Another season of Game Of Thrones has come to an end, but something was different this season. No, not just the concept that it might be a bit tired, or that it might be relying ever more on shock tactics, but in the way that spoilers have spread online.
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As anyone who has ever written anything even slightly critical of an Apple product can attest, saying something other people disagree with is likely to inspire a volley of abuse. But just what inspires people to spend time screaming online at someone with different views?
A new study out of Lehigh University shows that workers lie 50% more of the time via email than in handwritten communication.
"There is a growing concern in the workplace over email communications, and it comes down to trust," says Belkin, an assistant professor of management in the College of Business and Economics. "You're not afforded the luxury of seeing non-verbal and behavioral cues over email. And in an organizational context, that leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and, as we saw in our study, intentional deception."
Why waste time schooling clueless email senders one by one when you can build a web site to do it for you? A recent trend among email-overloaded web developers who don't want to explain the basics of email etiquette to frequent senders is to set up a web page that does it instead—then reply to senders with a link to the page, or just include it in their signature. Merlin Mann's Thanks, No turns down unwanted email; Mike Davidson's five sentences explains why his email messages are so short; and now Brett Kelly's BCC, please asks that bulk senders use the BCC field to hide his address from everyone else on a big list. The question is: would you ever actually use any of these explainer pages?
The dead tree version of Wired (March 2008 issue) has a handy hint for how to break up on Facebook without sending a news blast to your friends list about it. To change your relationship status without the press release, go to Facebook's privacy options, deselect "Remove My Relationship Status" then, in your profile settings, change "In a Relationship" back to its default setting "Select Status".Voila, now you won't be broadcasting the news of your recent split to the world.The article points out that your ex's Mini Feed will still display an update in *their* relationship status, so you can't get away scot free. They'll need to delete it themselves. Oh well.
Observing a heated argument taking place on Twitter prompted Coding Horror blogger Jeff Atwood to write an article urging people to consider the public nature of internet comms tools like Twitter, as well as the fact that it's often quicker and easier to nip an argument in the bud by taking it offline.
Know when to escalate from IM to email, from email to phone, and when to drop the ultimate communication A-bomb: a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes people are hesitant to escalate communications even when it's painfully obvious that they should. Resist the urge to reply in kind, however tempting it may be. You'll both have a more productive conversation when one of you finds the wherewithal to escalate to "let's take this to email", "let me call you", or even "let's meet for coffee".
If your online professional conversations turn to flame wars then you are making yourself look bad and making it harder to work well with people. Knowing when and how to call a ceasefire can save you time and keep conversations constructive.
Two years ago, you trained others on email basics and etiquette.
A recent survey shows that one in seven people have suffered the same fate as Kevin Federline and been dumped via text message, Reuters reports today.
The survey said 15 percent of the 2,194 people questioned had been dumped by text or email, although a quarter of those in the most tech-savvy 18 to 24-year-old age group would choose the traditional method—a letter.
Auto-complete can save a lot of time in addressing emails, but sending a tossed-off "Can't wait for this day to end" to your boss Rick instead of your friend Rick ... well, that's trouble. Rob Griffiths at Macworld offers his simple solution for avoiding this in OS X's Mail, but it's valid for nearly any email client:
In my case, I created two new groups in Address Book (File -> New Group, or click the plus sign in the lower left corner). I named one da boss (because, well, he is) and the other wrx (which is the brand of car my friend Jason owns) ... I then dragged Jason Snell's contact record into da boss group, and my friend Jason's card into the wrx group.
Tips on other methods to keep contacts separate are welcome in the comments.Avoid misdirected Mail messages
About to email a tirade flaming your co-worker for the rude, abrupt message he just sent you? Wait. The New York Times reports on the psychological reasons why email is so easily misread and misunderstood:
Face-to-face interaction, by contrast , is information-rich. We interpret what people say to us not only from their tone and facial expressions, but also from their body language and pacing, as well as their synchronisation with what we do and say.