Netiquette 101

July 6, 2006 psipsina

Yesterday morning at work one of our system administrators sent an e-mail to a list that was set up to notify people when a specific system was down.  Then one of our QA analysts made the mistake of replying with a load of technical information that most people on the list don’t care about; they just need to know when the system is up or down.

So now a lot of people, folks like editors and media producers, are wondering why they are getting this technical information.  One person figures that he’s subscribed to the list in error, and instead of replying to the original author, replies to the whole group, “I don’t think I should be on this list.  Maybe you have the wrong Chris?”

Then follows a flurry of other people asking to be removed from the list, using Reply to All, followed by a note by the sysadmin saying, “No, you all need to be on this list, it’s just that someone is using the list for the wrong purpose,” followed by another flurry of “Remove me” e-mails, followed by a mini-flurry of people saying, “Please stop using ‘Reply to All'” followed by yet more Reply-to-All-Please-Remove-Me messages, including, irritatingly, one from my boss, who, judging from the length of his career in Internet businesses, ought to know better.

End result – instead of everyone on the list being annoyed by, oh, 3 or 4 e-mails that were over their head in the technical realm, everyone on the list was annoyed by about 40 e-mails from people who don’t have a large enough vocabulary to realize that “All” is a synonym for “Everyone” and therefore Reply to All GOES TO EVERYONE ON THE DAMN LIST!!  WHETHER THEY WANT TO SEE IT OR NOT!!

Shame on you, coworkers, you made me use a bad word.  And, even worse, a double exclamation point.  Twice.

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