Much Internet writing is conversational -- email exchanges, comments on blog posts, threaded discussions, chat, etc. This is an example of conversational using email.
We have stressed the importance of carefully reading what others write and being careful to respond to what they say. We often do this by quoting excerpts from previous messages.
Conversations also include explicit or implicit commitments to do something, often with a due date. These too must be addressed in effective Internet conversation.
This is the transcript of an email conversation between me (LP) and the School administration (SA), School purchasing department (SP), and the University purchasing department (UP). In mid August 2009, I informed the SA that my laptop warranty was about to expire, and I needed to replace it. I received this positive reply:
Based on this, I sent a note to UP:From: SA To: LP Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 23:26:44 -0700 I talked to the dean about getting a laptop for you using the grant money. The answers are as follows: ...You should get a new one no later than Oct. 1 ...Your laptop should be no more than $2,200 as budgeted, including that
And received this reply:From: LP To: UP, SA, SP Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 2:21 PM Folks, I would like to purchase a laptop combining funds from my foundation account and the allocation from the Dean. I would like to move ASAP because the warranty on my current laptop expires in a couple of days. Sorry for the rush. Larry
Then SP took responsibility from UP -- they said they would handle it.From: UP To: LP, SA, SP Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2009 14:29:52 -0700 1. Send the configuration from the Dell web site. Gwen can you forward a = Req with the % that you are paying from the Stateside. 2. Also forward a PO from the Foundation
I was worried about the warranty expiring, so asked if I could speed the process up by configuring the laptop sooner:From: SP To: LP, UP, SA Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:24:20 -0700 Larry, Thanks for the information. Also the grant is not processed via the Procur= ement Office (you are off the hook), this is a Foundatio= n purchase. We have a Dell rep we work with on these types of purchases. = Also I have not gotten the information on the account being established. O= nce that is done, I will notify you and send you information on how to cont= ract the rep so you can request an equote. I'd have you do that now but the= equote has an expiration date. =20
I did not get a reply from SP, but did get a reply from SA:From: LP To: SP, SA Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 3:34 PM > Once that is done, I will notify you and send you information > on how to contract the rep so you can request an equote. I'd > have you do that now but the equote has an expiration date. Could I contact him or her now and start the process? I am in a rush=20 because the warranty on my current laptop is going to expire in a few=20 days, and I am *highly* dependent upon it. Lar
SA followed up with:From: SA To: LP, SP Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 19:13:07 -0700 Larry - let me look into the situation and I will handle
A week later, I followed up with SA, quoting his earlier message:From: SA To: LP, SP, UP Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 17:57:08 -0700 On Tuesday I will check and see if there is some money in a grant I have th= at I could use to purchase a laptop for Larry.
And received this reply:From: Larry Press
To: SA Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 12:39:19 -0700 > On Tuesday I will check and see if there is some money in a grant I have that I could use to purchase a laptop for Larry. I have a configuration ready to go -- are the funds available now? My current service contract has expired, and that is worrisome. Larry
But, nothing happened, and my warranty had expired, so two weeks later, I followed up with SA, again quoting his earlier message:From: SA To: LP Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 14:03:02 -0700 No the funds are not available - we have not yet received the grant approva= l - I expect to receive any day.
And SA replied:From: LP To: SA Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:16 PM > No the funds are not available - we have not yet received the grant approval - I expect to receive any day. Has there been further news on this? Larry
From: SA To: LP, SP Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 17:38:09 -0700 News on what?