(aka "Joining SAMBAL: a 12-step program")

Q1. What is the SAMBAL List?
A: The SAMBAL (Singaporean And Malaysian Bisexual women And Lesbian) International E-Mail List is an interactive e-mail list for lesbians & bisexual women from Malaysia and Singapore to come together to discuss Malaysian/Singaporean lesbian and bisexual women's cultural, social and political experiences/issues in cyberspace.

Q2. Who can be on this list ?
A: (Cyber)space on this list is strictly women-only space. We're open to all Malaysian and Singaporean lesbians and bisexual women around the world who have access to the Internet via an e-mail account. We define Malaysians and Singaporeans as women born in and/or have ancestral and cultural ties from or descending from these two countries. People who have lived in Malaysia and Singapore through tourist or work visa don't count... even if they liked the food and know a couple of local slangs.

Q3. What type of discussions take place on the list ?
A. Whatever you want! The list is intended as a forum and support group, and discussions can include announcements of community events, gossip, matters of earth-shattering importance (or not), your astrological sign, or simple networking.

Q4. How do I join or subscribe to the list ?
A. To subscribe, please send a politely worded message to the host-on-duty (this position changes periodically). Please be sure to include your e-mail address, full name and telephone number. Because this list is closed to Malaysian and Singaporean lesbians and bisexual women only, one of our list members will call or e-mail you to welcome you.

Q5. What do I do after I join the group?
A. Netiquette expects you to at least introduce yourself (including your real name), within a reasonable amount of time. Similarly, members of the list may feel inclined to send you personal introductions that they may have handy, since some of us prepared them when we first joined the list. (see Q8).

Q6. Will other members on the list know that I am subscribed onto the list ?
A. Yes. The host-on-duty is also responsible for sending a message to everyone when we get a newbie. This message will introduce you via your screen name.

Q7. Can I obtain an e-mail address list of all current members ?
A. The private e-mail address list is available for circulation to list members only. This private list contains the e-mail addresses (only) of all current members, and is available via another politely worded request to the host-on-duty. The private list is provided in good faith to all list members, who CANNOT circulate it outside the group without the express permissions of the host-on-duty and individual list members.

The e-mail address list is confidential and is not to be distributed to anyone else outside the list without the permission of list members. In the event that you should unsubscribe from this private list, please respect that this same, very important netiquette applies still.

Q8. How do I post a message to the group ?
A. Since our list is not *yet* automated, the only way to post a message is to send it to everyone on the list personally. The e-mail address list is conveniently in comma-delimited format, so that you can simply copy and paste it onto your "Address To:" line. And if, for some reason, you cannot mass post, send your mail along to the host-on-duty (with some groveling for good measure) and she will obligingly forward it to the rest.

Q9. Is the list moderated ?
A. The list is *NOT* moderated in that there is no one responsible for policing the flow of e-mail traffic, and making a deliberate effort to keep the discussions topical or to censor any postings. However, as good netiquette prescribes, members are requested to keep discussions relevant to topics concerning Malaysian and Singaporean lesbians and bisexual women. Personal attacks, unruly behavior and discussions about boyfriends (if any, in the case of bi-women) are not disallowed - but HIGHLY discouraged - because the unwitting poster may be subjected to flames from annoyed members.

Q10 Who owns this list?
A. You do. Every Malaysian/Singaporean lesbian and bisexual woman who is subscribed to the list owns it.

Q11. Is the host-on-duty the towkay? Can I complain to her if I am unhappy about anything?
A. No one, including the host-on-duty, is the towkay. Since we all own the list, we are responsible for making the list a safe, comfortable and fun place for us all. Any suggestions for improving how the list is run should be posted to the group for open discussion. The member who made the suggestion is responsible for facilitating the discussion to ensure that things happen... or not.

Q12. Are there any no-no's?
A. But of course. Naturally. What a silly question. Tsk tsk.

No-no #1: No flaming a la the Internet. There'll always be disagreements, but we're all big girls, and we can disagree without resorting to personal attacks. If you have any personal issues with someone else in the group, keep them private and don't involve the rest of us.

No-no #2: Some of us would prefer to stay private - so don't, for instance, come up with a bright idea like publishing the list of e-mail addresses in the Straits Times or the Star. At least not without asking for permission from individuals first.

No-no #3: No outing. See No-no #2.

No-no #4: Netiquette usually says a newbie should "lurk" for a bit, and get the feel of how things are going before making your well-thought-out and strongly held (of course) opinions known ;).