There's a handful of important e-mail conventions that would make
everyone's life a little easier if we could all try to follow them.
Use Meaningful Subject Lines
This easy practice will
help keep you on good terms with even your most e-mail-swamped friends. A
subject line can say so much, and many of us really like knowing if it's a joke,
recipe, or some other non-urgent item that can be opened at our leisure.
Don't Type With ALL CAPS
Its been said too many times,
but almost everyone finds reading text in all caps annoying, hence the
reputation as online screaming.
Quote Select Parts Of A Previous E-Mail
One of the most
common breaches of netiquette is the repeating of entire e-mails or postings
when replying only to a small portion. When replying to a long e-mail it is best
to highlight just the minimum needed of the previous comments to preface your
response with. This avoids multiple-reply e-mail discussions where the messages
get so long to be unwieldy and impossible to read.
The worst online offense in most people's
eyes is the dreaded unsolicited commercial e-mail. Don't let some marketing type
talk you into the "power of online mass-advertising," you'll live to regret it.
Don't Pass Around Chain Letters
Another thing the
Internet would be better off without is e-mail chain letters. They're not cute.
Don't send them to your friends. Don't even send them to your enemies.
Don't Use Excessive Signature Files
It can be real
useful to have contact information appended to your e-mail messages in a
signature file. It can occasionally be cute to have a short, one-line quotation
as your signature file. It is however unnecessary and bad form to use more than
four lines for your signature file. Also signature files can get very tedious in
situations where they are often repeated like newsgroup threads and
multiple-reply e-mail discussions. In these cases, it's polite to omit your
signature file after the first use.