Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why do good people get bad email?

Do good people get bad email? Do good people send bad email?

See also, Overloaditorium. Overloaditorium Motto: "If working 24 hours a day isn't enough, you have to work nights." - James Moss, ca. 1985, USNA

see one of our previous "Dangerous Discussions" about the boundaries between professional and personal lives… Whitman College policy discussion:
“An undergraduate who sends email to a faculty member between midnight and 6am may not expect a response in that same period.” Click here for more resources for/from that discussion.

Dimensions of Overload - How Many Online Persona Can You Sustain?

I already have trouble remembering all my usernames and passwords. Now I have to remember my online identities. I have to decide how much factual info about myself to divulge for which purposes, to which groups. And how truthful should I be? How should I choose what to include? What to exclude? What to exaggerate?

When I first opened a MySpace account - more than a year ago - just to see what it was like, I gave the minimum factual info - which included no more than my gender, age, and name. I immediately began to receive unsolicited solicitations, one of which began by explaining how attractive she found "more mature" men and offering me some photos of herself. Now I realize I had no way of knowing whether that individual was a desperate Lolita or an online sales rep for a popular pharmaceutical company prospecting for potential purchasers of a well-known product that many of us would have been embarrassed to discuss in any public venue ten years ago. If the latter, he might have been older and at least as masculine as myself - no matter whose photo was attached.

Second Life and other virtual worlds and online gaming systems permit (encourage? require?) participants to be represented by "avatars" with imaginary names and appearances and other characteristics.

Social networking Web sites permit (encourage?) us to present different descriptions of ourselves to different audiences. Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post concludes his editorial today with "… the best option may be to avoid the temptation to put all your information at any one site. Put your work credentials at one place, but present the party photos at another, less public location and schedule the potluck dinners at yet another.

"Should you find it easier to center your online life at one place, though, remember this: Good social-networking sites help you meet other people, but great ones also help you avoid other people."
Excerpts above from "Friend? Not? It's One or the Other," By Rob Pegoraro, Thursday, July 19, 2007; D01; Washington Post,

How does this relate to good or bad email?

It's all part of the burgeoning overload of messages thrown at us every second and the still-accelerating growth in information accessible to us.

Tomorrow we'll commiserate about the overload, especially email, and exchange ideas for coping. We can help each other feel less guilty about ignoring each others' email when we know that we share the same burdens.

We could even declare a moratorium on sending, scanning, or reading email DURING our weekly FridayLive! sessions. Could YOU ignore your email for 1 hour? Me neither.

So, how did you have time to read this far? Will you have time to join us tomorrow?

Click here for FREE but REQUIRED advance registration!

MORE EXCERPTS from Pegoraro's Column:

"Social-networking sites like the big three -- MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn -- act as a sort of shared address book, letting people post profiles, leave notes for one another and find out whom they know in common.

"…when the private and professional overlap at these sites, you can spend more time worrying about your image than building your network.

" co-workers started becoming Facebook friends too. It would have been rude to decline their requests, not least since some were my bosses. My Facebook exposure kept increasing, and my Facebook social life started getting broader and shallower than the real thing.

"For those who find their work and home worlds merging, Facebook provides a long list of customizable privacy settings. (MySpace and LinkedIn offer much less flexibility. MySpace only permits three levels of profile visibility: public, over-18 users only or friends only.)

"But Facebook also lets users fine-tune dozens of other aspects of your online identity, including which parts of your profile are visible to whom and what sort of communication you'll welcome from others. You can also hide applications you've added that, for example, map your travels or graph your political leanings, if you prefer to keep those private.

"Most Facebook users, however, don't touch those options."

"Living with technology, or trying to? E-mail Rob Pegoraro Read more at: "

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