7 tips for better email etiquette

Email. Goes hand in hand with “The internet”. Everyone has to have an email address, right? Everyone knows how to write a letter, right? Everyone knows how to construct an email? Wrong.

One of my biggest irratations of late, are emails that I receive that people haven’t taken more than 3 seconds to type and click send. It sometimes feel that the person that sent the email, is being extremely rude, but in actual fact, just doesn’t care much about the tone of their emails. It comes down to knowledge. If a person knew better, than more often than not, do better.

So for anyone that uses email, these tips are for you. For those that already know better, if you have any email ettiquette tips, please add them to the comments.

  • 1. Address someone specific. When sending an email to a company department, or a grouped email address, use “Hi So-and-so”. More often than not, the person emails asking for help, but there are many people who recieve the email, and invarably no-one responds.
  • 2. Write an email like you would a letter. Start with an opening paragraph, write all the content in the body, and end off with a closing paragraph. Paraphrase your email aswell. It makes it easier to read. Obviously if you sending a one line email, then no need, but common courtesy is always nice.
  • 3. Use decent signatures. Have your name, job position and contact details in your signature. Also, 2 colours and 2 font size changes max! Thats it. No funny quotes, jokes, wierd pictures, 5 colour names, 3 different fonts etc. If its a personal email, no problem, rainbow style your email, but with business email, keep it professional.
  • 4. Make use of the From address field. In your email’s account settings, fill your full name and surname in. It makes it easier for people to recognise where the email is coming from immediately, without having to sift through the entire email to read your name in your signature.
  • 5. Use the subject field for the email’s subject! Use a descriptive subject in the least amount of words possible. Do not ask or answer questions in the subject field and especially, NEVER leave the subject blank.
  • 6. Make proper use of the Importance field. (The “!” button) The importance of a document should only be set to high, if the email should be brought to the recipients attention immediately. Jokes or simple requests or emails that only need to be opened when the recipient has a free moment, should never be flagged.
  • 7. Never delete email. You never know when you are going to need the information or prove that you sent or recieved an email. Make use of mail folders, email sorting and archiving, so your email client doesn’t get clogged, but the simple rule is… never delete.

I hope you’ve learn’t a thing or two from these tips. So why not practice them and send me an email! jason[at]jasonbagley[dot]com :-)

Web standards in South Africa – Top 10 SA sites validated

Web standards doesn’t seem to be a very important aspect of functional web design here in South Africa. Websitewriters.co.za was recently launched to try and help South African designers relise that Web Standards aren’t two words made up by some university graduate, so I thought it would be a good time to visit some of the top SA sites to see if they have adhered to web standards. Continue reading Web standards in South Africa – Top 10 SA sites validated

Google’s Blog was hacked!

Ok, not really, but the headline got your attention, right? It seems that some junior at [tag]Google[/tag] deleted their blog account, and therefore some lucky fellow named [tag]Trey[/tag] got his moment of glory, claimed it at [tag]blogger[/tag].com and posted on the blog!

Google reclaimed their blog address – googleblog.blogspot.com, but I still received Trey’s message in my Bloglines account pictured below.

Google’s explanation of the problem…
[tag]Google hacked[/tag]

Awards season

It seriously seems that the month of March is awards month. First it was the Oscars with our very own Tsotsi bringing our second golden statue home. Next up were the Bloggies – the internet version of the Oscars, I think. Some of my favourite blogs took home some of the honours. Prizes were mostly related to 2006 ($20.06 gift vouchers all over the place) .

Tonight is the turn of the SA blog awards. So if you don’t see your blogroll light up tomorrow with new posts, you’ll know either their blog didn’t win, or they still recovering.

But special mention must go to the inaugaral Zimbabwean BlogAwards. It’s great to see that at least their blogs aren’t being controlled by the government. (or are they…) So go and vote for your favourites. Prizes are a massive $2006 Zim dollars. :-)

SA vs AUS – The greatest cricket match in history

SA vs Aus DVDUpdate: The DVD is available from Kalahari.net!

Its a 3 DVD box set. The 1st DVD contains a highlights package of the entire series – Pro20 game and the 5 ODI’s. The other 2 DVDs consist of the entire 5th ODI match, with ball by ball coverage. It is a real collectible that you will watch for years to come.

Order your copy today!
438 – The Greatest One-Day Game SA Cricket

For those of you that got to watch South Africa take on the Aussies in the 5th and final one-day international at the Wanderers on Sunday, might not be able to comprehend what happened. The match had so many emotions in it that you felt that someone had died and you had won the lottery on the same day.

Depressing = watching Australia taking the South African bowlers to the cleaners for the highest one-day score ever, 434/4.

Utter exhilaration = Seeing South Africa come out and actually surpass that mammoth total to win the match and series, and take the record for the highest one-day score, 438/9

This series will go down in history as one of the most exciting series between these two countries and you could not have scripted a better one-day final, even if you tried. Records were broken on Sunday that will take years to beat, if not never.

The records that tumbled

Highest team total: 438 – beating Sri Lanka’s 398 against Kenya
Highest total runs of runs: 872
Most sixes in a ODI: 26 – previous record was 21
Most fours in a ODI: 87 – previous record was 79
Bowler conceding the most runs in a ODI: Mick Lewis bowled 10 overs for 113 runs.
Herschelle Gibbs scored 175 – the second highest score for South Africa, the highest South African score against Australia and the quickest century by a South African.

For those of you that might not understand the wonderful game of cricket, I will compare what happened yesterday to a game of soccer (football): The top two teams in the world, Brazil and Argentina play in a tournament final. The first half sees Brazil score 20 goals and leave Argentina stunned as they go into half-time 20-0 down. (As you can see, all records are smashed with that amount of goals). After half-time Argentina come out and in the final 30 seconds of the game take the score to 21-20, beating the world’s best team. That’s what South Africa did yesterday. They rewrote the history books.

Today, I don’t think I could be any prouder to be a South African. It was amazing.