Thursday, April 10, 2014

Group E-Mail Etiquette: How to win friends and avoid scolding while staying in touch with your group #MFRWOrg

E-mail is a great method of communicating, giving us instant communication with minimal expense. In a group setting, e-mail helps you get in touch with a large audience with no more effort than you would expend contacting a single recipient.
This wonderful opportunity to communicate can also be a wonderful opportunity to irritate. Following a few guidelines can avoid irritation from your fellow posters and list moderators. You see the requests to please trim, please change the subject line, please please please... Sometimes the impression is one of nannies fussing about table manners, and you might wonder what difference does it make if you don’t trim your post. Having the whole conversation in one place just makes it easier for someone to follow.
    Doesn’t it?
    It certainly seems like it would be easier, and it’s absolutely faster to dash off a reply and hit send.
    Except: not everyone in a discussion group receives messages as individual e-mails. So when you write: “Does anyone know where the pearl is?” And someone answers “The pearl is in the river” it comes out on e-mail:

***
The pearl is in the river
Cindy Lou Who Whoville Seussland

Does anyone know where the pearl is?
Sandy Paws, Beach City Ozland

Then another writer joins the conversation with :

What kind of pearls are you finding in the river?
Furry Fawcet, Happyland South Branch

The pearl is in the river
Cindy Lou Who Whoville Seussland

Does anyone know where the pearl is?
Sandy Paws, Beach City Ozland

***
And so on. Each successive message includes the entire train of preceding messages. For someone on digest, this becomes a never ending mass of missives. This example includes one line messages. Imagine how this would read with longer messages and complex signature lines. Yeah, it can get really messy.
Trimming messages depends on your mail program, but you can generally block out the extra verbiage and then click control and X (cntrl+X) If necessary you can leave in one or two lines from the original post. Your loop companions will thank you fervently.

SUBJECT LINES:
Often a group discussion segues into multiple other topics. The initial discussion might concern formatting e-books and by the time the posters finish every facet of contracts and agents and rights might have been covered. If the subject line is still “E-book Formatting in Traditional Romance” then some valuable information might be missed by readers who are not interested in formatting their e-books. It helps to add a word or two relating to the added information. “E-book Formatting in Traditional Romance/agent contracts” will let readers know additional information is available.
However if there is a radical change in subjects it might be a good idea to start an entirely new subject, which will establish a new message trail and make it easier to follow the new subject. This also makes it easier to find and follow subjects of interest in the Yahoo group.

How, you might wonder, do we get to the Yahoo group? Glad you asked.. If you scroll down to the bottom of your loop message, you’ll see:

Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/
Website: http://marketingforromancewriters.org/

Visit Your Group

By clicking on the Group link, or on Visit Your Group, you’ll go directly to the Yahoo group home page, where you can search messages and follow the message trails. Kind of nifty, isn’t it?

Following these few simple suggestions will ensure good communication and uncomplicated messages. Even better, you won’t receive moderator messages imploring you to PLEASE trim. This might not be all sunshine and roses but it will make everyone involved much happier!
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Posted by Mona Karel, Bloghop Coordinator and Moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers