The Cleveland Park Email List is a neighborhood discussion list. This is a place where you can exchange news about the neighborhood, including new stores, street construction, development, city services, robberies and break-ins, traffic, parking, stuff for sale, places for rent, where to eat, where to get a great plumber, schools, and more. Think of the list as a your neighborhood post office, playground or supermarket, where you'd meet and chat with your neighbors.
The Cleveland Park email list is the most vibrant, energetic --and largest-- neighborhood email list in the Washington, DC area, and in the United States, too. As the list grew larger over the years (from our beginning back in 1999), the list moderators found it necessary to develop a set of rules that contribute to making the list a fun and useful place in cyberspace.
How does this list work? The Cleveland Park Listserv functions much like a "letters to the editor" column, in that the moderators must read and permit the posting of each message. On any given day we typically publish about half of the submissions received. We treat bandwidth as a limited resource. We don't want our list members to be overwhelmed with messages, and have their inboxes cluttered.
The Cleveland Park email list is a G-rated list; messages should be appropriate for all ages. And they should stick to the guidelines below. But please be aware the the listserv gets many more messages per day than we can accommodate - and so there are times when a message fits within all the rules but still does not get selected for publication. We do our best to fit in as many messages as we can but we are also committed to producing a lively mix of voices, while sticking to the main topic: life in this corner of Washington, DC. In other words, there are these rules...and then there's our editorial judgment about what should go out to our readers, keeping the daily message count below about 60 messages, at most. (On a typical day the message count tends to run between 20 - 40.)
We hope you enjoy the CP Listserv!
1. Sign your messages, preferably with your full name, but at a minimum, with your first name. You do not need to post your exact address, phone number or other personal information. While the moderators may add a list member's name to an unsigned message (if we know who you are), most of the time unsigned messages will simply be deleted. Screen names or fake names are not acceptable. If your message is of a sensitive nature and you would like to post under an alias, please contact us to discuss: moderator @ cleveland-park dot com.
2. No crossposts. Do not send anything to this list that you are sending out in a mass email to other lists or other recipients. That means: No press releases, no canned announcements, and no messages that say, "Please distribute this to everyone you know." We do make some exceptions, mainly for announcements from DPW, DDOT, the mayor's office and other public officials, or for messages from individuals in an emergency (e.g., lost pet). We do NOT make exceptions for: political announcements, candidate appearances, or fundraising appeals; in fact, most of these types of messages fall under our sponsored messages program (more about that later on this page). Even when we do make exceptions to the "no crosspost" rule, you must still send your announcement to the posting address, email@example.com, without any other email addresses visible in the TO: line or the CC: line of your message.
3. Messages must be your own original writing, written just for your neighbors on this email list. That means: no articles copied from newspapers or magazines or other media outlets, no blocks of text taken from websites, no material copied from brochures or campaign flyers, no forwards or copies of messages you have received privately or have seen on other email lists and just felt like sharing. We want to hear from you, not from whatever movements you follow or pundits you admire. You're our neighbor....and they're not.
4. Posts should relate to Cleveland Park or the vicinity*. While Cleveland Park is part of the solar system, it's a good idea to keep your messages about somewhat more local topics. The Cleveland Park Listserv is not the place for announcements about any of the following: national or international cause organizations; out-of-neighborhood charities or non-profit institutions (no matter how worthy!); other email lists; demonstrations, protests, rallies, lectures, or fundraisers, except for those held here in the neighborhood or directly related to a neighborhood issue. (Well, we do define "neighborhood" and "vicinity"rather generously and will consider anything within zip codes 20008, 20016, 20007 or 20015 to be "Cleveland Park and vicinity".
Generally speaking, the Cleveland Park email list is not a bulletin board. This is a neighborhood discussion list.
5. Your message must be readable. Spelling and punctuation count. The same goes for using paragraphs, correct capitalization, and other grammatical niceties. Properly spelled and formatted emails help list members figure out what you're trying to say. Spelling mistakes may make it impossible to find your message through an archive search. ALL CAPS can be used for occasional emphasis only. Messages may not start in the subject line and continue the sentence in the text box. Keep in mind that there are list members who are sight-impaired or for whom English is a second language. Messages with too many exclamation points are prone to be tagged as spam -- or the writing of an over-excited middle schooler. The moderators routinely edit messages for grammar, punctuation and other style points -- and if you submit a message for publication to this listserv, you agree to this routine sort of editing. FYI: we generally follow the rules found in the AP Style Guide, summarized on the "AP Style Cheat Sheet".
