RFC - e-mail in tough environments

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Wed Dec 9 21:48:47 UTC 2009

Matthias Kirschner <mk at fsfe.org> writes:

> I just published a blog entry [1]. Although I explained this topic a
> lot of times in the past I never wrote down the most basic principles
> of e-mail usage. Now I finally did it so I can point friends who are
> news in the Free Software community to this short guide. If you find
> it useful I will add it to wiki.fsfe.org.

That's very good (with Sergey's correction), thank you for taking the
time to write it.

>     - *Mailinglists* Use list-reply. It is not necessary to include
>     the sender in To: or Cc: if he is subscribed. If the e-mail
>     programs are configured correct the sender will be Cc’ed if he is
>     not subscribed or wishes to be Cc’ed.

(In English, it's “mailing lists”, two words not one.)

Perhaps make the point that if your mail client doesn't *have* a “reply
to list” operation, it's best to pressure the vendor to add this
standard feature and/or switch to one that does have it. But that might
be too much for this guide.

>     - *General remark* The better you structure an e-mail and the
>     better you present the content — the higher is the chance that
>     people will read your e-mail.

I would prefer this to be phrased to encourage thinking about the
message from the reader's point of view. A sentiment like “make your
message easy for someone else to read so that more people will easily
read it”, phrased in your own words.

 \     “I must say that I find television very educational. The minute |
  `\       somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book.” |
_o__)                                                    —Groucho Marx |
Ben Finney

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