When people don’t get simple email rules – I

12Apr09

This is a series of articles that is partly based on “The 25 golden Rules of Email”. What happens when people on your address book don’t follow any of those rules? Here are some of the possible answers.

Hoaxes. Excitement for nothing.

I don’t believe in hoaxes
I believe what the joke says
I ain’t askin straightdope and neither askin snopes

If you have people with this sort of mentality mailing you, this is what you do :-

  • Practically : – Don’t bother to do even background check for if the contents of the mail are hoax or not. You know the person probably gets his dope from snopes…but in the wrong way. Make a filter to mark messages from the person as read, skip inbox and put it in “Idiots” label/folder.
  • Ideally :- Remind the fellow once…ok twice, that you have checked out the article he mailed you on some hoax checking sites, and you have reasons to believe that he/she shouldn’t be mailing such false positives or atleast doing a check. Sending chain mails carrying entire snopes pages detailing how a hoax was identified isn’t funny or valuable either. So even after politeness fails (given that you wrote the previous reminder with some P’s and Q’s) best way to deal with those hoax forwards is to create a filter. Observe the subject or body of such emails for some common features, like capitalization (LOL LOL LOL) or some other distinguishing feature of those mails (think..look) and filter messages based on those, mark them as read, skip inbox and put them in “Idiots” label/folder. You don’t want double number of labels now do you? ;P

Chain Letter. Better chains of good luck

Forward this mail, extend the chain
Look at these pics of treatment inhumane
More people who see it, the more the luck
How the miracles happen, I don’t give a fuck

The pain point of these messages is the 100-300 lines of addresses that you have to wade thru to read the crap and the horrible signature of someone you don’t have any idea who that is. Doing a BCC to 300 people is often bad, as each of them not knowing the others have got it, would forward it…300 times…and so on. The way to deal with this,

  • Practically : – Report such mails as spam as often as you can. Report even some more from the person, who’s 80% mails are chain mails with pages of addresses. Do a count of @ signs and junk it (if your mail software allows it). If your mail provider complains of the bulging spam folder, edit the filter to trash those messages. Don’t bother about wading through those addresses, you could do 300 other valuable messages a great service.
  • Ideally : – As always, give the sender a fair chance and remind…like right what the fuck good will that do? But from your side, you know you did give a chance, until practicality settled in, but wait. Ideally report spam only those messages which are of chain mail nature. If the person did write a mail only addressed to you, do give it a lookover, atleast your mousewheel won’t be squeakin with all the page scrolling (of addresses). you might congratulate the person for the care and concern put in, with a free link to this article…umm no? Well, some do listen if you want your address moved off their mass-mailing address list, but how often do you think they use proper email lists rather than just a plain texter snippet of all addresses?

Dead addresses. Thought I told You.

I signed up again the 108th time,
32GB in total, and i didn’t pay a dime
16 of which i forgot,
they are dead and your mail’s lying there to rot.

As per PC Magazine, this fellow could be you, but that’s not what you’re here for. This is for getting back at those, who don’t get the simple rules in their heads. What’d you do?

  • Practically :- Stop mailing the person, its not worth it. You don’t wanna be labelled a mail stalker. Every mail from that person, should be auto-replied with a “I offer my heartfelt condolences for your dead email address. Its not dead, but its soon gonna be. Have you heard of GMail, they give 8GB+ !!” Get the person off your address book, dead addresses stink.
  • Ideally :- Hope the person, never informs you about his new address, the mail provider of his/her previous address would soon start sending a “delivery fail” notice and you could just remove the address and forget about the bad episode…of looking at a dead address. You could make a filter to never let such ‘informative’ messages to reach your inbox or notice, to increase the ideal-ness.

Invite all from address book. i get referral reward points…yaayy!!

Another site,
another invite
Your address is out there
Your reminders, inspite (of)

PC Magazine describes this in a different way i.e. to use disposable email addresses to avoid spam to your important/primary mailboxes. But think of another related case. What if someone who has your address, mass invites you and everyone else on all his/her address books. They aren’t going to sit and create 300 disposable addresses, would they? What’d you do?

  • Actually : – Nothing. If your address is out there, with a 3rd party they can do whatever they want with it. Privacy policies are subject to change.
  • Practically : – Give the ‘invite freak’ a piece of your mind. Consult urbandictionary for some choicest words to spice up the delivery. Block all invites from the site, wherein you were invited and then create a rule to block any other mails from the site. Tweet, blog, go on air and demean all sites, that accept email addresses of people from some idiot’s address book, who has no sense of others’ privacy needs.
  • Ideally : – Sites which come up new and would like to send out invitations to increase exposure, should create a invite link that the user can mail to his/her contacts from his/her email software or webmail. If the person has a mail id, he/she definitely has a mailbox to go alongwith it. Moreover the person could send out the link via say even instant messages or direct messages. Just don’t mail invites to mailing-list addresses.

More points coming up in the next part of this series. Do write in to improve the format of the article.

UPDATE:Finally decided on this layout with headings, because I can’t nest in blockquotes in lists and then lists inside that … just drives the blog up the wall. I know if i numbered my points, they would qualify to be quantity, but I’ve rather written my content well hopefully to justify each point being able to stand on its own, rather be a contribution in a big list.

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One Response to “When people don’t get simple email rules – I”

  1. OP: I might be daff (lord knows I have been told lol) but that made totally no sense what so ever…


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