Welcome to the Watford
Mailing List (WML).
WML is for the exchange of news, views and
gossip about Watford F.C. It is a forum for fans and has no official connection
to Watford Football Club.
The List may be compared to a discussion
being held across a wide community with shared interests in which anyone is
encouraged to participate. Its members are expected to behave in a relatively
civilized manner: to observe minimum standards of courtesy, to follow some
basic guidelines (see below) and not to try deliberately to wind other
As well as involving many members based
locally, WML is a lifeline to our overseas members who are to be found in
almost every nook and cranny on the earth’s surface from Bangladesh to the southernmost
point of New Zealand. Watford FC is its
common theme, with the occasional discussion of issues
affecting football more generally (by which we mean the round ball game and not
the version they play in America
or Down Under with egg-shaped objects).
If you post to WML, please bear in mind that your readers are widely
dispersed in their location, their age and their view of the world.
This document provides Guidelines for the
List. If you have just joined WML, or are thinking of joining, then read
through it thoroughly in order to get an idea of how the List works.
WML was begun on August 7th 1994 by Gary
Smith from South Africa.
In April 1995, Tim Brennen took over the running of the List, and in November
1995 it went automated. In July 1997, the List moved to wfc.net under the administration of Leo Mindel, but after
protracted problems with the server WML, in June 2005, it was made into a Yahoo
Group. Leo remains involved but in July 2002, responsibility for the smooth
running of the list was devolved to a small group of senior members known as
WAG-CM (see below). The number of
subscribers has increased steadily and fluctuates around the 340 mark.
Here is the low-down on how to use WML. You
can choose to receive WML in one (or both) of two forms.
- The "standard" list has 200+ subscribers. Each message that is sent to the List is
forwarded to these people as it is received. On busy days each subscriber
may receive 50 or more individual messages.
- For those that don't want to get a stream of mails throughout
the day, there is also a digest
option which consolidates all the individual messages sent to WML into 1
message per day. The Digest
currently has about 100+ subscribers.
You can subscribe to the List by sending an email to:-
Your subscription will require approval by WML Admin so it may take a short
while before you can join the List.
Alternatively, you can use
your web browser to go to the List's home page at Yahoo http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/watfordml/
and click on "Join This Group", which will require you to sign up as
a Yahoo member (this is free but slightly tedious). Again as approval is
required by WML Admin, it is not an instant process.
Normally requests for subscription are
dealt with within hours rather than days.
By default, you will receive all mails
individually. You can change this to the daily digest by logging in to your
Yahoo account, going to the WML group and amending your preferences.
If you do not have a Yahoo ID you can
e-mail the WML Admin (email@example.com)
requesting the change.
To unsubscribe from the list, send an
making sure that the e-mail address that you are sending from is the same
address as the one you subscribed with.
To temporarily suspend your account, if you
are going on holiday for example, go to the WML Yahoo page http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/watfordml/
and sign in with yourYahoo ID (or create a Yahoo ID if you do not currently
Select "Edit Membership" and go
to the section entitled "Message Delivery" and select "No email
- I'll read messages on the web site."
Although you cannot read messages on the
website as we do not maintain an archive, you will suspend you account from
receiving any emails until you change your preference back to "individual
emails", or "digest".
Watford Advisory Group (WAG) is a group of around
10 members of WML who have been on the List for some time and are considered to
have experience on their side. They serve
as a forum to discuss and advise on technical and operational issues that face
WML from time to time. Five members of
WAG (known collectively as WAG-CM) have undertaken responsibility for the
list’s operational management and function as the ‘owners’ of WML, drawing on
WAG’s advice and expertise where appropriate.
These five are:
- Leo Mindel
- Mark Allison
- Jon Sinclair
- Marc Proctor
- Peter Goddard
The latter two have particular
responsibility for overseeing the list’s content and, where necessary, enforcing
the guidelines given below. It is not
intended that the present membership of WAG-CM should serve in this role
indefinitely and there are mechanisms for the remainder of WAG to vote out any
member of WAG-CM as they see fit.
WAG can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
and its members will be glad to clarify any issue that may arise regarding the
List, advise on posting or investigate any
complaint. WAG are
always glad to hear WML members’ opinions.
Alternatively, you can contact Marc Proctor <email@example.com>, who is based
in Auckland, New Zealand, or Peter Goddard <P.Goddard@liverpool.ac.uk>,
based in Liverpool, UK.
Membership of WAG is not closed but is
restricted to approximately 10 members at any one time. If you feel you can add something to this
group and would like to be considered for membership you should send an email
to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in contact.
Most of the time, WML functions very
happily as a large, informal and varied discussion, where wit, humour and
disagreement is welcomed. Very occasionally, however, there is some
need to co-ordinate the hundreds of voices that form the community so that our
mailboxes are not filled with abuse and trivia every day. That is the purpose of these broad guidelines
which form the basis for WAG’s occasional interventions.
a) The List does not tolerate spam, blatant
attempts to incite an argument, flaming or abuse, as these activities will
inevitably cause the List to lose its purpose.
