University of Richmond | Information Services

SpiderBytes Guidelines and Instructions

SpiderBytes is an e-mail forum for University of Richmond students, faculty and staff to exchange important and pertinent information regarding University business and campus-wide events. Only members of the University of Richmond community can submit messages. Approved messages are compiled into a digest and sent once daily at 5 a.m. The digest is sorted specifically for students, faculty and staff.

What types of messages will be approved?

SpiderBytes may be used to relay information regarding University events or necessary business. The information must be related to a specific event or necessary business and must be relevant to all members of one or more of the available audiences-- faculty, staff and students. Messages relevant to only a small subsection of one audience may be rejected. This forum is intended to be a University-wide medium.

Approved messages may include invitations to on-campus academic, social or cultural events; information regarding facility hours or logistics; changes in class and program offerings, locations or times; and other announcements deemed relevant to University business. SpiderBytes is not intended for self-promotion, general news announcements, lost-and-found announcements, job postings, classified ads, political or social commentary, hate speech or any other type of message not related to University-wide business or events. These types of messages will be rejected.

If your announcement is not directly related to University business, please use other media on campus such as information boards in various University facilities, the Hookup or the Collegian.

Please note: University Communications reserves the right to approve or reject SpiderBytes submissions at its discretion, as well as edit messages for style, length and content to ensure consistency and appropriate use of the system.

Instructions for use

Note: In an effort to streamline the medium, the policies governing SpiderBytes have been updated. Please read the following guidelines carefully. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will cause your message to be rejected.

Log in:   The request form prompts you for your netid (campus username) and password. If you have not yet activated your campus account, or if you have forgotten your password, please contact the Help Desk at 287-6400. Otherwise, enter your netid and password and press the 'Continue' button.

Submission Deadline:   The SpiderBytes digest is sent once per day, normally at 5 a.m. If a message is submitted before 2 p.m. on weekdays, it will usually be distributed the next morning, unless a different distribution date is indicated. Messages submitted after 2 p.m. on weekdays will carry over to the next day's digest. Additionally, messages to be sent on Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays must be submitted by 2 p.m. on Friday.

Message Timing/Frequency:   The same message or messages relating to a single event may only be published a maximum of two times and only within ten business days of the event. (The only exceptions to this are events requiring advance ticket sales. In these cases, the sender may send up to two messages within ten days of the beginning of the ticket sale period and two more within ten days of the event provided tickets are still available.) Events occurring monthly or weekly may be publicized up to twice per month.

Formatting/Editing:   Senders are responsible for the accuracy of the information submitted and for ensuring the information is in a readable format. Therefore, messages with incomplete information or improper formatting will be rejected. Though University Communications will review messages for appropriateness, etc., it is not responsible for final message formatting or content accuracy. Therefore, it is important that you verify the accuracy of all dates, locations, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, URLs, etc. before submitting your message.

Note: The use of capital letters (excepting acronyms) and improper or excessive use of punctuation may result in your message being rejected.

Web and E-mail Addresses:   To activate Web links in your message, include http:// before the address. To make e-mail addresses active, enter them as follows:

Word Count Restrictions:   To ensure readability, the text field in SpiderBytes is limited to approximately 150 words, since University audiences generally do not read longer messages. If you need to relay lengthy information, you may post the information on your department's Web site and use SpiderBytes simply to introduce the information and relay the URL.

Separate Messages:   Separate messages via SpiderBytes are reserved strictly for University-wide emergencies and announcements deemed necessary or appropriate by the President's Office.

Completing the SpiderBytes form

'Author' Field:   In most cases, the 'Author' field contains your e-mail address. If you represent an organization or other e-mail address, you may be able to select that address instead of your own. In order to indicate an author other than yourself, you must submit the netid of the intended sender in the comments field at the bottom of the form. Failure to do so will result in rejection.

'Audience' Field:   Choose an audience for your message from the 'Audience' pull-down menu. Students will be able to select from a list of various subsets of the student body. Faculty and staff will be able to select from various employee groups in addition to the student groups. If you are a student, and you wish to send a message to a group that includes faculty and/or staff, then select the most appropriate student audience, and use the 'Comments' box (see below) to submit any additional specifications or additional audiences.

'Send on' Field:   Choose a date from the 'Send on' menu for your message to be delivered. The default 'Send on' date is 'ASAP.' If you do not select an alternate send date, your message will be sent on the first digest run after it is approved. However, if you prefer a different date, you may choose a date of up to seven days from the current date. You are only able to submit messages to be sent within seven days of submission. SpiderBytes is not capable of archiving messages for send dates outside of the seven-day window.

'Subject' Field:   Enter the subject heading that you would like to appear on your message. Please do so as succinctly and directly as possible.

'Category' Field:   All messages are divided into categories in the daily digest. Select the category that best describes your message.

'URL Field:   Since the text field is now limited to 150 words, please use the URL field to include links to any additional information regarding your message.

'Message' Field:   Please type your message directly into the text window on the SpiderBytes submission form. Do not cut and paste your message from another program. Pasted messages may contain Microsoft codes or characters that are not compatible with the University Web server. As a result, these messages may display incorrectly or include strange characters.

'Comments' Field:   Enter any comments or notes that you would like to make available to the person(s) who will review your request. The 'Comments' field will not be included in the distributed message. The approver(s) may also use the 'Comments' field to communicate with you.

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   Last Modified:  15 JAN 01 Contact Name:  Help Desk