Flowers Inc Balloons - the largest supplier of balloons in the US
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 05:45:43 -0500
From: Larry Moss <moss@balloonhq.com>
To: balloon@balloonhq.com, balloondeco@balloonhq.com
Subject: Monthly Posting: Frequently Asked Questions about balloons


      Mini Frequently Asked Questions List related to balloons on the net
                                       
   Read and save the following information.
   
   Last updated 13 April 1999
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Contents

    1. What is this document and where can I get the current version?
    2. What are all of the balloon mailing lists and what are they all
       about? 
    3. OK, I'm convinced I want to join the lists. How can I get on? What
       do I need to learn first? Is there a fee to subscribe?
    4. How do I post a message so it's seen by everyone?
    5. Why do I have to be subscribed to the list for 4 days before I can
       post?
    6. I no longer wish to be on the mailing list that I've signed up
       for. What should I do?
    7. There's too much mail. How can I switch to the digest form of the
       list?
    8. How can I change my e-mail address on the lists?
    9. I've heard that all of the balloon information I ever wanted can
       be found on the web. Where is it?
   10. What should be posted to the mailing lists?
   11. I read that I can be removed from a mailing list if I don't follow
       the rules. Do people really get removed from the list, and under
       what circumstances?
   12. I was on the mailing list, but I haven't received anything in a
       long time. What happened?
   13. What can I do if I have a problem with the mailing list or web
       pages?
   14. How can I locate other balloon folks in my area or in areas that I
       visit?
   15. Is this list affiliated with any balloon manufacturers or other
       balloon-related organizations?
   16. Who's responsible for maintaining this stuff?
   17. How can I support Balloon HQ?
   18. Who owns the content of the BHQ site and mailing lists?
       
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    1. What is this document and where can I get the current version?
       This document covers some basic information about balloon
       information on the net. The current version of this document can
       be found on the web at http://www.balloonhq.com/faq.html, on the
       12th of each month is is sent to each of the balloon twister and
       balloon decorator mailing lists, and it is sent automatically to
       all new list subscribers. This document is not intended to be a
       comprehensive guide to balloons. That can be found in the "Guide
       to Balloons and Ballooning" on the web pages mentioned below. The
       purpose of this document is to help you find information about
       balloons. If you have a question about balloons or balloon related
       services on the net, look at the Guide before sending your
       questions to the maintainers of this document or members of the
       mailing lists.
    2. What are all of the balloon mailing lists and what are they all
       about?
       These unmoderated mailing lists have been established to bring
       balloon entertainers and decorators together for the discussion of
       balloon entertaining and decorating, or anything else related to
       toy and decorative balloons (as opposed to hot air balloons).
       Anyone with an interest in balloon twisting, balloon entertaining,
       or the commercial balloon business is welcome to join. Topics
       range from new balloons, bouquets, and sculptures, to the
       materials, tools and detailed techniques used to create them.
       Exchange of new themes, ideas, balloon book reviews, suggestions
       and tips is encouraged. Other welcome subjects include products
       you'd like to see, certification issues, conventions, problems
       (both gripes and solutions!) encountered in the balloon business,
       etc. If you have a question about ballooning, don't hesitate to
       ask it here - you'll get plenty of answers! The lists consist of
       people at many levels, so there is likely to be someone that can
       answer your questions or benefit from your suggestions. Feel free
       to write a paragraph or two introducing yourself to the other list
       members when you subscribe.
       The lists:
          + balloon@balloonhq.com This list is made up of balloon
            twisters that make whatever they can out of long skinny
            balloons. Discussions are usually focussed on twisting latex
            balloons, but this is hardly a rule.
          + balloondeco@balloonhq.com This is set up primarily for
            balloon decorators and retail balloon shops. These are people
            that use primarily round balloons for filling large rooms or
            use round and foil balloons for table and delivery
            arrangements.
          + sdslegal@balloonhq.com This list is used to discuss legal
            issues related to the balloon industry. Specifically, it was
            created to discuss the issue of the SDS patent and how it
            effects balloon professionals. The other lists were created
            solely for the purpose of promoting balloon art. This list
            was created as a forum for more controversial topics. The SDS
            debate that started this whole thing has been settled, so the
            list has been quiet for some time. The list has not been shut
            down, only because some other legal issue effecting the
            balloon industry is bound to come up and this is the best
            place to discuss it.
       The balloon and balloondeco lists exist in two forms:
         1. The email reflector form
            All email sent to the mailing list gets forwarded immediately
            to all those subscribed in this form.
