Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Netiquette of The eternal email meeting - Netiquette IQ Blog Of 3/30/17

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The Eternal Email Meeting

        Email and the lack of Netiquette have spawned a new category of appointment: “TEEM” (the eternal email meeting). Since email allows indefinite last-minute changes and postponements, many people postpone meetings time after time, often for weeks or months. As can be expected, a significant amount of these end up not occurring at all. This can be frustrating all the attendees. Good Netiquette might have prevented a host of these TEEMS, and consequent loss of time, strain on relationships, damaged reputations, and frustration and resentment. It is in keeping with proper Netiquette that, when an appointment, meeting, or event is committed to in writing, a best effort be made to accommodate everyone.
        Some individuals do not know how, or find it difficult, to say no to a request to meet. Others may have ambivalence about meeting and resort to postponing an appointment multiple times. Of course, many times having to change is necessary or appropriate. Here are some good basic Netiquette rules to apply:
  1. If it is not desired or necessary to have a meeting, session, or conversation (such as solicitation for a service), simply say no and, if warranted, state clearly that the meeting is not desired.
  2. Also provide a time frame in keeping with the circumstances. Be specific, whether time frame is never, in a week, or longer. If possible, schedule the meeting or event immediately. If this is not possible, specify when the next contact should be and who should initiate it. If these details are left without a resolution or commitment, it is likely confusion or unnecessary actions will result in  time being wasted.
  3. If an appointment needs to be moved, notify the appropriate parties. Good Netiquette behavior requires a brief apology and explanation. Usually it is not necessary to elaborate upon what specifics are involved.
  4. Know the difference between postpone and cancel. Many people do not clearly specify if an event or meeting is meant to be postponed or, rather, canceled altogether. Either way, an explanation and regrets should be stated.
  5. Confirmations: when an invitation is sent out or offered, request a reasonably prompt reply. If the process is automated, reply as quickly as possible. Should a tentative acceptance be necessary, state when a definitive response will be provided. When an invitation has been proffered and no reasonable answer given, it is well within Netiquette guidelines to resend the request after a period of at least 24 hours. When initiating a second request, do so in a polite manner, without assumptions or scolding. Rather than feeling ignored, it may very well be the case that you have been the reason for the delay by virtue of a misspelling, wrongly selected email account, or an aggressive spam filter. Regardless, it should never be assumed an invitee has received the request, opened it, or had the time to read it.
  6. Reminders: the longer the time between an invitation and an event, the easier it is to have any lapses in attending. It is appropriate Netiquette to make sure that at least one reminder is sent between 24 an 48 hours of the scheduled event. If any of the attendees are traveling, make sure all are aware of this, so as not to cancel or postpone without good reason. If you have sent at least one reminder and not had a confirmation, it is prudent either to call or send another polite message notifying the party or parties that without a reply, the meeting will need to be postponed (not canceled).
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In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

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In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.

Additionally, I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services.  Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology market.

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