Dear Haiku Maven, I just got a blast email announcing the publication of a new book of haiku. This went to me and more than 50 other poets. The sender didn’t give any of us the courtesy of a blind copy. This is not a first for me. Last month I was one of 250 email recipients of a haiku news email announcement. Again none of us were blind copied. In both cases those who politely complained were met with less than polite responses by the email sender. I know this because the two of them hit “reply all” so everyone could read the response. After that things escalated. In fact, some of the blasters’ follow-up responses were downright rude. I’m worried about email viruses and my email getting hacked. I hate it when I’m part of a long email chain where everyone can see my email address. Do I need to change it?
Dear Ballistic, The practice of failing to use the “Blind Carbon Copy” (BCC) space when sending out a mass email violates basic email etiquette, otherwise known as netiquette. BCC use also prevents spammers from copying email lists, something inserting addresses into the “Carbon Copy” (CC) field of the email message does not. You have a right to be mighty steamed. In today’s world this type of netiquette mistake should not occur. Of course, every blast email sender is entitled to make a mistake at least once. (Even Haiku Maven once made this netiquette faux pas.) After one time though, he/ she should know better. An apology should be sent to all recipients of the first email, and, of course, they should be listed in the bcc field. If you are going to admonish the sender of the blast email, please just hit “reply” rather than “reply all.” That way you can lead by example. And as with things haiku, it is better to show rather than to tell.
The Haiku Maven posts each Friday to The Haiku Foundation blog. Haiku Maven offers advice about awkward situations involving haiku poets. The word maven comes from the Yiddish meyvn, meaning “one who understands.” Please use our Contact page to send a question. Haiku Maven will select a pseudonym for you based on your question. Click this link to see the Haiku Maven archive. Feel free to leave comments.