Strengths and Weaknesses of Email

While email is a useful tool, it can sometimes be misunderstood.

Some Useful Tips

1. Please be careful with the tone of your message. It is easy for readers to interpret your message differently than what you meant. In particular, it's easy to read anger into a message, when none was intended. Remember that there is no body language, or voice emphasis to give the readers clues.

2. Along the same lines, jokes and sarcastic remarks are frequently misunderstood.  You may want to include special symbols to point out your attempts at humor. The standard smiley   :-)   is the most frequently used symbol to convey humor.

3. All capital letters in email, implies SHOUTING, and should be used where shouting is appropriate (which is not that often). Emphasis can be added to individual words or phrases by surrounding them with asterisks, *like this* or CAPITALIZING just the few words needed to make your point.

4 .Email is not the best media for criticism nor bad news. You may be better off talking in person or at least via the telephone.

We have put together some links to articles on the net that discuss both the aspects of email: the advantages and disadvantages:

Excessive Email Use & Misunderstood Emails - Have They Given You Multiple Personalities?

Using Email Effectively

Advantages of Using Email