Neomail Etiquette III
NEOPIA CENTRAL - This is a continuation article and part three of my article
series, Neomail Etiquette. Some of you out there may be thinking, "Is leb388
ever going to stop this whole Neomail Etiquette thing?" Of course, the answer
is yes. This will probably be the last NE (Neomail Etiquette) article you see,
and the last one was a few months ago. But in the previous two times NE articles
have been published, many people offered feedback on what future Neomail Etiquette
articles should include. Various ideas included:
- how to write/choose proper subject lines for the Neomail title
- Neofriend request information and blocking issues
- questions regarding how to save Neomails
- questions about politeness and manners in Neomail--etiquette
This article will include a summary of the previous NE articles, contain new
titbits of advice and information, and this article also contains a new feature
to NE--two interviews on how to deal with Neomails, featuring:
- perfectpaws, who is speaking about Neomailing to users you don't know
- chansey104, who is speaking about Neomail between friends (chatting)
But first, on to some topics I avoided or only scratched the surface of in
the last two NE articles. As it's been awhile since my last NE articles, you
may want to read them by clicking here
As a recap of the last two articles, to Neomail someone either go to their
lookup and click "Send.Message," or copy and paste their screen name into the
Send section of a Neomail. Neomail is a way to talk to other Neopets users if
you're over 13, sort of like e-mail. This article deals almost entirely in the
"Neomail" section, accessible from the yellow sidebar on every Neopets page.
If you look up "Neomail" in a dictionary, you obviously won't find anything.
Neomail is a word named from Neopets and e-mail that the
Neopets Team created. And etiquette? Etiquette is a real word that comes from
French, meaning good manners. So, the title of this article means "Neomail
Manners," only more sophisticated.
Well, the first thought I had that started the articles was: Hmm, a lot
of people are Neomailing me, and there isn't anything in The Neopian Times on
Neomailing yet! Instant idea. So I made up a guide--or two--or three...explaining
what it is, and, of course, how to convey the message you want through Neomail.
History of Neomail
Sifting through the old New Features pages, I could find no information on
Neomail. Maybe it was created to send S.O.S. messages in secret during an old
war. Maybe I just didn't look hard enough and skipped over it, or it was one
of the first things put up on Neopets and therefore wasn't recorded in the news.
Whatever the reason (probably the second or third), Neomail has been around
awhile, and is almost as important as the games, the shops, The Neopian Times,
or the worlds.
However, I found that Neomail is largely underrepresented in The Neopian Times,
even though it's a prime component in the spread of the popularity of the Neopian
Times--after all, how many other newspapers allow you to contact the authors
and artists of the work you're reading almost instantly? This is also why I've
put together these help guides to inform about the uses of Neomail.
Etiquette, or manners, is the purpose of this article. To convey your message
and/or make friends from Neomail, you need to be able to properly use etiquette.
Here are some tips:
- Always be polite to someone you don't know, even to people who send criticizing
or rude Neomails. Name-calling or other mean ways of "giving the person what
they deserve" never works.
- Using proper English, including good grammar and spelling, is very important
when writing to someone you don't know. Only capitalize proper nouns and the
first letter of a sentence, and remember to use correct punctuation. Even
if you're not the best at this, simply reading through your Neomail once or
twice and fixing any errors you find before you click "Send" will probably
result in you receiving a better response.
- A simple rule for a word, phrase, or sentence you're not sure about (i.e.,
a joke that may be offensive): When it doubt, leave it out.
More on this issue in the interviews section!
There used to be a lot of problems with folders being deleted and Neomails
being lost, and my suggestion is not to put Neomails you want to keep in a folder--keep
them in the Inbox (your main folder; all Neomails sent to you are directly sent
to your Inbox folder). For things you can spare but would like to keep, file
To make a folder isn't hard; it's a pretty self-explanitory process. Go to
the "Folders" area of the Neomail section, type in a name for your folder, and
then at the "Inbox" section, click the checkbox next to the Neomails you want
to move, and select the folder you want to move them to from the drop-down list
at the bottom of the page.
The best function of folders is that you can use them to store more than 100
Neomails (only one hundred are allowed in your main Neomail folder, the Inbox),
so if you like to keep Neomails, folders will be very useful for you.
My policy for Neofriends is to never accept a Neofriend request unless the
person requesting Neomails me first, but I delete Neofriends off my list after
about a month or two of the person not Neomailing me. This way, I don't have
a long list of names of users I don't know to sift through whenever I want to
send an item (one of the only perks of being someone's Neofriend) to a friend.
