So you are now on the "WEB" or "NET" and you have your nice new e-mail address, - what now?

Well if your e-mail address is supplied by your Internet Service Provider and uses part of their name in your address, i.e.. or then you unfortunately have a very harrowing time ahead.

ver the next ten years or so of your surfing the web you will pass your e-mail address to hundreds of correspondents and put your e-mail address on many automatic mailing lists and subscribe to clubs / societies.

You are also likely to change your Internet Service Provider several times over this period (due to changes in service quality, pricing structure, availability. eg. in 1999 LineOne changed from being a free access no phone charges provider to a chargeable one, in 2000 NTL increased it's charge 50%, many other "free" or "cheap" services become so overloaded it is very difficult to connect to them and they are slow to respond).

Each time
you change your Internet service provider you have to change your e-mail address (they own and control it, not you - and it's a great way for them to keep your business as many people can't face the prospect of an e-mail address change). When you do change the address you have to inform all your correspondents and go through a complicated process to change your details on the automatic mailing lists and subscription services, forums, clubs etc.

There is an answer to all this future hassle - before you get too many years of contacts built up -
Get your own independent personal e-mail and web address (you can keep it all your life, you can use any Internet Service Provider that you like, change the provider as often as you wish, your own e-mail address just points to whatever e-mail services your current Internet Service Provider supplies to you.. Imagine your very own personalised e-mail and webspace address - permanent, never changing, always the same for years and years, a rock of stability in an ever changing world.

Check with GenProxy for further details of Lifetime personalised e-mail and webspace address or click this link

e-mail tips

Sending emails to more than one person?

If sending to a few individuals? Then Use CC:

Use the BCC: function for mass mailings   Sending to a mailing list? Use BCC:

Most of today's email users are young enough to have never used real carbon paper and probably have never received or seen a true "carbon copy" in their life. So it may not be too surprising that the carbon copy (cc:) and blind carbon copy (bcc:) functions in e-mail software are misunderstood. Maybe, in fact, it is time that we rename them EC: and BEC: for Electronic Copy and Blind Electronic Copy.

The cc: function sends a copy of the email to that person(s) on the cc: line, as well as, to the person(s) listed in the To: portion. Everyone will see the email addresses of all that received copies of the email.

The bcc: function hides the addresses of the recipients on it's line from whomever is listed in the To: and cc: lists. This is the perfect way to send emails to multiple people on a mailing list, since the blind copied person will see only his/her own name and address in the header. Nothing wastes time and patience as much as having to scroll through pages of email addresses to get to the meat of the email message. When you are sending an email to a group mail list or (especially!) to a company-wide mail list, send the email to yourself (using To:) and put the mailing list group name or nick name on the bcc: line.

(Can't see bcc: in Outlook Express? when creating a new e-mail click 'view' then click 'all headers' )

Use upper and lower case letters -------------------------------------------------------------
The only thing harder to read than ALL CAPS is MiXeD lEtTeRs ----------------------

ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING! all lower case letters probably means that the sender is a c# programmer whose real message is: i crave attention. For best readability and credibility, use both upper and lower case letters just like your English, French or German teacher taught you.

Know your audience : - Should you use formal or informal writing in the body of your email? It depends on who is receiving it. Err on the formal side; keep it formal if you don't know the person well or at all. Salutations aren't really required, but you can use just plain "Dave" for informal or "Mr. Smith " for formal.

Put a meaningful title on the subject line, Keep the email subject short. Make it meaningful. And, don't send something that might be confused for spam. If you send an email with the subject "Here's a Deal for You!" their email spam filter or the recipient themselves may delete it unread.

Watch the punctuation!!! The exclamation mark (pronounced, bang) is the most overworked punctuation used in email. Use it seldom, if at all!

Replies to sender(s) We recommend that you set the default value in your email client to only reply to the sender, not the sender and all of the other cc: recipients. It is just too easy to hit reply and talk about last nights party (or worse) with the sender, forgetting that everyone else will also see the reply. In the body of the reply always include a snippet of the original text. If you just reply "Yes" to an email, the receiver will probably wonder, "Yes, what?" Just as bad, is to include all of the original text along with the header information. Highlight the unnecessary text with your cursor and delete it. Put your response after the quote. Email Etiquette says do not be a novelist. Keep your comments short and to the point. ----------------------------------------

Don't reply to an email when you are angry. ---------------------------------------------------------

One more thing: Don't reply to an email when you are angry about its contents. Cool off first. Or if you must attack the keyboard while you are in the mood, at least store the message off in the draft folder for a while. You'll be glad you did. Be careful what you send - Email is not private nor is it secure. Do not send an email that you wouldn't want your boss's boss to see or you would not want posted on the bulletin board. Remember it has your name and email address attached. You can't even send your best friend in manufacturing that cute story. He might forward it inappropriately without removing your header information. (See Replies above.) All companies today have policies stating that email is for business purposes only. Assume that your emails are being read by a monitor - they often are. And, nearly all companies are paranoid about liability -- especially since the role of emails in the Microsoft/DOJ antitrust trial has been well publicized. Even if you delete an email, it probably still exists on your hard drive, on the server's hard drive, and on the server backup.