         2. The digest form
            All email sent to the mailing list gets concatenated together
            into one message which is then sent out _once_ a day to all
            those subscribed in this form. On high traffic days the
            concatenated digest may "fill up" to its maximum allowable
            size. When that happens, the digest is sent out early. So at
            the very least, there will be a digest each day as long as
            there is some mail.
       The sdslegal list only exists as an email reflector.
    3. OK, I'm convinced I want to join the lists. How can I get on? What
       do I need to learn first? Is there a fee to subscribe?
       First decide which list(s) you want to be on. That's entirely up
       to you. There's no qualifying exam or application process to
       restrict membership. You don't need to have any background as a
       twister or decorator to join any list or to take part in
       discussions. Most importantly, this is a free service. The folks
       running it are not opposed to receiving monetary contributions. In
       fact, contributions of any sort are greatly appreciated so we can
       keep this going, but you are not obligated to send anything.
       How to subscribe to the email reflector form of the list:
       Send an email to balloon-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "subscribe" on the subject line to join the sculpting list.
       Send an email to balloondeco-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "subscribe" on the subject line to join the decorating list.
       Send an email to sdslegal-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "subscribe" on the subject line to join the sdslegal list.
       How to subscribe to the digest form of the list:
       Send an email to balloon-d-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "subscribe" on the subject line for the sculpting list.
       Send an email to balloondeco-d-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "subscribe" on the subject line for the decorating list.
       Subscribing is handled by an automated emailing list manager
       (procmail/smartlist). You will be sent return notification that
       you subscribed, as the mini-FAQ list with answers.
       Note: If you are confused about the subscription process, you may
       use the experimental web interface for subscribing and
       unsubscribing at http://www.balloonhq.com/subscribe.html
    4. How do I post a message so it's seen by everyone?
       All mail sent to balloon@balloonhq.com will be distributed to
       everyone on the twister's list, provided you are subscribed to the
       list (in either reflector or digest form) and have been subscribed
       for at least 4 days.
       All mail sent to balloondeco@balloonhq.com will be distributed to
       everyone on the decorator's list, provided you are subscribed to
       the list (in either reflector or digest form) and have been
       subscribed for at least 4 days.
       All mail sent to sdslegal@balloonhq.com will be distributed to
       everyone on the sds-legal list, provided you are subscribed to the
       list (in either reflector or digest form) and have been subscribed
       for at least 4 days.
    5. Why do I have to be subscribed to the list for 4 days before I can
       post?
       While we feel that everyone has a voice worth hearing and we do
       want everyone to contribute to discussions, it is not unusual for
       new subscribers to jump into discussions without being aware of
       common list etiquette. We just want you to be around long enough
       to get a feel for discussions before jumping in. The list
       administrator is sometimes placed in a funny position of having to
       point out to new subscribers that they have posted something
       improper. We hope that in 4 days time you are able to become
       familiar with the list and the types of discussions we have.
    6. I no longer wish to be on the mailing list that I've signed up
       for. what should I do?
       Let's start by telling you what not to do. Do not send mail to the
       mailing list address asking hundreds of people to unsubscribe you.
       Most of the people that read that mail can't help you. Those that
       can help, won't. There's an automated way of unsubscribing that
       makes life easier for the list administrator. Only if you run into
       a problem should you ask the list administrator to help you. The
       list administrator will help if he can, but he's often unable to
       respond quickly.
       How to UN-subscribe from the email reflector form of the list:
       Send an email to balloon-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "unsubscribe" on the subject line to unsubscribe from the
       sculpting list.
       Send an email to balloondeco-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "unsubscribe" on the subject line to unsubscribe from the
       decorating list.
       Send an email to sdslegal-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "unsubscribe" on the subject line to unsubscribe from the sdslegal
       list.
       How to UN-subscribe from the digest form of the list:
       Send an email to balloon-d-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "unsubscribe" on the subject line to unsubscribe from the
       sculpting list.
       Send an email to balloondeco-d-request@balloonhq.com with the word
       "unsubscribe" on the subject line to unsubscribe from the
       decorating list.
       Unsubscribing is handled by an automated emailing list manager
       (procmail/smartlist). You will be sent return notification that
       you unsubscribed. Make sure you unsubscribe this way so you don't
       waste Larry's time!!!! If you try to unsubscribe and get a message
       back that your address could not be found, please make sure you
       sent your request to the proper address listed above. (ie, were
       you getting the email reflector form or the digest form of the
       list?)
       Note: If you are confused about the unsubscription process, you
       may use the experimental web interface for subscribing and
       unsubscribing at http://www.balloonhq.com/subscribe.html
    7. There's too much mail. How can I switch to the digest form of the
       list?
