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Email Addresses

Nick Cernis at Modern Nerd has just written a post about the email addresses [^] that hit his inbox:

“…whenever someone new emails me, I take a few seconds to examine their email address, consider their thought process, and judge them as a human being.”

Hopefully I don’t fall into the “” category. But I do the same thing, I don’t think that I’m quite as bad as Nick though!

modernnerd email

There is one thing that does get to me; that’s when you see a business card or professionally sign-written van with their own website followed by That just screams out we have done half the job really well and completely forgotten the small detail.

If you are using anything other than you name or your business name in your email address you are missing the opportunity to make a good first impression.

Email Checklist

Email Icon Have you ever been on the receiving end of an escalating email war. One that started as a innocuous inquiry and ended up with everyone from the CEO down being cc’d?  They start all to easily, but the escalation can be avoided by applying some simple rules.

Seth Godin has an email checklist on his blog that should be compulsory training material for everyone with access to email.  My favourite is, ask yourself if I had to pay to send this email to each address listed (like you would for snail mail), would I still send it to everyone.  Others include:

1.   Is it going to just one person?
13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
Source: Seth Godin Blog [^].

They are all common sense, but it is surprising how infrequently they are applied.  How many email flame wars would be avoided if these simple rules were used?  The corporate email environment could be a much more productive and friendly place if these rules, or a customised alternative were incorporated into company induction and training programs.

Archiving email to Paper

The Powerhouse Museum [^] in Sydney and NineMSN have set-up an archive to store some of the nation’s emails.  In the interests of preserving the emails they will be stored electronically, and printed out onto archival quality paper.  Matthew McConnell, the Museum’s curator for computing and mathematics said:

“We imagine that computers solve all our problems – and who would give up email – but it’s funny having to go backwards in order to be certain that we can preserve these things.” The Age Technology

The decision to archive the emails onto paper is due to the speed that various digital media become obsolete.  The hardware and software required to make the data human-readable are rapidly discarded – just think of the once ubiquitous Floppy Disk Drives, and Commodore and Spectrum Data Cassettes.  Paper on the other hand has a useful life in the hundreds of years, and it’s always readable. 

It is hoped that the archive will be used as an indication of contemporary life, in much the same way that handwritten letters have been used by historians in the past.  Emails can be sent through [^].