E-Mail Etiquette


The following is intended to offer guidance to users of electronic mail (e-mail) systems, whether it's a twelve-year old computer nerd's BBS, (bullitin board system) one of the Internet Service Providers like AOL, Tiscali or Wannado, or the world of a company office Intranet. Although it's geared towards users of the afore-mentioned services, it has sections that apply to all types of e-mail systems. This is not a "how-to" document, but rather a document that offers advice to make you more computer-communication-literate and to prevent you from embarrassing yourself at some point in the near future.

Don't Be A Novelist:

Messages should be concise and to the point. Think of it as a telephone conversation, except you are typing instead of speaking. Nobody has ever won a Pulitzer Prize for a telephone conversation nor will they win one for an e-mail message. It's also important to remember that some people receive hundreds of e-mail messages a day (yes, there are such people), so the last thing they want to see is a message from someone who thinks he/she is the next Shakespeare.

Too Much Punctuation!!!?

Don't get caught up in grammar and punctuation, especially excessive punctuation. You'll see lots of e-mail messages where people put a dozen exclamation points at the end of a sentence for added emphasis. Big deal. Exclamation marks (pronounced "bang" in computer circles) are just another way of ending a sentence! If something is important it should be reflected in your text, not in your punctuation.

The Legacy Of Punch Cards:

Although this is the 21st century, not everyone in the world has e-mail software that has the word wrap feature (word wrap saves you from having to hit the Enter key at the end of the line). There are still a large number of users with dumb (and not so dumb) terminals and software that do not gracefully handle text longer than the old punch card length of 80 characters. Therefore, keep the number of characters per line below the 80 character limit. Some modern e-mail packages have a built-in feature that automatically word wraps at a specified character limit so that the problem is essentially solved. However, if your software does not support this feature, you'll just have to remember to use the big Enter key again.


Formatting can be everything, but not here. Using HTML, or heaven forbid the microsoft Rich Text Format, to format messages so that they have fancy fonts, colors or whatever is asking for trouble. There are still lots of e-mail clients (and some servers) which can not handle messages in these formats. Some free email services (hotmail, talk21) have limited space for each clients email, the recipient of your fancy font HTML email will be really pleased that your large email file has used up a great chunk of his/her free space. (hotmail. yahoo Gmail etc have recently increased their allocation of space to 250 Mb to 1 Gb so for these services using plain text is no longer necessary)


BTW, IMHO, you shouldn't use abbreviations. ? --------------------------------------------
Should you use the common abbreviations and smileys in your message? A good rule of thumb is to not use them except in very informal messages to peers that you know understand them.
Abbreviation usage is quite rampant with e-mail. In the quest to save keystrokes, users have traded clarity for confusion (unless you understand the abbreviations). Some of the more common abbreviations are listed in the table below. I would recommend that you use abbreviations that are already common to the English language, such as FYI and BTW. Beyond that, you run the risk of confusing your recipient.

This Means This
BCNU be seeing you
BTW by the way
FWIW for what it's worth
FYI for your information
IMHO in my humble opinion
OBO or best offer
ROTFL rolling on the floor laughing
RTFM read the funny manual
TNSTAAFL there's no such thing as a free lunch
TTFN ta ta for now
TTYL talk to you later


Part of the nature of a good one-on-one conversation is the use of visual cues. How important are facial expressions and body gestures to a conversation? A simple eye movement can mean the difference between "yes" and "YES". What about auditory cues? The results are the same.
Since there are no visual or auditory cues with e-mail, users have come up with something called "smilies". They are simple strings of characters that are interspersed in the e-mail text to convey the writer's emotions (cues). The most common example is :-
) Turn your head to the left and you should see a happy face (the colon are the eyes, the dash is the nose and the parentheses is the mouth). Here are some more examples.

