Tuesday, February 10, 2009


A few simple suggestions about email that will make friends and influence people:

This is not a new fandango discovery. Haven't we all been on email for a decade or more? You know that email from Bill Gates, the one with the inclusion of a promise to give everyone $50.00 if you simply forward the email on? Declare a moratorium on this email. I literally saw that email for the first time in approximately 1997. Be sweet and stop forwarding. Do you know one single person who has received this highly publicized dividend? Exactly.

Here is one email I will never open:


SUBJECT: FWD:FWD: FWD: fwd: fwd: fwd: FWD: Fwd: A very funny story you must read.

Do you know why? Not because I don't like funny stories, but because NO funny story has eight forwards in front of it. This is attention getting and not in the way you hoped when you emailed it. Delete all forwards. I can not possibly be the first person who suggested this yet, I see it everyday. And the jokes....hmmmm. I am not sure when the last time I saw a REALLY funny joke on email. Blonde jokes? We told those in 3rd grade. There is no new and clever blonde joke that should be transmitted.

And the heinously long attachments. I love pictures of kitties wearing helmets made out of lime rinds just as much as the next girl but use discretion.

Oh, and should we talk about REPLY ALL? Do we need to? Reply All should only be used when ALL involved want your reply. This is never the circumstance in emails with jokes, FWDs, and attachments. Planning a golf outing this weekend with a big group? Different story. Commenting on your friend's YouTube upload? Not exactly.

I have a baby, and he is a pot of gold, I am telling you. However, there is an art of sending baby pics out. First, craft a careful list of people who want to see your child's growth and progression. The people who ask you about your child is a good starting point. Then, select your favorites. Oh believe me, I have sent as many as ten out at once to the "Special List" but I narrowed it down to ten from about two hundred. People get it, he's a cutie pie but outside of people related by blood to him, I can promise not everyone wants to see him engaged in every activity.

And the emails with the ALERT about scams, predators, and assorted tom foolery. Some of them feel urgent to pass on and warn all your loved ones and by all means go ahead, but make a quick stop to http://www.snopes.com/ and check accuracy. I engaged in a fun email debate with a certain family member this summer over correctness of statements sent to me in one email specifically. Snopes could not make it any easier because they have all rumors circulating via internet in subcategories. For example, regardless of who you voted for in the 2008 election, I am pretty sure if Barack Obama was a Jihadist, I would believe it more if it was published in Time Magazine or the front page of my newspaper. I am fairly certain such a piece of breaking news would be fed to us from every media outlet in the country and not solely from the email your friend Tim from Poker Night sent you.

See, just a little easy breezy email charm and you will no longer have to ask people if they got your email to hear them stammer, "Ummm, I am not sure, my inbox is so full. When did you send it?" See that stall? That is the person that sees your name, with FWD FWD FWD and an attachment and hits "DELETE ALL."

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