Saturday, July 16, 2016

Email formats

There are basically three formats of text. Plain text is the
simplest, the most spare. HTML is the most complex, has the most
options. Rich formatted text is between the other two: simpler than
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and more complex and with more
options than plain text.

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to get my blog posts
emailed by Gmail to about 100 recipients. Most spammers are trying to
sell something and a common approach is to insert a link to pictures
and more enticing text to convince people to buy. I am not selling a
product and have been trying to send posts in plain text format. That
means no font options. All letters have one shape each and besides
that, one size each. So, if the writing is too small to see
comfortably, change the format or copy it all and paste it in Word or
Google Docs. It is probably fastest to hit "Reply" and then work on
my original message to enlarge or change the font used.

When writing has internet links embedded in it, it is often referred
to as "hypertext". The links can be a handy tool or an enticing
diversion. If I write in plain text, I can insert the letters to make
up a link but you would have to copy them and paste them in a URL
window (address window) of a browser like Chrome or Firefox or Safari
or Microsoft Edge.

I get fewer bounces using plain text. I am also aware that using
Google's Gmail and Google's Docs and Google's Blogger (web pages of my
blog posts, available all over the world) all for free is a
combination that is attractive to people everywhere who want to make
money over the worldwide web. So, spammers who send out unsolicited
email can be a pest. There was a cartoon in the New Yorker magazine
the other week of a clerk saying to a customer "and what is your email
address so we can email you every day for the rest of your life?"

I also get fewer bounces if I do not send right at dawn. Most
continuous ads and "deals" and shouts to buy ME are sent in the
predawn hours.

Google Think is about insights and practices Google uses or sees being
used on the internet. That group and its Monday newsflashes has
steadily focused on the change by a large segment of the population
from using computers to using smartphones. Smartphones are smaller
and may not be as convenient to use to manipulate text. If you tend
to get messages on a smartphone, maybe it would be easier to find a
way to have the messages spoken aloud. Or, for greater privacy and
less annoyance to others, it may be possible to enlarge the print if
you need to.

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