Tag Archives: Email

UCSD: Accountability for oversights?

ist2_393610-approved-rejected-stamps

A while back I discussed the ever-annoying “reply all” emails that lazy individuals e-vomit into inboxes. In those cases the senders are aware of their messages, albeit possibly only semi-consciously.

So what about accidental emails like the one I sent in college to a non-responsive interviewee in which I was complaining about said interviewee? It was meant for my instructor, and it got to her eventually, but not before I angered the unintended receiver and made him think twice about speaking to my class ever again. Shit. 

Some of goof-ups are harmless, sure. And sometimes flub ups simplyteach us the hard way to be more careful.

But some of these mistaken messages could be harmful. Take the congratulatory email the University of California – San Diego sent to 28,000 rejected students (in addition to 18,000 accepted students) last month. Ouch! While apparently the admissions staff “acknowledged the pain” they caused and spent time replying to every inquiry,  I have to wonder: If they aren’t sued for this, when will the next similar situation occur wherein the faulty sender is?

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Taking it one step further…

A while back, I praised the Nielsen Company for disabling the “Reply All” functionality in Outlook. Now the company may take an even bigger step in controlling sharing. In an email sent to the BASES division from a VP of the company today, it appears they are allowing employees to vote on several forward-thinking cost-cutting measures. Here is one idea:

Remove the “Send” button from Outlook. How many times have you come back from vacation and had 1,452 emails waiting for you, including 323 reminders that your inbox is over its size limit? Well, help is just around the corner if you vote for this proposal.  We have noticed that the “Send” functionality in Outlook results in a great deal of in-box clutter. By removing it, we will dramatically free up associates’ time and untold server space. In-person communication is often more effective than e-mail anyhow, since it gives you a chance to “read” your co-workers’ faces and look for certain “tells” or even facial tics. For long-distance communication, phone calls will continue to be a viable option, as are smoke signals (where permissible by local law).

Other options suggest that the next operating system could be based on the “sturdy and time-tested Excel platform” and that April Fool’s Day emails could be sub-contracted in future fiscal years.

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Filed under Email, Just HAD to Share (Random)

Not Kodak’s Moment

Christy, age 3, and Shannon, age 7

Christy, age 3, and Shannon, age 7

Here is one of my parents’ favorite old pictures of me and my sister. The quality is poor because it’s old, it’s not digital, and my dad xeroxed it and then snail mailed it to me.

I prefer to use and was happy with Kodak Gallery for my picture sharing. And, when I finally got a Mac, I was even happier to learn that there is an easy upload application for Mac users. But some bad news came this week—Kodak jumped on the “strengthening” the Terms of Services bandwagon. Here are the basics of their new policy, which is also oh-so-cutely highlighted on their homepage:

  1. You must spend $4.99 annually if you use 2GB of storage or less.
  2. You must spend $19.99 annually if you use more than 2GB of storage.
  3. If you don’t follow rules A/B, your pictures may be deleted.

Yikes! The good news is that I’m covered for this year. But, now I’m nervous. The phrase “may be deleted” is a bad thing when it comes to priceless memories. Will Kodak notify me prior to cutting me off? I assume so, but still…the beauty of the Kodak Gallery—the ability of freely share photos with everyone with an email address, including my dad—is gone.

I was thinking of switching to Snapfish, but it turns out they have a similar policy. Hmm… On one hand I don’t blame these services for trying to make a buck. And, minimum purchase requirements seem less stingy that annual fees I suppose. Then again, I believe that some users might prefer the peace of mind of just paying for use up front; the alternative as it stands now a) seems like a hassle to stay on top of even if your status is communicated clearly and b) comes across as purely restrictive and negative with the deletion threat.

In broader terms, what is really happening here is an older company trying to hold on to an old fashioned (i.e. hard copy) way of doing business.

The solution to this issue? I haven’t a surefire one. But, I bet it lies somewhere in between considering the free service as a branding investment more than as a storefront and rewarding users who pass on their pictures (and the brand) to others and do spend money, rather than punishing those who do not.

Now, look at this: a video highlighting the Kodak brand in general and, by default, the Gallery in particular, too. (The longer version is even more touching, and is the thing that compelled me to dig up the ol’ photo above.) Consider the core message—it boasts a strong story, yet is almost laughable considering the new Gallery codes.

“Keep me, protect me, share me, and I will live forever…Keep it Kodak.”

For now I will just ensure all of my pictures live in iPhoto on my hard drive. Over time, I will probably shift my dollars spent on prints to be through this site, too, because it will become my new photo home base. The only problem now is that sharing high resolution images from iPhoto to non-Applers (i.e. my dad) becomes tricky.

Clearly, I’m on the market for a new picture portal. I want to have my cake (free storage) and eat it (be able to share via email), too. Does anyone have any recommendations?

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Filed under Case Studies, Fostering Sharing

Kudos to Erdős

roomatesillustration1My friend Denise recently conquered the NYC roommate search labyrinth. To the right is a diagram of how she won in this oft-frustrating game.  I highlight this successful scenario tonight:

  1. because taking advantage of an Erdős number is way more hip that taking advantage of CraigsList nowadays. 
  2. because I’m happy for her. (Doesn’t it just feel safer to sleep down the hall from a friend of a friend of a…?)
  3. because it’s a relief to know that a broadcast email that made its way to the inbox of stranger to the original sender can do good in this world.

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Attention fellow Bloggers!

will-work-for-attentionDear classmates,
As Kim and I were chatting Tuesday night, we realized that adding a website/blog link to the signature line of your email is an ideal way to (discreetly) spread the word.  If you haven’t already, why not do it now?
Sincerely,
Christy (www.christypill.com)

PS- Thanks, Kim! (Media for the Misses)

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