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Reply to All - but me

For those that hate to be included in a bit of social banter whilst at work.
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
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The situation: An email is sent out to friends and work colleagues regarding a spectacular social event. Many people on the list don't know each other as they are from different scoial groups. Now, as the recipients begin to hit the Reply-to-All button having seen a large majority of their friends in the mailing list, some of the more uptight working types start to get a little miffed. That's their prerogative.

However, the said 'miffedites' tend to then hit Reply-to-All with the message "Please delete my address from any future replies to this email" to halt the constant barrage of chatter into their inbox. This does, however, seem overly killjoy to many and as punishment for making them feel guilty they victimise the miffedite with continuous unabated Reply-to-Alls. Or, indeed, halt their fun for fear that others may feel the same.

I suggest a Reply-to-All-but-me button. This, rather than blocking the multitude of senders as junk mail (some of whom are the miffedite's friends), simply blocks that particular thread subject. That way they don't get pestered by everyone's social networking, and don't have to look like an uppety workaholic with no friends.

It's so simple it *must* have been baked...

theleopard, Oct 18 2006

[link]






       …in the form of chatrooms.
Ian Tindale, Oct 18 2006
  

       Yes, I thought about that, but you don't send an invite out for a spectacular social gathering in a chatroom as the recipients will be of a particular group, ie the users of that chatroom. Email is much more widely used. I suppose a link to a chatroom where further discussion on't might be a possible solution, but, for the majority of workplace's, chatrooms of this kind are blocked by firewalls.
theleopard, Oct 18 2006
  

       Well, that's idiotic. A more sensible strategy is to accept that people will communicate within social group boundaries at work, and rather than have them clogging up the email servers with pointless ephemera, have them do it in an internally-hosted group IM or chatroom environment, where it can be constantly backgrounded or ignored, or dipped into as and when.   

       Of course, if corporate ICT strategies are structured in such a manner as to intentionally attract vastly increased volumes of inessential email, collecting it, auditing it, hoarding it, disseminating it out to each person's local stash of email and chiselling each chirp of chit-chat into the rack of ages, then that's an ICT strategy that's not facing reality at all, and will have to revise priorities to step into the future.
Ian Tindale, Oct 18 2006
  

       //have them do it in an internally-hosted group IM or chatroom environment//
It's a sensible suggestion but would this be available for those outside each particular work group? Because the idea is to allow all the recipients, regardless of their location, access to the discussion.
And wouldn't companies prefer this chirping not to occur at all and not want to actively host it?
  

       Perhaps an email that contains some kind of java script to continuosly update replies in to the one email would be better. Like a chatroom in an email that everyone has access to and isn't blocked by corporate firewalls. Is that possible?
theleopard, Oct 18 2006
  

       If you are using a decent mailer, just select "ignore thread".
webfishrune, Oct 18 2006
  

       //Perhaps an email that contains some kind of java script//   

       Bone for that anno!   

       I don't like anything that even remotely suggests active scripts in email. Common internet netiquette also dentoes that when sending to a list posts should be plaintext only.
webfishrune, Oct 18 2006
  

       [webfish] but the (anno) idea is a good one - i.e. structuring email into discrete threads, therefore allowing Tindalian dippage.   

       I agree, a javascript implementation might not be ideal - but as you state, a good mailer should be doing this already - the problem being that using the current smtp protocol (is that like saying PIN number?) you're only able to implicitly define 'conversation' or 'thread' by matching subject lines - which is fine until loads of people decide to independently send you a message whos subject is "Hi".   

       As for the idea - it has been (or normally, can be) done - it's just not widely used in most email clients.
zen_tom, Oct 18 2006
  

       //If you are using a decent mailer, just select "ignore thread".//   

       I use Outlook you see, and after a quick search in the help file it doesn't have an "ignore thread" option, which is basically my idea in a nut-shell (though perhaps it could also implement some quick search and compare process of the email's text to aleviate the "RE: Hi." problems that [Zen] mentioned).   

       If it's baked, it's baked.
theleopard, Oct 18 2006
  

       //I use Outlook you see//   

       Well I did say a decent mailer ;-)   

       <duck>   

       Seriously, anything apart from Outlook and Lotus Notes would be fine.   

       //it's just not widely used in most email clients//   

       I beg to differ, it's just not used in Outlook.   

       Oh, and thread sorting is not done by subject line, take a look at the RFCs or search on google.
webfishrune, Oct 18 2006
  

       Update: FYI: Outlook Express seems to be able to do this too, but not Outlook.   

       I would still advise you choose a better (read non-Micro$oft) MUA however. Thunderbird mail is good and is free.
webfishrune, Oct 18 2006
  

       But this isn't what email is built for - it doesn't work very well in this mode. It's simply sensible to use a technology that is better suited for multiple real-time participation at a disposable and conversational level. If the problem is firewalls, then that's the problem - fix that problem so that a multi-user IM or chat can be used properly by adjusting the firewall correctly. Don't just pervert an existing creaking unsuitable technology when the fault lies elsewhere.
Ian Tindale, Oct 18 2006
  

       Ian,   

       I don't agree neccasarily. I also don't recall the original idea saying that this should be used for real-time communication. IM/Chat is good for chat that is immediate. Discussion via email is not neccasarily immediate. I use many mailing lists and these would not lend themselves will to being converted to IM/Chat based systems.   

