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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 29th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 79 > Articles > Neomail Etiquette III

Neomail Etiquette III

by leb388

Untitled Document

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 and here.

Review

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.

The Name

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.

The Reason

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.

Proper Etiquette

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!

Folders

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 away.

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.

Neofriends

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.

Blocking

Many people asked me about this, since I said in a previous article that "Anything especially offensive should be reported to abuse@neopets.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 abuse@neopets.com 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 there.

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 list.

Neomail Titles

"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 own.

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.

Other

"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 this list:

  • 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:

Interviews

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 of Neomails?

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 Neomails?

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 add?

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 them.

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 abuse@neopets.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, Neomail me. Until next time!

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