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Topics Covered

  1. General Purpose Of 95033talk
  2. Guidelines On Usage
  3. Some General Etiquette
  4. Contacting The Moderators
  5. Searching The Archives
  6. 95033Free, 95033Market, And 95033wiki


1. General Purpose Of 95033talk

95033Talk is a volunteer-moderated email forum for anyone living in the 95033 zip code or related areas of the Santa Cruz Mountains/Los Gatos Mountains to discuss local issues. Please note the emphasis on local.

Membership is moderated, which means that people have to request to join. This prevents spambots and similar programs from easily accessing the list.

Use this group to do things like:

  • asking for recommendations for services
  • asking for advice / sharing advice
  • discuss local and timely issues
  • notifying neighbors of upcoming events
  • provide / get information on emergencies / fire
  • and more...


2. Guidelines On Usage

In general, you may not use this list to sell items. A general pitch for your business/service is OK in response to a request for goods/services, or if you need to announce a new wine/artwork/soap collection/feature/website etc but please limit this to once a month or less. Users who continually pitch their own businesses will be banned.

Do not use this list for romantic or sexual purposes.

Avoid racist, sexist or other hateful language.

Please be very mindful of the open nature of this list when you post and be cautious with giving away your personal information such as phone number, address, that you’re away on vacation or work out of the house all day. All posts are also archived by groups.io so please be aware that anything you share can be found / searched years from now.

While having over 2000 members means that this list is not exactly private, people posting to 95033talk assume their information, opinions, comments etc. are merely going to other mountain residents that are on the list. While technically information on the list is not actually private, for all normal intents and purposes, this list is considered to have a limited and known distribution by the vast majority of its members, and this has led to the building of a community of trust. List members are asked to respect that shared trust and the quasi private view of this list in any repurpose of information obtained from this list.

General discussions on religion, guns, politics and the usual ‘not safe for dinner parties’ subjects that do not have a strong LOCAL reason are strongly discouraged for the reason that they never result in anyone changing their minds, just people getting worked up and angry and email boxes getting full. If we see a discussion heading down that path of crossing the line, one of the moderators will usually step in with a warning or request to desist.

When responding to requests for recommendations or discussions about service providers, people are also interested in negative experiences but you may want to simply post to the list that you can provide comments on XYZ and suggest the inquirer email you off list. The implication will be clear enough and it is rarely helpful to air grievances in a public forum.

This list is almost entirely self sufficient with extremely limited admin involvement. There are 3 moderators (to provide coverage for vacations etc), and between us we check regularly for new members and posts that get flagged as spam and are delayed posting to the list. This happens from time to time for no apparent reason. We unfortunately can’t do very much when someone on the list gets an email virus. Just be warned never to open something that is just a few words and a web link. If it looks odd, it probably is!

We also keep an eye on the discussions and activity although we do not take any action unless a rule is obviously and frequently broken, or we receive a number of emails from concerned list members asking about action, or we become concerned about the list being used for defamatory or other negative purposes.

Aside from posting ourselves with a cautionary note, actions that we can take are:

  1. sending an email warning to the member letting them know what the perceived problem is and asking for them to address it
  2. requiring that posts by that member be moderated (delayed for review) before they are posted to the board
  3. not allowing a member to post to the board at all for a period of time
  4. blocking/banning the member from posting at all

Since the list was founded in 2010, we have needed to block/ban people on only a few occasions (very very infrequently but it does happen). Like all online forums, 95033talk has occasional times where discussions get heated, but such instances are relatively rare and don’t go on for long, which suggests we have the balance about right. The group itself is very quick to suggest inappropriate posts and so to a certain extent, it self-moderates. Looks like we’re all pretty neighborly!


3. Some General Etiquette

Please be kind and considerate in your posts and mindful that others may not share your viewpoints or beliefs. There are over 1700 people on this list, and we don’t all think alike. On probably any topic you will find a wide set of views. That’s the way it is.

Email is a great tool in many ways, but subtle communication is hard to achieve. To make communications more effective, we strongly suggest the following:

  • When writing, do so carefully and gently. Reread, edit, and do your best to avoid giving offense.
  • When reading, remember that the sender may have just come home from work, or have been in an argument, or just feel differently than you do. Cut them some slack if they do give offense.
  • Read all the messages on a topic before replying, rather than reply to the first one. We all fail to do that from time to time, of course, but if we read everything in the inbox before replying to anything, we can avoid duplication, see that others have made the same point, cool off before saying something ugly, and even see the potential retraction of the original post. Read first, then reply… everyone needs to do that.

Please don’t discuss anything here that you personally wouldn’t say - using a megaphone - to well over 1000 total strangers in the same room with you. Really. You have to think of it that way. Yes, we are “neighbors”, but 95033 covers a lot of ground, and we don’t all know each other. That does not mean we cannot discuss difficult topics, but doing so requires care and time to craft your message so it comes across without offending others. Put another way: everything shared on the Internet is permanent (remember the earlier point about it being archived on the groups.io site). Do you want your neighbors and friends to see what you’ve written a year from now? Five years from now? They will be able to, so give serious thought to what you post here, or anywhere else online for that matter.


4. Contacting The Moderators

As we stated, there are 3 of us: Alexandra (Alex), Sanjay, and Jeff. You can contact all of us by sending a message to 95033talk+owner@groups.io. That's the best way to reach us.  One of us will reply as soon as it is practical. Messages sent to individual moderators may not get answered in a timely fashion if that moderator is out or busy, so send your messages to us all using that email address.


5. Searching The Archives

We average between 500 to 1500 (!) messages a month and have had tens of thousands of messages posted since this thing started. Many topics may have been discussed in the past. Its always a good idea to search the archives before asking about a topic. You have 2 choices:

Search the messages at https://groups.io/g/95033talk/topics. You will need to log in to groups.io to be able to search the archives as they are not publicly available.

Sanjay maintains a searchable archives of relevant posts at 95033talk.wordpress.com. This is public information - edited to remove personally identifiable information - and does not require a log-in. As this is a single volunteer effort, it lags behind the current posts on 95033talk. If anyone is interested in helping with the archive, please email Sanjay directly.


6. 95033Free, 95033Market, 95033wiki

These are other, commonly mentioned information sources in our area. Each is run by different people. The moderators of 95033talk have no ability to assist you with these items, and they each have their own policies and procedures.

  • 95033Free - http://95033free.com/ - The first group set up by our very own go-Green leaders. Its all about Free Recycling. Free Recycling is all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s better for someone else to reuse your item than recycle the materials in it or have it end up as trash. This also means finding people near us to minimize energy use and pollution. The better we care for our planet, the better it takes care of us (and our kids). If you live (or work) in the 95033 Community and can resonate with the Free Recycling principles above, we welcome you to join!
  • 95033Market - http://95033Market.com/ - An email list for people who want to buy and sell stuff and who live in the 95033 zip code. Pretty much anything goes – produce, household goods, cars, clothes, plants etc. - but:
    • Keep it legal, and clean (no adult only type items or firearms)
    • Avoid links to other selling sites due to copyrights.
    • NO asking for money type ads
    • And finally, “buyer beware” – moderator is not responsible for adjudicating issues over misrepresentations, swindles, scams, items that don’t work etc. Use common sense. If it looks too good to be true, it might be.
  • 95033wikihttps://localwiki.org/95033/ - The newest resource for Santa Cruz Mountain residents, the 95033wiki is full of useful information about living in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Anyone can edit it, and all information is public. Please help it grow by adding to it when you can!