TUCOWS ARTICLE

Mastering E-mail Etiquette

In order to efficiently communicate on the Internet it is critical to understand the unwritten rules of e-mail communication. Please use these tips as a guideline to online e-mail communication.
Published: Jul 7, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan

In order to efficiently communicate on the Internet it is critical to understand the unwritten rules of e-mail communication. Please use these tips as a guideline to online e-mail communication.

  • Unless you are using encryption, Internet e-mail is not secure.
  • Do not use all capitals in e-mail exchanges, it is considered SHOUTING and is considered rude.
  • Keep in mind that the Internet is international, words and humor can be perceived differently by different cultures.
  • 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 e-mail.)
  • Use emoticons :-) to indicate expression.
  • When forwarding e-mail be sure not to create a loop in the system. In addition, be sure not to setup auto-responders to reply to every e-mail, or endless loops will be created.
  • There can be costs associated with Internet connectivity and downloading e-mails. Do not send attachments that take a long time to download, without the recipients consent.
  • Include in the "subject" line a heading that relates to the message body.
  • 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 and Newsgroup EtiquetteIn order to participate in news groups, you must have an understanding of newsgroup etiquette.

  • Be familiar with lists/newsgroups prior to posting.
  • Keep in mind that newsgroups and mailing lists are frequently archived and that posts will be preserved.
  • 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.
  • Don't get involved in flame wars (or material which is personal and unproductive).
  • Keep in mind that the Internet is international, words and humor can be perceived differently by different cultures.
  • Use 4-6 lines for your signature line, this is an opportunity to highlight your business or company information, but don't be ostentatious.
  • When responding to a post, keep the subject line the same, so that it will appear in the same thread.
  • Cross posting to multiple lists is often prohibited. Read posting guidelines.
  • Expect delays in moderated forums, each posting must be approved.
  • Anonymous posts are unaccepted in many newsgroups.v
  • Be aware that some people use aliases when posting to Usenet groups to avoid SPAM (unsolicited e-mail). Also keep in mind that anything goes on unmoderated Usenet.
  • Most lists don't allow for binary attachments.

Resources:Library Of Emoticons,Library Of E-mail Acronyms,E-mail Client Software


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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