Monday, July 03, 2006

Email List Etiquette

With as common as email has become in our world today I would think people would take a bit more care in what they write. Post an original message or a comment to a mailing list and several things happen. First, usually within minutes, your message is sent to hundreds or perhaps thousands of people around the world. Second, it is probably archived without your ability to edit it somewhere for all to see for years to come. Hmmm. Let's think about that for a minute.

Have you ever been irritated by a newcomers question? Did you post some snide remark about them looking up the answer themselves? Perhaps you sent along a comment to the effect that anyone that would ask such a question is not even worthy of belonging to the group. I propose one of two alternate responses:

Response 1: Why not actually help them? You don't necessarily have to go into a long detailed analysis of their question and a solution but you might point them to some resources that will let them find the answer they need. Just writing "Ever hear of Google?" is not a proper response.

Response 2: Never miss an opportunity to shut up. Yes, I'm actually suggesting that if you can't be helpful or don't know the answer you just skip to the next message and say nothing.

In this electronic age with nearly infinite amounts of storage the likelyhood of our words staying around for many years is certain. How do you want to be remembered?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tim -- Well put!! You need to post this where more people will read it. Thanks, Greg, K9TLA