Hidden-Tech receives a high volume of messages on our email discussion list, and the members of this list have made it clear that they expect these messages to be screened carefully. For messages to be posted to the list, they need to be “on-topic” and relevant to our list.

“On topic” means that the discussion list postings must serve the mission of Hidden-Tech, which includes “improving the economic prospects and quality of life for technology-enabled entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners throughout Western Massachusetts and nearby regions.” Therefore, the business-oriented nature of the postings is a prime consideration. The Hidden-Tech Board reserves the right to approve or disapprove individual postings at its discretion.

Examples of postings which are allowed on the discussion list:

– job postings for Hidden-Tech skill sets in Western Massachusetts
– inquiries about the best health care plans for small businesses
– general topics of interest to Hidden-Tech businesses

Examples of postings which are NOT allowed on the discussion list:

– the standard objectionable spam, pornography, and personally abusive comments that are prohibited by all responsible online forums.

Introductions from new companies are welcome, as long as they are geared in terms of future participation on this list and not simply a pitch for services.

One effective “introductory post” would be an “on topic” response to discussion items that are posted to the list. Often, the best way to become involved on an email list is to “listen” to the list until you see an opportunity to share your expertise with the group in a relevant way.

Another option for an introductory post is to share your observations on how technology is impacting your work and business, and the business challenges you are facing as a “Hidden-Tech” entrepreneur, as those kinds of insights are always of interest to other list members. Such an introductory post can also include information about your company and what you do, as long as a blatant sales pitch for new customers/prospects is avoided.

The more a post to our list comes off as a “one time” post from someone who is trying to get a service out to the list, the less likely Hidden-Tech Board is to approve it.

Avoid inserting a sales pitch at the end of a post. The commonly accepted way to make email discussion list members aware of your services is NOT by posting a pitch at the end of a message but by including a link to your company/web site in your email signature. This allows members who find what you have to say interesting to learn more about you by clicking on the link in your signature. Those who have sales and marketing opportunities to share with our list are encouraged to be particularly mindful of the need to post “on topic” and keep the sales opportunity as a link in the email signature.

Our members receive numerous sales opportunities without the help of Hidden-Tech, so simply having a commission-based or “multi-level marketing” sales opportunity is not reason enough to post to the list. Learning about an email list and figuring out how to make relevant postings to that particular list takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it, because you will enjoy the list more and the members will be more receptive to your postings.

In the case of Hidden-Tech, our list archives are publicly available online, so it’s easy to read previous messages and get a feel for the kinds of posts that are members find relevant.