Personal Email Netiquette

The first question to ask is:  Is the email for business/legal purposes or is it correspondence with friends and family?
Next question: Do all parties know each other and do they mind that their email address will be exposed to each other?
An additional question would be:  Is this a communication the recipient is expecting or is it a chain letter, joke email, a hoax, feel good email (all forms of spam)?
  • Even with personal email it is helpful to be concise and to the point
  • With personal correspondence we can be more relaxed in the tone of the email - yet remember: It is in print without the advantage of body language.  It can also arrive at the recipient's end at a less than opportune time.  Without them in front of you, it is difficult to gauge their demeanor such that what is meant to cheer someone or bring a smile to their face is ill-timed and evokes the opposite response or a tease is interpreted as an attack rather than the anticipated volley of wit.
  • Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions
  • Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation
  • If it is personal correspondence and not forwarded joke/feel good email - leave the previous content so that the train of thought can be followed and points addressed
  • If you are sending along joke email - be sure to clip the previous participant's information.  Please go here for a 'How To' on cleaning up email that is forwarded.
  • Emoticons are acceptable yet the adage 'too much of a good thing' applies here as well.
  • Be conscientious when sending pictures.  Many are still on dial-up, some have their downloads monitored and must pay if certain limits are exceeded and those on broadband will appreciate the faster email completion that occurs when graphics are downsized to a readable and less download intensive size.  If you are unsure how to do this, please refer to "Emailing your pictures" located under the Quick Techniques - Digital Photography section. 
  • Please do not forward chain email.  Email is no different that non-electronic communications when it comes to chain mail.  Threatening others with doom if they do not forward an email serves no one and it can create distress some.

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Last Update: 11/04/2007 07:04:07 PM