This Means This
:-) Smiley face
;-) Wink (light sarcasm)
:-| Indifference
:-> Devilish grin (heavy sarcasm)
8-) Eye-glasses
:-D Shock or surprise
:-/ Perplexed
:-( Frown (anger or displeasure)
:-P Wry smile
;-} Leer
:-Q Smoker
:-e Disappointment
:-@ Scream
:-O Yell
:-* Drunk
:-{} Wears lipstick
:- Male
>- Female

There are also graphic smilies, you can usually find free downloads of them on the 'net

animated smilies get your smileys here
(caution - free may only mean you do not pay cash for them, the true cost is that they often carry
a hidden payload of AdWare or SpyWare - always read the Licence agreement before clicking "accept")

They are typically used at the end of sentences and will usually refer back to the prior statement.

I would recommend you use these sparingly. There are dozens of these things and their translations are by no means universal (a miss-interpreted smilie could lead to a flame).

To make sure that both yourself and your regular contacts are using and understand the same abbreviations and smilies - send them a copy of this page.


The question here is "How personal is too personal?" or to be more specific, how do you open your e-mail: "Dear Sir", "Dear Mr. Jones", "Dave" or "Hi"

Well, Is it business or personal? How well do you know the person? How would you address them in a letter? you must use your own judgement here.


Once you send that first e-mail, you will probably get a response. If you want to reply to that response what should you do? The wrong thing to do is to start a new e-mail message. This breaks the link (called a "thread") between the original message and your soon-to-be-created response. Without the link, it can get difficult for the users on each end to follow the sequence of messages, especially after several exchanges. This becomes an even larger problem when you are dealing with newsgroups (more later) where several people may be replying to messages and trying to follow the thread of exchanged information. The correct thing to do is to reply, which is essentially the same thing as creating a new message, but maintains the thread.

If using Outlook Express you can choose to view your messages arranged in threads or the usual chronological order. To swap the view : - Go to Inbox or Newsgroup, on the View menu, point to Current View and then select Group Messages by Conversation. To display expanded conversations for messages, Go to the Tools menu, click Options, click the Read tab, and then select Automatically expand grouped messages .


Nothing is more wasteful than to reply to an e-mail by including a complete copy of the original with the words "I agree" , "Okay" or "Yes" at the bottom.

The correct method is to use quoting. This is best explained by an example:

>and do you agree with the idea to hire Mr. Jones to
>manage our HR department?

Yes. Please make the necessary arrangements.

The '>' in front of the text indicates to the recipient that this is quoted material from his/her last e-mail message. The second sentence is your response to the quoted material. The key with quoting is to include enough material in the quote so that it will be relevant to the recipient. Imagine that the original message was a hundred lines long and the only question that required a response was located in the last sentence. Why send the whole message back in the reply? That would cause the recipient to scroll through the hundred line message again just to find your response at the bottom.

Quoting can occur again and again as in the example:

>>and do you agree with the idea to hire Mr. Jones to
>>manage our HR department?
>Yes. Please make the necessary arrangements.

Arrangements made. Our first meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

From this we see both two level quoting (>>) and one level quoting (>). The (>>) indicates that the sender is quoting your quote and the (>) is a quote of part of your message you sent in reply. Don't get hung up in quoting. After so many levels, all you end up with is a line of ">>>>>>" and very little substance.

Saving Trees:

Sometimes I think that the best thing that could happen would be for someone to take away the printer. Why? Every time I send an e-mail out to a large group, a third of the group will print the message even before reading it, a third will read it and then print it, and the last third will simply delete it. One of the goals for e-mail usage is to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the shuffling of paper, but what chance does that have if a significant number of people are going to print every message they receive. I'm not saying that all messages should not be printed. I'm saying that too many messages are printed for no reason (a lot are printed and never retrieved from the printer). All modern email clients (programs) can save all your messages on the hard drive system in named "folders" that can be used to permanently store messages for recall at any time in the future. If the same people who print messages for paper file systems would create the same structure in the e-mail system with folders as they have in their filing cabinet it would accomplish the same goal, but would save an enormous amount of paper (and trees).

Privacy ? HA !