If you are posting a long hyperlink, please convert it to something short using one of the various free Internet services such as Bit.ly. Test all links; to help keep the list message traffic at a reasonable level, the list moderators may not approve messages that are simply corrections of wrong or broken URLs.
Compose your message in a standard font, color, and type size. Unusual fonts, colors, or type sizes may not come out right on the screens of all our thousands of list members, who use many different email systems with different display capabilities. Table and charts are especially prone to coming out wrong - with spacing askew and columns that don't line up. It's best to post a link to let readers view any complicated, colorful, or graphics-intense material on a website.
6. Respect the privacy of others. Posting someone's home address or phone number or posting private or personal correspondence without their permission is not allowed. Forwarding or reposting somebody's off-list correspondence on the Cleveland Park Listserv or elsewhere is not allowed. Please note that the default for replies to posted messages on the CP Listserv is "reply to previous poster." If you did not see the reply appear on the listerv's message list at http://groups.io/g/clevelandpark/topics, please check the TO: line -- you will probably discover that it was sent to you off-list. Please do NOT reply on-list without the permission of the person who replied to you privately. Two exceptions: 1. You can quote replies sent to you off-list from government officials, elected representatives, and candidates for public office. 2. You can quote from off-list replies when creating a compilation of recommendations of service professionals. List members may --and are encouraged to-- report back to the Listserv with advice about plumbers, painters, auto body shops, car services, etc. If you create a compilation, it's helpful to add "Compilation" to the subject line of your message. Leave out your correspondents' names, unless the off-list reply specifically authorizes you to use the person's name in a compilation. Before sending in a compilation of recommendations or a single recommendation, you may find it helpful to read the list's recommendations policy page.
7. Post reasonably and responsibly. That means don't feel obligated to reply to every message that moves you. Too many messages from the same person over a short period of time or on the same subject is considered "overposting" -- a form of clutter.
Single-issue posting --posting only on one subject over and over again-- isn't permitted because this list should not be used as anyone's personal soapbox. Attempting to flood the list with messages on a particular issue is not allowed, and anyone who does this may be banned from the list.
Do not add a high priority flag or mark your message as "urgent" unless it is about a missing person or animal.
Before posting an information query please check the list archives. If you don't know how to check the archives, please read the Cleveland Park List FAQ, which provides instructions for searching through old messages.
Please consider whether your message is of interest to the general list reader or is better suited to a limited distribution list.(Example: Meeting minutes should go only to those present at the meeting and do not belong on the Cleveland Park Email List.
No posting "for a friend." Please don't offer the use of this listserv to anyone but a member of your immediate household. This rule helps to keep our list message volume down and preserves the neighbor-to-neighbor focus of the listserv. (Of course, if your friend needs your help to post on the listserv, due to disability, lack of access to email, or other difficulties, please let us know and we will make an exception!)
Messages may not include a challenge or request to another list member to respond to your own message, (e.g., "Debbie, before you sell your car on the listserv, have you considered giving it to a charity?" or "After my bad experience at that dry cleaning place, I'm never going back, unless the owner can explain here what happened to my clothes.") If you are responding to someone else's argument in a discussion of an issue, be sure to frame your reply so that anyone else can respond. We will not post a message that demands an explanation from the previous poster. We do our best to keep discussion from turning into a repeated exchange between just two posters.
When answering somebody's question, it's a good idea to actually provide an answer: Don't say, "There's a computer repair shop on Connecticut Avenue near the coffee shop, but I don't remember the name." All such "I don't know" posts will be deleted. Please refrain from "me, too" or "I agree" posts that don't add any new information. There's more about the requirements for recommendations and responses to queries on our recommendations policy page.
8. Personal attacks, ridicule, harsh or uncivil language or profanity are not allowed on the Cleveland Park email list. No questioning somebody's motives for making a post. The list is not the place to air a personal grievance against a neighbor. Any post that is intended to inflame (also called "trolling") is not permitted. In other words, keep a neighborly tone.
Posting, republishing or quoting a list member's off list correspondence or emails in any public forum without that list member's permission is not allowed (but see the exception cited above, for elected or appointed government officials).
The list moderators may ban a list member, who, in their sole discretion, they consider to be disruptive to the list as a whole, or to individual members, or to the list moderators.
9. Rules for posting by "out of neighborhood" list members. While people who live outside of the listserv's "in the neighborhood" zip codes (20008, 20016, 20015, 20007) are welcome to join and post, there are three important restrictions on their use of the listserv. First, out-of-area list members do not get free use of the listserv to sell their stuff. (They can pay an advertising fee -- more about this in Rule #10 on advertising policies.) Second, if it seems to the moderators that someone has joined just to harp on a single issue or push their own pet cause (rather than be part of a neighborhood conversation), then we may suspend posting privileges for that list member. Third, non-residents can't use the list to raise money or solicit donations for any causes (no matter how worthy) -- in keeping with this list's restrictive rules on fundraising. Click here to find out more.
