Monday, May 07, 2001

Daily Grind

E-mail means less phone time

        Opening the mailbag:

        “You cannot have a discussion about time spent on e-mail without a comparison of time spent on the phone,” Judi Cline-Kadetz, vice president client services, A. M. Kinney Inc., wrote after a column on e-mail (April 23 column).

        “E-mail has replaced and sometimes eliminated phone calls, allowing for greater efficiency in responding to questions.

        “While I do spend 30-50 minutes a day on e-mail, the time I spend on phone calls has correspondingly dropped.”

Zapping that spam

        The column spurred Leo Shuller to ask for advice about a problem that plagues everybody with an e-mail address:

        “Enjoyed your article about e-mail this morning,” Mr. Shuller wrote. “Do you have any suggestions on how I can block all of these unsolicited get-rich-quick schemes and other unwanted e-mail, which I have to waste a lot of time deleting every day?”

        The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail has some pithy thoughts on unsolicited, junk or bulk e-mail, also known as spam.

        According to the San Francisco-based non-profit group, about 30 million messages were sent each day on America Online in 1998 - the last year that figures were available. (Some days it seems all came to my e-mail address.)

        Nobody knows for sure how many e-mails cyber-fly each day. There are about 300 million Web users worldwide and 560 million inboxes, experts say.

        About 10 percent is spam which comes with costly consequences: hogging bandwidth and computer memory.

        Citing a European Commission report this year, spam costs Internet users worldwide about $8.9 billion annually, said John Mozena, co-founder and vice president of the coalition.

        He has some advice: Don't reply to the spammer with the word “Remove” in the subject line. That just verifies that your address is valid and won't result in any less e-mail.

        “There's not a heck of a lot you can do. About all you can do is support legislation to give people tools to do something,” he said.

        “Unfortunately, because Congress gets so much e-mail, don't e-mail representatives. A phone call, fax or letter is the way to go.”

Recruiters slow down

        Trying to make sense of the 2001 job market makes a lot of sense for scholars looking for a career.

        The slowing economy has apparently led some companies to curtail tried-and-true hiring practices.

        According to organizers of an annual University of Cincinnati spring job fair, companies were not as interested this year in the spring recruiting session as in years past.

        In spring 2000, for instance, 105 companies came to campus to screen graduates. This year, 62 companies showed.

        “I am feeling that we're going into a bit of a recession and felt that in my job search,” said Janice Pierce, a 37-year-old Mount Airy resident and March UC graduate who has a bachelor's degree in computer science. She wants a job in Web development.

        “I went to the last job fair. There weren't as many opportunities in my field as hoped to be,” she said. “One of the companies I hoped to meet with backed out. They were in a hiring freeze. That's one indicator of a recession.

        “I don't have a job yet. That's another.”
        E-mail Past columns at


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- ECKBERG: E-mail means less phone time
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Women gain influence in unions
Develop strategy to prepare for impending layoff
Promotions & new on the job
Morning Memo