Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 49

Their email addresses are all numbers. Long numbers. Most up-to-date systems allow users to choose their own handles, which makes life a lot easier for everyone who lacks a photographic memory.

Most email systems have Internet gateways. That means you can send mail via the Internet to people who use different email systems or services. Usually, the address within the service is translated to an Internet address. For example, if your CompuServe address was 12345,6789, your friends on CompuServe would just send their mail to 12345,6789. But, because I'm not on CompuServe, I'd have to use the address 12345.6789@compuserve.com.

Email address changes

People's email addresses tend to change fairly frequently. This can happen because of changes in a person's job, in a company's mail system, or in an individual's online service. For example, when Bill Clinton leaves the presidency, you probably won't be able to reach him at president@whitehouse.gov any more.

There isn't much you can do about this except be aware of it. If you have an electronic address book where you store frequently used email addresses, occasionally check the headers of email you receive to make sure all your information is up-to-date.

Q. My email system displays a great big window on my screen/beeps loudly/displays a little flashing icon every time I get mail. Does Netiquette require me to read every message the moment I receive it?

Certainly not. One of the great things about email is that you don't have to interrupt what you're doing to deal with it the way you do for a telephone call. As long as you're checking your mail regularly (daily for home users, two to four times a day for business users), you're practicing good Netiquette.

Most of those notifiers can be turned off if they annoy you. If you don't know how to do it, check with your email system administrator.

Of course, some of us have attention spans so short that we welcome


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