       (This question only applies to the balloon and balloon deco
       lists.)
       If you receive the non-digest form of the list and you find that
       messages from this list are filling your mailbox and becoming a
       distraction during the day, you may wish to receive the mailings
       in "digest" form. To change the way you receive the mail:
         1. Unsubscribe from the email reflector form of the list.
         2. Subscribe to the digest form of the list.
    8. How can I change my e-mail address on the lists?
       Unsubscribe from the list using your old address. Then resubscribe
       to the list from your new address.
    9. I've heard that all of the balloon information I ever wanted can
       be found on the web. Where is it?
       http://www.balloonhq.com/
       The Guide to Balloons and Ballooning at that location has a very
       heavy emphasis twisting, but there is more info being added about
       other aspects of ballooning all the time. Feel free to write more
       material on any aspect of ballooning that you like. We want this
       to be the most comprehensive collection of material on balloons
       around. Of course, to be useful, you have to use it. When
       possible, check the archive and Guide before asking a general
       question that may already have been answered. With everyone's
       help, much of the material is being rewritten more clearly. It
       just takes time and help from lots of people. If you want to
       contribute something to the Guide, get in touch with Mark
       (mbalzer@BalloonHQ.com) first. Editorial decisions are made by
       Mark, Larry and Sheena, but Mark has taken over most of that now,
       and you'll probably get an answer from Mark faster than from
       Larry.
   10. What should be posted to the mailing lists?
       Before answering that question, we would like to make it clear
       that these mailing lists are not moderated or in any way censored.
       Aside from the fact that we want these lists to become a powerful
       clearing-house for balloon discussion and information sharing,
       censoring material would require far more work than we care to put
       into it. For this reason, we ask that everyone become familiar
       with and cooperate with the rules below.
       Let's start by telling you what not to post to the mailing lists.
       Items not relating to balloons
          + Posts must have something to do with balloons!!! There are
            other Internet services available for discussions on
            non-balloon topics. Those who have to pay for their email
            messages and connect time DO NOT appreciate the non-balloon
            clutter. Anyone that consistently posts non-balloon content
            will be removed from the list.
          + Think of it this way: When you want a book on how to do a
            specific task, do you go to the library and read every book
            on the shelf until you get to the one you want? No, of course
            not - you go to the card catalog and then to the book you
            want.
               o By analogy, people read this list because they've gone
                 to the card catalog, looked under balloons, gone to this
                 shelf and pulled out this mailing list. They don't want
                 to find cookbook ads, computer info, "Possible New
                 Virus!" warnings, etc. If they wanted those things,
                 they'd go to a different shelf.
               o If you are new to computers, Usenet and the Internet,
                 and can't find the "book" you want, don't waste
                 everyone's time asking the balloon list... Go ask the
                 librarian for help!!!!!
       One sentence messages without mention of balloons ("Me too!", "I
       agree", "Wonderful!!!", "Good luck", "Keep me posted" or "Thanks
       for the advice, I'll try it")
          + Please, no more one sentence "me too" posts to the lists.
            Every message is archived, not matter how trivial. Editing
            the archives would be too much work. The scientist in me also
            says that modifying an archive to eliminate extra stuff would
            be lying. Consider that several hundred people may receive a
            note with nothing but "me too" in it. That's a waste of net
            bandwidth, and just plain silly.
       Personal replies without mention of balloons ("send me a catalog
       too" or "fax me a picture")
          + Personal replies (without mention of balloons) meant for one
            person shouldn't be sent to the lists either. Please be
            careful about that. Different mail software handles replies
            differently. In accordance with standards, most mailers will
            by default send a reply to the original sender, not to the
            list. But be careful. If your mailer defaults to sending
            replies to the list, watch out what you post. If you want
            something that has been offered, send your request directly
            to the person that offered it.
       Copyrighted material for which you have not been given explicit
       permission to post.
              + Someone put a lot of effort into whatever it is you want
            to share. That material is the creator's to sell, give away,
            keep to themselves or throw out. The list maintainer will not
            take any responsibility for things posted without permission.
            Individual posters are fully responsible for what they
            distribute to the list membership.
       Suggested prices for various types of jobs
          + While we want people to share whatever information and advice
            they have, there are some limitations on what can legally be
            discussed. In an industry forum, it is not permissable to
            discuss appropriate prices for jobs. Talking between
            companies and comparing prices may be the most innocent of
            pastimes, however it can surely be misconstrued as
            price-fixing. This is against US federal law. The last thing
            we need as an industry is Uncle Sam looking over our
            shoulders. So......play fair and decide your own price. Base
            it on your companies cost, needs and your overhead.
       So what can you post to the mailing lists?
