Online courtesy is mostly a matter of common sense, plus lots of forbearance and a bit of thinking twice before you post. The following rules, distilled from long experience, set a minimum threshold of good online behavior.
By posting any message to an ASMP listserv or forum or by subscribing to its digests, you indicate your acceptance and agreement to abide by these rules. The rules are subject to change at any time, without notice. If you have any questions, complaints, or suggestions for the improvement of the forum, you must contact the forum's moderators off-line, via email.
Stick to business. ASMP online communities are about professional photography. Read more.
Sign your posts with your full name. Your fellow readers want to know who you are. Read more.
Format your replies. Include a short quote from the earlier message, giving the author’s name.
Keep the quotes short, but fair. Trim away all signatures, Yahoo advertising, etc. If you receive the digest, chop away all but the relevant message; also remove the digest footers. Read more.
Never post to a closed thread. Read more.
Stay on topic. Write about the subject in the Subject line, or else start a new topic. Read more.
No personal attacks. Read more.
Respect the moderators. Send complaints to the group moderator in a private email. Read more.
Get permission before reproducing any posts. You need permission from both the author and the group's moderator. Read more.
No cross-posting. Read more.
Announcements go only to the moderators. Read more.
No advertising, not even in your signature or message footer. Read more.
Moderators have the last word. Read more.
Opinions belong to each poster. Read more.
Your participation in the forum signifies your acceptance of all of the terms and conditions below.
Limit your posts to topics directly related to the business of photography and the specific interest area of the community. When in doubt, ask a moderator.
All subscriptions to ASMP online communities are subject to the discretion of the moderators and can be limited or revoked at any time, for any reason. Moderators may, at their discretion, close threads that don’t pertain to the community's interest area or that otherwise violate the rules. Due to federal antitrust regulations, please refrain from posting or requesting specific pricing recommendations.
ASMP welcomes constructive suggestions for the improvement of the organization. However, subscribers join an online community to discuss topics in a certain interest area, and they may resent the injection of ASMP politics into the conversations. Inappropriate posts on these topics may result in the loss of posting privileges or revocation of the writer's subscription.
To submit constructive suggestions for the improvement of the ASMP, please contact a local chapter officer or national board member (see the contact info page on ASMP’s web site), or contact the ASMP national office staffers at email@example.com. In these channels, your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.
ASMP's online communities are professional discussion groups. Sign your posts with your full name. Anonymous posts are not allowed.
Many of our groups are hosted by Yahoo and, in these groups, an effective way of identifying yourself is via the Yahoo profile information. To reach your profile, use this link, or log into Yahoo and use its links. Edit your profile by clicking on “edit” next to your Yahoo ID. On the next screen, select “Edit Profile Information”. And don’t forget to “Save Changes” at the bottom.
For other systems, you may wish to configure your email program to automatically append a "signature" at the end of each message you send. By custom, a signature is no more than 4 lines (up to 70 characters wide) and it often contains your name, some contact information, and perhaps a witty aphorism.
If you are replying to a message in an existing message thread, consider adding a short quote from the message so that other members will understand exactly what you are responding to. When quoting from previous messages, place the quote above your message, and type the author’s name above the quote. To distinguish your reply from the quote, you can also use the “>” symbol at the start of the quote, the “<” symbol to indicate the start of your reply and differentiate your message from the quote.
If you include a quote at the top of your message, there is rarely need to quote the entire message. Quote selectively, and keep your quotes short. Quote fairly — try not to quote in such a way as to change the intent of the author’s words. Where you remove entire sentences, indicate an edit like this: >snip< and where you remove the beginning or ending of a sentence, use … (ellipses).
O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
If you are posting to a forum through its web interface, we recommend using the Preview function to see your post as others will see it.
Do not post to closed threads. Posting to closed threads will result in the loss of posting privileges. If you wish to reply to a closed thread, you may contact the individual off-line by private email. Only moderators may close threads.
If you receive messages in Digest form, do not allow the digest information to appear in the subject line when replying. It completely ruins the server’s thread-following mechanism.
When starting a new thread, create a concise subject line that accurately describes the subject matter of the thread. When replying to a message in an existing thread, do not change or reword the subject line unless you intend to change the direction of the thread significantly. When posting a message that is an offshoot of an existing thread, add a forward slash / to the existing thread and add a short description of the new subject. This will facilitate searching of our archives in the future.
Your posts should be pertinent to the subject line stated in the thread. If not, start a new thread with an appropriate subject line. Threads that drift away from the stated subject line will be closed or renamed by the moderators. This is for everyone’s benefit, and for building accurate archives which all of us research frequently.
Your messages may not include personal attacks, profanity, or defamatory statements directed at other individuals. Posting such statements will result in the loss of posting privileges. You may debate points with intensity, and voice alternative perspectives, but stick to the issues and do not attack other people for voicing their viewpoints. In short, your messages must be respectful of others, even if your viewpoints are very different.
Most ASMP communities are “self-moderated” discussion groups. Your messages will not be reviewed by moderators before distribution to all members via email broadcast. All participants are expected to exercise self control by moderating themselves. This is your responsibility, for which you will be held accountable. Moderators have the authority to put you on a no-post status or remove you from the group entirely. It is the responsibility of moderators to ensure that our discussions continue without disruptions or distractions as laid out in these rules.
If you disagree with the way your group is being moderated, or have an issue that you feel needs moderation, bring it to the attention of one of the moderators off-line. Then, if the issue needs to be brought before the group, a moderator will do it for you.
If you have a concern about the nature or tone of the content of a post in an online community, or if you are offended or irritated by something included in a post, or if you simply have a personal problem with another member, make an attempt to resolve the matter by sending a polite, respectful, private, off-line message to the offending party, or contact an moderator and describe your concerns. Handle it off-line, not on-line.
As a general rule, if your message does not serve to educate or inform other photographers on the business of professional photography, don’t post it — handle it off-line.
To facilitate open and sincere discussion, all messages posted in ASMP forums are private and confidential, in the sense that they are reserved for viewing by group members only. You may store or print out posts for your personal reference. However, posts may not be copied, quoted, reproduced, or otherwise distributed to off-list to third parties or to other discussion groups without the advance permission of both the author and a group moderator. And if you do receive permission from moderator and author, you must credit both the forum and the author when distributing or reproducing quotes. Unauthorized distribution of posts will result in the permanent termination of your subscription.
Messages posted to one group may not be posted to other discussion groups without permission of both a moderator and the author of the message. If circumstances might justify cross posting, contact a moderator before proceeding.
Do not post announcements regarding events, services, or products. Instead, send your announcement to a moderator, who will examine it on a case-by-case basis. If it is approved, the moderator will post it to the forum.
The moderators have discretion and authority in admitting or denying announcements within a community at any time, for any reason. For more details, contact a moderator.
Your messages, footers, and signatures may not contain anything that solicits group members to use or purchase use your services or products, visit your web sites for any reason, or attend events in which you are participating.
Your footer may contain: your name, title, business name, address, phone, email address, URL, professional affiliations, and any other information that could not possibly be perceived, by anyone, as a solicitation of photographers.
ASMP's moderators monitor each discussion group and are charged with ensuring that the group's members collectively receive maximum benefit from their participation in the group. Moderators not only enforce the rules, but also catalyze discussion on topics important to professional photographers. Moderators have the authority to moderate discussion by closing threads, renaming threads, starting threads, and deleting threads.
In the event that the rules are violated, moderators have the authority to sanction members by placing members on “moderated status,” removing posting privileges, or removing a member from the group entirely. Where appropriate and depending on the nature of the violation, moderators may issue a warning to first-time offenders before taking action.
If you have a problem or concern regarding the action or inaction of one of our moderators, address the issue off-line, first with a private email message to the moderator involved, respectfully stating the problem and requesting a response. If the moderator does not reply within 48 hours or does not address the problem to your satisfaction, then send a private, off-line email message to the committee person designated by the National Board as having oversight of our forums and listservs, or to ASMP's president. (Committee assignments change from time to time, and are listed on this page.
ASMP moderators are photographers like you who have volunteered for extra duty. Moderators are good people trying their best, but nobody is perfect. In the event that you have a complaint or comment about a moderator’s actions, it is inappropriate to post your complaint to the forum. Posting complaints about moderators or their actions to the forum is not allowed and will result in the immediate and permanent loss of posting privileges.
Messages appearing in ASMP online discussions often include hypothetical examples and scenarios. Such messages are the opinions of individual members, and are not approved, adopted, or endorsed by the ASMP. Group members who post messages assume sole responsibility for the content of their posts, and agree to hold the ASMP and its staff and volunteers harmless from any liability related to messages posted on ASMP servers. Though the moderators make every attempt to monitor the discussions, they may or may not review all messages and are not responsible for controlling the content of messages or delivering warnings with regard to content. The failure of a moderator to respond to a message does not indicate the moderator’s or ASMP’s approval of such content.
ASMP does not recommend, set, or enforce pricing standards for its members. Messages posted by ASMP volunteers or staff are personal opinions and do not represent the recommendation or position of the ASMP. Messages are not intended for distribution outside of the group, and are copyrighted by the author and by each group.
If you do not agree with the above rules, do not post messages in ASMP's online communities. You may either participate on a “read only” basis, or you may unsubscribe. (Each system works a bit differently, but all of them routinely publish the method for unsubscribing.)
Your continued subscription to a discussion group or your contribution of messages to the group signifies your acceptance and agreement to abide by all of the above terms and the direction of the moderators.