Consider the following statement: there is no such thing as a private e-mail. I don't care what anybody says, swears or states, there is really no such thing as a private e-mail. Despite the release by the U.S. government of "private key / public key" encryption technology allowing it's world wide use.(to enable secret e-mail messages for example), other governments, including the U.K.'s are bringing in legistlation which will make it a criminal offence - if you refuse to divulge the contents of your messages and/or hand over the decryption key when asked. It is entirely possible that the U.S. government released the encryption technology having already devised a 'backdoor' crack allowing them to read these supposedly secret e-mails.
With some e-mail systems, the e-mail administrator has the ability to read any and all e-mail messages.
It appears that Gmail (google email) may keep copies of all emails cro
ss referenced by recipient / sender / subject / content - WHY? well it helps them to target relevant advertising at you, the fact that governments have not put a stop to this invasion of privacy may be due to the fact that Google's terms & conditions when you sign up to Gmail, allow them to give access to any government agency that asks for emails & contacts.
Some companies monitor employee e-mail (
a form of censorship). The reasons for this obtrusive behavior range from company management wanting to make sure users are not wasting time on personal messages, slandering or libelling a third party for which the company fears it may be sued, or making sure that company secrets are not being leaked to unauthorized sources.
E-mail software is like all software in that occasionally things go wrong.
If this happens, you may end up receiving e-mail meant for another person or your e-mail may get sent to the wrong person. Either way, what you thought was private is not private anymore.

Somewhere in the world there is a person (usually a hacker) who is able to read your e-mail if he/she tries hard enough.
Of course "Tries hard enough" is the key. It's not that simple to read another person's e-mail (usually) . (Usually) there are security measures in place to prevent this from happening, but no security is one hundred percent hacker-proof.


What is a "flame" or specifically what does it mean "to be flamed?" To be flamed means that you've sent an e-mail to a person(s) that has caused that person(s) to respond in many, not-so-nice words. It's basically a verbal outburst in electronic form. Sometimes the reason for a flame is quite obvious (keep reading), but in other cases you just never know. You might send what you think is a harmless e-mail to ten people. Nine people respond in a rational tone while number ten sends you a flame. How do you respond to a flame? Tough question. The best answer would be to ignore it and go about your life as logical and rational human being. If this is not your first reaction, it probably will be after you've been flamed a couple dozen times. You will find out that responses just aren't worth the effort. If you do choose to respond you will probably end up in what is known as a "flame war". This is where two or more people end up exchanging argumentative e-mails for an extended period of time, usually to the point that users start making references to one's mother, one's mental capability, etc... At some point, all those participating in the war will eventually forget what originally started it and go back to being normal human beings. Never been flamed? Well if you are begging for it, I would suggest one of the following: Send an e-mail in all UPPER-CASE. Use of upper-case words is the equivalent of shouting in some one's ear. ONLY use upper-case words when trying to make a point (such as I just did). Even at that, you should be careful with who you are exchanging messages. Make a comment about grammar or punctuation. Nobody wants to feel like they are exchanging e-mail with their English teacher.

Better Than Snail Mail:

You would think that since e-mail is electronic and electronic information is suppose to move at the speed of light, your e-mail message would arrive seconds after you have sent it. If you're sending e-mail to the person in the office next to yours on a LAN (local area network) it might happen that way. In most cases, however, the message will probably take anywhere from a couple of minutes (majority of the time) to a couple of days (in which case there is usually a problem). The reason it takes longer is that in the transmission of a message from point A to point B, the message may travel via one, two, or up to who-knows-how-many different types of mail servers before it reaches its destination. Remember the earlier statement? All computers (and e-mail systems) are not the same. No matter how far away you are sending your e-mail message I'll guarantee that it will beat snail mail. On top of that you save the cost of a stamp.


Your e-mail software may also give you easy access to newsgroups. At the simplest level, a newsgroup is a collection of related e-mail messages tied to a specific topic. Some examples might be a newsgroup for users of microsoft Word, a newsgroup for the fans of the works of Dickens or a newsgroup for owners of handmade bicycles manufactured in Barton (Lincs UK). If you see a list of the available newsgroups, the topics are quite diverse and amazing. Anyway, on to more important items.... Don't call a newsgroup anything but a newsgroup. They are not forums. They definitely are not BBS's. They are newsgroups. Nothing more. Nothing less. Before posting (think of it as sending an e-mail message) to a newsgroup, I would highly recommend that 1.) you monitor it for a few days (called lurking) to make sure the newsgroup's content is relevant to your interest, and 2) read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section if there is one. FAQs usually will provide a statement of direction for the newsgroup along with any other guidelines for its usage. Following these two tenets will help you avoid that dreaded flame. If you find that you want to post an entry to a newsgroup, make sure it's the right group. Posting a message for help for Microsoft Word in a Mac newsgroup won't get you anywhere other than a possible flame.

One last no-no for news groups is called "spamming". Spamming is repeatedly posting the same message to a particular news group(s) for no other reason than to be obnoxious or to advertise a product or service that you offer. This is definite flame war bait.