Email Etiquette VWritten by Kathie M. Thomas
This month I’ll share on Setting up Mail groups and creating signatures for your email.
Creating a mail group might differ, depending on program you use, but for this exercise we’ll use Outlook as program as it is a widely used email program. Why would you use a mail group? So that you don’t have to go through your address book selecting everyone that belongs to a particular group or listing – same person could be listed with several different groups. Far quicker when sending an email to whole list to just select name of that list instead.
If you click on Tools menu, and select Address Book, then File, New Entry, you will see you have two choices: New Contact, or New Distribution list. Selecting Distribution List brings up a new window where you can name that list, and then select names from your address book to add to that list. Once completed, save and close and you will notice that new Distribution List shows in bold in your address book listing. Now, when you want to send to that group, you just select, or type, name of that group in BCC field, not TO field. Why? Because Outlook will proceed to grab all individual addresses of each member of that group and enter them in TO field when sending email – every recipient will see addresses of rest of group. Hence why it is important to use BCC even when using a group name.
Email Etiquette IIWritten by Kathie M. Thomas
This month I'll share on Email Etiquette in discussion groups. For those who are not yet aware, on Internet there are hundreds of thousands of discussion groups available in any topic imaginable. The most popular group systems used are YahooGroups.com, Topica.com and SmartGroups.com but there are others. Some web owners set up their own private groups too, via their website.
The idea behind these groups is that someone starts up or moderates a topic and people become members (at no cost) if they are interested. Some of these groups have closed memberships, i.e. you have to be involved in whatever that group is about and outsiders cannot join, whilst other groups are open to all and sundry.
With whole world being open to membership for these groups cultural differences need to be considered and it is possible to easily upset a member and suddenly you have a heated argument with many others getting involved and original meaning and context completely shoved aside! I've seen this happen in groups and it's a shame, as it often just takes a little thought and consideration to realise that perhaps writer didn't fully understand language, or hadn't actually meant what may have sounded rather rude. There have been times when someone has written something I thought was offensive or wrong and rather than emailing back to list via group email address, I have chosen to email writer direct instead. A much better way to handle a misunderstanding.
A good rule when handling/writing email for group discussions - read through it first and then check which address it is going to, before clicking 'Send'.
The suggestion last month about using signature blocks really applies in this situation - how will people know who you are, or where you come from if you only sign off as 'Kathie'?