We receive a great many questions about this policy and realize that members may not be aware that our discussion list contains many fewer announcements and ads than typically found in such listservs. This is because we feel our 500+ members rely upon us to make the list readable for you. If we posted every request we get for the advertising of products, websites, causes, petitions, etc., the number of emails sent out daily would be enormous. The digest version would certainly be too long to download or read/scan (which is why we also restrict excess quotes from old messages.) The dialogue between our members would be lost among all those announcements, and alter the primary function of the list.
However, announcements are often quite important or useful, and we feel responsible for carrying them in a convenient fashion for readers. This means a given cause or event, in which the sponsors do not have any financial conflicts of interest, may be suitable for posting on the discussion group once or twice a year depending upon the nature of the effort. The rest of the time, we keep such announcements in the public eye by placing them on the business announcements pages, where readers have access to them on a continuous basis.
To place a business or housing announcement ad, send 75 words or less to the owners’ address: ChemicalInjurySupportfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Members are also permitted a single, discreet link beneath their name in each post. This enables all members to view each other’s special interests and activities. It also ensures that discussions are held between interested parties and not those only engaging in dialogue for advertising purposes. You are the member, not your company or organization.
We also have requirements about respecting fellow members by offering full disclosure about the nature of your advertising. When chronically ill people of limited financial and personal resources are asked to join a group, sign a petition, participate in a demonstration, purchase a product, etc., the decision to participate must be based upon an understanding of such details as organizational status (profit, non-profit), sponsoring and affiliated organizations, type of participation requested from readers, costs or donations expected, product ingredients, etc. These disclosures also show that your effort is professional, well planned and likely to be successful.
Also, while we certainly understand the need of our list members to post anonymously when discussing their personal lives, we ask our advertisers to conduct their business openly under their real identities.
Lastly, please do not demand space for an incompletely developed idea or concept and count upon the owners to assist you with it. Our committments to the management of this list are very time-consuming and we cannot pick and choose among all of the requests sent to us each week. You may take out an ad in the announcements pages requesting volunteers to aid you in planning for your project.
We hope this clarifies our policies in retaining the integrity of this list as a discussion group while still providing exposure for everyone’s special activities and/or businesses.