Monday, December 18, 2006

Module 2 - Exercises

1. What information about a user's email, the origin of a message, and the path it took, can you glean from an email message?

You can easily see information such as the senders email address, origin ISP (through headers), and general content (through the subject), as well as priority.

2. In what cases would you find it useful to use the 'cc', 'bcc' and 'reply all functions of email?

The carbon copy function is useful when you want to send the same email to a group of people, who generally already know each other - such as within a workplace. The blind carbon copy function is more private, and can be used to send to many people, but you may not wish the recipients to know who else the letter was sent to. The Reply All function allows you to quickly reply to multiple e-mails, which for example may be asking you to attend a meeting/lunch etc...the reply might be "I can't make any appointments from 23/12-27/12, as I am on holidays." Etc...

3. In what ways can you ensure that an attachment you send will be easily opened by the receiver?

Ensure you know which systems/applications you are sending too, and what file type/format and encoding should be used. Also, provide alternative arrangements should the attachment not be accessible.

4. What sorts of filters or rules do you have set up, and for what purpose?

E-mail sent from myself, to myself automatically goes into a special archive folder. E-mail from known spam addresses goes to my spam folder -so I don't have to read it. E-mail from newsletters/mailing-lists I have signed up for goes to another folder so that I can read it at my leisure - all of this makes organization simpler, and saves my inbox from clutter.

5. How have you organised the folder structure of your email and why?

As above, folders for inbox, outbox, spam, archive, leisure etc. - Again this aids organization.

What are the pros and cons of email lists versus discussion boards, and are there certain kinds of communication or purposes more suited to one than the other?

E-Mail lists, from my perspective are much more of a one-way interaction. They are useful when you need to tell a lot of people something, and only expect minimal if any feedback. Forums are much more interactive, and facillitate more interaction and "discussion" - as the term "discussion board" suggests. It is more useful in situations where people want to bounce ideas of each other, or just have a chat.

Finally, I prefer IRC/MSN as an interactive tool for communication. - It provides real time responses in an easy to use, simple environment. IRC is best for group conversations, where one-on-one is good over chat programs such as MSN/Yahoo.

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