February 4, 2010

Surf’s Up – Internet News

…. dedicated to providing information about the Internet.

Email Basics
By Chris Cournoyer
e-mail: webmaster@ccx.net
Domain: www.ccx.net

You have to admit it: Email is truly amazing! You can send messages to people all over the world and get responses almost instantly, sometimes even with photos attached. This article will give you some basics about how to send and receive more efficiently and

Email Addresses

The format for all email addresses is username@domain.general and breaks down as follows:

“Username” is the ID of the person who has the address, whether real or an alias.

The “@” symbol attaches the user to their email box location.

Note: If an address doesn’t have the @ sign attached, it’s not an email address!

The “domain” refers to the provider or host of the email box.

“General” refers to a three-letter extension signifying the type of email provider.

Note: “.com” refers to a commercial entity, “.org” to an organization, “.net” to a network provider, and “.edu” to an educational institution. These are the most common extensions.

Sending Messages

To compose a message:
1. Locate the Compose Message command.
It should be on your email client’s menu or toolbar, although it may have a different name. Other possibilities include Message, New Message, Compose, or New Mail Message. Look for them under the File or Message menus.
2. Address the message.
In the To field type the e-mail address of a friend or family member, such as john@abc123.com or joeschmoe@yahoo.com
3. Copy the message to yourself.
Move your cursor to the “Cc” line, and type your own email address there. By doing so, you will send yourself a copy of the message.
• Cc: “Carbon Copy” – This sends a copy of the message to another person.
• Bcc: “Blind Carbon Copy” – This sends a copy of the message to
another person without any reference to that person in the actual email.
4. Give the message a subject.
Move your cursor to the “Subject” line, and type a meaningful, but short description of what the email is about.
5. Compose a message.
Position your cursor in the message field, the large open space below the headings. Type “Hello Jennifer,” and press Enter. Then type, “I’m sending you this message as I take the ‘Email Basics: Sending Messages’ lesson.” You can add anything else you like to the message, then “sign” your name if desired.

A few hints to get you started
• Test your configuration by sending email to yourself.
• Remember to keep your replies in context. Have you ever gotten a phone message like “That’s a great idea, Jim, let’s work on it Monday.” The only problem was that you didn’t know which idea the person was talking about. E-mail can be like that.
• Keep your replies to messages to the point. Only include the important comments and questions from the original message.
• Just like in life, it never hurts and often helps to be polite and courteous when sending e-mail.
• Use Common Courtesy: Hello, Hi, Good Day, Thank You, Sincerely, Best regards. All those intros and sign offs that are a staple of professional communications should also be used in your business e-mail communications. Always have a salutation and sign off with every e-mail.
• Down Edit Your Replies: Don’t just hit reply and start typing. E-mail editing is a skill that takes time, diligence and effort to master. And, this is a skill those you communicate with will appreciate as it lends to reflecting a respect for their time and clarity in your communications. Removing parts of the previous e-mail that do not apply to your response including e-mail headers and signature files removes the clutter and keeps the conversation on track with fewer misunderstandings. Once an e-mail goes back and fourth a handful of times most likely the subject is no longer entirely accurate and has veered enough off the original topic to possibly start a new thread. Do so when appropriate; do not continue an e-mail thread where the subject no longer applies. Don’t forget, e-mail is not a replacement for human interaction and there is nothing like having a good old fashioned meeting to tie up loose ends!
• Reply to All: Use your better judgment when using the Reply To All feature. In many instances, your comments may not be appropriate for “all” or “all” may not be interested in your comments.