Conditions of Use and Guidelines for the VillageHub (VH) for all users v3.0

Email list etiquette

When posting to email lists remember that it is difficult to judge nuances when reading an email. Here’s a few tips:

     Remember that to new owners, your emails are an introduction to yourself. You will be judged by how you behave on the VillageHub lists.

     Think about being 30% nicer to people on the list than you would be face to face. It is notoriously difficult to read nuances of expression in an email and people will often ready them more negatively than you have written them if the tone is at all negative.

     Try not to email in anger or in the heat of the moment. Consider writing your message and then wait an hour or so. If you still feel the need to send it, the go ahead. Often you’ll find you can take some of the heat out of a message without changing your intent, or may come up with a new way of expressing your ideas that makes more sense.

     Think about who might read your email and whether a phone call or reply just to the originator is better.

     Think about the size of attachments before sending them to a list. Some lists have restrictions on the size of attachments you can send out. Perhaps you could host attachments on the VH website and link to them in your email instead?

     Keep emails small. Ensure you reduce the size of pictures before sending them. If you are not sure how to do this search the internet for the procedure. All standard email applications have methods to do this. Please educate yourself on how to use your email system before using it.

1 Guidelines 

     Members (“Users”) must sign-off their emails with their full name and address or phone number so others know the email was from. Those representing a committee should sign-off with the title/role they are performing for clarity.

     Members should not email the whole list, when they only seek a response from an individual.

     Members should not be aggressive, abusive, defamatory, inflammatory (or generally write things they would not say directly to an individual in person).

     Members must not use or forward emails or content from the VH externally without permission from the content owner.

     Members should not state things as fact without evidence/references and whenever possible phrase things as their own opinions, to avoid people directly disagreeing with them on specific points, because everyone interprets information differently.

     Members should not use the VH to air their grievances. The VH is not a Body Corporate and cannot resolve such issues for people. Members should contact their representatives or official bodies (e.g. the body corporate, caretaker, PBC etc if they have specific issues).

     Members should not post excessively. Excessive posting on the same subject reduces value of the email thread.

     Members must use the Google Account system to change their Profile’s information  and must notify VH administrators if their Profile’s email address has changed, so the email address for all relevant subscribed groups can be updated.

 The community expects members to adhere to these conditions if they wish to use the service, which is a privilege and not a right.

If anyone ever has a query in relation to the use of the VillageHub or VH administrators, they should contact the administrators via support (at) villagehub.com.au or directly anytime, and the Administrators will try and resolve the concerns directly.

In the second instance, the PBC will happily accept any feedback, as the financial administrators of the VH for Ecovillage owners.

VillageHub Administrators will always aim to:

     Send out regular reminders to help new and existing members focus their communications.

     Remind people if they are close to breaching the guidelines.

     Moderate people’s membership of groups if they breach the guidelines. This has only very rarely been used in the past and has had the desired effect of keeping the VH focused for the overall benefit of members.

     Close down an email list temporarily, if it becomes over-used or misused.

     Treat everyone fairly and without bias.

Moderation of a person’s VH account is only to ensure future emails comply with the rules and guidelines. Moderation is only applied once the Administrators/Moderators have discussed the complaint/issue and decided on the appropriate course of action. Moderation is used sparingly and although every case is different, the administrators will always aim to apply this process:

1st breach – warning given

2nd breach – moderation of the account for that mailing list for 3 months. The user can still post to lists but emails are reviewed before being sent out to everyone on the list.

3rd breach – account is suspended for 3 months with no postings permitted

4th and continued breaches - account closed/suspended for 12 months.


Email List usage – use the appropriate Email Group (List)

When posting to the VillageHub email lists, remember that each list has a specific purpose. Cross posting to get a wider audience is not necessary and acts to decrease participation in the lists, and inappropriate use causes people to want to leave the list.

These are the main Groups used on the VH:

1 Owners – For Owners of Ecovillage Lots only. This group is not open to tenants or other parties. The group can be used for factual discussion on issues relating to lot rules and regulations etc. Remember that Body Corporate issues should be directed to your Committee for action, and can be discussed at face to face meetings, and that Committee Members may not be on this email list.

Appropriate topics: Body corporate specific issues, camphor laurel tree removals, road upgrade timing, telecommunications tower, canvassing community against local developments, etc

Inappropriate topics: Detailed financial or legal issues. Events (use Locals or Noticeboard instead), personal attacks or Group Event notices.

2 Locals – Use this group for local information about what’s on in and around the Ecovillage, as well as general information such as items for sale. It is not for non-Ecovillagers. Any Lot Owner or Ecovillage resident can join this group.

Appropriate topics: discussion on weed killers, business opportunities, Ecovillage farm plans, Avoid the cow on the bridge tonight, Dance on at Palm Beach school Friday night, local outages/issues with internet/phone provision (may affect residents as well as owners).

