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Issues
Email Etiquette

Sharon Housley -- In order to communicate efficiently on the Internet, it is critical to understand the unwritten rules of email communication.

Please use these tips as a guideline to online email communication.

1. Unless you are using encryption, Internet Email is not secure.

2. Do not use all capitals in email exchanges, it is like SHOUTING and is considered rude.

3. Keep in mind that the Internet is international; words and humor can be perceived differently by different cultures.

4. When replying to messages, be aware of "cc:" field. Recipients listed in the "cc:" field will receive a copy of the post. (The "bcc:" field sends messages blind, meaning recipients don't know that someone else has received a copy of the email or been carbon copied)

5. Use emoticons :-) or to indicate expression.

6. When forwarding email, be sure not to create a loop in the system. In addition, be sure not to setup auto-responders to reply to every email, or endless loops will be created.

7. There can be costs associated with Internet connectivity and downloading emails. Do not send attachments that take a long time to download without the recipient's consent.

8. Include in the "subject" line a heading that relates to the message body.

9. Use 4-6 lines for your signature line; this is an opportunity to highlight your business or company information, but don't be ostentatious.

Mailing Lists & Newsgroup Etiquette

In order to participate in news groups, you must have an understanding of newsgroup etiquette.

1. Be familiar with lists/newsgroups prior to posting, read posting.

2. Keep in mind that newsgroups and mailing lists are frequently archived and that posts will be preserved.

3. If you are replying to a message, be sure to include the text of the original message which you are replying to. Use ">" indicators if your mail program does not do this for you.

4. Don't get involved in flame wars (or material which is personal and unproductive).

5. Keep in mind that the Internet is international; words and humor can be perceived differently by different cultures.

6. Use 4-6 lines for your signature line; this is an opportunity to highlight your business or company information, but don't be ostentatious.

7. When responding to a post, keep the subject line the same, so that it will appear in the same thread.

8. Cross posting to multiple lists is often prohibited. Read posting guidelines.

9. Expect delays in moderated forums; each posting must be approved.

10. Anonymous posts are unaccepted in many newsgroups.

11. Be aware that some people use aliases when posting to Usenet groups to avoid SPAM (unsolicited email). Also keep in mind that anything goes on unmoderated Usenet.

12. Most lists don't allow for binary attachments.

Resources

Library of Emoticons -- http://www.instant-messaging-software.com/instant-messaging-emoticons.htm

Library of Email Acronyms -- http://www.email-software.org/email-acronyms.htm

Email Client Software -- http://www.messaging-software.net/e-mail-client-software.htm

Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc., www.notepage.net, a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at www.softwaremarketingresource.com , and www.small-business-software.net.

© 2004 Sharon Housley

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