Wednesday, July 19,
Who's sending us all this
By Martha Irvine
The Associated Press
CHICAGO — Anyone
who has e-mail probably experiences it. You go away for a few days — in
some cases, even a few hours — and boom! Your e-mailbox is crammed full.
Parker's heart sank last week when he returned from a two-week vacation
to find well over 250 e-mails awaiting him.
| SREENATH SREENIVASAN SENDS OUT SO MUCH E-MAIL THAT HIS
MESSAGES ARE CALLED “SREE-MAIL.”|
So he did what many increasingly
overwhelmed e-mail users are doing.
“I'm afraid I just basically moved them
all into the trash basket,” said the Washington bureau chief for the
British magazine The Economist.
As far as Mr. Parker is concerned, you
can choose to spend all day doing e-mail or you can do your work: “But
you can't do both.”
Technology may make it easier for others
to reach us. And it may increase our penchant to communicate. But e-mail
inundation is becoming so common that some people are drawing the line.
“The speed of technology is driving me
insane!” said Maria Salomao, a public relations executive from San
Francisco and one of dozens of people to reply to an online query about
the ever-in creasing volume of e-mail and voice mail.
“If you're not conscious about it or if
your goal is to accomplish your "to do' list, then you are in for a rude
awakening,” she said. “The list never ends.”
Ms. Salomao and several others said that
in recent months they've begun replying to fewer e-mails and are getting
fewer responses to messages they've sent.
In Australia — a country that has made big efforts
to get its citizens connected to the Web — tax officials have been so
swamped by e-mail questions they've had to send auto-responses telling
e-mailers they'll have to wait at least two weeks.
| A few tactics experts suggest for endearing yourself
to those to whom you send e-mail:
• Don't forward too many jokes or junk mail.
• Make what you want obvious by using short sentences
and bullet points; if using text from an e-mail that you're
responding to, only include the relevant text.
• Mark urgent e-mails with words like “help!” or
“crisis” but use the tag sparingly.
• Put “DRIB” (Don't Read If Busy) in the subject line,
so the recipient knows it can wait.
• If you attach files, make sure the person getting them
has the capability to download them quickly and easily.
• “Blind carbon” those you send to instead of using a
lengthy list of addresses; that way your recipients won't end up
on mailing lists they don't want to be on.
• If you want a reply, ask for one.
Sources: The Geek Factory, Jericho Communications,
Even experts — including Eric Yaverbaum,
author of I'll Get Back To You — are proving hard to reach.
“I've become the guy I used to curse at,
and I feel bad,” said Mr. Yaverbaum, who gets about 100 voice mails and
e-mails daily. “But what can you do?”
So who's sending all this stuff anyway?
Some of the e-mail jamming our boxes is,
of course, unsolicited junk mail.
Jupiter Communications, which tracks this
sort of thing, projects that marketing-related e-mail messages will
increase 40-fold between 1999 and 2006. It says the average online user
received 1,746 e-mails in 1999 and will receive 2,052 this year.
Then there are people like Sreenath
Sreenivasan, a professor of new media at the Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism, who sends so much e-mail — 250 a day —
that his friends have come up with a name for it: “sree-mail.”
Some of it is school-related; some goes
to people on group lists he has created, including one dedicated to news
“Pity the fools,” Mr. Sreenivasan joked
of those who actually sign up for his lists.
Much of the mail he sends requires no
reply. But even when he expects a response, he says it's a good idea to
“When you deal with people who only have
dial-up (modem) service and have real lives and don't hang out in front
of a computer like I do, you can't expect an immediate reply,” Mr.
The Associated Press/Robert Mecea ” He
can visit four Web sties at once by splitting the screen.
disabled going to work
plans to sell mortgage company