3 Noticeboard – Only use this group to post essential and important information to all people on the Hub. To avoid the chance of people leaving this group (because of too many general low value emails) this list should be used sparingly. This list is moderated to ensure only high quality and important information is sent. For this reason emails may take a few hours to arrive out to everyone (as an administrator has to find time and login and check the message first).

Appropriate topics: Urgent items for all residents e.g. WTTP Issues, Fire Warnings, Major event notifications, Health Warnings, Developer announcements, Lot changes.

Inappropriate topics: Body Corporate specific issues, minor event notifications, low value content, non-Ecovillage specific info, repetitive reminders.

We welcome feedback on the guidelines and processes used and how to improve the Hub anytime.

Thanks for your understanding and compliance with the above guidelines.

2 Conditions of Use

Your use of this VillageHub Website, lists and features constitutes your agreement to be bound by these Terms and Conditions of Use and Guidelines above and below:

This VillageHub Website, including all of its features and content (the “Website”) is a service made available by the Principal Body Corporate (“PBC”) CTS 35580, or other owning entity over time. All content, information and software provided on and through this Website (“Content”) may be used solely under the following terms and conditions (“Terms of Use” and “Guidelines”). The Website utilises products and services by Google Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Co. Reg. No. 200817984R), (“Google”) and are bound by the Google Apps for Work (Online) Agreement.

 

1. Website Limited License. As a user of this Website you are granted a nonexclusive, non-transferable, revocable, limited license to access and use this Website and Content in accordance with these Terms of Use. Provider may terminate this license at any time for any reason.

2. Limitations on Use. The Content on this Website is for your personal use only and not for commercial exploitation, unless by permission of PBC. You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, rent, lease, loan, sell, sublicense, or create derivative works from this Website or the Content. You may not copy, modify, reproduce, republish, distribute, display, or transmit for commercial, non-profit or public purposes all or any portion of this Website, except to the extent permitted above. Any unauthorised use of this Website or its Content is prohibited, unless approved in writing by PBC.

3. Not Legal Advice. Content is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to this Website treated as confidential. The accuracy, completeness, adequacy or currency of the Content is not warranted or guaranteed. Your use of information on this Website or materials linked from this Website is at your own risk.

4. Intellectual Property Rights. Except as expressly provided in these Terms of Use, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, under copyright or other intellectual property rights. You agree that the Content and Website are protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents or other proprietary rights and laws.

5. Linking to this Website. You may provide links only to the homepage of this Website, provided you do not remove or obscure, by framing or otherwise, any portion of the homepage, including its advertisements, the terms of use, the copyright notice, or other notices on this Site.

6. License of Your Content to Provider. By uploading content to or submitting any materials for use on this Website, you grant (or warrant that the owner of such rights has expressly granted) PBC a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license, with right to sublicense, to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally display and digitally perform translate, create derivative works from and distribute such materials or incorporate such materials into any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed throughout the universe. You agree that you shall have no recourse against Provider for any alleged or actual infringement or misappropriation of any proprietary right in your communications to us.

7. No Solicitation. You shall not distribute on or through this Website or email groups any content or material that is illegal.

8. Advertising . Village Hub members wishing to distribute internal or external service or business information on the Village Hub may do so as long as it is related to the Ecovillage and likely to be of interest to residents. Any promotion of such goods or services must be subtle and in text form only on the website. For email list the information can only communicated once per month or twice per event occurrence. If parties advertising content have a financial interest in the service or product authors must make this clear.

9. Advertisers. This Website may contain advertising and sponsorship. Advertisers and sponsors are responsible for ensuring that material submitted for inclusion on this Website is accurate and complies with applicable laws. PBC will not be responsible for the illegality of or any error or inaccuracy in advertisers’ or sponsors’ materials or for the acts or omissions of advertisers and sponsors.

10. Registration. Certain sections of this Website require you to register as a Member. If registration is requested, you agree to provide Provider with accurate and complete registration information. It is your responsibility to inform Provider of any changes to that information. Each registration is for a single individual only, unless specifically designated otherwise on the registration page. Provider does not permit a) anyone other than you to use the sections requiring registration by using your name or password; or b) access through a single name being made available to multiple users on a network or otherwise. You are responsible for preventing such unauthorised use. If you believe there has been unauthorised use, you must notify the administrators immediately. You must be an Ecovillage lot owner or medium to long term resident of the village and over the age of 16 to use the VillageHub.

11. Postings in interactive areas of the Website.

11.1. Postings to be Lawful. If you participate in interactive areas on this Website, you shall not post, publish, upload or distribute any messages, data, information, text, graphics, links or other material (“Postings”) which is unlawful or abusive in any way, including but not limited to any Postings that are defamatory, libellous, pornographic, obscene, threatening, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, inclusive of hate speech, or would constitute or encourage a criminal offence, violate the rights of any party, or give rise to liability or violate any local, state, federal or international law.

