10 Things I Hate About You…r Email

I hate email.

  1. Re: RE: Fwd: FW: FW: LOL. If you couldn’t even bother to remove some of the myriad prefixes, I probably don’t need to see your hilarious sexist joke that was dug up from the bowels of 1996.
  2. While we’re on it, your subject lines. I don’t know what “meeting notes” refers to, nor “we talked about this yesterday.” On the other hand, “document I was speaking to a person about which refers to the important decision we need to make (perhaps this should be sent to Bob instead?)” is just about as worthless, and has the added benefit of making me have a small seizure. Learn to think.
  3. Reply all.
  4. You don’t need to be writing me at 8 p.m. if it wasn’t important enough for you to pick up the phone and call me. It can wait.
  5. It’s 2012, and you’re writing me an email? It’s not that you’re not special, but you’re not special. I’m sorry that I forgot your message — It’s just that you chose the one communication method out of twenty available to you that has the highest number of competing messages about discount car washes, music purchases, bill reminders, outrageous political threats, and young females taking prescription drugs and performing equine acts that are illegal in the lower 48 (their status in Wasilla is up for debate). You just performed the Internet equivalent of sticking a takeout menu on my front door.
  6. Your infuriating ten-line sparkling rainbow-colored Comic Sans MS legalese-infused signature. Do I need to know your job title, phone number, and favorite Muppet every time you write me? Why the hell are you telling me that I should delete this email and forget it if you shouldn’t have sent it to me? For that matter, why are you telling me your email address again?
  7. A link. As the entire message.
  8. “You’re welcome.” When all I said was “Thanks.”
  9. Attachments. It’s 2012, and you’re not using Google Docs, YouTube, Dropbox, or an image host? Please stay off the Internet until you’ve learned to pedal without training wheels.
  10. Your words in general. They’re so uncommunicative, illogical, unintelligible, painful. I think computer keys should be as physically painful to you as your pathetic creeping attempts at human discourse are to me. Sorry, I know it’s not true for everyone, but it’s the case many people. (If you find yourself disagreeing, give yourself a nice pat on the back, because you’re one of those many people. Now turn off the computer before you hurt yourself. Blues Clues will be on soon. Hey look, a shiny penny! For you!) Look, it’s not that you’re illiterate, it’s just that it looks like you banged your face against your keyboard to the beat of “Yankee Doodle” to create your prose. Or maybe you fell asleep and your cat opened Outlook and walked across your keyboard. I don’t know. But honestly, I’ve seen better writing come from a cell phone in someone’s back pocket. I no you can’t bare to here it, butt you’re righting sucks.

Best Practices in Social Media – the basics

Similar to Chris’ Google series, I thought I’d introduce a series on Best Practices in Social Media. Feel free to shout out your own best practices, tips and tricks, or suggest a topic for another post for the series.

Some of these best practices might be very basic to the self-proclaimed social media expert, but novices might appreciate a thing or two in these introductory posts.

We can get into detailed social media channels in subsequent posts, but let’s just start with some basic housekeeping items, shall we?

Let’s be real

Social media isn’t a place to hide. Sure nobody’s stopping you from lurking, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of social media? If you’re going to be on social, make yourself visible. Participate and engage with the community and most importantly – be real!

Or in layman’s terms: use your real name! This is especially important if you’re trying to brand yourself or promote your company’s brand. You will command a lot more respect and credibility from those you interact with, and even gain some new friends in the process.

Strike a pose

So while you’re busy being real and interacting with others virtually, there’s one crucial part of your online profiles that must exist – your profile picture. Now, there’s a little flexibility here depending on the network. You can choose the same professional picture for each social network, or you can have a different one for each depending on what it is.

I know a lot of people who change their Facebook profile photos on the regular from anything to their kids, dogs, and even recent beach vacation. That’s all fine and dandy if it’s your personal page with your friends and family as connections, but if you run a business page on Facebook, that profile picture should represent your brand – not your kid’s latest art project.

For Twitter, most people have a fun headshot of themselves as their avatar. It’s not as buttoned up as LinkedIn, but not nearly as informal as Facebook. Please, whatever you do, don’t leave any of the default avatars you can choose when setting up your Twitter profile. Nothing screams infrequent newbie user like a default avatar.

LinkedIn is considered the most professional of the social networks and therefore should have the most professional looking head shot of them all. You don’t have to have anything professionally done nor do you have to be in a suit and tie, but don’t go posting photos of your last bar outing as your main photo.

Not only should your personality come across in your posts, but also in the profile picture that you choose. This will help your audience connect to you easier and relate to you better. Just please – keep it PG in all instances.

Open up a little

I say “a little,” because I don’t connect with people I don’t know on Facebook. To me, my personal Facebook page is my private space for my friends and family only. Period.

With that said – I am a completely open book on Twitter and LinkedIn. I really don’t see the point of having a Twitter account if you’re going to protect your posts. Not only don’t your retweets show up to others unless you have granted them access to follow you, but any hashtags that you use won’t get picked up because they’re all hiding behind your brick wall. (I had one coworker learn this the hard way.)

While you have the option to block people from following you on Twitter, it’s never really an issue unless it’s a spammer or someone who just looks plain creepy. Most people are genuine and if they follow you, are interested in what you have to say.

If you’re on LinkedIn, connect with people – even if (gasp!) you don’t know them. If you’re not on LinkedIn, then what are you waiting for? LinkedIn is not the place to be fake – it’s where professionals go to connect with others in their industry, job search or just to gain knowledge to help further them in their careers.

There are a lot of hidden gems on this professional networking site. Take some time and look around and take advantage of them, but the depth of LinkedIn’s potential is another post entirely.

So there you have it – we’ll dive deeper in future posts, exploring each social network in-depth. If you have a specific question on any of them, or want to see a particular post, just let me know!