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Old 10.11.2011, 16:14
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What do you think of group emails?

Rather than email the same thing over and over to my support system and treasured colleagues back home, I send a group email every five weeks or so, with a link to our updated photos on flickr...Almost like a blog, but easier for me, a technological dinosaur. I always thank people for their emails, express how much they mean to me, and invite my loved ones to send an update back.

Some people express really appreciating the emails. Others never write back. And I must admit, I feel sad sometimes, that some people don't make the effort (any effort) to keep in touch. At times I've thought about just emailing those that email me, but somehow that seems spiteful, and frankly I still value those relationships.

I'm curious what other ex-pats do to maintain their relationships and what your perspectives are on group emails? How do you decide whom to keep trying with, and whom to leave in your fond memories?

Maybe I should try another tack...
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:19
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

I find it a little impersonal. For me, it has been individualised email ( every outgoing email is modified slightly to what appeals to or is relevant to the recipient ) as well as that odd phone call to check up on them especially if an email response is not heard back.

I avoid skyping and video cam, best with an email and an unplanned ordinary phone call.

Last edited by jrspet; 10.11.2011 at 17:22.
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:22
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

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Maybe I should try another tack...
Facebook?

I understand some people don't like it, but it's the easiest way to ensure that people who care about what you're up can keep with developments and new photos, all without annoying those who don't. I'd likely be annoyed if someone wrote me a monthly group email, and probably wouldn't write back.

Also, if you want/expect a personal responses, your initial email should also be a personal one, I think.
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:43
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

I've been writing a circular letter (started long before the days of emails!) for nearly forty years. These days just once a year but a couple of A4 sheets usually. I send those to folk who also have an email address as an email attachment, the rest get it snail mail.
To folk who answer my letter, I write personal letters back (typed though, no-one can read my writing) adding them to the circular.

Of course it is less personal, but no way am I going to write to each one of the fifty, sixty people who receive it separately (and mostly it's the same stuff I write anyway). It means that when I want to go to England, or Scotland, or Wales, or Holland, or Germany, or France, or New Zealand, or Canada, or Australia, or South Africa, I can get in touch with the folk I know who live there and maybe meet up with them. Great fun and saves hotel bills and taxi fares! They do the same to me from time to time of course. Wonderful.

And I keep copies, so I know what I really wrote - including, mostly, the personal notes I added.

It doesn't prevent me from ringing folk occasionally too but it does mean that they know what I've been doing and before I go to see them, I can dig out their last letter to remind myself what they've been up to.
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:51
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

Group emails are a good compromise for staying in touch with friends and families but it does make people feel less obliged to send you an answer.

I`m really bad at staying in touch with friends via email and very grateful for Facebook. Unfortunately most of my close childhood/school friends are not on it. But I try to see them whenever I`m visiting home.
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:52
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

i hope you include an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of the emails, otherwise you might be pissing off some of the recipients without realising it...
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:53
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

Facebook is the best , then again if you are a dinosaur, your best alternative would be to do a short youtube video with the update.

aka Vlog
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:54
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

To be honest if someone sent me a "group email" about their life and activities - a kind of FYI - I would not expect that I should respond - it just seems kind of impersonal to be honest. If someone emails me directly then I would always respond.

For me facebook is the way to go for keeping in touch generally. It does everything I need and all my friends are there.
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Old 10.11.2011, 16:59
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

Different generation obviously. I get quite a lot of replies and of course, there are the snail mail guys I write to who would think that Facebook is somethîng to do with lying on ones back reading and then falling asleep.
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:16
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

Hmmm...pretty varied responses.

I'm not on Facebook, which is a bit odd for someone from my generation, but I don't like some of their policies, and have felt some of the consequences of that decision, as it becomes increasingly used for parties, updates, photosharing, etc.

I had never considered that my updates would potentially piss someone off, nor do I know how to set up an unsubscribe feature...I think this would be pretty awkward (for both of us). For past coworkers I sent an email requesting they reply if they want the group emails, and I honoured that. I didn't do this for my friends/family though, and I suppose they are the ones I feel more hurt by.

Maybe my expectations are too high.

How are others' supports at keeping in touch? An acquaintance told me that when someone moves far away, they are taking on the responsibility of it being hard to keep in touch. I'm not quite sure what I think of this idea yet. Others?
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:21
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

These "round robin" newsletters fall into two categories:

1) Bad
2) Worse

Without exception I find them nauseating, schmaltzy and sugary sweet. "Oh look at me and my bubbly beach blonde wife with the 2.2 kids with bright white teeth hamming it up for the camera on a beautiful clear day at Disneyworld." Yet, you know the husband is being unfaithful with a guy, she's on anti-depressants and the kids deal in crack-cocaine at high school.

Apart from that, they're a great idea. Please copy me in on your next one....
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:24
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

Imagine if all the people on your group email also sent group emails and you were one of the recipients to their group, not the same group as yours - how many group emails would you receive?

Have the odd friends who for years/decades have sent me their annual update corresponding around Christmas/new Year time, initially by letter before emails, now by email. Some are interesting, others a bit boring.

There has been occasion when I have had to do small group email on particular subject, had the odd reply, then later when talking to same people surprising how few actually read what was written, even though important. Not everyone has the time to type replies and some people are not very good typists surprising how many are still 2 finger only. Have one very close friend who I know I can email, but will only send me a one liner, when necessary – but I do not take offence

Met a couple some years ago on holiday who for some reason still like to send me photos of their updates.

My suggestion would be to make your group email smaller depending on who shows interest, either that or set up a travel file where they can log on to your updates.

I have my own reason for not subscribing to Facebook, treasure my privacy too much. I have the use of my OH who is on Facebook and have on number of occasions being able to access information on someone’s facebook who has it listed as for friends only or the like through a backdoor.
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:30
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

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Hmmm...pretty varied responses.

I'm not on Facebook, which is a bit odd for someone from my generation, but I don't like some of their policies, and have felt some of the consequences of that decision, as it becomes increasingly used for parties, updates, photosharing, etc.

I had never considered that my updates would potentially piss someone off, nor do I know how to set up an unsubscribe feature...I think this would be pretty awkward (for both of us). For past coworkers I sent an email requesting they reply if they want the group emails, and I honoured that. I didn't do this for my friends/family though, and I suppose they are the ones I feel more hurt by.

Maybe my expectations are too high.

How are others' supports at keeping in touch? An acquaintance told me that when someone moves far away, they are taking on the responsibility of it being hard to keep in touch. I'm not quite sure what I think of this idea yet. Others?
maybe instead of the next email you can send a "i'm going to stop sending these emails, please email me if you want to stay on the list" kind of email.
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:51
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

I keep in touch with my three best friends via email, but we all ask each other questions in them so it's not like a bulletin I send out....then I keep in touch with others in a more general way via facebook, family via skype and whatsapp on a smartphone (free international instant messaging on smartphones).

I used to receive a large group email from one of my friends who moved abroad - I always replied and then wouldn't hear from him again until his next group email...so that became a bit annoying.

Last edited by Boogaloo; 10.11.2011 at 18:58. Reason: Stray apostrophe
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Old 10.11.2011, 19:19
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Re: What do you think of group emails?

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I've been writing a circular letter (started long before the days of emails!) for nearly forty years.
It's funny how you make assumptions about people based on their online persona. Longbyt, I'd never have guessed you were old enough to have been writing a circular letter for nearly 40 years!

It's like the magic 5 pounds that TV adds -- the computer takes years off you!
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