       Balloon-related questions
          + A lot of work has gone into developing the web pages. So
            please, USE THEM!!! READ THEM!!! CHECK THEM FIRST BEFORE
            ASKING A QUESTION!!! We spend hours compiling answers to
            common questions and putting them in the Guide, and we get
            frustrated when the same questions repeatedly come up. If you
            have questions about something that wasn't clear in the web
            pages, post about it and someone will clarify it. That
            clarification will make its way into the web pages. If you
            even indicate that you were looking for something that you
            couldn't find, we'll do our best to straighten things out and
            add the correct links to simplify your searches.
          + It is not unusual for the lists to be quiet for periods of
            time. Please, don't let that stop you from asking questions
            or bringing up ideas when you first subscribe (but AFTER you
            read the Guide). Subscribers on these mailing lists run the
            gamut from rank beginners to the biggest names in the balloon
            twisting and decorating business, so there is always someone
            who can answer your questions or benefit from your
            suggestions. In your first post to the list, you may wish to
            introduce yourself, let us all know what your level is and
            any other interesting facts there are to know about you.
       Balloon-related answers and comments.
          + When someone asks a question on this list, it's probably a
            concern that many of us share. We're happy to add everyone's
            good ideas to the Guide, but *we* need to read them before we
            can do so. So everyone, please
               o post your balloon-related answers and ideas to the
                 mailing list instead of just replying to the person who
                 asked the question!
               o And if you ask a question and get a bunch of good ideas
                 via private email, please post a summary so we can all
                 learn from each other.
          + Please, be concise with your posts. Don't run at the mouth.
            Be complete, but make sure that what you say is worth
            reading. Basically, think of everything you say as being
            published.
          + Anything with a connection to balloons and/or the balloon
            business is fine (except outright advertising).
       Announcements of new balloon products or balloon services
       But please, no advertising hype. You can send a note saying,

   This item is now available to solve that problem.
   Contact me privately at xxx@yyy.zzz for more info."
       Surveys
       But PLEASE don't initiate surveys asking people to respond to the
       mailing list. If you want to take a survey in order to...
       sdkjfhgosdh for instance, one person should write an email like
       this:

   I want your opinions on sdkjfhgosdh. If you have a favorite sdkjfhgosdh,
   email me about it privately at xxx@yyy.zzz.  Please do not post your
   opinions directly to the mailing list.  When I get all the responses,
   I will summarize them and post the summary back to the list.
   Thanks.
       Other
       Other information about what can legally/ethically be posted is
       available on the web pages. If you are unsure about whether or not
       you should post something, please look there.
       Finally, if you disagree with any of this, let me (Larry) know,
       but please don't send me insulting mail for trying to run a free
       list. I have other things I can be doing with my time. Also, if
       you want me to listen to you and you're an English speaker, please
       write in coherent sentences. If English isn't your first language,
       I can accept that you may have difficulty, and I appreciate the
       fact that you're trying to speak my language. I will do my best to
       be patient. I just have a hard time believing this is the case
       with most of the mail I receive.
   11. I read that I can be removed from a mailing list if I don't follow
       the rules. Do people really get removed from the list, and under
       what circumstances?
       It is VERY unusual for someone to be removed from one of these
       lists by the mailing list administrator, but under certain
       circumstances it can happen. A person will never be removed
       without first being contacted individually (never publicly) and
       notified of their inappropriate posting. Only after repeat
       offenses will someone be removed. Rather than remove someone from
       the list, we prefer to educate them on proper use of the list and
       allow them to take part in future discussions.
       There is a document that outlines all of the rules of these lists
       that is sent out at the same time as this document on the 12th of
       each month and is sent to all new subscribers. It can be found on
       the web at http://www.balloonhq.com/rules.html. Further guidelines
       describing what content is expected on these lists is included
       above, in this document.
       In order for a person to be removed, the complete BHQ staff (Mark,
       Sheena, and Larry) must agree that it's the appropriate action. In
       most cases, we don't even consider removing someone for a
       violation of rules unless other list subscribers send in
       complaints about misuse of the list first. In other words, we are
       serious about the rules and maintaining a constructive forum for
       discussions, but we know that what's appropriate will evolve over
       time as list membership changes. We do our best to keep these
       services running in the fashion that our subscribers would like to
       see. We try hard to not dictate what can be said. These lists are
       run by you, the subscribers, as much as it is by us, the
       administrators. We need to hear both postive and negative comments
       from you regarding list content.
   12. I was on the mailing list, but I haven't received anything in a
       long time. What happened? Have I missed anything?
