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Chris Anderson

Curator, TED

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Let's save our inboxes by adopting this Email Charter!

Everyone I know is drowning in email. And every hour we spend working on our groaning inboxes is simply making the problem worse for our friends and colleagues. This stressful upward spiral can only be solved by us all agreeing new ground-rules. That's why a couple weeks ago I floated the idea of an Email Charter. the idea 'went viral' and I was deluged with suggestions and comments which I've tried to weave into this final version, just launched today. http://emailcharter.org

I would absolutely love to get feedback from the brilliant TED community. Do you agree that this is an idea worth spreading? How could we improve it?

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    Jun 30 2011: Great list, Chris, many thanks! The only thing I would add is a respect for the distinction between "to" and "cc". Accept that people in "cc" don't feel a need to respond. Send the message "to" the person you want an answer from - and preferably only to that person.
    • Jul 24 2011: Just don't forget Bcc. Proper use of Bcc makes sure replies only go where they are welcome, and protects recipient privacy.
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        Jul 24 2011: Hello Stephanie,

        Could you be a little more specific on what you mean 'proper use of bcc'? Personally, I try to avoid it because it is intransparent. To me, using bcc is a sign of lack of trust in and transparency towards the other adressees.
        • Jul 24 2011: Aside from the "cc someone behind everyone's back" use case, there's also the broadcast message use case, which boils down to:

          If you are going to waste my time with those cute pictures of a cat that you cc to 1500 of your closest friends, don't.
          If you decide to do it anyway, at least take two seconds to protect my privacy, prevent a reply all flood, and prevent spammers and malware from having an easy time harvesting email addresses by pretending the To and CC fields aren't there, and only using bcc.

          This explains it better than I can. http://bccplease.com/
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        Jul 25 2011: I understand and share your concern for privacy, Stephanie. Still, I can see why this is not part of the charter: sending a mail to a whole lot of people in bcc may protect their privacy, but it's still spamming. I don't think it an idea worth spreading ;-).

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