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Objectives of the SALSA Discussion List

This mailing list has been created in order to facilitate the exchange among the members of a virtual community of researchers and actors working on culture in the Caribbean.


The community is open to culture operators in the Caribbens; however, the list is technically closed, as subscription is not automatic. That means that the participation requires you to complete a questionnaire (on the web or by e-mail sent to - see list of Commands). This questionnaire has been designed in order to track the statistical evaluation of the experience. However, the information of this questionnaire will be available in a directory associated with the list, and each member will be able to remove partially or totally any information that was submitted to the Project Coordinators. The Project Coordinators do not divulge this information.

Animation / Moderation

The list Salsa is animated. This means that the debates are led by a person who starts and facilitates the discussions, helps keeping the focus, manages delicate situations, etc. This allows fluent and efficient discussion.

The list is moderated. This means that all the messages sent by the members will first arrive to the moderator who will then send them to all the subscribers (with or without editing). This procedure allows avoiding "noise" in the discussion that could be caused in particular by the messages that don't commit to the aims of the list, the messages of commercial nature, or "hoax" messages (the email with "Internet virus" or various chains). It also allows to maintain the focus of the list on the given topics, to reduce the size of the messages in order not to overload the members, etc.

This allows combining the freedom of speech with the editorial responsibility, just as they are defined and guaranteed by the laws on the freedom of the press.

With all the messages, the moderation reserves the right of editing (mentioning it clearly when it occurs) if necessary for maintaining the debates inside the given norms. However, the content and the style of the contributions will always be respected. In the case of doubt, the moderator will contact the author before taking a decision on editing.

The list animator and moderator is  Yacine Khelladi of the Fundacion Taiguey.

Archiving the Discussion List

All the messages of the list are automatically filed specifically in the "memoria" or archives of the project:

This device allows to preserve and to make the contributions accessible. Democratic principles prevent us from altering, modifying or erasing the archives of the contributions. Once a message has been sent to the list and has been processed by the moderators, it will be automatically stored and put on the web without possibility of successive modifications.

Member Responsibilities

All members of our community commit to:

  • Participate with contributions focused on the general topic, always referring to culture in the Caribbean, or to the specific topics that have been established.
  • Respect and use technical aspects of the communication by means of computer. These are explained in detail in Rules.
  • Assume the basic principles of this project, which are: pluralism, respect for the diversity, democratic and respectful management of the differences, in particular of the conflicts
  • Not to use the electronic conference for ends differing from its objectives; any distribution of messages of commercial character is strictly forbidden.


  • The contributions that go through the Carena list are sent after they have been translated into French, Spanish, and English. This allows the members of the list to send and receive messages in their preferred language.
  • Therefore, unless the sender does not wish it, the mails sent to <>, have been processed through the Globalink automatic translator software, then sent in three different languages to the whole list.
  • The Globalink automatic translator software is a tool meant to help to better understand, and the quality of the translation cannot be equivalent to a human translation. It is thus useful to refer as much as possible to the original text during the reading of these translations. We suggest as well on the website of the project and on the list, a short series of recommendations concerning the redaction of the mails. These recommendations are meant to help the automatic processing of the texts and to improve the precision in the translations.

Discharge / Modifications

FUNREDES can in any moment make changes in the facilities of the lists. Also in case of an abusive use of the lists or any other technical reason, FUNREDES can refuse any access to the lists within the domain without any notification (temporarily or permanently). Funredes can do this on its own initiative or on the demand of the list administrator. Equally, FUNREDES can close a list. Finally, FUNREDES can use the lists under its domain for its own needs like diffusion of information it considers relevant. This will, however, always be done respecting the established rules.

Appendix 1: Discussion List Commands

The whole list management is made through electronic messages. Here are some of these messages:

The messages to all the members of the list should be sent to the

Appendix 2: Advice on Writing for the Proper Use of the Lists

Electronic mail is a means that is similar both to oral conversation and to the written world. Given this, the exchanges can sometimes be difficult. To facilitate the global understanding and to share ideas that you express efficiently, we are providing some rules. They derive from our experience of electronic forum management:

  • Before reacting with an angry answer, think for a second: did you really understand the speaker?
  • Avoid irony and jokes - you don't know in which context will speaker receive your message. Avoid personal attacks.
  • Avoid too short (a single word messages, for example) or too long messages, as they both disperse the discussion. Moreover, very long messages also require time and attention that few can provide.
  • Don't leave the message to which you respond uselessly quoted after your answer: quote only the parts of the messages that you reply directly to.
  • Your ideas deserve to be exposed for the benefit of all. Therefore, be concise and direct (go straight to the point).
  • When you introduce other people's context, make it explicit: think that your readers cannot have the same references as you.

Appendix 3: Rules for Proper Use of the Lists

  • As author of your own messages, you are responsible for the information you publish on this list. Never forget that the messages sent to the list are public texts conserved in an archive, exposed on the WWW, and susceptible to being indexed by the search engines.
  • Don't confuse the address of the list with the address of the listserv: never send the "unsubscribe" command to the list.
  • Don't use HTML code in the composition of your messages. The listserv can process only text.
  • Never use the list to diffuse commercial information.
  • Never use the list of subscribers in a context different from that of the list.
  • Send only messages that are relevant to the discussion topic.
  • Don't make individual attacks publicly.
  • Don't forget the public aspect of the lists; take care when sending a message, you will not be able to prevent its diffusion once it's sent.
  • To subscribe, always use your real address (the one that is used in the "From" field of your messages) to be subscribed.
  • When you go to the listserv so that it processes a command, it is preferable not to include the signature in the body of the message.
  • Do not divulge the list of members to any other person, or for a different use from the context for which it was created.
  • Any commercial use related with the list is prohibited.

Appendix 4: Writing Rules

We shall invite you to respect the following writing recommendations so as to make our translation job easier.

OT = original text

PT = preferred text

  1. Check the spelling and grammar of the messages you send us. A spelling error will result in a mistranslation or the non-translation of a word. A grammatical error will make it more difficult for the program to identify the syntactic function of all words in a given sentence. Use your spellchecker!
  2. The translation engine used to translate your messages is designed for texts that are correctly punctuated. Punctuation marks, such as commas and periods, help the program to identify sentences and clause boundaries. A period should therefore be placed at the end of each sentence. The symbols /, *, _ and - should not be contiguous with words. Add a space to separate them. For instance, change male/female to male / female.
  3. Use upper and lower case. A sentence should always start with a capital letter; a sentence typed entirely in upper case may cause translation problems.
  4. Divide lengthy and complex sentences into shorter sentences. In particular, avoid using parentheses and dashes to set phrases apart.
  5. Whenever possible, avoid using passive structures, for example: OT: A copy of the report will be sent to all Allies. PT: We will send a copy of the report to all Allies.
  6. Whenever possible, avoid idiomatic expressions:
    OT: It happens once in a blue moon.
    PT: It rarely happens.
  7. Include optional words that clarify the function of other words in the sentence, such as "that" or "whom" in the examples below:
    OT: The book I bought was very interesting.
    PT: The book that I bought was very interesting.
    OT: The man I wanted to see was on vacation.
    PT: The man whom I wanted to see was on vacation.
  8. Similarly, if the subject of a sentence refers to more than one verb and is separated from the second/third verb by a number of words, you should repeat the subject in front of each verb, like this:
    OT: They visited our warehouse yesterday and bought several products.
    PT: They visited our warehouse yesterday and they bought several products.

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last update: Mar 28th, 2000

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