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ADMIN: Subject Tags

Seems like it is time for me to remind everyone about using subject tags.

Please use the standard iris-talk subject tags, as described in the welcome message, to preface the subject lines of the messages you send to the list. For the people who use filters to sort their mail the subject tags are critical. Additionally, because of the large membership of this list, the tags are for the benefit of those who have no interest in certain types of Irises.

Remember, the format is the tag in ALL CAPS followed by a colon (:), followed by your subject. (no space between the subject tag and the colon)

[Subject tag]:[your subject description]

The colon is a very important part of the tag. The standard tags are below. You might want to print this for reference. Following the list of subject tags is a previous post by Anner, which I greatly appreciate, that describes in more detail how to use the tags. (Thanks again Anner)


TAG Used For
---- --------

TB: tall bearded irises
MED: median and dwarf bearded irises
AR: arilbred and aril irises
SIB: Siberian irises
LA: Louisiana irises
JI: Japanese irises
SPU: spuria irises
PCN: Pacific coast native irises
BULB: bulb irises (Dutch, reticulatas, Junos)
SPEC: iris species (particularly those not covered in another category)

REB: reblooming irises
SA: space-age irises
HIST: historic irises and history of iris development

CULT: culture
HYB: hybridizing
REF: references (books and society publications)
SHOW: iris shows and related topics
IRC: IRC chat sessions (currently Friday nights)
AIS: American Iris Society business and issues
PHOTO: iris photography
COMP: iris-related computer topics (record keeping, photo digitizing, etc.)
CAT: iris catalogs and discussion of commercial nurseries
AD: iris-related advertisement (ads not related to irises are *not*
TRADE: Posts to the list offering trades or looking for a particular iris. Replies to these posts should be made off-list privately to the original sender.

OT-PLANTS: other garden plants (not irises)
OT-ART: iris-motif art and craftwork
OT-HUMOR: iris-related humor
OT-CHAT: personal messages and conversation (consider taking it off-list!)
OT-BIO: introduction from a new subscriber (please follow with your name)

ADMIN: Reserved for list owner

This long post is for New Members and any other persons who have been confused about HOW to use Subject Tags. Other people have already spoken to WHY to use Subject Tags. I just thought I might be able to help a little.

First, the Subject line of a post consists of a Tag and then your title. The Tag is an abbreviation that puts the post into a broad category. The title then introduces the content of the post. The goal of both is to get people to open up your post and read what it is you are trying to communicate. In the subject line at the top of my post the OT-CHAT is the Tag. The rest is the title.

When a post is written it should be assigned a Subject Tag. Almost every post will fit into one of the Tag Categories. Many will fit into several. Tags may be combined, but all you really need is one good one. Tags may not be invented. Everyone will not assign tags in exactly the same way. That is okay.

Let us meet the tags, then we will see how to use or link them as necessary.

First, All posts are either ON Topic, or OFF Topic. The Topic of the list is IRISES.

On Topic posts carry the following Subject Tags.

*KINDS OF IRISES* (These follow the divisions of the American Iris Society.)
Discussions of Tall Bearded irises get assigned a TB. Discussions of Siberian Irises may be assigned a SIB. Discussions of Species irises may be assigned a
SPEC, and so forth.

*SPECIAL KINDS OF IRISES* (Subgroups with passionate followers).
REB: Assigned to Reblooming irises, or rebloom reports or REB issues in general.
SA: Assigned to Space Age irises, or the issues surrounding them.
HIST: Assigned to Historic Irises, or the issues surrounding them.

CULT: Issues concerned with how to grow irises, how to care for them, how to fight pests, how to keep the beds tidy and so forth. This category covers a broad range of issues, and issues of broad appeal.
HYB: This is for issues relating to hybridizing, which includes genetics and practicalities.

*SOCIETY ISSUES* ( American Iris Society Issues)
AIS: Which is for posts dealing with AIS issues and AIS Business
SHOW: Which is for topics associated with Iris Shows, and show reports.

