E-mailing a person for the first time may be a little bit tricky.
When posting to anyone for the first time, there are several things
to keep in mind. One should keep in mind that one may be violating
a person's carefully guarded privacy or violating a personal or
company or other rule someone thought up. Be polite. And be prepared
for a wide range of welcomes from friendly to outright rude and
crude. On the other hand you may be extending a hand of friendship
which will develop into a relationship for life.
In general, there are three types of e-mail communities as defined
by economic pressure. In these groups there are three types of
1. those who like to talk via email and will accept almost anything
at least once and enjoy the internet for personal reasons;
2. those who are online for business; entertainment is the least
of what they want to get online;
3. those who may be a member online purely for their own reasons
and do not want to be bothered by anyone except the privileged
few they let in.
The Economic Groups are:
· Those who pay for their privileges by the minute. These
individuals often do not like the monetary loss of unsolicited
posts. They may be short tempered when they receive an post that
they did not ask for. Be patient with these individuals. Their
privacy is important to them and junk mail is just that to them:
JUNK! Do not return their flames. (Except for maybe an apology
for bothering them and to tell them you will not bother them again.)
· Those who pay for a flat rate for either unlimited access
or a set rate for a set amount of time on the internet before
minute or hourly charges begin to accrue. These folks also value
their privacy. However, I have noted that these individuals are
often community minded and are a bit more tolerant than those
who are pressured by their pocketbooks every time they go online.
· The last group are those who have their access provided
to them. They may be students on a college or university campus
or they may be professionals. Additionally, a few non-profit groups
provide internet access to their members. Those who are students
are using the internet for two reasons: for obtaining information
useful to them in school or in life in general, and for entertainment.
Those who are professionals whose job provides this perk have
obvious reasons for having e-mail addresses. E-mail addresses
are just good business sense in this day and age. Again professionals,
while not on the job, may have the freedom to pursue personal
interests on the internet. (Of course they would never be guilty
of pursuing entertainment on the internet on *company* time.)
Three Experience Types of Internet Participants
The newbie who knows just enough to get himself into
trouble and must ask for help every turn. With the e-mail and
Internet population doubling every few months there are lots of
these individuals. Be patient and helpful to this individual.
Remember you were one of these individuals yourself when you got
started. Not everyone has the experience or superior intellect
· The person who has been around the block a couple of
months or years. You might even call this the intermediate experience
group. These people may or may not know all the rules. However,
they are just knowledgeable enough to tell you how badly you are
acting on the Internet (flames) and "would you not inflict
yourself on those of us who are here before you and know what
we are doing". Be patient with these folks. They have lost
sight of what community is.
· The person who has been around way before the internet
got popular. There are two types of individuals here:
· The person who is tolerant of newcomers and understands
that the Internet is changing and the rules are changing with
it. Or rather the rules are being bent as far as they can go without
breaking. Be patient with this individual. He is the teacher and
benefactor of us all.
· Mr Internet Bear or self appointed internet police. He
considers himself as the guardian of the old line. Upset him and
you may have a e-mail robot sitting on your email address until
your ISP kicks you off. What he has done should be illegal and
we all wish him ill. He is willing to shut down the entire ISP
to get at you and if this does not work, shutdown the entire token
ring that your ISP is on. (This has happened on the Atlanta token
ring section.) Many an ISP, internet business and private individuals
pray that MR Internet Bear who has his own system is bombed out
of existence, that every computer system he buys has unrecoverable
system errors installed into the hardware and that he is caught
and sued for his and his progenies income for eternity.
· In case you wonder if Mr. Bear is real, ask a long term
spammer or your ISP. They have probably ran afoul of one or two
in a year's time. The damage he can do runs into the millions
of dollars in a few days. That is why his robot is called a BOMB.
One last word on first time e-mail. Be polite. Be willing to keep
records and promptly delete from your recipient list those who
It is generally agreed that Spam is unwanted email. Many
believe that Spammers are abusers of the email system.
Spam is an ugly word that is over used and means any unsolicited
e-mail, one e-mail or dozens or hundreds of thousands. Many individuals
do not mind a little of it. They are afraid of missing an opportunity
to meet a new friend or of finding a really useful service or
business opportunity. Other individuals make studies of what is
said on these e-mails. One can really get an education on ad writing
from these e-mails. Still others even sign up for the mailing
lists or participate in an activity which makes them a target
for unsolicited mails. Still other individuals do "Unsolicited
Bulk E-mail" and know the cost is to receive "Unsolicited
Bulk E-mail" in return. It is one cost of doing "Unsolicited
If you participate in discussion lists which allow advertising,
or you maintain "Bulk E-mailing Lists", please don't
make a pest of yourself. If your name is seen too often, then
some people will NEVER join you. They will send unsubscribe requests.
If you are on a discussion list, people may unsubscribe or just
ignore you. Make yourself a pest and you will defeat yourself.
This is called loss of mindshare.
Another reason some people are tolerant of unsolicited e-mail
is that all it takes is a couple of keystrokes and offending mail
is gone. If they do not like what the person is sending (such
as, solicitation to visit or receive pornography) They are willing
to write a polite email and ask to be deleted from their mailing
list. I have never been refused. Perhaps Mr, Internet BEAR has
a use after all.
One type of Bulk E-mail is acceptable for all occasions. This
Bulk E-mail is one where a person has asked to be placed on the
list. It is this type of e-mail whether it be a newsletter like
this one or a discussion list that has always been accepted on