“You cannot build your reputation as a good ranger on Allcom and you CAN most certainly destroy it.” – LongShot
Defining the purpose and nature of a mailing list is often a murky proposition. We present the official protocols for the mailing list for your edification, but the Ranger Council also feels that it’s important to remind the group of the reasons that we have this relatively no-holds-barred mailing list within the Ranger department.
These protocols are in place to help us all get the most out of this mailing list. With hundreds of Rangers on the mailing list, it’s important to remember that the few should make concessions for the many and not the other way around. We have, over the years, learned that when non-Rangerly behavior or too much “noise” happens on a mailing list, we lose valuable list members. That is something that we should all work to avoid.
An off-topic mailing list is a rarity within Burning Man’s official communication channels, but we believe that this mailing list is a place where a lot of good stuff goes on, from training to general acculturation to an important increase in the breadth of our appreciation of bacon.
However, an awareness of maintaining a positive noise-to-signal-ratio and an understanding of the general rules of the road is necessary to keep this mailing list a productive tool for the department as a whole.
Rangers new and old are on this mailing list, which means that we have a broad range of perspectives and experience available to participate in the discussions that come up. That is a gift. It also creates a responsibility that we all communicate from a place of the neutral, open, and relatively unstructured paradigm of Rangering. When we approach a situation on this mailing list as if we’re wearing our Ranger hats, we ideally aim to be part of the solution rather than being part of the problem.
Be aware, when you post, as to what sort of impression you might be making on a stranger; listening generously and talking straight are helpful in this pursuit. Dead horse flogging and “open mics” are not.
Ideally, this is a place where we can get to know and keep in touch with our fellow Rangers, address issues of interest to the department as a whole, and keep in touch with this amazing thing we all get to do one week a year in the desert.
This is also a place where we can learn from each other and practice the Art of Rangering. It is up to every member of the mailing list to ensure that that happens.
Participation in the mailing list constitutes agreement to the following guidelines, which apply to posts, profile information, attachments, signatures, any other content on this list, and participation in general.
This is a Ranger mailing list. This mailing list presents a learning and acculturation opportunity. Rangers old and new are on this mailing list. If you’re an experienced Ranger, demonstrate Rangerly behavior; if you’re hoping to become a more experienced Ranger, observe, participate, and learn from the community.
Rangers are open, neutral, and relatively unstructured. Rangers aim to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Any topic is fair game on this mailing list. If it’s not of interest to you or potentially offends you ignore it.
When faced with a difficult situation, Rangers F.L.A.M.E. it.
Any topic should be addressed as a Ranger. This is good practice for the playa; we don’t get to choose what we’re exposed to on the playa. Post and reply here as a Ranger. And, just like on the playa—if you can’t be Rangerly, back out.
Sometimes it is appropriate to take conversation or disagreement off the mailing list, as no one wants to have an argument in their face.
There are moderators on the mailing list. Though generally laissez-faire, the moderators will at times help remind participants of the protocols. Remember, we have hundreds of readers on this mailing list and these protocols are in place for the benefit of all.
- You may have full access to the mailing list once you have worked one year as a Ranger.
- Rangers who have left the department or who are currently not in good standing are subject to being removed from the mailing list by the moderators.
- If you are having account issues, please contact flint.
- You may unsubscribe yourself from the mailing list at any time. Please contact flint, who’ll be able to deactivate your account.
- Repeated incidents of un-Rangerly behavior or behavior that violates Burning Man’s online protocols may result in your removal from the mailing list.
It’s beneficial for you to start your Allcom journey by spending some time reading what others have to say. This will help you understand the list culture and get a better sense of the tone of the mailing list before you start posting.
Avoid Meaningless Posts
Even though electrons are cheap, save everyone’s time by thinking about what you’re writing before posting. Try to maintain the signal-to-noise ratio so that the mailing list remains a useful resource. Much like with your radio traffic, think about brevity, clarity, and what the purpose of your post is before making it.
Include Your Handle
There are quite a number of fellow Rangers on this list. A lot. Not everyone knows each other by email address, so include your radio handle at the beginning of the message. Just like you’d announce yourself on the radio, state the person you’re addressing and then your name (e.g. “Allcom, [your handle] —”).
Use Descriptive Subject Lines
Provide other users a clear, considered subject line for your posting so that they may choose whether or not they will read your topic. Chances are, the more well written the subject, the more likely they’ll read it. Don’t use attention-getting or click-baity subject lines. They don’t get attention.
Grammar and Punctuation
Proofreading your post provides an easier and enjoyable experience by keeping other users from being distracted by typos and poorly written responses. Edit your posts for content and length; edit the stuff you’re quoting.
Replying? Trim Those Posts
Some recipients are receiving the digest version of our emails. Messages that aren’t properly edited can get ridiculously long and redundant by including several versions of the original post tacked on with a response. Be kind to these individuals who receive the digest: trim those posts.
Try to keep the thread on topic to the original post. If a discussion begins to veer off topic, feel free to start a new topic with an updated subject line.
Avoid Posting Rumors
It’s tempting to post some juicy gossip that you’ve heard from your sister’s dentist’s brother who read an article on a blog, but unless you can provide your sources please refrain from posting unsubstantiated rumors. With the breadth and depth of knowledge on this mailing list, chances are someone will have more information about the subject and you’ll just look silly in the process.
Conversations Stay on Mailing List
Most posts may seem fine for a general audience, however it is our policy to keep these discussions solely in the mailing list. Some of the material may be sensitive in nature and is not intended for public viewing. Do not forward or copy/paste any material found on this mailing list. Do not use it as source material for your next oration at a local social.
The Golden Rule
Treat others nicely. While debating in discussions are fine, we will not tolerate rudeness, insulting posts, personal attacks, or purposeless inflammatory posts. Doing so runs the risk of a stern lecture and the possibility of having your account temporarily put on hiatus or being permanently banned. Remember: snarky is okay, being a jerk isn’t.
On Posting About Working Events
- If a request for Rangers is for Rangers working an official Burning Man event (i.e. Flambe and Decompression), Rangers can and should be solicited on this mailing list.
- If a request for Rangers is for working a “sanctioned” Burning Man event, the person soliciting Rangers must, as a courtesy, contact the Ranger Department before posting a request.
- If a request for Rangers is for an unofficial event, a single post may be made to this mailing list. Please indicate that this is not an official event in your description and encourage interested volunteers to contact you off list.