Send links not copies -- by Eugene Reimer 2010-Oct14

Date:    Thu, 14 Oct 2010 19:38:11 -0500
Subject: Re: Fw: Talent
From:    Eugene Reimer <ereimer@shaw.ca>
To:      chris toews <carlkoff@yahoo.com>
CC:      larry g giesbrecht <clgcomm@mts.net>, Patrick Friesen <patrickfriesen@shaw.ca>

Thanks Chris for passing that on -- I enjoyed it.  However there is no need to attach a copy of the video.  You can easily find an online copy and then send a link -- a handful of bytes instead of millions of bytes.  One of my missions in life is preaching against this wasteful (of internet bandwidth, as well as diskspace on your friends' computer-systems) practice of sending enormous videos, slideshows, etc by email, when the proper way to communicate in this modern world involves utilizing links. 

Here's a link to an online copy of that video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIX3UJPM3xU

PS: "Send links not copies" is the best I've come up with as a slogan for this campaign.  I hope you will join me in trying to convert the sinners of the world.  I'll put up a rant on this subject (see http://ereimer.net/rants/index.htm for other subjects upon which I've ranted) as one small contribution.  However I fully realize that webpages won't do very well in reaching the sinners; the sinners are often people who are comfortable with emailing and forwarding emails but who do little googling nor otherwise browsing the world-wide-web, and therefore to reach them one must respond to forwarders of very large emails (as I'm doing now). 

On 2nd thought there may be a better way to go about this: the biggest factor that contributes to this sinful behaviour is the dumb choice of settings both Microsoft and Apple use as the default for their email software, in that they do not normally display the size (in bytes) of the emails being displayed.  This suggests that lobbying Microsoft and Apple, and possibly our lawmakers to put pressure upon Microsoft and Apple, to include a Size column in the one-message-per-row summary of emails may be the most effective way to promote the "Send links not copies" cause. 

cheers,
Eugene


2011-02-15:  An email of the sort I dislike clearly illustrates why a link is so much better than a copy.  The first thing I want to know when receiving a story and/or a set of photos is the source.  A link automatically provides info on the source -- the URL identifies the website the page comes from, so one can visit the website, look around for an "About Us" webpage, and so on.  Note how automatic it is.  That is important;  no effort is required (on the part of the sender) to provide info on the source, yet such info is provided just the same!  See Grizzly Bear Photos for the contents of the email and more on this subject.

Say you receive an email containing a link.  A link that looks like ereimer.net/InsectPhotos.htm.  Just by looking at it you'll observe that the website is ereimer.net and the webpage is the InsectPhotos page on that site.  The full name of the webpage or its URL being the link we started with. 

To "see" a link, you hover on a clickable thing and the link appears either by popping up or in a location reserved for such, typically the bottom left corner of the window.  The thing you hover on may (but needn't) be text that's the same as the link.  In emails it usually is, in webpages it typically isn't.  (A clickable thing doesn't have to be text, an image can be clickable.)



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