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OT: email usage (was: Re: 2.5.67 Linux Kernel Support)

From: "Antony Gelberg" <ag@antgel.co.uk>
To: <debian-user@lists.debian.org>
Subject: Re: 2.5.67 Linux Kernel Support
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 00:41:33 +0100

Jon Wood wrote:
> On Mon, 2003-04-21 at 23:28, Hell.Surfers@cwctv.net wrote:
>> my god you are rude, what did he do to deserve it.
> For once I agree... it's one thing to ask someone to change it, but do
> you *really* need that 14k right at this moment?
> Jon

So it's ok for me to ask the OP to change it, but not to give a good reason
why? It's not one 14k that bothers me, it's lots of them. My original post
was not intended to be rude, it was well-intentioned advice.

I used to work at a company that was split between Windows and Solaris.
When a few Outlook users got into a thread, the reply sizes seemed to
increase exponentially. Naturally they all top-posted and didn't trim their
one-liners.  And this at a tech company...


Not to start (or contribute to) a flame war, but I agree. Having been in the military (where not everyone is a tech user) for several years now, I have been totally amazed by two things:

-The number of people who are completely clueless about the function of email in a business-type environment, especially proper use of a subject line. (IMHO, it should be to help more quickly accomplish those tasks which require exchange of information, but which can be accomplished asynch and/or w/o direct interaction.)

-(Goes hand-in-hand with the first point) The astronomical number of people who spend absurd amounts of time formatting (in RTF or HTML) and adding fonts/graphics and other extraneous crap to emails (usually club newsletters, announcements, and other things that would be just as acceptable in plain text).

These two things usually extend into their personal lives (as evidenced by the format of emails I receive off-duty from my work friends).

The result is that everyone feels the need to "set their email apart" by making theirs more fancy than the last guy's, including elaborate signatures with graphics and other crap. If I am away from the office for a whole day, my mailbox (unfortunately Outlook) fills with this crap. Even at a medium sized unit, it can quickly add up to several MB each day.

The real productivity killer is, of course, having to sort through it like spam. Only all the sources are within the unit, and you usually have to at least partially read the message to decide if it is worth it or not. Then there is my personal favorite, which is how half of the subject lines begin as: DO NOT DELETE !!!! This is of course becuase everyone is accustomed to receiving untold amounts of crap (many times things get emailed to the entire unit when it would be more appropriate to email 10 or 20 people) and just deleting on sight. It is really a vicious cycle.

I don't even want to venture a guess at how much bandwidth an organization the size of the DoD wastes on such things. OK, sorry for the rant. I will quitely step down from my soapbox and go back to the corner.


MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus

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