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Prepared by:       Taj Deluria
This version:      2.00
Last modified:     2004.04.19
Filename:          DP_Guidelines.doc

1.00             12 Jul 2002     Initial draft version, pending review and feedback from members.
1.01             16 Jul 2002     Typos corrected.
                                 Added ―Update the Subject Header‖ guideline for posting replies.
2.00             19 Apr 2004     Document revised to include new membership policies and protocols.

          Introduction 2

          Basic Information and Usage 2

          Membership 2
                   Membership Requirements 2
                   Application Protocol 3
                   Remedial Protocol 3

          Posting Messages 3

          Sending / Posting Replies 4

          Unsolicited Commercial Email (SPAM) 5

          Attachments 5

          Sanctions 5

          Closing 6
                   Document details 6
                   Version details 6

                                             diversions philippines
The Diversions Philippines Online Mailing List was created on the 12th of April 1999. It was envisioned to be an
electronic venue for interaction, communication, and information exchange between members of the Philippine
diving community. The list was initially created through eGroups, a free web-based online mailing list system. The
list was moved to its present location at Yahoo!Groups when Yahoo! acquired eGroups, Inc.
The short form of ―Diversions‖ as well as the terms ―List‖, ―Group‖, and ―Board‖ may be used interchangeably to
refer to the Diversions Philippines Online Mailing List.
This document has been drafted to set general guidelines on acceptable use of the list. This is a working document
that will change as provisions are defined, accepted, revised, or removed.

Basic Information and Usage
The following are the pertinent information members may require in using the group:
        Universal Resource Location (URL): http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/diversions
        Group email address (send to this address to send to the group): diversions@yahoogroups.com
        Subscription email address: diversions-subscribe@yahoogroups.com (send blank message)
        Unsubscription email address: diversions-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com (send blank message)
        Moderators:
             o     Arvin S.: arvin@diversions.com.ph
             o     Taj D.: taj@diversions.com.ph
        Yahoo!Groups online help: http://help.yahoo.com/help/groups

The list is open to all individuals who are interested and have information to offer with regard to SCUBA diving,
snorkeling, and the marine environment in the Philippines.
In the past, the List worked under an non-moderated membership mode. However, this was abused consistently
by SPAMMERS and those who intended to provoke flame wars anonymously on the list. As such, in late 2002, the
List was modified to require moderator approval of all subscriptions. Previously, only applications made by what
was obviously automated SPAM-ware, were rejected, and no real membership criterion or protocols were
Currently, the following protocols have been adopted to ensure the quality of the List experience for all valid
members of the list.

Membership Requirements
Applicants must:
    1.   Agree to abide by the guidelines listed in this document. This serves as the terms of acceptable use for
         the List.
    2.   Must provide the following information to the moderators. No additional information is required. DO NOT
         PROVIDE any other identifying information to the list.
             a.    REAL NAME
             b.    Certification Level – even uncertified applicants are accepted, we will not turn away those who
                   wish to subscribe because they wish to know more about diving before they sign up for lessons
                   and certification. However, Diversions Philippines DOES not condone the diving of uncertified
             c.    Certifying Body
             d.    Brief description of the type of diving / diving activities that you enjoy.
    3.   Must agree that the above information will be made PUBLIC to the members of the list. The mods will in
         fact, introduce all new members by providing this information.

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     4.   Be respectful of other members of the list, regardless of their opinions (even when stupid or wrong since
          everyone has a right to have an opinion).
     5.   Must be interested in diving. (duh).

Application Protocol
     1.   Subscription Request. Applicants can apply for subscription via email (by sending to diversions-
          subscribe@yahoogroups.com) or via the website interface of Diversions Philippines (located at
     2.   Validation Request. The moderators will send a pre-formatted confirmation email that the application
          was received. This email will also request for the applicant‘s basic information—REAL NAME, certification
          level, certifying body, and brief description of preferred diving activities.
     3.   Validation Response. The applicant must respond within 7 calendar days with the requested
          information. If no response is received within 7 calendar days, the request for subscription will be
          deleted. Applicants must re-subscribe to restart the application process.
     4.   Welcome Message. If the mods feel that your basic information is satisfactory and complete, they will
          APPROVE your application. This opens all facilities of the list to the applicant.
     5.   Introduction Message to List. The mods will also INTRODUCE the new members to the list by
          forwarding their basic info. This makes identities public.

