If you’ve been a part of a team or league for even a short time, you’ve probably already seen it. An administrator, coach or parent decides to send an announcement or ask a question via email to the entire team or league. There may be ten people on the distribution list. Or there may be 1,000. Almost always, though, there is at least one person on the list who decides his or her response or comment is worthy to be seen by everyone else. So, he or she opens the email and clicks the handy “Reply to All” button and off it goes.
This one action kicks off what is sure to be an endless stream of questions and comments and replies from everywhere across the league or team and the administrator is pulling out his hair trying to put and end to it all. For a few minutes, hours or even days, everyone is distracted. Everyone’s time is wasted. The team or league experience just became a little less rewarding and, worse yet, someone is embarrassed or has hurt feelings by comments made and viewed by tens or hundreds or thousands of people.
In light of this very real problem, maybe we should encourage leagues to ban the “Reply to All” across all team sports? Recently, in government and the corporate world, we’ve seen well-intentioned folks do just that. The State Department recently sent out an edict that banned employees from sending reply all messages and included "disciplinary actions" for diplomats who send them. And in the corporate world, ratings giant Nielsen decided to go even further by removing the reply to all button altogether on their corporate Microsoft Outlook application for 35,000 employees worldwide.
Seems like a good idea, yes?
No, not really. Just read some of the comments from Nielsen employees to see their reaction. And for teams and leagues, what about legitimate and useful questions or replies that the rest of the league or team could benefit from seeing? How else can coaches and admins collect valuable information and feedback like contact information or feedback on the team banner or setting practice schedules or picking a location for the awards dinner?
So what else can you do to cut down on inbox clutter? If you haven’t already, please visit the link in your site’s navigation called “Team Messages” (for team sites) or “Group Messages” (for org or league sites). Here you’ll find your new “SmartMessage Center” .
We’re striving to make SmartMessages not only an alternative to “Reply to All” emails, but also just an easier and much better way to communicate and share information across leagues and teams of any size. You can send one message to any distribution list--from your eteamz list, your own personal list, your Yahoo and AIM IM contacts --and everyone can respond to one shared “results page” that shows all the replies and comments in a very organized and sharable way.
We'd love to hear any of your “Reply to All” horror stories (no specific names please) and how your using the new “SmartMessage Center” - just comment on this post below.
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