10. Listserv Advertising Policies. (Yes, it's long...and complicated. But necessary.)
Selling your stuff on the listserv: In order to keep the Cleveland Park Listserv primarily a discussion list, the use of the listserv to advertise things for sale is quite limited. In a nutshell, the only people who are allowed to use the listserv to sell their stuff are those who live "in the neighborhood" -- generously defined as anywhere within the following zip codes: 20008, 20016, 20015 or 20007. You must say where you live in your for-sale message to the listserv. You don't need to give your exact address; it's fine to name the nearest intersection or just give your zip code. Things for sale must be offered exclusively to your neighbors on the CP Listserv; that is, the ad is NOT free if it is posted an any other listserv or sales forum, including Craigslist. And you can't post things for sale too often -- it's limited to just twice per year and there has to be at least a two-month interval between your for-sale posts. You can sell only what belongs to you or a member of your own household; you can't sell stuff for your friends, neighbors or some guy you just met who asked you to post for him. And the asking price of everything in your for-sale post must be under $1000. Your ad can't include any products that you are in the business of selling -- so, for example, if you run a bakery, you can't post a for-sale ad with any of your baked goods -- even if you run your bakery from home. If you want to sell anything that doesn't fit within these parameters (for example, you want to sell a car, or a condo, or your self-published book, or you live outside of the "in-boundary" zip codes, or you have already put the item up for sale on Craigslist), you are very welcome to post on the listesrv, but you must pay a fee to do so. Please go to our "For Sale Ads" payment page to learn more. Or you can join our Premium Membership Program to get more than two free ads per year, or avoid the $1000 cap on the asking price of a free ad, or get around the "must live in the neighborhood" rule or the "no crossposting to Craigslist" rule. If you want to sell or rent real estate or advertise any commercial services or products, keep reading; we're coming to that section in a bit.
Advertising for Babysitters, Nannies, Elder Care Givers and House Cleaners. If there's one thing we've learned in all our years of running a neighborhood listserv, it's that there are always people who want to hear about available in-home helpers. So we don't charge an advertising fee for posts about the availability of nannies, babysitters, elder care givers, or house cleaners. But we do limit the frequency of their ads to twice per year, with a minimum of two months between free ads. It's fine for a current or recent employer to post the ad on the in-home worker's behalf (but it still counts as one of the two free ads). Please note that ads are free only for individual workers; there are NO free ads for childcare or eldercare agencies; daycare providers, or housecleaning service companies.Please also note that ads are NOT free for those offering more specialized in-home services, including any of the following: gardening/yard work; pet care/dog walking; home organizing and concierge services; tutoring or coaching; handyman and home repair services. Ads for services that are not allowed as free posts on the listserv may purchased be at our regular business rate for professional services (such as tutoring or concierge services) -- or you may be able to get our half-price/noncommercial rate, given to an in-home helper posting an extra "house cleaner available" ad, beyond the two free ads allotted. We offer an even lower rate to high school or younger children offering to do chores and odd jobs. Have questions about what can be posted for free or for a fee? Please don't hesitate to Contact Us.
Business and Professional Advertising/Real Estate Sales and Rentals. The Cleveland Park Listserv is a great place to advertise your business or professional services. It's also a lively market for your house, condo, rental apartment, parking space, work space or storage space. All these are things that are frequently advertised on the listserv -- and our feedback from advertisers is that a CP listserv ad is highly effective place to advertise --often far better than print publications or websites. And very affordable, too! But we don't want to take up room on the Rules page for the specifics; please go to our advertising info pages, starting here: Cleveland Park Listserv Advertising FAQ.
Other Limits/Rules about Advertising...and Some Gray Areas:
When is does a reply to a query count as an ad? Business owners and professionals may post about neighborhood matters and answer queries, and if they want to list their professional credentials to show their expertise, that's fine. But the message should not include any solicitations or self-recommendations for their business or service. That sort of reply can go off-list to the person who posted the query, but if it's part of an on-list reply, it falls under our sponsored messages program. We routinely cut out business signature blocks, slogans, and other ad-like tag-lines from messages before posting. Recommendations for businesses or services are posted only when sent in response to a query and cannot be posted for any business in which you have a financial or personal stake. (That means you can't recommend your spouse's business, except as a sponsored message. More on sponsorship here: Advertising FAQ.)
