The World Wide Web is about people-it is not about computers!
Part 2 Writing Letters
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Part 2 Writing
E.mail is the first point of contact with the communities of the Internet. How do you find those who share your goals? The e.mail access to the web. How to index and process the letters you receive. Learn about the rules of conversation and build your own desktop web page.
|Finding Communities-Listservs||Doing Everything With Letters||Processing Letters|
|The Desktop Web Page||Assignments||Style and Independence|
do not let your questions go unanswered.
Click here for communication tools.
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People with common
interests arrange to communicate with each other via e.mail using listservs.
A listserv is a computer program located on a computer which will keep a list of e.mail addresses and send all of the mail it receives to all of the members. Listservs are little communities.
In order to become a member of an e.mail subscription list you will need to register with the computer which runs it. You will generally send a message with the word subscribe to the host computer. The computer will
then send you a list of rules and procedures which you should print out and save in a safe place. Those
instructions will tell you how to send the right e.mail message to remove yourself from the list. The computer will include in that message the address to use to send an e.mail to everyone on the list. This could be
hundreds and hundreds of people. Sometimes lists generate a lot of e.mail. If you can't handle the load you can subscribe post and then unsubscribe. You can read messages in the list archive or by a service that archives lists such as: http://www.reference.com
When you join a list introduce yourself and ask any questions you might have. But, don't just join to find information or help. Remember the list is a little community. Try to help others and always be polite. Never complain about another person's style or messages to the list. If you have a problem complain to the list owner who will work it out for you behind the scenes. Perhaps you could also e.mail the offensive party directly off list. Keep to the topic of the list and you will have a good time.
Lists come in all topics and forms. They are the cutting edge of the Internet community. A good place to share information about other web resources.
To find a list check these links:
Doing Everything With Letters
Almost anything you can do on the web or on any other dimension of the internet can be done
via e.mail. It is a bit slower but if all you have is access to e.mail its how you must proceed.
Here is a great resource to find out how to use e.mail to access dimensions and functions of
the Internet. http://www.december.com/net/tools/index.html
Keep in mind that you can also mail yourself web pages from most web browsers. It is usually done via the fille menu at the top bar. Even using the Lynx browser you can mail yourself web pages.
This is useful for those who find themselves without access to web browsers
or other client programs.
It does take longer but it is better than nothing.
Some people have auto responders. All you have to do is send a message
to them and you will
get an automatic response. You can set up an auto responder message by obtaining an account at
They call it a holiday notice but it works fine as an auto responder too.
Remember also that obtaining e.mail addresses is your key to expanding
your world on the web.
The more addresses you have the more web space you can obtain!
When you communicate with a person via e.mail it is important to process
the information you receive carefully.
Most e.mail accounts and programs have address books. You can save addresses and groups of addresses in these. Where possible it is helpful to keep a list of addresses as a group when you will be sending the same sort of message out to many people.
Saving e.mail addresses in the guest book is only part of e.mail address processing. You should also write the
addresses down. As you have worked out your topics and interest areas you will be able to add the e.mail address to the relevant topical pages. Write down why it is that you have saved this address. Save the address under several topics as necessary.
Writing down e.mail addresses is essential as from time to time web browser programs are lost and gone along with them are all the addresses.
Remember also to set up files for important e.mails. All those emails which give permissions or convey passwords or important instructions should be printed out and filed.
Keeping in touch- some people should be contacted regularly for update information. When this is the case use a calendar or diary book to remind yourself who to contact about what and when. Do this when you first record the e.mail address.
Include with the address the addresses of any web pages related to the person.
Be considerate of privacy. Whenever you send out an e.mail with multiple
addresses put your own address in the to spot and make everyone else a
blind carbon copy recipient. That way no one else will get the other's
e.mail address. Keep records of those who do not want their e.mail addresses
given out or those who do not like to receive large attachment files.
The Desktop Web Page
No matter where you go you can have a valuable home page appear on the screen of your terminal.
As you use the Web and Internet you will have a number of e.mail addresses
you write to often.
These can be installed on a web page as mail to links.
You will also have web pages which you visit frequently. These can be made into links.
You can list the links of many other resources- dictionaries, translators,and
The list is endless.
Once you have created a web page with all your favorite links you can
save it on your hard drive and or
floppy disk. You can set it up as your Home Page- the page to which your browser opens when you start it up. It can go any where you go and make your life on the web efficient. You can also add to it.
Your personal desktop web page can be just as effective as the fancy
web portals designed by netscape
and others and it is portable.
You can also visit http://www.crayon.net/ and design your own news and information page- make it a link to your desktop page.
Style and Independence
As you work on the Internet you will find many opinions concerning style
Remember however, you are dealing with the whole range of human personalities when you work on the Internet. You will find the perfectionists, the nit pickers and those who are addicted to comment critique
and trouble making.
While you yourself, will always be polite you should also not have to
worry about your personal style
and freedom of expression. It is important to remember, however, who you are writing to and where you are writing. In certain places anything goes but in some news groups and e.mail lists your freedom is limited.
Be sure to read the fine print of e.mail list rules. You will also have to respect the wishes of others. Remember
for example which persons do not like to receive e.mail attachments. Write all of this information down in your organized book.
E.mail is a wonderful medium. It is immediate- you can be as informal as you wish. Some people proof read their e.mail as they would a major publication. This takes time which detracts from the immediate and instant nature of the process. I tend not to proof read and treat e.mail as a conversational medium. Remember you are not always writing a research report or a business letter. People should be able to understand that.
If others insist that you change your ways simply respond politely that if they wish a proof read and corrected document that they are welcome to proof read it and spell check it themselves.
You also need not respond to angry letters. Keep a copy however with
its full header just in case that person can not learn when to quit. Any
nastiness should be reported to the persons internet provider. But....you
will have to have evidence. Also it is important for you to be tolerant
of others. If someone flies off the handle from time to time be forgiving
and as understanding as possible.
Find an e.mail list for a topic you are interested in and join it
Create a Crayon Web Page
Make yourself a desktop web page and learn how to open it up in your browser.