As we enter the age of computer technology, more and more people are relying on the computer for communication. The main medium of computer communication is e-mail. When using e-mail there are some basic unwritten rules that one should follow.
E-mail protocol, better known as netiquette, is the list of rules that are generally followed. None of these have officially been written down in a book, but they are commonly suggested by business professionals dealing with e-mail and the Internet. No matter how simple you might think something is to understand, someone else might not see the same thing as you(AWatch Your Netiquette).You should be concise and to the point.
E-mail is meant to be a time saver, make your point clear and eliminate the need of a follow up phone call. Another thing you what to practice is not flaming. That is, harshly attacking the other person with your words(Dries). Sarcasm when written can be hard to pick up on, so be careful of your humor.
One final thing to remember is that no e-mail is private so be cautious of what you say about others because e-mails are very easily forwarded(Electronic Communications).E-mail is said to be a combination of talking and writing, which makes it a informal, bantering type of communication(Dries). However, when put into the field of business, it becomes just as formal as a phone call or a written letter. The author of the message should include a brief phrase in the subject line to inform the reader what the message is about.
They should also add their own signature footer which includes their name, position and their affiliation. When replying to a message it is important to include only the portion of the message that you are replying to.No one wants to reread a message. When quoting, edit out what does not pertain to the subject.
Finally do not let yourself get caught shouting. That is capitalizing words that are not titles. Instead of caps use asterisks to emphasize your point or a certain word(Electronic). In e-mail, it is common to abbreviate words to save keystrokes and time(Dries).
This has become so common that many abbreviations have become part of the e-mail lingo. Do not use abbreviations to the point of losing the understanding of the reader.Part of the clarity problem of e-mail is not the lingo, it is the inability of people to write clearly in the first place. The problem becomes intensified when people try to express things in e-mail that is normally said with visual or auditory clues.
To compensate for the lack of emotion in e-mailed messages, people have developed and started to use symbols called emoticons(Dries). The most common of these is the smile face: -). From the simple smile face many other variations have been created: , :[email protected], , and ). Emoticons can be very useful to show emotions, but they can very easily be overused.
These emoticons should not be used in business e-mails. Many different symbols are used in e-mails to convey a variety of messages. An asterisk when added to a word adds emphasis to the word(Dries). You should never use capital letters to emphasize a word because it caps are generally used for shouting.
To denote that the following is a quote from a message use the >. This is used to remind the reader what it is that you are replying to. You should use the underscore symbol to denote a book, such as _The Grapes of Wrath_(Electronic).Finally, the date can often be misunderstood so it is important to use the standard form MM DD YY.
Netiquette, even though it is not official it is followed. It has already become an important part of Internet communications. It is the unwritten rules of e-mail that are followed by nearly everyone communicating via the Internet. With nearly 200 million messages sent daily it might be in the not so distant future that a definitive source on netiquette will arise.
But until then remember not to SHOUT, be friendly , be concise, and be clear.