To make a person your Neofriend, go to the "Neomail" section of Neopets' yellow
sidebar and click "Neofriends." Type in someone's username at the bottom and
he or she will be notified that you want them to be your Neofriend, and he or
she can either accept or refuse. If they accept, you'll be notified as well.
Or you can click on the "Make.Neofriend" part of their userlookup, or even click
"Make Neofriend" after they send you a Neomail, and the same process will ensue.
Always ask the person if you'd like to be Neofriends first, though, because
many people (including myself) won't accept someone's Neofriend request without
a Neomail first.
The only benefits of Neofriendship is that you can see your Neofriends' ages
and send them items. Neofriends aren't displayed on your userlookup or anywhere
else, so if you just want to Neofriend someone popular to show off, then tough
luck. Also, some people probably won't let complete strangers be their friends
right away, and you need to prove to the person that you're worthy of Neofriendship.
Many people asked me about this, since I said in a previous article that "Anything
especially offensive should be reported to email@example.com." But what's considered
offensive? Well, obviously if someone says something like, "You're stupid,"
then simply ignoring him or her, or putting his or her screen name on your "block"
list (Accessible through the "Neomail" section) will solve the problem. But
if someone says something I can't repeat here or tries to send you a scam, e-mail
the firstname.lastname@example.org address giving the person's username, when they contacted
you, and what they said, and they will be able to take care of the problem from
Blocking is best for flamers (users who send you excessively criticizing, threatening,
or just plain rude Neomail) who consistently Neomail you after you request to
be left alone. You can either block someone by clicking the "block" button from
a Neomail or, like stated above, putting his or her screen name on your block
"Can you make an article about writing proper subject lines?" someone suggested
in a Neomail after the second part of Neomail Etiquette. No, I can't--that would
be the shortest article ever. But I should at least mention it, as it's the
only part of the Neomail (besides the sender's name) that shows up in your inbox.
There is a list of some "suggestion" subject lines, or titles, that you can
choose from, such as "Random Chat," "I'm bored--talk to me, please!" or even
"My pet is after your blood!" You can choose from one of these or type in your
To someone you don't know, such as a Neopian Times author or artist, write
something like "Article," "Neopian Times," "Story," or "Great comic!" or another
relevant title as the subject line. For someone you're just joking around with
and know personally, "My pet is after your blood!" which is one of the titles
you can choose would be funny, not threatening--but be careful. Subject lines
are close in importance as Neomails themselves.
"How do you save a copy of the Neomail that you've written to someone else?
Sometimes people take a while to respond and then I forget what I've written
to them," someone wrote in a Neomail after Neomail Etiquette II. I replied saying
something like the following, but afterwards I did a bit of research to create
- Try not to make your Neomail too long, and ask if the person can keep the
original message and write theirs before or after it. When you click "reply,"
it automatically adds the person's message to the Neomail you're about to
send, but many people highlight and erase this to save space.
- A method I once used is to copy a Neomail before I sent it and paste it
into a document of Wordpad (You may have Word or a slightly different program
on your computer) based on the date sent. So if someone sends back a reply
three weeks later, you can check back to see exactly what you wrote.
A lot of people also noted the fact that many people misspell words or use
improper grammar and punctuation in Neomails. I'm not perfect, and these are
common errors we all have probably done before, but some people just don't seem
to care about their writing. It's next to impossible to understand what Neomails
say sometimes, but thankfully most people can spell well enough to make sense.
If you find errors repeatedly after typing, proofread your work before sending,
and when you receive a Neomail that's hard to read due to spelling or grammatical
errors, but the person sounds sincerely nice, try to reply like it's any other
Neomail. If you just can't read what the person wrote, don't bother to reply.
And now, what you've all been waiting for:
Yes, finally the interviews! The people I interviewed chose the color they
wanted, and as for me, I'm magenta. I have the interviews in the order the people
were interviewed. First up is perfectpaws!
leb388: Hello, I'm talking to perfectpaws,
who is here to speak to you about Neomail. Thanks for being here, perfectpaws!