11.2. Postings to be in Your Name. Your Postings shall be accompanied by your real name and shall not be posted anonymously. Participants in interactive areas shall not misrepresent their identity or their affiliation with any person or entity.

11.3. No Monitoring of Postings. PBC has no obligation nor does it intend to edit, monitor or screen Postings and is not responsible for the content in such Postings or any content linked to from such Postings. Notwithstanding the foregoing PBC reserves the right to examine from time to time, some, all, or no interactive areas for adherence to the Terms of Use and to remove any materials that may be objectionable or violate the Terms of Use.

11.4. Non-Commercial Use only of webpage areas. Any area of this Website is provided solely for your personal use and must be for the benefit of yourself or other members. As a participant, you shall not include in your Posting(s) or otherwise distribute on or through this Website any content or material containing any SPAM. Any unauthorised use of any webpage area of this Website, its Content or Postings is expressly prohibited.

12. Errors and Corrections. PBC does not represent or warrant that this Website will be error-free, free of viruses or other harmful components, or that defects will be corrected or that it will always be accessible. PBC does not warrant or represent that the information available on or through this Website will be correct, accurate, timely, or otherwise reliable. PBC may make improvements and/or changes to its features, functionality or Content at any time and without notice.

13. Third Party Content. Third party content may appear on this Website or may be accessible via links from this Website. PBC shall not be responsible for and assumes no liability for any infringement, mistakes, misstatements of law, defamation, slander, libel, omissions, falsehood, obscenity, pornography or profanity in the statements, opinions, representations or any other form of content contained in any third party content appearing on this Website. You understand that the information and opinions in the third party content is neither endorsed by nor does it reflect the belief of PBC.

14. DISCLAIMER. This website is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. The PBC expressly disclaims all warranties, including the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The PBC disclaims all responsibility for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage of any kind resulting from, arising out of or any way related to (a) any errors in or omissions from this website and the content, including but not limited to technical inaccuracies and typographical errors, (b) any third party websites or content therein directly or indirectly accessed through links in this website, including but not limited to any errors in or omissions there from, (c) the unavailability of this website or any portion thereof, (d) your use of this website, or (e) your use of any equipment or software in connection with this website.

15. Limitation of liability. The PBC shall not be liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage of any kind resulting from your use of this website and the interactive areas of this website or any facts or opinions appearing on or through an interactive area. PBC shall not be liable for any special, direct, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever (including, without limitation, attorneys' fees) in any way due to, resulting from, or arising in connection with the use of or inability to use this website or the content. To the extent the foregoing limitation of liability is prohibited, provider’s sole obligation to you for damages shall be limited to $1.00.

16. Indemnification. You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless PBC, its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, suppliers and any third party information providers to the Website from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable lawyer fees, resulting from any violation of these Terms of Use by you.

17. Third Party Rights. The provisions of paragraphs 14 (Disclaimer), 15 (Limitation of Liability), and 16 (Indemnification) are for the benefit of PBC and its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, suppliers, and any third party information providers to the Website. Each of these individuals or entities shall have the right to assert and enforce those provisions directly against you on its own behalf.

18. Unlawful Activity. Provider reserves the right to investigate complaints or reported violations of our Terms of Use and to take any action we deem appropriate including but not limited to reporting any suspected unlawful activity to law enforcement officials, regulators, or other third parties and disclosing any information necessary or appropriate to such persons or entities relating to user profiles, e-mail addresses, usage history, posted materials, IP addresses and traffic information.

19. Remedies for Violations. PBC reserves the right to seek all remedies available at law and in equity for violations of these Terms of Use, including but not limited to the right to block access from a particular Internet address to this Website and any other PBC Websites and their features.

20. Privacy PBC and its related bodies corporate acknowledge and respect the privacy of individuals.

The PBC collects, uses and discloses the personal information you provide on this website only in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth). This information is collected by the PBC only for the purposes of processing your registration or enquiry, keeping you informed of upcoming events, new products, special offers and assisting in improving its service to you. This information is not disclosed to licensed third parties without your consent. The provision of this information by you is voluntary but if you do not provide some or all of the requested information we may be unable to properly process your registration or enquiry or otherwise affect the purposes for which the information has been collected (as specified above and from time to time).

You have both a right of access to the personal information the PBC holds about you and a right to ask the PBC to correct if you think it is inaccurate or out of date.

21. Severability of Provisions. These Terms of Use incorporate by reference any notices contained on this Website and the Privacy Policy constitute the entire agreement with respect to access to and use of this Website. If any provision of these Terms of Use is unlawful, void or unenforceable, or conflicts then that provision shall be deemed severable from the remaining provisions and shall not affect their validity and enforceability.