Swearing is also outlawed, partly because some subscribers’ email
systems have content filters that reject such messages but also because
messages can often be read by young children (use ast*r*sks if want to express
the strength of your feelings). Please do not send virus warnings to the List
but only to WAG, who will check whether they are genuine before passing them on
to the List. It
is a matter of some pride that with hundreds of subscribers WML is relatively
b) Do not attempt to impersonate anyone. Emails have to have your name as the
author, or you must sign the email with your name, or you must be prepared to
give your name to WAG, who will keep it confidential if requested.
c) Impersonation of any member of Watford staff, players, directors or of former staff
members or players will be met with an instant Red Card (see Discipline) and
you will no longer be permitted to post to or receive the WML.
d) If you are asked by someone acting for
WAG to take a thread off-list or (for example) to apologise for something, you
must comply or accept any punishment that WAG deems justified.
e) If you are unsure whether something
should be sent to WML, send it to WAG first (at email@example.com)
for their review.
f) Although OCCASIONAL non-WFC related
messages may be acceptable, WAG reserves the right to warn individual listees
off, if WAG feels that they are abusing this, or if WAG is simply in a bad
g) Libellous comments are not to be made on
WML. In all respects you (and not WML)
are responsible for the content of your own postings.
h) WML is NOT a democracy and is not a free
and fair society. In all respects, WML is a private list under the complete
control of the serving members of WAG-CM and will remain so. If you want to
exercise complete free speech and/or anonymity, you're advised to use Usenet
newsgroups such as uk.sport.football.
Fortunately, the list is almost always a
friendly and co-operative community, so disciplinary cases are rare, but WAG
will act swiftly when the list is compromised by breaches of the
guidelines. WAG may take one of three courses of action, depending the
seriousness of the breach:
Warning from WAG. This can take several forms from a slap over
the wrist with a wet match ticket to a big black dog with heaps of teeth. You are asked to follow any warning that is
given as it will avoid further problems.
Yellow Card. This is a warning
to behave yourself, and essentially says that if you misbehave again you will
be given a Red Card and banned from the List.
A Yellow Card also suspends you from posting to or receiving WML for 7
days. A Yellow Card remains on file for
six months, after which it will be wiped.
Red Card. This is a final warning and will see your
membership of WML withdrawn. To date
only one Red Card has been issued other than for impersonation. It is a measure that WAG does not want to
use, but will use if necessary
If you feel that you have been unfairly
treated by WAG in being issued a Red or Yellow card you may appeal against the
decision within 24 hours by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your email should set out the grounds of your appeal clearly. On receiving an appeal, the membership of WAG
will consider the circumstances carefully and hold a vote before making a final
decision as to whether to remove you from the List permanently or temporarily.
Netiquette is the chummy neologism that
acts as the umbrella term for Dos and Don'ts on the Internet. Some of the
points below should be taken as suggestions for how to act on WML. These are a
bit like the offside law: if you contravene it you will annoy people, but are
unlikely to be sent off. Other rules must be followed: break them, show no
repentance, and it's an early bath for you
1. Save this document for future reference.
2. When you first join WML, get a feel for
the List for a few days before sending your maiden message. It is a pleasant
courtesy if you then send a few lines describing (say) yourself, the length of
your Watford support, your personal Watford
3. A common occurrence is that when someone
sends a message expressing a view, others write back with a message saying
something like "Couldn't agree more". This sort of message is a waste
of time, bandwidth and energy. Worse, such messages are often compounded by the
person quoting the whole of the initial message. Include only those bits of the
original message that put your reply into context.
4. On the Internet, words in capitals are
taken to equate to SHOUTING. People
rarely respond positively if you shout at them.
So do try to keep it down. Some
of us are trying to sleep!
5. The fanzine website, "Blind, Stupid
and Desperate" (BSaD), run by Ian Grant (aka Ig), contains masses of
information about the club and is updated very regularly. Before asking WML for
information, check to see if it is available on BSaD at http://www.bsad.org.
While WML gives you the latest news and
views, BSaD is a high-quality online fanzine, containing detailed match
reports, funny bits, serious bits, along with much
else. Thus the two complement each other to keep fans up-to-date with the state
of Watford Football Club. BSaD also has no official connection to Watford Football
6. When you post an article to WML from a
newspaper or magazine, online or not, make sure you mention your source so that
your readers can assess its credibility.
If messages sent to a member are consistently returned to Yahoo! Groups
with an error, that member is considered "bouncing." Their Yahoo!
Groups account is deactivated, and group messages will not be delivered to the
account. Once an account is considered bouncing, Yahoo! Groups will send a
series of test messages to the member. If the test messages are returned as
undeliverable, then the account will continue to bounce. However, if a message
is delivered and not returned as undeliverable within five days after it was
sent, the account will automatically be reactivated. Members may also manually
reactivate their accounts by visiting their My Groups page
8. Keep arguments civil. If you are going
to send crude insults to people, do it off-list.
9. Apparently, some people need reminding
that one subscriber (or any fraction of the List) cannot and must not speak on
behalf of the whole List. For example, if, in a fax to the club or an article
to a magazine, you mention WML, it must be made clear that you are not speaking
on behalf of the List.
10. Occasionally a List subscriber writes an
article about the mailing list for some publication. WAG would be a good place
to send it for advice, because there is a lot of "list experience"
Messages you send to email@example.com are automatically forwarded to List
subscribers. There is nothing anyone else can do once you have pressed the Send
button. So, think before you send: it is not unknown for messages to be dug out
months and even years later, in order to point out hypocrisy, superb (or
wretched) predictive skill, etc.
Another heavy consequence of this: YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MESSAGES
FROM YOUR ADDRESS. Neither WAG-CM nor any other entity takes any
responsibility for what you write.
Thus, if messages from your address are
praiseworthy, you get the praise. Whereas, if they are appalling, libellous or
in any way illegal, you also take any consequences.
If you think that shouldering all the
responsibility for your own messages is too burdensome, kindly unsubscribe from
You may have got the impression from the
above that WML is a swarm of angry Hornets insulting each other on a daily
basis. It isn't. In fact, we will tempt fate and tell you that only one person
has ever been chucked off the List for bad behaviour. Long may it continue.
The members of WAG-CM, with the support of