Friday, December 10, 2010

Emails Are A Part Of Our Lives - Social Media

An old news:
For most people who have access to personal computers, email has rapidly overtaken 'snail mail' as the preferred means of sending written communication, both business and personal. The near-immediate delivery and low cost of email are hard to beat.

Emails are a part of our lives - we use them for business, we use them for personal reasons and ofcourse we get spammed by them as well. Many a times am asked if one would identify emails as part of Social Media. What is your take on this - would emails be a part of Social Media? Well yes, emails are a part of Social Media. Emails are engaging medium, they are very involving and most of the time form two-way communication.

You know that engagement is the core of Social Media. Engagement via the Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others is very essential. Email would also be a good part to engage your customer sets. Would you consider email as part of Social Media? Well in all probability yes, people do interact via email, they do get involved and hence email does enable engagement.

Email does have limitations when it comes to typographic finesse. Many a times one gets an email with typo in bold and upper case and the feeling that you may have got is - why is the person screaming! What am trying to share here is that email do convey a lot at times and they could be misinterpreted. With the result while you may have sent the upper case and bold writing thing that the other person should not miss out on details and the information that you are sharing - the other person could interprette this as angry email.

Fonts and Formatting: It's tempting to format outgoing email with different fonts, point sizes and colors, and to punch up your text with the use of italics and boldface. Unfortunately, what you send is not necessarily what your recipient gets. Some email programs don't read special formatting, including fonts that your reader's computer doesn't have. And many allow the user to set preferences for plain text instead of rich text, which includes styling. The result: your carefully formatted email is reduced to plain text, or worse, littered with 'alien' characters.

What's the solution? First, stick to system fonts, such as Arial, Times, Verdana, Trebuchet or Geneva, which virtually all users have. And, unless you're certain that the recipient can read your formatting, keep it simple and use only keyboard characters and styling that won't get lost in translation. For emphasis, try surrounding your important text with *asterisks*. ALL CAPS is another option, but one to be used sparingly. Remember that CAPS are considered SHOUTING in the cyberworld!

These simple Social Media tips and etiquette take you a long way. What do you think?

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