FAQ for New FCNA Members (and a reference for the rest of us)

Welcome to the FCNA group and mailing list on Google Groups.
Here is some basic information for new members.

When you subscribe to the FCNA list, you agree to follow the rules of “Google Groups”, and you also agree to follow the list guidelines.
These guidelines help us to create a virtual community for mutually supporting one another, where everyone feels safe and confident that they will be respected online.

0. How can I tell a friend how to join the FCNA list
Tell your neighbors about the FCNA Group, and then encourage them to join.

Tell them to follow these three simple steps to become a member of the FCNA group and mailing list:

1. Go to http://groups.google.com/group/fcna-ithaca
2. Click ‘Join this group’ (on right side of the page)
3a. If you have a Google account, enter your email address and Google password (top right of page)
3b. If you don’t yet have a Google account, create one (in the lower blue box)

1. How do I send messages to the FCNA mailing list?

DO NOT change the topic (subject heading) of a previous message, and then hit the “REPLY” button.
This will cause either your message and the previous message(s), to be grouped together on our web site. And then the title of one of these messages will be lost.
The simplest way to send a new message to the FCNA list is:

From your email client (Gmail, Eudora, Cornell email, etc.)
send an email to fcna-ithaca@googlegroups.com

2. Why should I use a Brief and Clear Subject Line ?

Please use a very descriptive phrase in the Subject Line (such as: “Garden Help Needed”; or “Yard Sale on May 15”) — so that other FCNA members can decide quickly if the message is pertinent to them.

3. What are my options for receiving email from the group?

You can customize your membership. You can decide if you want to receive email from this group:

a) as Individual emails — get an email every time a new message is posted;
b) as a Daily Digest (one email with all the messages together); or
c) as an abridged email Daily Digest; or
d) No email.
To edit your membership, click the link (on the right-hand side of this page) that says: Edit my membership.

Remember to log in to your Google account (you do not need Gmail, but you do need a Google account) — or else you will not be able to edit your membership.

For more details about how to change your email settings, see our Web Page on this subject:

How to Change Your Email Options


4. How can I make it easier for FCNA members who choose to receive individual emails ?

Please write a concise and clear SUBJECT HEADING with every message that you send.

In this way, people who receive them can decide whether or not they are interested in opening and reading your message.

5. May I send file attachments (of photos) with my message ?

NO. Do NOT send any attached files when you send email messages to the FCNA group. … These could carry (unknowingly, of course) viruses. File attachments often prove problematic for persons with dial-up connections: it takes a long time to download the files. And attachments can clog up the space on email accounts, rendering them unusable.

There is a very easy alternative: post your photos to any file hosting service (such as Flickr, or Photobucket — both are free) and then –in the body of your email message — include links to your images. Text files, in the formats of PDF and DOC, can be posted to file sharing sites such as Box.net, and then shared with a link.

6. May I use the list to sell personal items ?

NO. Do not sell items using the FCNA list: use Craigslist in Ithaca.
Exceptions are:
— Yard sale: You may post ONE MESSAGE ONLY about your upcoming yard sale.
— You are stuck with tickets and you cannot attend the performance or event: You MAY offer your tickets as a gift or for sale. ONE MESSAGE ONLY.

7. May I post information about my event, or an event that interests me ?

Usually YES — but ONLY IF it is a free event; or if it is a fund-raiser for a local non-profit organization.

7.1. What are some other things not permitted on the FCNA list ?

The most common peccadillos (a.k.a., the “seven deadly sins of FCNA posting”) are listed below.
Details and exceptions are explained on the web page via the link below this list (in “A Friendly Reminder … “).
(Of course, you can always find a link to our full guidelines, and other occasionally useful information, at the bottom of every message sent to the FCNA list.)

1. File attachments are not allowed.
2. Selling or buying or bartering is not permitted on the the FCNA list.
3. Borrowing is permitted ONLY IF THERE IS AN URGENT NEED.
4. Commercial Messages that promote a product or business — are not allowed.
5. Announcements about Events that are not “free” are not allowed —
Some exceptions (to the 4 above) are explained in the FAQ; other exceptions can be approved by the List Manger.
6. To send a new message to the FCNA list, do not just hit “reply” to your digest.
7. Messages replying to “the whole list” instead of the individual person who asked you to reply “off list”, will not be posted (if they first fall into the List Manager’s moderation box).

Details about these 7 no-nos are here: A Friendly Reminder About List Guidelines

8. I am passionate about a personal or political cause: May I use the list to promote my cause ?

Short Answer:
All messages are subject to approval by the FCNA List Manager.
Topics that are volatile, and almost guaranteed to cause offense, are NOT permitted on the FCNA list.

