It can take months for many list subscribers to work their way up to persona non grata status, but a determined lawyer can go from being completely unknown to batting less than zero in only a few days. With little concerted effort, a list newbie can make a lasting impression upon a thousand or more lawyers who participate in a law-related mailing list to share information, seek answers, network and socialize. The online behavior of some of these lawyers can make bystanders hope that a poseur stolen the identity of the poor, misbegotten lawyer.
Let’s explore some of the ways a new subscriber can convince other lawyers on a mailing list that he or she is a complete idiot:
- Ignore the list’s rules, declaring that your familiarity with online communities trumps the rules. Flout all rules and conventions.
- Before introducing yourself, and within only a few days of joining the list, point out to the list all of its failings, from the threads under discussion to the participants’ style and even the mechanics of a list’s operation. Your time is simply too valuable to be spent lurking and discovering a list’s culture.
- Draw particular attention to your posts by using ALL CAPs, poor grammar and inorthography.
- Personally attack, insult and deride one or more of the list’s Most Valued Players.
- Rebuff all attempts at reason, lobbing taunts of unprofessionalism. Be sure to call your detractors insecure, unsuccessfully, and obviously lacking in intelligence.
- Respond to every post, either on-list or off, and then complain that the list’s taking up too much of your valuable time.
- Deliberately foment discord to draw attention in your direction, and prove that your unwillingness to rise about the fray.
- Scream “invasion of privacy” if anyone mentions any Googled reference about you.
- Threaten legal action against the listowner, the list’s sponsor, list subscribers and anyone within earshot.