       Every so often mail delivery problems occur. This is sometimes the
       result of a network problem. Other times your service provider may
       refuse to deliver mail to you. In some cases your email address
       may even change because of something your ISP has done without
       informing you. If for any reason your email is undeliverable for
       several days, you are automatically removed from the mailing list.
       You can subscribe again as soon as the problem is corrected.
       The easiest way to tell if you have been unsubscribed from the
       list is to do the following:
          + check the date on the last balloon email you received.
          + go to the Balloon HQ web site.
          + click on the archive of the list that you are subscribed to.
          + see if the archive contains messages dated after the last
            balloon email you received.
       If the archive contains messages that you never received, you have
       probably been automatically removed and will need to resubscribe.
   13. What can I do if I have a problem with the mailing list or web
       pages?
       How to get help with a question/problem related to the list:
       Send your question via email to: balloondeco-request@balloonhq.com
       or, balloondeco-d-request@balloonhq.com. Anything sent there will
       be read by one of the administrators. We do our best to get to it
       fairly quickly. If you prefer, you can send mail directly to
       BHQ-admin@balloonhq.com. The latter address will go directly to
       the responsible admin. That person may vary over time, depending
       on the workload of the usual administrator.
       Reporting web page problems:
       When you report problems accessing web pages, please give the
       following information:
          + The URL you used to access the page that has the problem.
          + The link you followed to get there. (the previous page you
            were at and what you clicked on.)
          + If appropriate, the error you received. Just saying, "it
            didn't work," doesn't help.
          + If you can, send me the time you did it and the name of the
            machine you connected from. I can sometimes find errors by
            looking through log files. If you give me this information it
            makes my job easier.
       If the problem is that the information you are viewing is
       outdated, reload the page. With some browsers you may need to
       flush you cache to get everything to reload.
   14. How can I locate other balloon folks in my area or in areas that I
       visit?
       There is a directory on the Balloon HQ web site. This directory is
       intended for professional and amateur balloon workers and
       suppliers. There is no cost to be listed in or to use the
       directory.
   15. Is this list affiliated with any balloon manufacturers or other
       balloon-related organizations?
       Balloon HQ is run by people who simply love balloons.
       Unfortunately, a love of balloons does not pay the expenses
       associated with providing free mailing list and web page services.
       To meet these expenses and to provide compensation for the work of
       maintaining the lists and updating the web pages, Balloon HQ
       accepts financial support from sponsors. A number of businesses
       currently support Balloon HQ. However, the maintainers of BHQ will
       not limit discussion topics or information sharing for the express
       benefit of any sponsor. So, while other individuals and
       organizations do support BHQ (and we are grateful for that help),
       BHQ is run independently of all other balloon organizations.
       For a directory of current sponsors, please refer to
       http://www.balloonhq.com/sponsor/
   16. Who's responsible for maintaining this stuff?
       The Balloon HQ web site and associated mailing lists are owned and
       operated by Balloon HQ, LLC. Balloon HQ, LLC was created for the
       sole purpose of providing online resources for the balloon
       industry. The partners in Balloon HQ, LLC are Larry Moss
       (moss@balloonhq.com), Mark Balzer (mbalzer@BalloonHQ.com), and
       Sheena Beaverson (sbeavers@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu). Many volunteers and
       contributors have made these resources what they are today.
       http://www.balloonhq.com/faq/contributors.html contains a complete
       list of those contributors. Special thanks goes to David Graves
       (gdavid@erols.com) for the many hours he has contributed as a
       volunteer on the photo section of the web site.
   17. How can I support Balloon HQ?
       Donations are greatly appreciated to help keep this running. The
       maintainers put a lot of work into keeping things going. Give what
       you feel is appropriate based on the value of this resource.
       The most important thing to do is share your ideas. Contribute
       whatever information you can. That's how Balloon HQ got to be as
       big as it has.
       Material contributions can be sent to:
       Larry Moss
       PO Box 23523
       Rochester, NY 14692
       Visit http://www.balloonhq.com/contrib.html for more information
       on contributing and why we ask for the support of each user.
   18. Who owns the content of the BHQ site and mailing lists?
       The site as a whole is copyright Balloon HQ, LLC. All material
       found within the Balloon HQ web site contains an implicit
       copyright from the original creator unless that party has
       explicitly stated that his/her contribution is in the public
       domain. In the case of materials found within the archives of the
       Balloon HQ mailing lists, the term original creator refers to the
       author of that message. In all other instances, unless stated
       otherwise, original creator refers to Balloon HQ, LLC.
       All material included here may be viewed and/or copied for
       personal use, but may not be reproduced for distribution without
       the consent of the author and/or site maintainers.