Re: New rules for business correspondence

Subject: Re: New rules for business correspondence
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 10:25:23 +0200

First, regarding top posting:

This seems an endless debate on some email lists and newsgroups.
However, many of us have the bad habit of simply adding our comment to
an entire thread and sending the thread on.

If you don't believe what a PITA this is, simply subscribe to *this*
list in digest form and see what joy it is to scroll past endless
garbage to get to new comments (by "garbage" I am not speaking so much
of past replies, but both the cruft that is automatically added by the
list software as well as seemingly endless repetitions of past

If nothing else, this will soon give you a certain amount of guilt
when you next you send a reply without trimming the unecessary "stuff"

Personally, given the rather lazy habits of those of us too often in a
hurry, I find bottom posting ludicrous as well as impolite, in that it
ignores the busy schedule of those who must scroll through things to
find a new comment.

Now, regarding "rules" for marketing or sales writing--there are some
very good copywriting blogs you can subscribe to via RSS if you wish.
These contain many techniques to write compelling sales and marketing
copy. Over many years wearing hats as a marcomm writer as well as a
tech writer, I find that the two are highly complementary. Some of
these are written by folks who make a very good living writing direct
mail copy--which can be a master class as to what people respond to.

A few such blogs you may find beneficial:

Robert Bly:
John Carlton:
Men With Pens: (And by the way, one of
their principal writers is actually female with a male pen name...)
Michael Fortin:

These should at least get you started.


On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 09:00, Mike Starr wrote:

> And there are those of us who have a genuine disagreement with that "rule". If I'm following an email thread, I've already read the previous content and have no desire to have to scroll through the quoted content to get to the actual new content. Why is vertical scrolling considered evil on web pages but not in email?

> On 12/2/2010 8:43 PM, Sandy Harris wrote:
> <snip>
>> the second thing to learn about email style is never to top-post. Replies
>> go after quoted text.

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