I came to accept HTML email as somewhat necessary evil. Or rather, I’m wiling to acknowledge that it has legitimate uses. For example HTML links are much nicer and convenient than those 5 mile long URL’s. Most email clients will take a URL and linkify it for you, but when the address spans 3 lines (like for example every single website on microsoft.com) a simple link is usually more elegant than truncated or word-wrapped URI. So if you send me an email which contains a HTML link or two I really won’t get mad. In fact at least one of the applications I coded up recently, routinely sends HTML emails – but these are essentially time sensitive reports that need to be formated into tables. And HTML tables look nicer than ASCII tables – at least to normal people.
What irks me though is the blatant abuse of HTML at the hands of some people. For example, is writing your entire email:
really necessary? I can really understand the aesthetic value of being able to write some words in bold or italics for emphasis, without using some old school tricks like using asterisks or underscores but come on. Using this type of formating is a selfish, and inconsiderate. Fortunately most clients are able to strip shit like that out of emails. For example my KMail is able to rip off any funky formating generated by Outlook but it leaves well formed HTML alone. I’d like to think that this feature was developed for this very reason. ;) Unfortunately the HTML emails generated by Thunderbird are not stripped and so I’m still left to suffer ugly ass correspondence.
If your email looks anything like the example above you need to seriously stop. It’s not cut! It does not give your emails more personality – it just makes them look as tacky as your myspace page. All it does is tells your recipient that you are a pompous, selfish luser with no aesthetic tastes whatsoever. If you want to play around with HTML get a myspace account and create a lovely theme with a dark on dark color scheme and a screamingly bright background image that just drowns out everything else, like everyone else does. But leave your email in the default boring font – especially your work email. Yes, I actually exchanged emails with people who used similar font and color for official work related correspondence.
These people were not working with me, or for me. My boss would probably have them publicly flogged for something like that. I guess the email etiquette rules at their place doesn’t really exist. Nevertheless I found it very unprofessional – not to mention annoying.
You already know my opinion on tacky email signatures. I just needed to get this out of my system. Email is not your myspace page. People actually need to read it (does anyone actually read myspace pages? I thought they were mostly about pictures and ugly ass layouts). Note that not everyone enjoys your super sized, raging pink font as much as you do. Be considerate!
[tags]email, html email, email format, email formating, ugly emails[/tags]