese Medicine Network
Discussion List Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does the CMN List Service relate to www.paradigm-pubs.com and its Blog?
A. The Chinese Medicine Network (CMN) List Service was established several years ago for the discussion of subjects that required greater depth than typical of the commercial group sites and to permit a broader range of topics than typically allowed on those sites. As a moderated discussion list, it is most suitable for text-based messages and discussions that work well in email. This new (January 2007) Paradigm Publications site includes a blog. Blog "stories" or "diaries," as they are called, allow for more complex presentations because they can be entered in a WISIWIG editor on site. This permits greater technical depth, better indexing, and easier searching. CMN will continue to operate as always as the Blog develops new, hopefully deeper and more technically challenging discussions.
Q.What does ‘a moderated list service’ mean?
A.The Chinese Medicine Network uses four moderators and at least one other administrator to review posts before they appear on the list. No post will appear unless moderator approved. Some posts may be returned with editorial suggestions, and some posts may be rejected, some posts may be held until a particular thread is finished. The purpose of moderation is to keep the conversation in a vein long enough for all the members to consider and respond. Moderation encourages spending more time and thought on your posts because they will not be lost in a stream of one liners, flames and off-topic comments.
A. Doesn’t moderation restrict the number of people who will join the list or post comments.
Q. Yes, it does. There are a number of excellent free-form mailing lists where a wide range of professional and personal matters are discussed. CMN is not a substitute for those lists. It is instead an opportunity to explore topics more slowly and at greater depth. By leaving a clean, easily searched archive we have acquired a broad scope of opinion on the subject of Chinese Medicine’s future in the Western world, its application, as well as other topics.
Q. Who pays for this and what are they getting from it?
A. Paradigm Publications pays for the list service. Obviously, it is a very mild form of advertising that keeps our name before a membership of people who are likely readers and writers. Moderators are volunteers who are not remunerated for their service. Their time and effort must be respected by reading the FAQ and following its principles. By joining the list you agree to follow the FAQ, and to accept the moderators' decisions as final. Some list information identifies Mandala-Designs as the site source, they are the webmasters who provide the service and software. However, these "benefits" are not the reason for the Chinese Medicine Network to exist. Rather, it is a private list meant simply to accomodate discourse that is not welcome or appropriate on public lists. You are a guest on this list and you participate for free and freely so long as you respect its intent.
Q. So, does this mean I’ll get commercial messages from Paradigm?
A. We reserve the rigth to message CMN members about group matters and announcements. However, we have never done so. Please see our privacy statement for privacy information concerning membership at www.paradigm-pubs.com.
Q.What are you doing to avoid the SPAM-ization of our email addresses?
A.The on-line membership list is locked, it is available only to the list owner. The list has been coded to disguise your email address so that SPAMer’s who collect names will come-up empty. Check your signature lines and be sure that you are not giving more information than you wish. Many email clients (the software you use to send and receive messages) make it easy to have multiple signature files. Consider making a signature file that is less revealing of your contact information for your list service postings. ‘Email harvesting’ is a sophisticated practice and -- at least in our experience -- addresses based at the large, free email providers are the favored targets. Read the privacy statement of your email provider carefully. Paradigm site members may choose to make their personal contact information available to other members, or not.
Q. Does my membership need to be approved, if so what are the criteria?
A. No. Anyone may become a member. Yes, your subscription request will be held for the moderator to check that you are aware that this discussion group is more formal than most. The qualification for membership is your agreement to abide by the intent of the group. The list is moderated so inappropriate posts or off topic posts will never appear, and anyone continuing to post inappropriately, will be removed from the list.
Q. What are you doing about viruses and other email problems?
A.Our mail server is scanned by an anti-virus system that is constantly updated. However, since we are not your only source of email, you still need to have your own, local anti-virus software and keep it updated. Many malicious programs are spread by using victim's address books to send the malicious code to those who are stored therein. However, since the membership list is blocked, and does not appear in any address book other than those of its members, the likelihood of receiving a virus from lists service participation is very low. It is much more likely that you will receive a virus from a friend or colleague whose system has been infected. Viruses posted to the list because a member’s address book has been compromised will be isolated and deleted.
Q. Why are passwords assigned?
A. You are able to modify how the software handles your account for a broad variety of the list service features. Passwords are assigned so that you can control your own account without leaving it open to malicious hackers or practical jokers. You may change your password, or any of the other features at will. You will receive a monthly reminder of your password.
Flames! Flames are any derogatory, ad hominum or implicitly inarguable post regarding anyone, member, non-member, living or dead. There is nothing wrong with vigorous argument; however, there is nothing more likely to stifle a good argument than flames. Respond with as much vigor as you wish to a disagreeable statement or argument but avoid describing your opinion of anyone’s morals, their integrity or their motives. An “implicitly inarguable post” is a claim that is based on the implicit superiority of the person making the claim, for example, a religious posture. That does not mean that you cannot discuss religious or philosophical matters, only that you cannot claim the superiority of yours as a reason for dismissing someone else’s.
Commercial Messages. After a time, people on any list service know one another and have an interest in each other’s projects, publications, etc. Every list member has the right to a one-and-only commercial message for any personal project. For example, if you have written a book, you might want to tell everyone where they can find information about it. Do so, but do so only once, and with a subject line that is clearly labeled “A commercial announcement from [Your-full-name]” The moderator reserves the right to edit posts that insert commercial messages into a thread. For example, you do not need to announce the dates and times of your up-coming seminar in a message thread that is in someway related to the topic of that seminar. Make a single, commercial announcement. Owners of companies providing goods and services to the field are asked to refrain from posting any but their personal work. The commercial announcement policy should not be used to advertise any firm’s offerings. The moderator reserves the right to delete any post that is in excess of the privilege or which is predominantly commercial in intent. If we as the sponsor can refrain from using the service as a advertising medium, so can you.
Neatness Counts. Many, if not most, working people cannot follow one-at-a-time message threads and thus use the digest format to follow the list. The moderator will return to you for editing any post that included the entire message, or the entire digest in the reply. Quotations from posts included in a follow-up post are called “excerpts.” Liberally use excerpts to keep your fellow members aware of the references to your reply, but do not use your email client (the software you use to send and receive messages ) sloppily. If you don’t care enough about your post to make it easy to access and read, don’t post.
Subject Relevance: List services tend to be quite loose regarding whether or not a post fits a current thread. However, if the moderator chooses, a post may be delayed until it is of greater relevance, or a heated thread concludes.
Subject Consistency: If you post or reply, you are implicitly agreeing to respond to those who respond to you. Be prepared to stay with a thread you engage. Coming onto the service and making a claim then failing to respond to those who reply, is a type of ad hominum response. It says to those that have followed-up on your post that you do not consider them worthy of your attention.
Anonymous Posting : Is not permitted. If you are not proud to be associated with your post, don't make it. The moderator will insure that post contain a signature line with the full name of the posting party. "Screen names" and email address names are not sufficient because many do not actually identify you. You need not give out your contact information in your signature line, but you do need to tell us who you are.
Automatic Removal: If you change your email address, the software will try to reach you five times (in case your email server is down, etc.). However, if after five attempts over a few days your email subscription address "bounces" (returns undeliverable), that address will be automatically dropped. You will be able to resubscribe with a working address.
Removal for Cause: If you fail to respect the FAQ principles; if you create a lot of moderator work or administrative hassle, you will be dropped from the list at the sole discreation and decision of the moderators and /or list administrator.