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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Email attachment netiquette 101

Email is a wonderful invention, it lets us easily, quickly and reliably communicate with others, and has the added bonus of allowing any kind of digital file imaginable to be attached to it. Of course some people have to go and misuse this awesome ability, and more often than not it’s the kind of people that we can’t really ask to change their ways without some kind of consequences (professional or personal). Some of the prime offences which drive me (and I’m sure others nuts), and which you can stop doing right now if you’re guilty of them are:

  • Forwarding a mail by adding it as an attachment to another (blank) mail. You’re giving me an extra, completely unnecessary step to read your mail, which increases the likelihood it will be routed directly to the trash without ever being looked at.
  • Attaching what should be the body of the email as a word, rtf or other document. What valid reason could you possibly have for doing this? It’s like moving a live cow by putting it on the back of a horse-stupid and completely nonsensical.
  • Pasting images into a word document and then attaching the document instead of just attaching the images to the mail. You do realize that when you resize those images in word, it doesn’t actually make the filesize smaller, right? (ok so MS got smart in the latest version and changed that, probably especially for idiots like you that do this).
  • Attaching absolutely anything other than an actual presentation as a powerpoint file. As above, if you have images to share, then attach them directly to the damned email. You want a bulleted list? Fancy formatting? Guess what, just about every email client today supports HTML or at very least rich text.. you can do that formatting directly in your email.
  • Attaching anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, larger than 1 meg unless it is absolutely necessary. Not everyone uses a web client for their email and is protected from downloading your digital bloat. Upload that funny video to Youtube and send me the link. Upload the enormous photos of your cat to Flickr and send me that link. If all else fails, try one of the zillions of free file sharing sites that will accept just about anything you want to post on them.

Can you think of any other major attachment-related email snafus that make you want to take on the accounts department with a large blunt instrument..?



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