By David Shipley and Will Schwalbe
Just this morning there was a cautionary tale in the news about an Atlanta manâ€™s e-mail to a woman who rejected him on Match.com. In an attempt to persuade this woman that she was missing out on a hot catch, he enumerated his many charms, including that he â€œhas an 8.9 rating on HotOrNot.com, drives a Beemer, can bench press over 1,200 pounds and has had lunch with the secretary of defense.â€
His e-mail made the rounds on the Internet until it found its way to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where I read the story. But the guy didnâ€™t just embarrass himself in Georgia. His rant also was featured on gossip Web site Gawker.com. The story generated 285,000 Gawker.com page views and over 3,000 online comments, most of them negative. Thatâ€™s a great argument for thinking before you click the Send button.
The concept of thinking before you launch your words into cyberspace permeates Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home This compact but powerful book covers diverse aspects of modern communication, including:
- When you should substitute a fax, letter, instant message or phone call for an e-mail
- How to apologize for an inexcusably late e-mail reply
- The politics of Cc and Bcc
- Flame wars
- How men and women use e-mail differently
Every aspect of electronic communication seems to be covered in this handbook, which was written by two seasoned professionals: David Shipley, Op-Ed page editor of the New York Times and Will Schwalbe, senior vice president and editor in chief of Hyperion books. They write with wit and style, which makes taking our medicine almost fun. Theyâ€™ve also infused the book with an understanding of the human condition behind our communications, making Send oddly comforting.
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