[Ansteorra] E-mail etiquette. Perhaps we need a policy?

Rose & Chad love at roseandchad.net
Wed Nov 21 20:46:46 PST 2007

I do agree that we should have gone off list, but I don't think you can pretty up the word 'annoying' or 'offensive'. All of the synonyms are just as bad, if not worse. And 'not saying anything at all' is not appropriate in this case, or in any other case where the amount of e-mail is approaching a level where people are comparing it to spam. That's like saying my time (the time spent opening and reading spam e-mail instead of hugging my children or finishing my work) is not important to the sender. That seems offensive to me.
  I would also like to point out that everyone who said that we should chide privately were in fact chiding on the list. If 'private' is so important, then perhaps they should have dropped polite notes off the list, contacted the moderator, 'not said anything at all', or 'just hit the delete button'. Or maybe not. :)
  It has been recently pointed out (Not just in the Glaslyn Artisan case, I think that might be becoming a dead horse.) that it's hard to read e-mail where there's alot of extra junk that is not pertinent to the message that the sender is trying to convey, such as not cropping earlier parts of the thread (esp. if your message is at the bottom instead of the top). It seems impolite to couch your message in alot of junk that we must sift through because everyone's time is valuable to them, especially in the holiday season when we all have more plans and alot of us have more hours to work. (God help all of us retail folks, lol.)
  So, if you have an addition to a thread, it can be helpful if you delete anything that isn't essential to your message. If event information has changed, then the announcement can have a subject line such as '<event name here> Changes' or something to that effect instead of the same subject line that the original event announcement had. Then the body of the message could have said something easy to see and understand such as 'The following changes have been made.' or something to that effect.
  Phrases such as 'Don't beat around the bush.' and 'Cut to the chase.' come to mind. These things are so important in vocal conversation that they are cliches. And if someone comes to you vocally, it almost certainly concerns you. E-mail is much more far-reaching, and 'cutting to the chase' seems doubly important to me, especially for those us use who receive e-mail on our PDAs and Blackberries. Then it's just like a phone call. And how would we feel about this many repeat phone calls?
  This seems to be a recurring problem. Someone says something that some find rude, and others agree with. Someone sends an amount of mail that some find spammish and others find acceptable. Everyone has thier own ideas of what is polite and impolite, and usually have good reasons behind them. Perhaps we should create a policy of what is spam, and who should be in charge of list 'discipline', such as chiding. Some good starting questions could be:
  1. Should it up to individuals to chide others on-list, as I regrettably did?
  2. If people feel that something is inappropriate, should they e-mail the moderator to take care of it, contact the sender off-list, or make it known on-list? Or some other way?
  3. What is an appropriate amount of announcement mail (only announcement, not changes or new information)? One e-mail total? One per week?
  I have added links to some resources for e-mail and on-line advertising that may not be known. (They are at the bottom of the e-mail for those who are interested.) I know them because advertising campaigns are a part of my job, and I ran into a lot of problems at first because I didn't really know what I was doing. The links are to articles that are aimed at the business community, but most parts are true for anyone who runs a e-mail newsletter or wants to advertise via e-mail. Some of these tips will help advertisers stay out of spam boxes and to get your message across... without annoying anybody.
  Rose the Obnoxious
  Susan McMahill <sueorintx at hotmail.com> wrote: "As for those that are irritated....step back, take a deep breath, and hit the bloody delete button for crying out loud. Your shouting and rudeness offends me and many others who strive to live a more gracious life in the SCA than we find in our mundane world."

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