Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How the public service announcement is being received

Most people don't respond to the Public Service Announcement regarding your email privacy email that I send out anytime I receive an email containing many emails of people I don't know. But when they do they are either very supportive or quite annoyed. Here are most of the replies I've received:

"BRAVO! Outstanding, well-written (and highly entertaining) message...and for almost every recipient on the "XX distribution list," probably the most useful and informative message of the year.

"Don't email me again please. You too are spam."

"Joe Geek, Thanks for, in your words, the PSA. ... Keep up the education campaign; knowledge is power. We appreciate someone taking a non-abusive approach to communication."

"Oh my god, you are my new favorite person. THANK YOU for sending this out!!!! I hope everyone takes it to heart & makes changes in their habits."

"While I can appreciate your angst because you care deeply about your email address, I am guessing you're this frustrated because you didn't follow your own advice in the section:
Q. How can I protect my email address?A. It is actually a good idea (imperative, in my opinion) that you sign up for a secondary address to give out to EVERYONE BUT YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY...
While I do believe you believe you're doing everyone a great service here, you're actually doing what you seem to hate most...spamming people. I'm sure this is my personal opinion not shared by everyone, but I have found your tone and attacks to be very negative in a setting where I rather wish not to encounter such tone."

"you are annoying, get a life."

"i have no questions, I'm not seriously concerned because most people I know aren't flaming idiots taking the time to email people they don't know because they have nothing else to do. stay paranoid :)
I will stay worry free..."

"I am grateful for the information. I have screwed up many times, but in other ways, eg., sending a personal email to others who should not be privvy to the email! Argh! So embarrassing. Thanks!"

"Great response. I will be forwarding it to some email offenders on my email list. Thanks."

"Thank you Joe. I can think of many abusers that need this kind reminder. It's a scary thought "that people JUST DON'T KNOW BETTER", but probably true. Now if I can just find a polite way to get family and friends to stop sending me FWD's. I will CUT AND PASTE your words and send to a few not so aware acquaintances. Thanks for the info and the reminder."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Diplomats told not to 'reply all'

Here is an article I found on the wire reports:

WASHINGTON - Many "reply all" fiascos result in mere
embarrassment, but American diplomats have been told
they may be punished for sending mass responses after
an e-mail storm nearly knocked out one of the State
Department's main electronic communications systems.

A cable sent last week to all employees at the department's
Washington headquarters and overseas missions warns of
unspecified "disciplinary actions" for using the "reply to all"
function on e-mail with large distribution lists.

The cable, a copy of which was obtained by The
Associated Press, was prompted by a major interruption
in departmental e-mail caused by numerous diplomats
hitting "reply all" to an errant message inadvertently
addressed and copied to several thousand recipients.
"Department staff hitting 'reply to all' on an e-mail with a
large distribution list is causing an e-mail storm on the
department's OpenNet e-mail system," says the unclassified
cable that was sent Thursday by Under Secretary of State
for Management Patrick Kennedy. He said the result was
"effectively a denial of service as e-mail queues, especially
between posts, back up while processing the extra volume
of e-mails."

The cable orders employees to "take immediate action" to
ensure they and their colleagues are "aware of the
negative impact of hitting 'reply all'" and to delete e-mails
addressed to large numbers of people that they might
receive in error.

"Anyone who disregards these instructions will be subject
to disciplinary actions," Kennedy wrote in the cable,
which begins: "Please ensure widest distribution of this
message." Officials
said the storm started when some
diplomats used the 'reply all' function to respond to a
blank e-mail sent recently to many people on the
department's global address list.

Most demanded to be removed from the list while others
used 'reply all' to tell their co-workers, in often less than
diplomatic language, to stop responding to the entire
group, the officials said. Some then compounded the
problem by trying to recall their initial replies, which
generated another round of messages to the group,
they said.

The cable sent out by Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy is somewhat misguided and confirms how widespread people's ignorance of the use of email is.

Yes, the message of restricting the use of Reply-All is valid. The person needing the most reprimanding, however, is the original author of the email that DID NOT USE BCC. Had they used BCC NOBODY could have used REPLY-TO-ALL. BCC names do not appear in Reply or Reply-All emails.