Tag Archives: email

Gmail priority indicators coming to everybody

Rafe Needleman at Cnet (http://www.cnet.com/profile/rafe/) reports that “[…] Gmail product lead Paul McDonald said the service’s priority indicators would soon start showing up even in in-boxes of users who have not turned on the Priority Inbox feature. Gmail users won’t be forced into viewing their in-boxes in the segregated Priority view, but McDonald showed how the little yellow flags that indicate a high-priority message will soon be displayed by default in the standard, unprioritized view. Users will be able to train the feature by turning the indicators on individual messages on and off. […]” (full article at http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-20036605-2.html#ixzz1F4lIGsCf) .

Seems to me a good thing, though is not the panacea for a zero mail inbox.

This post as a comment also at http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-20036605-2.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20#addcomm

Emailing the right way

I came through a quite old post from Leo Babauta at GigaOM on how to be effective with email (full article at http://gigaom.com/collaboration/7-rules-for-communicating-clearly-and-concisely-in-email).

Leo’s rules and my comments:

  • Use the minimum amount of sentences. True and try to use bullets were make sense to be schematic
  • State what you want right away. Email is not (only) an exercise of style. Is communication with no escapes, since no facial or hands expression help to clarify your thoughts. So go to the point as fast as you can
  • Write about only one thing. True. This also helps recipients to answer one thing a time
  • Leave out the humor and emotions. True, because recipients read the messages as they are, and you’re not there to explain is a joke.
  • Use “If …then” statements. Is part of being schematic
  • Review for ambiguity, clarity. Revise for conciseness. Review always the message and if you can )and the message is really important) save it as a draft and come back later

This post as a comment also at http://gigaom.com/collaboration/7-rules-for-communicating-clearly-and-concisely-in-email/?go_commented=1#comment-572170

Facebook email still blocks some links

Ryan Singel at Wired reports that “[…]  Facebook’s “modern messaging system” may make it convenient to seamlessly move between instant messaging and a Facebook.com e-mail account, but not if you are sharing a link to a file sharing site. Facebook began blocking BitTorrent link-sharing on Facebook walls and news feeds last spring, and also started blocking private messages between users that included a link to torrents on the Pirate Bay. […]” (full article at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/11/facebook-link-blocking).

I do not endorse or support bittorrent sharing for protected materials, but I think that blocking bit torrent anyway is quite meaningless. I also think that is strange this kind of approach by a company that has demonstrated that security is maybe its last concern.

This post as a comment also at   http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/11/facebook-link-blocking/comment-page-1/#comment-58772

Facebook Email coming: trick or treat?

Stephen Shankland at Cnet (http://www.cnet.com/profile/Shankland/) reports that Facebook is going to announce his own Email service that will be integrated with Facebook services (full article at http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20022625-264.html).

“[…]Facebook already has a rudimentary system for direct, private messages among its members, including several people in one discussion thread. But it’s missing not just the ability to communicate outside Facebook, but also countless useful features available in real e-mail. Forget filtering, free-form attachments, a means to organize messages, and access from third-party e-mail client software such as Outlook or Thunderbird. […]”.

I think and agree that mail is a natural extension of Facebook activities, but I ask my self a very complex question on this opportunity.

Facebook is having problems managing its current structure, I’m not confident that will be able a more complex add on such as email.

In my opinion would have been better to consolidate the existing and then focus again on development.

This post as a comment also at http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20022625-264.html

Email and men, who’s mastering who

Paul Sloane at Stepcase Lifehack writes an article on 10 things that help in mastering email and not being mastered (full article at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/make-email-your-servant-not-your-master.html).

I really agree on things written (from start to end), especially when Paul hints to synchronize mobile and desktop worlds.

I only add a bit to this: avoid “noise” and take time to respond to the real adressee. I receive maybe lot of emails a day and most of them are not for me, but someone who decided to “reply to all”. If each one of us avoids this behaviour, we would live more easily in our inbox.

But the most important outcome is that could be sad but it’s true, email is not our work, is ONLY a tool.

I work for a multinational company and I see every day the email being abused: people don’t talk anymore, they write. Quite real time, with all associated risks of wrong or partially wrong understanding.

Not to count IM and similar tools.

This doesn’t mean email is not to be used, but,many times should not be abused.

This post as a comment also at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/make-email-your-servant-not-your-master.html/comment-page-1#comment-343793

Effective Email subject lines

Diana Huggins (http://www.lockergnome.com/it/author/diana-huggins/) at Lockergnome gives some suggestions on how to build effective subject lines (full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2009/07/23/constructing-email-subject-lines/).

I add my own one:

Avoid putting the complete mail in subject line leaving the body empty. Also if it is a small question.

This post also as a comment at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2009/07/23/constructing-email-subject-lines/#comment-178173

Social networks role

Ron Schenone at Lockergnome reports Twitter announce that  a planned security upgrade planned by NTT America, was shifted because of Twitter role in planning Iran Revolution (full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/06/16/twitter-cancels-maintance-to-support-revolution-in-iran/).