Shilling, like all fraudulent posts, is strictly prohibited.
Advertising privileges are reserved for list members and those who live with them in the same household. The CP List does not allow the posting of ads on behalf of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or on behalf of institutional programs. That last restriction means that you can't use the CP Listserv to seek housing for all the exchange students coming in for a summer school program or all the interns that your office is bringing in from around the country. If your company or organization would like to purchase an advertisement to seek housing for your interns, please click here.
Format Note: If you are selling something, you need to say so up front. For-sale ads MUST say "For Sale" or "FS" right in the subject line. Do not say "available" if you mean "for sale." We just might change it to "Free". We really don't like cutesy sales pitches either (like: "This porcelain cat really wants to live on your fireplace mantel." Well, it just might want to go to another home for free, but if you expect to be paid for it, you are going to have to put "For Sale" in the subject line!
One final thought to keep in mind: The Cleveland Park Listserv is a sponsor and advertiser supported online community publication, and it could not continue to operate without the support it receives through advertising fees. If you've been told that something you would like to advertise on the listserv isn't postable for free, we hope you will consider becoming a listserv Sponsor or Premium Member. Your support through your Premium Membership and Sponsorship fees helps us keep this 365-day-a-year online community publication going strong!
11. Spam of any kind is prohibited on the Cleveland Park listserv. This includes long signature lines that double as advertising or sloganeering, and advertising disguised as "informational messages." Anyone who sends spam to the listserv or to any other listserv or who spams others off-list or who is disruptive to the list may have their posts deleted or may be banned from the list.
Ticket scalpers will have their posts deleted and may be banned from the list. The only tickets that may be sold on the listserv are those you bought for your personal use but are unable to use. Tickets may not be sold for over the price you paid, plus any fees..
12. Snip, snip, snip: Before replying to a post, cut out any parts of the original message that aren't relevant to your reply. In other words, you shouldn't include the entire original message in your reply. Cut out the "tag lines," "message footers," confidentiality boilerplate, or other extraneous stuff at the end of the message. This is particularly helpful to people who subscribe to the list digest, who read messages on their cell phones, and who are visually impaired. Never, ever submit a message with the previous digest attached! The moderators can't spend all day fixing up your messages for you.
13. Seriously bad behavior. Anyone who collects or harvests list members' email addresses for spamming, sending unsolicited ads or e-newsletters, or any other self-serving purpose, or who is a spammer, or who joins the list under false pretenses, will be banned from the list. Harvesting email addresses will be considered computer trespass. We share our banned member list with other listserv moderators.
Well, that was a lot to read, wasn't it? We know we have a lot of rules. But every single one of them came about only after an incident that made us realize we needed that rule. And these rules are by no means the whole ball of wax. If we see a message that we think is intended to do an end-run around these rules, or is in any way disruptive of the list, we won't post it, even if there isn't (yet) a written rule against it. The point is not to have every bad thing nailed down in writing. The point of everything you're reading here is to promote a list that is friendly but focused, flexible but not a free-for-all. The moderators will make whatever exceptions they find necessary or helpful to meet the needs of individual neighbors, in emergencies, or to serve the overall needs of the group. If you don't find your message on the list, you may assume it has been deleted. On a typical busy day, about half of the submitted messages may be deleted. The moderators sometimes delete messages that meet all the list's rules, but they simply don't want to start a new thread on a particular topic. Or they may think that the subject has already been discussed to death. Usually, when we make a judgment call like that, we will drop you a note to let you know what happened to your message. But not always. Sometimes we're just too busy. It's fine to inquire, but please wait at least a full day before asking. And if you don't like the answer you get, please at least try to understand our point of view. We simply can't post everything that everybody wants to post, every day. Our inboxes would explode.
Wait,not quite done yet! You need to have a working email address to post on the Cleveland Park Listserv. If the list moderators have to write to you about your message and you don't read the messages sent to the email address you use to send in your listserv posts, then we may have to put you on can't-post status. Please note that the moderators will not fill out spam challenge forms or send read-receipts or make phone calls to explain how to post a message or let you know what happened to your post. We will contact you by phone only if you are inquiring about paid advertising.
Worth repeating: By default, replies go to the sender of the previous message. To post a message to all, put firstname.lastname@example.org in the TO line of your message.
All messages express the views of the person making the post. List members are responsible for the content of their messages.
We hope that these rules make for a civil but fun neighborhood email list...and if you disagree, well, there are many ways to run a listserv -- and we hope you run yours just as you like!