Remedial Protocol
The following protocol is provided in order to ensure that members who subscribed prior to the adoption of the new
protocol also provide their basic information. This protocol applies only to members existing as of 29 April 2004.
     1.   Request for Basic Information. The mods will send a message to all existing subscribers requesting for
          their basic information—REAL NAME, certification level, certifying body, and brief description of preferred
          diving activities.
     2.   Request response. Existing members should respond as soon as possible. All we really want is your
          name, and a bit of info about you. Please note that this information will be made public to the list. It is
          our hope that this will turn us into a community of divers who know that the other members are real
          divers as well.
     3.   Processing. Those users who DO NOT respond within 15 calendar days of the request, will be placed in
          MODERATED STATUS for 15 days. If no response is received by the end of this grace period, or if
          applicant prefers to not provide information, they will be unsubscribed by the mods. Our apologies to
          those who will be offended by this. We only wish to increase the benefits and values received by
          legitimate members of the list. We feel that anonymity only breeds lack of trust.
     4.   Introduction Message to List. Once the information is received, the older members will be
          reintroduced to the list.

Posting Messages
Anyone subscribed to the list may send a message to the group. This is done by sending your message to
diversions@yahoogroups.com. The system takes care of delivering your message to the subscribed members as
per their preferences.
Basic guidelines for sending messages to the group are as follows:
a.   Add a meaningful subject line. This is especially true when the thread of a discussion has veered into a
     different topic. Ideally, your subject line should serve as a one-line summary of your message.
b.   Delineate a lengthy message by adding “(long)” to the subject line. This guideline is optional and is
     intended to forewarn or notify recipients that the message is lengthy.
c.   End your messages with your name or moniker. This helps users determine who is saying what. While
     monikers (or aliases) are allowed, please stick to the same one once you have adopted a moniker.
d.   Use ALLCAPS only to highlight important ideas within your message. PLEASE DO NOT send your entire
     message in allcaps. While it may seem silly to you, it is quite annoying because it only makes your message

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     difficult to read. It also has an added Internet nuance that makes it look as if you are shouting or trying to
     ram your idea down our throats.
e.   Be polite. You can be as passionate as you like. You can be as controversial as you like. You can be as
     opinionated as you like. So long as you are polite and accord other members of the group with a modicum of
     respect, everything works around here. Cussing, while allowed (among us adults), should be done cautiously
     and sparingly if at all.
f.   Be polite. If you have a personal attack you wish to throw at someone, please keep it off the board. Feel
     free to send it personally. No one else wants to hear it. If anyone on the board wants to take part in it, than
     feel free to include each other in your flame war. However, keep it OFF the board.
g.   Be polite. Did we mention that you should be polite?

Sending / Posting Replies
The Diversions Philippines mailing list has been setup to send replies (to messages sent through the board) to the
ORIGINAL senders of the message only. This keeps the board uncluttered and minimizes the unsolicited mail
that members receive. However, this setting entails a bit of cooperation by everyone. The following guidelines
revolve around this characteristic of the list:
h.   Respond back to the board only when you have something positive to add that you feel is of value
     to all the members. ―Me, too‖ messages should not be sent back to the board, but can be sent back to the
     original sender (or initiator of the thread). Likewise, messages that merely belabor the point need not be sent
     back to all the members. However, new ideas or additional information that clarifies the issue is very
i.   Original senders (or initiators of threads) should create a single report that summarizes the
     responses that he or she has received. This is the real responsibility of all posters on the board because of
     the “send replies to original sender” policy. If you send a question or open an issue to the members, you are
     bound to receive responses from a few members. However, the rest of the members will not normally be privy
     to the responses that you receive. It is therefore your responsibility to generate a summary of the responses
     and send this back to the board. This ensures that the information you garnered is shared with everyone.

     For example, Member A asks where he can buy an ACME self-purging, self-equalizing, depth-compensating
     dive mask. He receives responses from a number of members pointing out three possible sources of the
     product. Member A should then craft a summary pointing out to all members that the requested item can be
     had at the following stores.

     Another example: Member B asks how she can best prevent a rare reverse-block on her cranium and brain
     case. She gets a number of responses from the board, some from the professionals, a few from doctors, and a
     few “tips” from recreational divers who have encountered the same problem. She also gets a few conflicting
     instructions from a few members of the board. Member B then crafts a summary of the tips provided her
     including and highlighting the conflicting instructions. That way the experts on the board can clear up the
     conflicting instructions. Also, if Member B goes diving the following week and gets to try a few of the
     techniques, it would be great if she sent back a report on the efficacy of the things she tried. That way
     everyone learns.
j.   Update the subject header. If you are sending a response, update the subject header to serve as a brief
     summary for your response. This helps users sort through responses, and makes the original poster‘s job (of
     creating a summary) much easier.
     For example, Member C asks for suggestions on a good resort to stay in the Babuyan Islands. His original
     message contains the subject: Wanted—resort suggestions for Babuyan Islands. Member D then responds
     about a resort that she stays in the area. Her updated subject could be: Resort suggestions—Eddie‘s Dive
     Club is GREAT!.
k.   Go easy on the quoting. Many of your email software automatically quote the previous message when you
     click on the REPLY button. Please delete the unnecessary portions of the quote and leave only the specific
     statements that you wish to react to. Likewise, mention the original sender of the post you are reacting to.
     This works whether you are responding to a specific user or replying back to the board. This is a standard
     tenet of Internet Etiquette (Netiquette).

