Internet (and other) Irritants

Private Settings on Social Media

If you use MySpace or similar sites to promote your business, please keep your site public, not set to private! How can we network businesses and potential clients if no one can see who you are or what you do? With the proliferation of spam accounts on sites like MySpace, no one marked private gets to be my friend (unless they are a personal friend, of course).

If you are part of a Twebinar, make your Tweets public or create a new Twitter account for the purpose of the Twebinar. If I can’t see the kinds of things you talk about, how can I follow you and enjoy the Twebinar experience? And, if I have to wait for you to approve me to follow you, I might miss the entire event.

What is the point of using Social Media if you aren’t going to be social with the other users of Social Media???

Voicemail Etiquette

When you call someone, show them the courtesy of stating what it is you want from them. Those who call, say no more than a name/company/number feel like Telemarketing. Even if I know you, phone tag is not—and never was—a fun game. Let me know what you need. I can probably do that for you and then let you know that it’s done….instead of having to chase you down for what it is you needed in the first place. Oh, and just so you know: people who do this go straight to my voicemail every time. I’m not going to enable this kind of behavior. So, you’ll have to wait for me to call you back and you’ll have to answer your phone. Want me to answer when you call, then start leaving good messages when you do get voicemail.

Email Etiquette

Do not reply to a message about one topic to introduce another. If you really need to change subjects, finish the one conversation, hit send, and compose a new email message.

Use a good/definitive subject line. Please don’t make me dig through scores of emails from you with the subject of “question for you” to find the exact one I need.

Write like a grown-up and use the Shift key. I know the trend right now is all lowercase—thank you, lazy teenagers who grew up on IM and texting—but it’s hard to read. While we are at it, fix those run on sentences and put a few commas in your writing. If you use Firefox as your browser, it will tell you when a word is misspelled and give you options to fix it. If you don’t do that, onelook.com is your online dictionary friend.

Give me a chance to find the answer before harassing me. You know who you are. Those who send 5 emails to the same person in one hour. Learn to develop some patience and go work on another project while I work on this task for you. Please do not reply with even more questions about the same topic before I’ve had a chance to address the original question. If you didn’t hear from me right away, it’s because I’m either busy or looking for the answer for you. If you didn’t hear from me and it’s been a while, a gentle reminder is fine—preferred, even! (I don’t want you left in the dark; I don’t want you to stop emailing me.) Since any email from you might be “nevermind, I found/fixed it”, I have to check them. Every time I stop to check your next message is another interruption in the path to a solution for you.

If I email you with a tasks outlineing some lists I need from you, do not email me back to ask when we can talk by phone. 1) I need the paper trail and the ability to look this up later. I can get that by phone. 2) it’s a list! Make it for me and hit the send button. Don’t bog down my time, too, while you “think out loud” or whatever it is. Make the list and send it to me. Then, once I’ve had a chance to review it, we can talk by phone to clarify details. In general email should be replied to and phone calls should be returned. There are exceptions to this, but there are some very good reasons for using email. For one, it forces you to say what you need/want instead of doing a lot of “like”s and “you know?”s

Really LOOOONG Signature Lines

OK, people, keep your signature down to a few lines. If you own a business and your signature advertises your current offerings, that’s great. I actually read those and honestly care what you have going on. At the same time, it should not be so long as to be a burden when I reply to your email. If I have to edit your email in my reply, your signature is to freakin’ long.

So, keep it short ‘n sweet….and link to your blog where we can find all the details. Don’t have a blog? I can hook you up. I can create simple blog sites. And I know several web developers if you want something more complicated.

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