EC-Net is an email list for residents of the neighborhood served by the ECA. (See the About Us page for information about our service area.) Using this email list, any member of the list can send an email to all other members of the list. The list is moderated, which means that the moderator reviews each email for compliance with list policies before it is posted.
The purpose of EC-Net is to provide an easy way for residents to convey information for or about the neighborhood that may be of interest to other residents. It is a forum to announce news or events of relevance to neighbors, to conduct non-commercial transactions among neighbors (e.g., find a babysitter, ask for recommendations about local services), and learn what's happening in the neighborhood. The ECA Board of Directors also uses the email list as its primary method of mass communication with ECA members (e.g., to announce ECA news or events). See the posting and reply rules, below.
Group name: EC-Net: Edgemoor (Bethesda, MD) Citizens Network
The email list is a Google Group, which is a service provided by Google. To use the list, Google says that you must have a Google account (although you do not need to have a Google email address (Gmail). I've had some people tell me that this is not true, and that you can still use Google Groups without a Google account; or that you used to be able to do that but you can't now; or that you can do that now, but you couldn't do it before. I've also successfully added people to the group without any mention of a Google account. Finally, Google regularly changes the rules and procedures for using Google Groups--without telling anyone. So, the bottome line is that I don't really know. Give it a try. There are two ways to sign up:
The easiest way to sign up for the group is to just email the group moderator (email@example.com) and ask to join. You must live in the area served by the ECA (see the About Us page), and you must include your resident address in the email in order to be added to the group.
There is also a standard procedure for signing up for any Google Group, which you can also try. Visit the group site (http://groups.google.com/group/Edgemoor). At that point, you may be asked to either sign in to your Google account or create one (unless you are already signed in). After you sign in to your Google account, you should return to the EC-Net Group page (if you are not automatically routed there). Click on "Apply for Membership." The next page will be a very short application. IMPORTANT: Please make sure to include your name and address in the box on this page. Then click "Apply to join this group" at the bottom of the page. If there is a problem with this process, see method #1, above.
The EC-Net moderator will review the application and contact you if there are any questions. Once your membership is confirmed, you will receive an email with instructions on using the group.
Sending and Receiving Messages
To send a message, prepare a normal email message, addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must send the message from the email address that you registered with EC-Net.
You can also send messages directly from the EC-Net Google Group page by clicking the red "New Topic" button.
The moderator will review the message to ensure that it follows list policies and then post it. Please be patient. The moderator checks messages multiple times each day, but not continuously. The message may be posted within a few minutes, or it may be several hours.
You have four choices for how to receive Email messages posted to the group. You can receive:
Each new message as it is posted (an average of less than 1 each day);
A daily summary of all messages posted that day;
A compilation of messages every 25 messages; or
No email messages.
The ECA recommends option #1 (receive each new message as it is posted). None of the other options provides you with timely information. In addition, because of the small number of messages posted and the fact that the list is moderated, this option will not be obtrusive. This is the default setting for the email list, and it is how new member accounts will be initially set up. You can change that setting any time. If you have trouble changing the setting, contact the group moderator (email@example.com) and the moderator can make the change for you.
EC-Net Usage Guidelines for Posting and Replying to Messages
When posting messages, use common sense, respect for others, and courtesy. Confrontation and abuse are prohibited.
EC-Net is for the use of subscribers in the neighborhood, and only members of the list may post messages. Do not post messages on behalf of others unless the message is relevant to our community.
Sign all posts with your first and last name.
Do not post commercial messages or advertisements. Whether something is "commercial" can be a judgment call and the moderator will make that judgment as fairly as possible. Here are some examples to illustrate what's allowed and what's not:
A post about your teenager looking for babysitting jobs in the neighborhood is fine. A post seeking clients for your brother's nanny referral service company is not.
A post seeking a buyer for a piece of unwanted furniture or publicizing a yard sale is fine. A post advertising an estate auction or your sister's antique business is not.
A post advertising your child's school music event is fine. A post promoting your wife's DJ business or recording studio is not.
A post seeking additional neighborhood clients for your housekeeper/nanny is fine. A post advertising a commercial cleaning service is not.
Do not make multiple postings for the same reason or event. Exception: Two postings are allowed to publicize upcoming events (e.g., one posting well in advance and a second posting a day or two before the event).
Messages cannot reveal private information about others (e.g., addresses, phone number, license plate number).
Do not post about disputes with neighbors.
Do not post security camera images, security alerts, or requests for security camera images. Exception: You may make this kind of post if specifically requested by the police. The moderator will verify the police request before posting the message.
Do not post religious messages, political messages, chain email messages, jokes, or messages that are offensive or abusive.
Do not post fundraising appeals or any other similar messages unless they are specifically related to our community, regardless of how worthy the cause.
Common acceptable posts
Here are some examples of the kinds of postings that are appropriate for EC-Net:
Lost/found pets or property;
Neighborhood crime events;
New neighbors (with their permission, of course);
Items for sale or giveaway (private, not commercial);
Requests for recommended service providers (but replies go only to the person asking); and
Non-professional services offered (e.g., neighborhood teens offering to mow lawns or babysit)
Replying to Messages
If you are replying to a post, reply only to the original poster. Do not "Reply All." Exception: If your reply is urgent and of great interest to the entire email list, you may reply to the whole group. However, such instances should be rare, and the moderator will not permit multiple back-and-forth messages and replies on the same topic. If you want to engage in a discussion with the person who posted a message, that discussion should take place privately between the two of you--not on the entire email list.
EC-Net Home Page
Alternatives to EC-Net
There are several excellent alternative ways to post messages to a wide local audience, even if the messages are not appropriate for EC-Net. Even for messages that would be allowed on EC-Net, some of these may be better choices. They include: