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To memail or not to memail - that is the question. September 20, 2012 9:00 AM   Subscribe

What is the etiquette (or should be the etiquette) of memailing responses to individuals as a result of AskMe comments?

I had a really personal AskMe, and was really happy to get a lot of awesome, awesome, kick-ass (and often intensely personal) responses. I know AskMe isn't the place for chat, but a lot of the things said I would like to respond to, and thank people individually beyond just a generic "Thanks for helping!" update.

However, I'm not sure what the etiquette is on this. Help me! If this was (or is) you, would that be weird for you, or fine?
posted by corb to Etiquette/Policy at 9:00 AM (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

If it was me, totally fine. I like getting me-mail -- especially when it's nice!
posted by amanda at 9:05 AM on September 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


I figure if someone comments on your AskMe and you wanted to respond in a way that was thankful or personal or otherwise engaged, that's a fine thing and one of the things MeMail is for. We try to discourage people from using it to continue some sort of "Thanks for nothing, jerk!" back and forth if at all possible, which I realize is absolutely not what you are asking about.

Adding an update to the thread that is sort of a wrap-up "Thanks so much, especially soandsoa and soandso for their responses that helped me get at one of the parts of this that I wasn't thinking through clearly" that isn't opening the door to a bunch of further in-thread discussion is likewise totally fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:08 AM on September 20, 2012


I have gotten messages like these before and was happy to know that I'd helped in whatever way. So that's one data point, I guess.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:08 AM on September 20, 2012


In general I'm not a big fan of MeMail, as I prefer to keep all my participation on MeFi public and not get involved in any private cliques or battles. Those occasional well-intentioned 'well said bro' memails make me more uncomfortable than the 'you complete asshole' ones (thankfully both pretty rare). The only reason I keep it going is for the occasional Music collaboration or the odd exchange with mods.

The reason I say all that is that this is really an exception to that and it would make me happy to get that kind of MeMail.
posted by unSane at 9:12 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've gotten memails like this and always appreciate them.
posted by rtha at 9:37 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always like seeing AskMe updates that say thank you and which let me know my answers were actually useful. I've gotten a couple of responses like the ones you're describing and I think it's a kind gesture.

PS: Congratulations!
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:50 AM on September 20, 2012


I've always appreciated the rare MeMail thank you. After all, the basis of this site is "community", and I've always seen expressed appreciation as a way to build community.
posted by HuronBob at 10:12 AM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have also received and appreciate this kind of MeMail.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:21 AM on September 20, 2012


Everyone likes nice mail. Everyone likes to be appreciated. You can hardly go wrong.
posted by orange swan at 10:35 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I appreciate all of you!
posted by shothotbot at 10:37 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I got a message like this recently years after making a comment from, and it made my day. Hell, it appears to have made my year because I am still tickled by it.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:49 AM on September 20, 2012


NO FATE COMMUNITY WEBSITE ETIQUETTE BUT WHAT WE MAKE
posted by fleacircus at 11:24 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know AskMe isn't the place for chat, but a lot of the things said I would like to respond to, and thank people individually beyond just a generic "Thanks for helping!" update.

Sounds like what MeMail was made for. If anyone who gives you a best answer replies to your thank you MeMail with WHAT THE FUCK QUIT SPAMMING ME you should buy a lottery ticket or something. A lot of folks still don't really know it exists though so if you don't get replies right away don't sweat it.
posted by carsonb at 11:24 AM on September 20, 2012


I've gotten some appreciative memails and I like getting them.
posted by mareli at 11:25 AM on September 20, 2012


I have done this, and I have received such MeMail, and I think it's nice.
posted by purpleclover at 11:38 AM on September 20, 2012


Note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by not_on_display at 11:42 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm new here. I'm still flabbergasted by the fave button.

I've gotten the occasional memail respose, but they generally rose above the "well said" catagory. These were from people who had a similar experience, and wanted to connect in that way. Not like regular email exchanges, but in a personal, "me too," and "thanks for noticing" sort of way. That's just me.

"Well saids" are always nice, though.
posted by mule98J at 12:22 PM on September 20, 2012


Yeah, this sort of thing is always pretty cool, and good on you for doing it.
posted by klangklangston at 12:25 PM on September 20, 2012


Oh, I still have a lovely, lovely email from someone who thoughtfully shared how 1 or 2 parts of an answer I gave helped change her thinking on something difficult she was going through. I appreciated it because I thought my response was kind of long winded, and one of the things was sort of a 'throw away' comment.

You never know what helps people. But it's always nice to hear that you did and how you did.
posted by anitanita at 12:57 PM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like to thank people when they've said something really helpful in response to a question I've had, and I hope they'd do the same for me. In the couple cases I can recall, people have either responded nicely or not replied at all, so as far as I can tell there's no harm done. I think of it like writing a thank you note as I would for, maybe, a gift or an interview.
posted by mlle valentine at 1:33 PM on September 20, 2012


I think that kind of thing is perfectly fine.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:53 PM on September 20, 2012


Every day I get another email that tells me I make wonderful comments, and that I'm a wonderful guy.

cron is a useful tool!
posted by davejay at 2:36 PM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now I'm feeling insecure and paranoid that I never get memail.

But if I got one of the kind you describe, it would make me very happy! I think everyone likes to feel that they've contributed something helpful to a thread, especially on AskMe.
posted by Superplin at 2:50 PM on September 20, 2012


I got one of those mails last month and it made my day.
posted by arcticseal at 5:45 PM on September 20, 2012


I treat MeMail like regular email, with a side order of it being about sharing awesomeness and not so much about work. Yay for MeMail!
posted by Sara C. at 6:08 PM on September 20, 2012


Sending a mail is fine. Putting a message in the thread telling everyone you did so is not.
posted by gjc at 7:30 AM on September 21, 2012


I like a nice MeMail. What I don't like is a cryptic insult about a comment I made months ago by a user who apparently paid their fiver just to MeMail me their insult. Who are you, strange software developer, and why oh why do you care?
posted by Beardman at 7:41 AM on September 21, 2012


I'd appreciate it, but probably not respond unless you were asking something in it.
posted by ejaned8 at 9:48 AM on September 21, 2012


It's a nice thing. The people who hate it would probably be few and far between, and I think anything that help the answerer know what was good, would help them give better answers in the future.
posted by undue influence at 8:18 PM on September 21, 2012


When someone does this to me I start noticing their participation more, and feel like I've gotten to know them a little bit.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:04 PM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've yet to run into the social situation or venue where a thoughtful and discrete "Thank You" is innappropriate. I'd say mail away!
posted by meinvt at 8:28 PM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always enjoy receiving a note of thanks or an update or anything like that.
posted by wierdo at 8:34 AM on September 24, 2012


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