More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Email Rules and Etiquette

Email and the internet has revolutioned our lives. My own opinion on email is that its a good thing in general and I like it. I send out a lot of emails during work and personally. Its a free way to pass information around and stay in touch with people.

One advantages of email is that its text based, so you can take your time and digest it slowly to fully understand it. If you need to pass on information such as an address of a restaurant, telling it to someone will mean they will most likely forget. But emailing it to them means they have a record of it. Another advantage of email is that you can pass on the message to many people all at once. You don't need to call up everyone or send out a million letters, just type the one message and send to everyone.

The disadvantages of email are equally numerous. When you send out an email, there is no way to know that the other person received it. Email is something that, although is describe as instantaneous, it really isn't. Depending on how long it takes your ISP to send it out, and how often people check their email, the turnaround time could be up to a week. So if its important and needs a response immediately, email is not the way to go. Another bad thing about email is that the consequences of making a mistake can be dire. Hitting the Reply To All button rather than the Reply button can have very drastic outcomes, so be careful and double check the recipients.

So here are some rules and etiquette that I personally think you should consider when sending emails.

  • Emails should always have a context. My pet hate is when someone replies to an email without attaching the previous email. Since you might have sent an email to someone else a month ago, its very hard to remember exactly what you wrote in the first place. Their replies will make no sense if they don't attach your email.
  • If you are going to send an extremely large (over 10MB say) attachment to someone, you should send an initial email asking them if they want it even. The worst thing is to waste your time downloading an email with a huge attachment only to find the attachment is rubbish that you don't even want.
  • Sometimes people don't want their emails splashed all over the place. If you intend to forward emails or send to large lists, you may want to use Blind Carbon Copy (bcc), so people's emails will remain secret. Just send the email to yourself and bcc everyone else. This way you won't offend anyone should the people on your sending list not be friends for example and you won't be giving out people's emails for the whole world to see.
  • Emails that require a reply should be given more attention. If someone sends you an invitation, even if you can't come, you should at least reply and let them know that. Its so rude when people don't reply to invitations, just because you can't come doesn't give you the right to be rude. The organiser may be waiting for your response so they can go ahead with certain plans. If you can't reply to the email immediately, you should flag it so that you don't forget to reply to it later.
  • Emails are a great way to pass around viruses. The sender should scan their files before sending them out. The receiver should also scan an email before opening it.
  • Spam is the enemy that can never be defeated. The best and only method is to try and avoid it in the first place. You should just use a fake email such as for sites that require an email but no confirmation. Sites that do require you to click a confirmation link in the email, then you should set up a free email account such as yahoo or hotmail and use that for all registration type things. The most important thing to never do with spam is to reply to them. This alerts the spammer that your account does exist and you can expect 10 times more spam.
  • Emails are generally very informal, which is fine. I myself use a lot of shorthand for words. But that doesn't mean you can just type rubbish all over the place. There should be at least some formatting such as paragraphs to break up huge chunks of text. The grammar should also be fairly good with correct punctuation. A sentence without proper punctuation can mean a totally different thing.

Those are some of the rules and etiqutte that I can think of. If you have any more, just email me :-), I promise to reply.


Blogger afrobev said...

I just feel that emailing completely lacks the personal touch of say writing a letter! I agree that it does have it's benefits but I say bring back letter writing, it's more personal and more fun.

3/31/2006 3:06 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Email does lack the personal touch but writing letters take so much time and effort. I think you would only write a letter to people that you really care about. Otherwise for speed and convenience, most people just email. I'm one of those lazy people that just emails. Can't remember the last time I wrote a letter.

3/31/2006 1:48 PM  

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