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Internet Communications: Lets Do It Right!

Email etiquette reveals more about you than you may think By G.A. "Andy" Marken

?The products associated with the Internet are where I spend a lot of my time right now. It is a revolution that is bigger than the invention of printing. It is a revolution that's bigger than the invention of the telephone, radio, or any of the major revolutions that we've had in the past. -- John Warnock, president, Adobe Systems

Warnock was correct in his assessment of the Internets capabilities, function, reach?and future.  The Internet is becoming a major source of information and entertainment for people around the globe.  We are online gathering information, conducting transactions, being entertained and most of all?communicating (Figure 1).

Fig. 1

Today, business people like you and I send more than 17 billion emails every day.  Unfortunately, industry analysts estimate that more than 70 percent of the Internet traffic is spam, phishing and other abuses of our bandwidth and time. 

Email has become such a vital link in business communications?business to business, business to consumer?that the government has established clear guidelines for email archiving.  Increasingly, email databases are subpoenaed and the information used against the defendants.  That means you as a professional have to be even more concerned about what you say and how you say it in your email communications.   

For company executives, email and Internet-based communications provide a new and exciting opportunity to reach people directly?shareholders, employees, consumers, business partners and business associates.  With broadband access already available in most businesses, we are accustomed to being able to effortlessly send enhanced documents, audio and video files and comprehensive presentation materials. 

The same bandwidth is rapidly being deployed in homes (Figure 2) as people begin to use the Internet to do more than just send email.  In addition, the ability to access this versatile high-speed communications tool is showing people that they can enjoy Internet radio and TV.  They can also instantly share photos and videos with friends and family. 

Fig. 2

In our always-on society it is increasingly easy to reach the consumer directly at his/her home computer.

Internet Communications Power
It is becoming such a widespread and immediate means of communications that Paul Vixie, author of a number of UNIX programs, warned; ?The Internet is not for sissies.  Long-time General Electric CEO Jack Welch put the technology in a more positive light when he noted, ?The Internet is the Viagra of big business. 

We would have said it slightly differently because the Internet puts all business, large and small, on a competitively equal footing if it is properly used.  It provides unprecedented opportunities to reach broad and niche markets and customers anywhere in the world. 

As a result, it should be one of the primary communications tools of every business professional.  Unfortunately too many of us are ?typical Internet users (Figure 3).  Youre undoubtedly using the Internet more for other activities than communicating with business partners and customers.

Fig. 3

And you probably do it all subconsciously.

Then at the end of the day you find your to-do list hasnt shrunk. 

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Related Keywords:Internet communications, email etiquette, information, entertainment, conducting transactions, communicating, business people, spam, phishing, abuses of bandwidth

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