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Page history last edited by ElizabethHS 9 years, 11 months ago



One of the most frequent problems for EVO moderators is how to manage emails


You will probably experience an avalanche of email in the first 2 weeks of a session. You should read every email, and you really need to respond in a warm and welcoming manner to your new group and help make it cohesive, but you don't want to add to the flood in everyone's box. The Moderators group often discusses this problem, and two main methods of handling mail are usually the best. This page also offers some general ideas to ease the load.


Please add to this list if you have some more ideas!



General suggestions for handling mail


  • Share the burden with your co-moderators: 2-3 days for each to respond to all mail, then switch. (Use the >Daily Digest when it's not your turn.)
  • Get your guest speakers to respond to email on their topic for a few days--meanwhile, you handle more general queries and comments.
  • Reply to a group of emails on the same topic, rather than to each individually. Mention names directly in your response.
  • Be welcoming and responsive, but you don't have to answer every email--that just adds to the flood.
  • Encourage participants to respond to each other and not simply wait for the moderators to respond--this encourages participation, too.
  • Switch your mail reception options around, depending on how heavy the flood is-- >Individual Email when it's heavy (usually the first two weeks) and >Daily Digest when it gets lighter or less urgent
  • You may want to set a special "Conversation" or thread designation for Problems to read first and respond to quickly (or put this in your wiki)
  • Make sure your Subject heading is accurate before clicking >Send



Choosing the right email option


Suggestions for the  >Individual Email option


If you opt to receive messages individually in your mailbox:


  • Answer individually, reading from most recent to older daily (you'll see which ones have already been replied to). Delete as you read.
  • Or, scan the whole list first, flagging those that need attention/response. Print the ones that present complex problems.



Suggestions for the >Web Only option


If you opt not to receive messages, but read them at the YG website:


  • When it is your turn to respond, go faithfully to the MESSAGES area daily. Use the >Daily Digest option to receive mail in your inbox at the same time, as a back up. 


Yahoo! Groups has several message reading options:


  • a single numbered list
  • >Simplify (titles only)
  • >Expand (also referred to as Summaries, where a brief part of the message is given)
  • >Group by topic, either simplified or expanded.
  • View messages in the summary list (expanded). 
  • Don't group by topic unless you are looking only for a particular topic, because you will not see all the replies, just the first message in a thread.


  • When you click on a message, all the messages in that thread or group will be displayed above and below it in chronological order, so you can quickly see what messages have already been replied to already. Your reply will show up immediately in the list, so you can glance at it to see if you have covered everything.


  • After finishing a thread, click on >Next (right side of the window). You will see the next message, whether you read it in the summary or not. Or you can >Return to Message List  and select another message to read and follow that thread. Read messages will appear in purple, so you can keep track of what is already viewed.



Suggestions for the >Daily Digest option


  • If you set your mail to >Daily Digest, use the >Reply by web post option. Otherwise your reply will include ALL the messages in the digest and be humongous!
  • Don't use >Daily Digest when the mail traffic is heavy, e.g., in the first few weeks while you are sorting out problems, because it usually takes a full 24 hours to get a digest.



For a description of how to set your email options in YG, see Editing Email Options-Participants in this wiki.




Sorting Mail


You can keep mail from your EVO session separate from your personal or school mail in several ways:


  • Yahoo allows you to have several different addresses. Use a separate Yahoo Identity just for EVO.
  • Yahoo allows you to refer mail with a particular header or subject to a separate folder automatically. You can set up a folder to receive messages from your EVO.
  • Use a mailer, like Outlook Express, which can sort your EVO mail into a separate folder.


 The Electronic Village Online is a project of TESOL's CALL IS

2008 - E. Hanson-Smith

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