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Modern Email Ettiquette - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Beemer

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Modern Email Ettiquette [Feb. 23rd, 2009|05:31 pm]
Beemer
Okay, I can't bitch out the person at work that has annoyed me, so instead I'm putting on my Miss Manners hat and telling all of my friends about it, so at least I can rest easy knowing that y'all won't do the same.

If you have some kind of announcement or invitation to send out to people:

1) If it doesn't have complicated formatting or a picture or something, send it as plain text. Requiring people to deal with an attachment solely because you couldn't be bothered to cut-and-paste the content from Word into your email editor is just rude.

2) If you can't send it as plain text? Send it as a PDF. That's far more universal a format than Word, and besides your document will look a lot better than if I have to open it using OpenOffice, which can't cope with your fancy-pants templates and crazy fonts. Making a recipient switch computers to fiddle with your attachment is rude and inconsiderate.

3) If you are attaching a PDF to your email, include some descriptive text indicating what the attachment is generally about in the body of the email. Forcing me to jump through the hoops of dealing with an attachment only to discover that it is completely irrelevant to my life is rude, inconsiderate, and REALLY GODDAMN ANNOYING!

Eventually, I will get fed up and stab you in the face with a bazooka.

Also? Don't send large attachments if you can send a link instead, especially not if you're emailing a list with a lot of members. The recipients won't care, but if you waste enough resources this way the admins will hunt you down and cram your sensitive bits into a very small hard-drive casing, and you will be sad.

Tips for happy correspondence, y'all. Don't make your friends all stabbity. *eye-twitch*
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: zalena
2009-02-24 01:26 am (UTC)
I'm not sure Miss Manners would support the stabbing with bazooka, but otherwise my mother would benefit from these tips. Grr!
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[User Picture]From: pink_halen
2009-02-24 01:47 am (UTC)
Yes. I like it.

I agree with number 1. It doesn't have to look cute. It has to communicate.

However, I hate PDF's with a passion. I wish a horrible fate to the creator of the format and when I become King it will be about the third thing I ban. (The first thing I ban will be fax machines.)

I would offer the idea of making the announcement as a JPG graphic. That is also something that can be universally read and can show off your hugely unreadable font collection.

I tend to be very old school. I send invitations on paper. So I don't have to worry about format, only addresses and stamps.

I'm not very big on the Evite website. I would rather not have my attendance plans tracked online.

Sadly, most people have very bad email ettiquette. They are so lazy that they copy your entire message to say "Me, too." The other day I received a forwarded joke. It contained about 35 copies of the joke text in both plain text and html as well as 100 people's addresses and Three AVG certifications. OH, I forgot to count the 50 copies of the graphics. The joke was a short paragraph.

Perhaps It is our destiny to become the Mr. Manners of the New age.
(or maybe not.)
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-02-24 01:58 am (UTC)
I used to hate PDFs, but they've become transparent enough to the browser that I can stand them, and I recognize that some people are in a position of needing their documents to have layout and formatting.

The problem with graphics is that the content is inaccessible to search, and a (well-constructed) PDF is not.

The PDF is sub-optimal, but it seems the best of the available options when used properly...

But I'm totally with you on most people having bad email ettiquette. *le sigh*
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[User Picture]From: srotu27
2009-02-24 01:50 am (UTC)
I love your consequences. I would support your sending a "fate worse than death"-a-day. That's probably the page-a-day calendar I was subconsciously searching for, and the reason I'm stuck with no page-a-day calendars.
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[User Picture]From: flwyd
2009-02-24 01:51 am (UTC)
4) If you send an EVite, put the date, time, and location in the part that gets emailed to everyone. That way I can determine if I can't make it to your even without opening my web browser.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-02-24 01:59 am (UTC)
THIS ALSO!
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[User Picture]From: thatwesguy
2009-02-25 07:39 pm (UTC)
Egad, yes.
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[User Picture]From: kung_fu_monkey
2009-02-24 02:12 am (UTC)
We have a bazooka?
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-02-24 02:19 am (UTC)
I have not been sufficiently annoyed to need to acquire one. Yet.
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[User Picture]From: tdjohnsn
2009-02-24 03:19 am (UTC)
You could have broken that to him more gently. He is probably all disappointed now.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-02-24 03:53 am (UTC)
I is a barstid! Grr!
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[User Picture]From: kung_fu_monkey
2009-02-24 05:06 am (UTC)
Thoroughly.