REF: For discussions of books, publications and other reference resources
CAT: For posts related to catalogs and commercial nurseries.
COMP: For computer related discussions: databases and the like.
PHOTO: For camera and photography issues and questions.
AD: A tag by which a list member can advertise Iris related goods or services.
TRADE: Posts to the list offering trades or looking for a particular iris. Replies to these posts should be made off-list privately to the original sender.

OT-BIO: The tag for a a new member introducing himself, and others welcoming her.
OT-HUMOR: The tag for the story or clean joke you cannot resist sharing.
OT-CHAT: personal messages and conversation (consider taking it off-list!)
OT-PLANTS: For questions or brief discussion of non-iris plants and their culture.
OT-ART: For arts and crafts issues, noncommercial, see AD above.

And there is ADMIN, which is restricted to use fo the List Owner.
Okay, so now let's practice.

Say you want to make a post asking where to find a list of the official AIS iris size categories like Tall Bearded and Median. Use AIS: REF. Moving fast? Use: REF.

You want to know whether to cut back your foliage in September? CULT will do it. You want to make sure the SIB folks don't assume your post is about bearded foliage when you are asking about Siberians? SIB: CULT:

You want to ask about the Historic Spuria MRS. TAIT and whether it is really true that Bertrand Farr of all people introduced it? A good tag here would be a combined one HIST: SPUR: That will catch the eye of both the people interested in historics and in spurias.

You want to ask a question about germinating the species Iris stolonifera? Here you would want the aril specialists to read your post, so AR: CULT would be good, but AR alone would probably do the trick since there are not that many posts in the category. You could also use AR: SPEC: CULT, but do you really need to?

You want to know whether your TB BATHESHEBA COMES can be expected to rebloom in Calgary? Use the tag TB: REB.

You want to hear more about your harebrained idea of hybridizing reticulatas that will rebloom in Texas? HYB: BULB: REB:

You want to know about a good book on irises of the 'forties? Try REF, or better yet REF: HIST. You will get an answer. HIST: REF: would also be okay. Most of the time it does not matter which of a pair of tags comes first.

You want to ask about what was decided about the AIS Library at a recent AIS Board Meeting? Use AIS. Just because books are involved doesn't mean you need REF, too.

You want to know whether the latest issue of the Medianite is being received? Well, there are not that many hot choices here, but MED would work. REF might but I'd use MED. It is a quick judgement call. Not an issue of fine points of distinction that must be anguished over.

You want advice about your Space Age Median HAGAR'S HELMET which is being devoured by borers? You could use SA, you could use MED, but the one you should use is CULT, because the real issue is a Cultural Problem: Borers. That the iris they are eating is a horned median is irrelevant unless that is the only one in the yard they are interested in and you think that may be significant and want to emphasize that.

You want to know about photographing your Juno species and getting the photos loaded up and linked to your personal collection database? Use PHOTO: COMP and the techies will come out of the woodwork. You probably don't need BULB or SPEC since the kind of iris involved is not the point.

You want to ask about corn poppies as companion plants? Use CULT since irises are the plants being companioned and thus it is an Iris Culture Question. You need to ask about something ghastly that has gone wrong with your pet hosta and it needs immediate attention and you don't know who else to ask. That is an OT-PLANTS.

As I said, often any of several different tags will work. If picking tags is hard for you, keep it real simple. Most of the tags are rarely used by anyone, but the following tags are used a lot since they cover a lot of territory or represent popular areas of discussion.


Use your OT tags. They very important since those are posts that many will want to pass over.

Every post does not have to carry every subject tag that could conceivably be seen as appropriate. If I write a post talking about a possibly faulty description of an historic 1935 JI in a catalog that was published in 1960 and later remarked upon ambiguously by an AIS Board Member in an AIS Bulletin, it is not necessary to string out "HIST: JI: CAT: AIS: REF: Bum Description of ISHGABBIBLE?" HIST: JI is all you need.

In short, the trick is to pick a tag that will catch the eye of those who will be interested in your post, or will have the answer you need. Pin down the main point of your question, and tag that, or one might say, FLAG IT for special attention.

I hope this helps a little.

Anner, in Richmond

John | "There be dragons here"
| Annotation used by ancient cartographers
| to indicate the edge of the known world.

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