Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

10 Golden Rules for Sending Your E-Mail

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

10 Golden Rules for Sending Your E-Mail

Article excerpt

Anyone who sends and receives e-mail has definite ideas about what to do and what not to do when sending messages. The same goes for submitting notes to electronic mailing lists, Internet Usenet newsgroups or on-line discussion groups.

Though many etiquette books and articles have been written, most rules come from personal experience. Here, from an unscientific survey of on-line regulars, are the Top 10 e-mail rules:

Don't type in all capital letters - IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE SCREAMING. Take time to check spelling and look for typos.

Don't send duplicate copies of private e-mail without letting the recipient know who else is getting it. "The blind cc: is unethical," said Linda White, a public relations official in Santa Clara, Calif. Likewise, don't forward mail someone else has written without asking first.

When in doubt, leave it out. This pertains to messages you're replying to: repeat just enough of the original to jog the sender's memory. "An e-mail message that shows appropriate editing shows that the author has given some thought to the response," said Elizabeth Davidson, a CompuServe and Internet user in Los Angeles.

The leave-it-out rule also pertains to racial slurs, swear words and other harassing, inflammatory language.

Know where to send a message. Double check the address of the person or group you're writing to and avoid sending copies to people who don't have an urgent interest in what you're saying. Using the right address is especially important if you're trying to get on or off an e-mail list.

"I learned that lesson," said Lori Thomas, an America Online user in Huntington Beach, Calif., "after receiving about 20 messages pointing out that I was a net newbie who had clogged up all the mailboxes of people on the save listserv with my dumb request to unsubscribe."

Contribute wisely. Nobody wants to waste time reading "Me too" messages. Save your e-mail list or bulletin board contributions for information that furthers the discussion or starts a new topic. …

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