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by Eric P. Jackson

Stop It, Redux

Nearly a fortnight ago, I "went off" on some pet peeves. I’ve discovered more things you need to stop doing. Please.

  1. Stop buying stuff from SPAM. Do you know why SPAM continues to exist? Because it works. And why does it work? Because someone is buying something from SPAM, encouraging people to keep sending it. Hope it’s not you. If it is, stop please.
  2. Stop managing your own domain name. I’m going to assume that if your domain name doesn’t get renewed, you’re going to be very unhappy. Your email will stop working and you’ll have a really bad day. Chances are, you’ll ignore the renewal notice thinking it is spam (see #1). Keystone won’t forget to renew it…and you won’t ruin MY day because you forgot. (note: I got one of these calls today; happens about once a quarter.)
  3. Stop CC’ing everyone in your messages. You email all your friends and expose everyone’s email addresses to everyone else. One person replies to all. Then another. And another. Then I come unglued say something ugly and somehow I’m the bad guy. If you feel the need to email bomb everyone you’ve ever known, use BCC.
  4. Stop with the “reply to all” stuff. The universe described in #3 above doesn’t really want to hear that you think “that’s great!” or “really cute!” As a matter of fact, unless you have tomorrow’s winning lottery number, don’t say anything…send them a nice card or pick up the phone. And if you do have tomorrow’s winning lottery number, feel free to email me directly.
  5. Stop getting emotional. By this point, we’ve all probably broken a couple of the rules above. A few people will…uh…tell you that I’ve broken this rule. Therefore, I’ve limited my bile-filled rants to things we can all hate, like SPAM and people who don’t use turn signals. I’ve also limited my vitriol to blog posts. If there is a chance your message could hurt someone’s feelings or sound accusatory, pick up the phone. Email does NOT express tone and therefore can come across as harsh, even when it’s not.
  6. Stop attaching documents that get flagged as SPAM. Zip files and text files come to mind. Spam filters do not like them. Additionally, that 15 MB video is not going to fly either. There are other tools designed for moving massive files across the Internet. FTP, YouTube.com and DropBox come to mind.
  7. Stop typing in all caps or all lowercase. Please don’t tell me you’re so lazy that extending your pinkie to press the “shift” key is going to exhaust you. STOP IT.
  8. Stop writing your version of War and Peace via email. Did I mention that email is for quick communication? I shouldn’t need to use a bookmark to read your message. Did I mention that you can still pick up the phone and call someone?
  9. Stop using patterned backgrounds. And frankly, nobody finds smiley faces cute either, unless you’re emailing your 8-year-old granddaughter. OK, don’t even use backgrounds and smilies for her. Let’s stop this contagion right in its tracks.
  10. Stop using AVG. I’m mostly talking about your home PC. If you’re using AVG in your business, you’re probably hopeless anyway. And unless you’re a hobo with a sweet Windows 95 box under the overpass down by the river, you need to buy some real software for your home computer as well.