2003.11.13

Help me help you… How can you do that? It’s simple…

When you compose an email message, the first thing you should do is think. Think, and realize that the message might be of some importance to the recipient. Even if you’re sending your best friend some stupid joke, provide a subject for your message. Why is a subject so important? Well, when you are searching/filtering/archiving a zillion messages, it’s important.

I can’t stand messages with no subject or Re: or Fwd: as the subject, or perhaps worse, thread-breakers who reply to a message and bring up a new topic completely different than the one in the subject line, or change the subject line to be something else instead of starting a new message. (Mailing lists should be harder on these people!)

I get the feeling that people who violate these ideas have never been on public mailing lists and/or don’t have a large volume of mail to deal with. For those of us that do, please provide a useful subject line…

(I remember when I started working at a company that had email, before the web really took off, early 90′s it was, and they actually put you in a class to teach you how to use email. Nowadays I’m guessing they just assume everyone knows how to use email, or they give a 5 minute intro, which is a shame, because there seem to be a lot of people who just don’t know how to properly use email.)

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