Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hope I’m not being too forward…

I know a lot of people complain about getting forwarded emails. And, generally speaking, I concur. Especially when I receive forwarded emails from folks who don’t otherwise seem to want to communicate with me. I find the problem is easily dealt with on my end by pressing the magic X button on the toolbar. What will they think of next?

Even the forwards I WANT to read give me aggravation, though. Usually because they have been forwarded five, six, seven, eight or more times by the time they reach me. And the person kind enough to think of me? They can’t be bothered to ONLY forward the original, they must forward the one addressed to them. Here’s a recent example:

Double-click – open email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click – open embedded email containing only headers … and an embedded email

Double-click

AH HAH!

FINALLY the actual, y’know, TEXT of the thing.

And then, more often than not, what you read isn’t worth the trouble.

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As a related service, I give you LittleA’s rules of forwarding:

  1. Forward infrequently.

  2. Don’t let forwarding other people’s work be your primary point of contact with the person you’re forwarding to.

  3. Do personalize the forward by adding a sentence or two telling the person why you thought of them when you saw it.

  4. Do only forward the text or “guts” of the thing. There’s no need to forward all the forward headers. Between the cut and paste functions and the delete key, this shouldn’t be too tough.

  5. Do take the two seconds required to remove the "FW:" from the Subject line. After all, your purpose is to have the receiver actually READ what you’re forwarding, right? Removing the "FW:" indicates at a minimum that you put a little effort into the email.

  6. Do take the time to remove all the extra > > > > >’s from the text if they appear.

  7. Do take the time to reformat the text with line breaks and paragraphs to make it more readable. Just because you suffered through doesn’t mean your recipient will, and remember, you’re forwarding this to them because you want them to read it. Make it easy on ‘em, would ya?

  8. Do take the time to fix obvious typos and misspellings. You don’t have to detail check the whole thing, but if you noticed something awry when you read it, fix it before you send it on.

  9. Do take the time to check snopes.com or a similar site before forwarding dire warnings of apocalyptic doom. In case you didn’t know, people already suspect you’re an blithering idiot. No reason to prove it.

  10. Never, I repeat, never forward chain letters. Life is too short.

  11. Feel free to forward these rules to everyone in your address book. Now!

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