FNF Thames Valley have some mail lists that we use to confirm meeting dates and chat about other issues important to members.
The chat mail list
This is the most important mail list to members. A quick summary of how to use it:
- This list is private to members of the local group. Information shared on the chat list is confidential and must not be shared outside the group. Please respect the privacy of other members as you would expect them to respect yours.
- To send to it write to
- When starting a new topic: send a new email, do not reply to another discussion
- Put a meaningful Subject:
- Start with a summary as follows:
- your name
- how many children
- genders & ages
- summary of last court order
- what, if any, current contact
- what is the issue to be discussed
- Do not send attachments (word processor files, images, PDFs, ...).
- Send plain text ‐ others will be more likely to reply
- If you need to retype something then do so
- Before sending: re-read your email and ensure that the situation/background is communicated clearly and the advice/answers you are seeking is also clear to any reader.
- Remove old text from the bottom of emails ‐ help keep them short
Easy access to the group mail lists:
|List||Archives||Change your subscription options||Administrator's pages|
|chat||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here|
|help||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here|
|senate||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here|
The help list is where messages from the enquiry form go to, it is not for general use.
The senate list is for those on the group committee.
What is a mail list
It is a forum where conversations happen via email. How we can help & you can help others is much the same as at face to face meetings.
It is an email address to which you can send email as you would any other email address. The email that you send will then be sent to everyone who is on the list.
You do not need a password to send to the list; but you must send from the address that is registered otherwise what you sent will be discarded.
You can change some of your subscription options, you will need to use the password that was sent when you joined and is sent on the 1st of every month. The email list is no longer archived, ie no mail list history.
How to write mail to the chat list
A few simple rules, these all boil down to you taking a little effort to make it easier for those who read your mail to understand what you are talking about. Many people read each email, so if they can save a few seconds each it is well worth you spending an extra minute when you write your mail.
- Start a new thread for new postings.
If you want to write about a new topic do NOT reply to another mail; if you do 'highjack' another tread then other people get the two topics confused. Start new threads by writing to email@example.com.
- Write clearly. If what you write is hard to understand, people will be less likely to reply:
- Break what you write into paragraphs
- Start new topics/ideas in new paragraphs
- When you give a name: remind who the person is, eg: Fred (my brother)
- Structure what you write, eg: describe what happens in time order, group paragraphs by topic
- Keep what you write to the list as plain text.
Do not attach things like MS Word documents, these are more difficult for others to handle than plain email text. The mail list limits the size of mails to 100KB so large attachments will be rejected, there are very few occasions when the list administrators will accept such things.
If you want to get a large file in front of everyone send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, the file will be put up on the web and the URL (web ftp link) will be mailed back to you, you include this URL in the mail that you send to the list. The file will automatically removed after one month.
There is a reminder of this at the foot of every mail from the list.
Attachment names should not be more than 40 characters long.
If you want to know how this works learn about MailToUrl.
- Put a meaningful Subject.
Some people receive hundreds of emails a day, a good Subject helps them to sort through their email.
- When asking a question about your case it is useful if you can write a short overview so that readers understand.
the context in which your specific email relates. This should include:
- Ages & sexes of children. If there is more than one family/dad/...
- Where the kids live ‐ with who, how far from you.
- How often the kids see you, how often & long (times week/month), spend nights, holidays
- When you separated, were you married, divorced yet, are there in contact/... orders in place, ...
- When replying to an email:
- Stay on topic — don't start talking about something else.
- Remove redundant content.
You are replying to one or two points, remove everything other than what is needed by someone to understand what you are replying to. In particular: remove old mail footers (signatures, etc). You also don't fill other people's mail boxes with useless junk.
- Reply with quoting and put your points beneath the points that you reply to.
Many people reply answering several points all at the top. This means that those reading your reply need to think hard to unpick what you are replying to.
- Who to write to:
You might occasionally have a conversation with someone directly (ie off list), but this is generally undesirable. Keep things on list as:
- others can learn from your experiences
- others can make comments/observations that one person might not
- the person who you write to might not always around or free to reply in a timely manner
- the person who you write to might not want the burden of being the only person who gives you advice