                                                                                                           Page 4 of 6
Unsolicited Commercial Email (SPAM)
The list is likewise open to SCUBA dive shops and dive professionals who work within the dive industry. Due to the
ever-present temptation to sales-minded individuals to continually bomb the list with promos and gimmicks, the
following guidelines are presented:
l.   Send no more often than once a month. This is non-negotiable. If you are writing to present the latest
     offerings of your business, create a lengthy letter that summarizes all your promos and gimmicks for the entire
     month. Please make sure to think through your message because it‘s happened too often that a would-be
     marketing guru sends out a message and follows up with three other messages in succession regarding the
     things he ―forgot to mention‖ in the original message. In particular, those offering tours should create only
     one lengthy summary of their tour offerings instead of sending several messages per week for all of their
     tours. The board wasn‘t God‘s gift to you. So use it well.
m. Make it special for the members. Nothing ticks users off worse than receiving a generic message that was
   bombed to half a million other people. If you‘re smart and want to really make your prospects happy, offer
   something special for the members. Tailor your messages to the Diversions list. Things you can do:
                 Offer a special discount for Diversions members if the mention the list.
                 Give a freebie to Diversions members who avail of your promo.
                 Include an amusing anecdote or trip report to give credence to the value of your
                  offering. THIS IS THE LEAST YOU CAN DO… it is also well appreciated.
                 Offer trial units (or free trips) to members willing to provide impartial reviews of your
                  products and services.
                 Basically, ADD VALUE TO THE BOARD, and you will be rewarded.
n.   Setup your own mailing list and ask interested members to sign up to your commercial mailing list.
     This is really the best professional option. You can set it up at Yahoo!Groups for free, and you just have to
     send a short sweet message once a quarter that for those interested in the products you offer they can sign up
     to your commercial list.

The list has been set as to NOT allow attachments to be sent by members to the group. This minimizes the
chances of the board being used as a channel for the transmission of SPAM or malicious code (viruses / worms).
Those who wish to send a file to the group members may do any of the following:
o.   Upload the file to the Diversions Philippines Yahoo!Groups web-site. This can be accessed at
     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/diversions/. Please note that you will need to have a Yahoo!Mail or
     Yahoo!Groups account to access this feature.
p.   Send the file to the moderator for upload. This might be easier for most. The moderator can also scan
     the file to ensure that it doesn‘t contain any malicious code. The moderator may be reached through
     taj@diversions.com.ph or arvin@diversions.com.ph.

At this point, it is our hope that no sanctions need be set. We are not here to power-trip or serve as ―thought
police‖ or modern day Nazis. We‘re divers, all of us, and that should be enough to keep us all on the level. These
guidelines have been provided to maximize the value of the board to all members. Please stick to it.
Likewise, if you feel you have a pertinent reason to bend the guidelines, please do not hesitate to consult the
moderators of the board. Despite the fact that we have day jobs and lives off of the ‗Net, we would be more than
happy to help you out.
While the moderators of the board have NEVER censored messages or even disallowed anyone from posting
whatever he wants to post, Diversions Philippines does reserve the right to any of the following actions:
a.   Remove messages from the archive.
b.   Set a particular member to “moderated status”. This means that all this member‘s messages will be held
     for review and approval by the moderators prior to broadcast to the members.
c.   Remove and ban member’s subscription

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Once again, we wish to reiterate that we have never done any of these actions in the belief that self-
moderation and restraint are the best ways to keep the board as useful to everyone as possible.


Document details

        This proposal was authored and prepared by:

                 TAJ DELURIA

                 Email.   taj@diversions.com.ph

                 Tel.     (63.2) 635.6525

                 Add.     Unit 3309, Robinsons Equitable Tower
                          ADB Ave. cor. Pedro Poveda St., Ortigas Center
                          1600 Pasig City, Philippines
        Should you have any questions or require clarifications with regard to the matters stated within this
        document, please feel free to contact the author at the numbers / addresses noted above.

Version details
        This document is the second version, and was posted on 29 April 2004.

                                                    END OF DOCUMENT

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