       One of the great things about email is that you can reply when it is convenient to you, you can prioritise messages yourself and in the main it is not time sensitive. That is to say, if you reply to message x in thread y, your message will appear as a reply to message X in thread y. On IRC, you could be on a channel discussing moon habitation. If you reply immediately your reply is in context, if you wait and reply four hours later, your reply about moon habitation is nonsensical as the group is now discussing world politics.   

       Email holding context is one of the things that makes it easy to fit around our work. Using IM or IRC usually requires us to concentrate a chunk of our attention on that whilst we are participating.   

       Also, it is quite often required to look back over the history. It is also often the case that someone is not in the office. When they are back, they can skim the thread and are up to speed quickly with a minimul of fuss. Threading also allows us to reply to sub-points of a discussion and our reply is logically labeled as such. Due to this it is much easier to keep structure and logical flow.
webfishrune, Oct 18 2006
  

       What can be more relevant to international politics than discussing moon habitation?   

       I agree by the way.
theleopard, Oct 18 2006
  

       webfishrune, - true.
Ian Tindale, Oct 18 2006
  

       I thought this was going to be about when you hit "Reply to All", then send, how the email is uneccessarily sent back to yourself. Maybe I am doing something wrong, though.
Zimmy, Oct 18 2006
  

       Being that I am often the subject of this very discussion I think that this is a very good idea. I enjoy a good email discussion that everyone on the recipient list can witness. Unfortunately not everyone agrees with me so I have to bun this one!
Jscotty, Oct 18 2006
  

       Why not just autodirect emails from yourself into another folder? You may decide to junk many of the messages there undread (since you know what's in them) but having such messages around short-term can help you make sure that you actually sent them.
supercat, Oct 18 2006
  

       //an uppety workaholic with no friends//   

       Oh dear. Is that a bad thing to be?
pertinax, Oct 18 2006
  

       "ignore thread" would be the way to do this. It would be very complicated and out of character to do it on the MTA.   

       But there are other ways of doing it, such as setting up a mailing list or web forum for social talk, or requiring a tag such as "TALK:" in subject header - something that could be set as a company policy.
jmvw, Oct 18 2006
  

       Most mailers will also easily allow you to set a custom header on which others can fiter.   

       For example:   

       X-Random-Shit:   

       X-Inane-Jokes:   

       X-I-Hate-My-Boss:
webfishrune, Oct 19 2006
  

       These are all precautions you can take in the initial email to make it easier for people to ignore the thread or have it moved automatically to a different folder, but what the user sometimes will need is a reactionary method to halt the emails that his friends, unaware of the annoyance they are causing, send each other.   

       Basically an ignore thread button... With a search capability to find the initial email's text ensuring that only that particular thread is ignored, regardless of subject header.
theleopard, Oct 19 2006
  

       It's not entirely clear if you are looking to (a) not be bothered by having to see an annoying thread, or (b) conserve resources (whatever they are) by not having the mail sent to you.   

       The first one is a mail client solution while the second one will require some cooperation between the mail client and the mail server [see webfishrune's note]
d, Oct 19 2006
  

       //I use Outlook you see, and after a quick search in the help file it doesn't have an "ignore thread" option//

But you can set a rule so that any message with <your chosen phrase> in the subject line gets dumped with no further intervention.
angel, Oct 20 2006
  

       The reason for this idea became somewhat elevated about half an hour ago. I had to send out an apology and request for halting a particular thread that I instigated yesterday, as some recipients found it irritating when it became, shall we say, popular. If you can imagine an email with its electronic tail curled neatly between its legs, that's what it looked like. My position stands, the Reply-to-all-but-me button is a good idea...
theleopard, Oct 20 2006
  

       When I first read the headline I thought my coworker had signed up and posted the idea I've been talking with him about.   

       But alas, my idea is safe... Mine is more of a 'Send a message to a group of people except this one part should only be visible to certain people' type idea used for inside jokes or blatantly making fun of someone in the middle of a serious mail.
craigts, Oct 20 2006
  

       //Perhaps an email that contains some kind of java script//   

       Java has applets, not scripts. There are JavaScript scripts, however. (I think.)   

       Confusing, I know.
ihope127, Oct 21 2006
  

       I am usually one of those "reply all" buggers. While this gets baked (It HAS TO) I might try to make sure I reply to the people who, to my criteria, will actually be interested on whatever I have to say. +
Pericles, Oct 22 2006
  

       [Angel] is right - one could create a rule on Outlook. But I very much doubt that the sort of people who complain to their colleagues about email are the sort who could use the "Create Rule" options.
bungston, Oct 22 2006
  
      
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