:(

Ooh! Birthday idea!
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-02-24 05:30 am (UTC)
Mine's next!

--G
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-02-24 06:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, lemme just check with your wife about that...
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-02-24 12:53 pm (UTC)
dEEER DR.tectoix,

This is G's wif. My Mec is borken rite now.That is y I am using his PC. G can hav a bizzuka.

Also, I forgot to change the username.

--Gkisken
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[User Picture]From: derbiser
2009-02-24 01:53 pm (UTC)
Anyone who thinks that Dr. Tectonic is that stupid is clearly delusional, and therefore should not be allowed to have a bazooka.

With love, Derbiser.
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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-02-24 01:55 pm (UTC)
This r kisken agen. My mec got fixed.

Then i tiped sum randem werds. Then it got borked agen.

Also, I forgot to change the username.

--Gkiskibiser.
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[User Picture]From: kung_fu_monkey
2009-02-24 04:24 pm (UTC)
Two caveats with your comment:

1. It entirely depends on what day it is. There are, indeed, somedays when that could work with Beemer, but it usually involves having no sleep, no food, and complete exhaustion from exertion.

2. Please let the stupid people have a bazooka. It's entirely likely that they will destroy themselves in the process. RTFM, yo.
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[User Picture]From: kung_fu_monkey
2009-02-24 04:25 pm (UTC)
Do not gank my birthday wishes! Mine mine all mine.
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[User Picture]From: snowninja7
2009-02-24 03:50 am (UTC)
Unfortunately it's all in chewing-gum form. Good for spitting in eyes, though.
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[User Picture]From: kung_fu_monkey
2009-02-24 05:07 am (UTC)
Well, the Bazooka gum is rock hard, and would make great projectiles or, if shattered, semi-lethal shards of DOOOOOOM.
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From: detailbear
2009-02-24 04:15 am (UTC)
We have an opt-in "Humour" group at work. If you want to receive jokes, funny stories and strange photos, you add your name to the group. All of the above material has to go to the designated group. Transgressors receive a reminder from the Big Boss.

Some people have the idea that they can't cut out any part of a forwarded message, for "integrity" reasons. If the e-mail may end up in court, I could see that. Otherwise, highlight and delete, people.

At work, we all have Word as our e-mail editor, so that is not a problem. However, all forms, instructions and procedures going to clients must be PDF's now, so they can't be easily altered. (None of our clients would pay for Acrobat.)
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[User Picture]From: pink_halen
2009-02-24 04:31 am (UTC)
Bad jokes have no integrity.
;-{p}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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[User Picture]From: goobermunch
2009-02-24 05:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, you should also be sending stuff in .pdf format so 1) your customers can't edit it and then say you made representations other than you made; and 2) so you can keep your metadata mostly at home.

--G
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[User Picture]From: portlandpiglet
2009-02-24 08:45 am (UTC)
I have a slow computer, so it's really annoying when I have to open attachments to read a 3 sentence notice from my agency or the students I supervise in the field. I've started asking them to cut and paste if they want a quick response from me.
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[User Picture]From: lovecarnievan
2009-02-24 05:33 pm (UTC)
It's funny that this happened to you recently because I just noticed with the new Comcast format that I am no longer allowed to highlight and delete old post material if I reply to a post. I have to open notepad, highlight desired material and copy it there, open a new message, and send it on its happy way.

Way too much work for a lazy person like me. I'd rather send all the crap along with a clicky click.

Have to say though, it's tempting to see exactly where the bazooka line is.
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[User Picture]From: backrubbear
2009-02-25 04:27 pm (UTC)
I read the vast majority of my e-mail with mutt still - at least for personal stuff. This means that if I want to view an attachment I save the attachment off to a file and then scp it to my local machine to be opened.

(For a very small number of mailing lists where I have no choice but to look at html stuff, I've moved those to gmail.)

Once upon a long time ago, I solved my aversion to non-text mails pretty simply: After the third time of being asked to only send text, the next messages they got from me was my worm collection. E-mail worms were pretty darned easy to see, save and mostly smile at when you do everything via text. The people who received it... not so much.

I'm less evil these days.
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[User Picture]From: thatwesguy
2009-02-25 07:41 pm (UTC)
Agree wholeheartedly. Why do people not understand that text is best? Ideally, understanding that PDF is second-best would be nice. Understanding that PDF is better than a DOC would be nice too.
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From: chaosqueen42
2009-02-25 09:16 pm (UTC)
Amen, Brother, Preach it
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