Also Eric Bangeman (http://arstechnica.com/authors/eric-bangeman/) at Ars Technica covers the same topic (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/twitter-from-statedept-delay-upgrade-to-aid-iran-protests.ars).

This is important because testifies the role new communication channels, and among them Twitter, play within our society at this days. This reminds me the role some big technologic breakthroughs had in last three decades (remember fax, sms, Cell phones,…).

And at same time the consciousness of the role achieved by those who run these medias.

On the other side, what makes this achievement taste a little bitter is the fact that they needed to tell us the fact. Seems to me like making charity and going in the streets saying “hey I’m charitable”.

This article as a comment at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/twitter-from-statedept-delay-upgrade-to-aid-iran-protests.ars and http://www.lockergnome.com/blade/2009/06/16/twitter-cancels-maintance-to-support-revolution-in-iran/

Email decluttering

Gina Trapani at Smarterware posts an article on Email decluttering tips (full article at http://smarterware.org/1945/how-to-stay-on-top-of-ye-olde-email-inbox and related article at Harvard at http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/trapani/2009/06/extreme-makeover-the-email-inb.html).

This is my comment:

“Let me add a couple of thing:
1) If you have an email you need to process later, transform the E-mail in an appointment (quite all PIM have this feature)with a due date: you’ll have there in a second moment
2) If possible avoid replying to all (this helps staying focused within people really needed to address the the issues in email).
3) If not clearly requested avoid replying just to say “for me it’s OK”
4) use RSS instead of email subscriptions”

This comment also at http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/trapani/2009/06/extreme-makeover-the-email-inb.html and http://smarterware.org/1945/how-to-stay-on-top-of-ye-olde-email-inbox

Bad work habits

oztech (Posts by oztech) at Lockergnome writes his opinion on the top ten of worst work habits (full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/oztech/2009/06/03/top-10-bad-work-habits/, referred article on CNN at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/06/03/cb.10.worst.work.habits/index.html, this last one copyrighted by Anthony Balderrama from Careerbuilder.com …PUFF PUFF end of legal mumbo jumbo and credits 🙂 ).

Top 10 is described as follows, of course with my comments

1. Procrastination:

Yes, this is a great problem, given the fact that, in this crisis times people fear doing things, especially in big corporations. Often people don’t procrastinate for any other reason than some fear of doing the wrong thing.

2. Being a sloppy e-mailer

Another good point: I think, in my opinion that people abuse and misuse of e-mail. One of the worst things is people copying everyone in emails, with the result of having infinite lists of people where each one feels entitled to stay there and don’t act. A clear declaration of responsibilities and expectations is, in my experience, best way to act.

And double checking is the basics to survive 😉

3. Confusing informal with disrespectful

It’s a little bit said to say, in these connected and informal times, but a little bit of distance between boss and colleagues is useful to achieve performance. And respecting dress conduct is a good thing.

4. Taking advantage of leeway

Let me add a little bit of availability. Especially where and when times are strict, having people available to arrive a little earlier and depart a little bit late (without abusing) is, in my experience, something appreciated and valuable.

5. Refusing to mingle

True: Especially when you find a balance between being a party animal and staying alone all the time

6. Always running late

It’s better to declare you need some more time but respect due date instead than being late

7. Being rigid

Sometimes flexibility helps to be appreciated. Flexibility doesn’t mean doing everything, but doing everything needed to achieve office goals.

8. Acting as the resident contrarian

True. And most important to act wisely if you are new hired.

9. Badmouthing the company

Could be the worst company in the world, but for the fact that pays your salary deserves respect. And because voices go around. And it’s risky.

10. Politicking

Leave it out of work place

This post also as a comment at http://edition.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/06/03/cb.10.worst.work.habits/index.html



Bots, Spam and trust

Jacqui Cheng (http://arstechnica.com/authors/jacqui-cheng/) at Ars Technica, reports of a Symantec study that (in short) says “Botnets that send out spam seem to like workin’ 9 to 5 and resting on Sundays, according to the latest report out of Symantec’s MessageLabs. Spam levels are up this month, too, taking the total percentage of spam over the 90 percent mark. Hope you have a good junk filter” (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/05/report-spam-wielding-botnets-apparently-like-us-work-hours.ars).

This seems to me right (spam levels are increasing), but what really makes me think is that “Spam levels have risen over the past month to more than 90 percent of all corporate e-mail, according to Symantec’s May 2009 MessageLabs Intelligence Report (PDF).”

This is attonishing, because the cost of a mail system setup and maintenance is really a cost for a company and thinking that 90% of its resources are used for something so fraudly and stupid is really a mess in this crisis times.

Really I don’t agree on the fact that US workers are a preferred target for this attacks. Seems to me more likely what severusx (http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/personal?x_myspace_page=profile&u=549009233931) says: most of the infected bots are on US corporate machines that follow, tipically, the timing registered by the report.

There’s another point: couldn’t be that we are wondering about advanced bots originating from other side of the earth and, instead, spam is a  billion of pepole writing many emails and working 9 to 5 ? 🙂 (Of course I’m joking on this last sentence. Don’t want to offend anyone…)

This comment also at http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/personal?x_myspace_page=profile&u=490004578931

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