Medium Answer:
For most topics, you may post one message about your cause: at times, the List Manager may allow more than one message.

Longer Answer:
When you post your one message about your cause — for example: Promoting Vegetarianism — you can explain the importance of vegetarianism from the aspects of health, the environment, and the rights of animals; and then you may give resources (including other discussion groups) for people who want to learn more. If a discussion based on your post arises, you may of course reply to others who answer your message.
However, you may not use the list to continually promote this cause. You should create your own list to do that.
There are some exceptions, which the List Manager will allow repeated messages on a topic. For example: Multiple messages about Fracking — often including specific events and protests and meetings — have been permitted on our list, since Fracking is an immanent danger to the quality of life in Ithaca and Fall Creek.

9. What happens when a person violates one of the list guidelines (file attachments, commercial messages, rudeness, etc.) ?

Because the FCNA list has grown from 300 members in December 2007 to more than 1,300 members (August 2014), it is not possible for me (List Manager, M.P.) to reply personally every time a problem arises. Also, the last thing in the world that I want to do is to manage the list with an iron fist, even if there is a velvet glove around it.
If you send a file attachment, or post a message about selling a personal item, or in other ways ignore the FCNA guidelines in our FAQ, then I may — or may not — send you a quick email reminder about the policy. Or — and this is the quickest and easiest action for me to do — I might place your account on “Moderation” — where your posts are moderated before they reach everyone, or even blocked (“No Posting Allowed”), where you cannot post at all.
In the future, as my time permits, I will contact you and explain the problem, then ask you to review and then agree to comply with the FCNA list guidelines.
If you notice that your posts have been moderated or blocked, feel welcome to email me to say that you understand the guidelines FCNA FAQ. In all these cases, my goal is to return your membership status to full posting privileges as soon as possible.

10. I’m a new member. I sent a message and it did not yet appear. Why?

To reduce list spam, new members are “moderated” for a short time period. A list manager will approve your message, and then change your settings so that future posts will be allowed through immediately.

Other notes:
— Your message might have appeared — if you have Gmail, check your “Sent” folder.
— Your message might have violated one of our guidelines — no attachments, no selling, etc. — so it will not be allowed through.
— Your message might have a “tone” that is too harsh or abrasive, or bashes another person or their ideas.

11. What else should I be aware of ?
11.a. This is a discussion list for the purpose of discussion. DO NOT send a message with the theme: “Stop talking about this issue, I am getting too much email!” Instead, simply delete emails you do not want to read; or change your email preferences, as described above in this FAQ.
11.b. Don’t start or continue “meta-discussions”, meaning: debates about what should or should not be allowed on the list; or messages to the List Manager. … These kinds of messages should be sent directly to the List Manager.

12. Someone replied to my post on the list, and their reply was rude. What should I do?

Please do not begin a “flame war” and send meta messages to the list that are “off-topic” — don’t write about rudeness, write about issues.

Cyberspace has a wild west element to it, and, as Karl Popper pointed out, “If you want freedom, you need to put up with a bit of chaos.”

The best response to a rude reply is to forget about it — a discourteous person always embarrasses himself.

However, if you feel you are being targeted or persecuted by some individual, then don’t hesitate to contact a list manager. We’ll do our best to resolve the problem fairly. We won’t permit hate speech, or continual disrespect by a list member, and we reserve the right to ban the member from the list, either for a specified time period, or permanently.

13. I know someone interested in FCNA news and events, but they do not have Internet access. Is there any way to connect them to the FCNA group?

We are thinking about that question.

14. What is URL of the FCNA discussion group home page?


15. I want the latest information, but I don’t want too many emails. Is there a way to get the best of both these worlds?

Yes: use the group’s RSS feeds.

RSS is a savvy alternative to email: news from websites and blogs (and Google Groups) comes to you via your RSS reader.

If you are new to RSS, here is a basic video tutorial on YouTube:

To subscribe to the RSS feed for FCNA-Ithaca:

1. Go to the FCNA-Ithaca home page, http://groups.google.com/group/fcna-ithaca
2. On the bottom of the page, find the orange XML button. Click on the button.
3. This will take you to a new page with the heading: Available Feeds
4. Now you may select any one of the options, under the columns that say: Atom, or RSS 2.0
5. Click on your choice, and then add the feed to your favorite feed reader.

After you’ve set up your RSS feeds successfully, you can log in to your FCNA settings (“Edit my Membership”), and change the way you receive email to “No email.”

== Updated 16-Julyr-2015

== Updated 20-December-2013

== Updated 15-May-2009 ==