Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reply to One, Not All

Last night a group decided the #1 online annoyance, other than spam and spoofing, is those who use "Reply to All" to email that doesn't request responding back to everyone. The "Reply to All" people seem to use that feature with most email they receive, not just select ones. And those who reply to only the sender, seem to routinely just reply to sender (unless requested otherwise).

"Reply to All" is also a typical way that an email goes to those not realized were blind copied and the responder regrets it. As the saying goes, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I often copy and paste a portion of an email to the sender into a new email rather than hitting "Reply" so my email response can entirely leave a thread. Too many group emails are carelessly forwarded to others, along with comments from others only intended for the sender.

3 comments:

David M. Patt, CAE said...

I've been "tipped off" about an issue several times because someone in the e-mail chain replied to all - and I should not have been one of them.

As long as people are careless about sending e-mail, many of us will be given access to information that we really shouldn't have.

Matthew Rathbun said...

Another good e-mail etiquette to help protect other e-mail receivers in this issue to send to everyone under Blind Copy (BCC). Unless everyone in the group "needs" to know all the receiptants, it's cleaner and doesn't distribute e-mail address to those who may not otherwise have them. I know that I've been e-mailed in a group where I didn't want certain folks to have my personal address - and I am even more frustrated when you get some useless response where they hit "send to all."

Chris Bonney said...

Cohesive Knowledge does email etiquette training and what they've found is that somewhere around 85% of people think misusing Reply To All is a nuisance, but only 15% think they are the culprits. Don't quote me on the numbers, but they are close.

Seems like many ongoing, unresolved business annoyances probably fall somewhere within these numbers, otherwise they wouldn't exist, right?

So what is the solution then? That's the blog post I'd like to see.