Explain your "claim to fame," on Neopets, so to speak. Why do you get a lot
perfectpaws: Well, I have to say that my inbox
is never full, but I get a good deal of Neomail because I have a guide on a
very popular Neopets help site. My guide is about the Wheel of Excitement. Many
people read it and decide to send me a Neomail with comments.
leb388: How do you usually reply to those
perfectpaws: I don't like to be rude, so I
reply to the majority of my Neomails. I love getting respectful Neomails that
show consideration, and I always reply to those as quickly as I can. I get some
Neomails that have a little slang in them or something related, and I do reply
to those, just not right away. I've recently gotten a couple Neomails with rude
messages, and twice I've gotten messages that say simply "Hi." Those I just
delete. My reasoning behind that is that they didn't put in effort to speak
to me, so I don't feel that I have to make an effort to reply.
leb388: I understand--I get a lot of those,
too. So is there any other advice you want to give to people on Neomailing,
both sending and replying?
perfectpaws: When sending, I think that if
you are really interested in someone's piece of work, you should show it. Write
your message like you are going to turn it in for homework-- that is, capitalizing
letters that should be capitalized and not the ones that shouldn't, for example:
dOn'T sPeAk LiKe ThIs OR LIKE THIS. Make the person feel like they are a priority
to you, and that you are seriously interested in hearing back from them. People
feel respected when you do that. Slang and representations for words when speaking
are irritating. For example, if you say "joo" when actually saying "you," people
feel like you are treating them like your peer, and even if in real life you
are, people don't want to be treated like that unless you know them. When replying,
you should also show respect, especially if the person treated you the same
way. I don't think that you should be stingy with getting Neomails, either,
especially if you do a lot of art or have a lot of stories in The Neopian Times.
People don't like to be ignored, and if you reply hatefully or not at all to
somebody who took the time to send you something nice, it gives out a negative
image. On the other hand, if you receive a Neomail with the message, "hi do
u want 2 b my nf," you shouldn't feel obligated to reply or even accept the
Neofriend request. I guess overall that means that you should always be respectful
and courteous with anyone you don't know, whether you are sending or replying
to any Neomail.
leb388: Great advice--I couldn't have said
it better myself. That about wraps everything up--anything else you want to
perfectpaws: Always act like you are less
important than the person you are talking to, and everyone will appreciate it
more than you can imagine.
leb388: Thanks, perfectpaws, for being
here. This has been leb388, first-time investigative reporter.
That interview went remarkably well, so I continued on to chansey104, one of
my best Neofriends. But instead of talking about fanmail, he talked about Neomail
to and from common people--just friendly chatting. Well, here it is:
leb388: Hi, I'm chatting here with my good
Neofriend chansey104, who's here today to talk to you about Neomailing between
common users. Chansey, you receive a fair amount of Neomails--why do you?
chansey104: I think most of it comes from my
real-life friends. But I also receive a lot of mail because of my high status
in my guild and being very active in the chatrooms. Another few Neomails come
from people I searched and complimented, but that comes rarely.
leb388: So how many Neomails do you usually
get on a daily and weekly basis? Are there lapses on days of the week or times
when you're not online?
chansey104: I get somewhere between five and
twenty a day, and an average of about a hundred a week. When I'm gone for long
stretches of time I get more Neomails because my guild is asking me about different
topics to review when I get back. When I'm offline for only an hour or so, I
get about the same amount of mail.
leb388: What would you rate them as? Good?
Bad? Somewhere in the middle?
chansey104: Most of the Neomail I get is good,
but every once in a while I get hate mail. Unfortunately, sometimes I get really
horrible stuff, which I report. I don't make a big fuss about the small stuff
though, I ignore it and then block it.
leb388: How do you usually reply to the
mail that isn't block-worthy?
chansey104: If it's not that bad and I am in
a good mood I send a mail disagreeing. If it's pretty bad, first I try to ignore
it. That usually ends it. Then I send a mail telling them to just stop it. If
they're my Neofriend, I delete them from my list. If none of that works, I block
leb388: Do you have any advice on replying
to Neomails, or Neomailing in general?
chansey104: When you write to a complete stranger,
you might want to make it really fancy with headers and signatures, people will
really respect you for that. Also, if someone buys something expensive from
your shop, thank them, they'll appreciate it. If someone writes you something
that just doesn't seem right, keep it, and report it to email@example.com. I
know you've probably heard this a million times, but it is really important.
leb388: Well, that's all the questions
I have. Thanks for your time! Anything else you want to add?
chansey104: Thank you for having me! I would
like to tell everyone to remember the golden rule, do unto others as you would
like them to do to you. And remember that if you don't have something good to
say, say nothing at all!
There you have it. Thank you all for reading, and also thanks to those who
agreed to be interviewed. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions,
me. Until next time!