March 19, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 41
"Shredding" has been in the news for more weeks than any of us care to consider.
Yet, I felt this version of it deserves a bit of additional attention.
In a few weeks I'll be speaking at the National Association of Information Destruction conference. My second appearance before this group of entrepreneurs who run local businesses through North America. Getting rid of sensitive paper documents. Let me tell you, these guys and gals have stories to tell!
And then there is E-mail. How do you "shred" E-mail? A story at CNN.com says this;
That's for paper. What about E-mail? E-mail is changing the rules, because today there is virtual shredding. Senders can destroy messages either remotely or automatically, without a recipient's knowledge, or approval. It is possible today for the sender - not the receiver - to have total control over what they distribute.
Sounds scary! You'd think the receiver would have at least equal control over what to do with what's in their E-mail in-box. Yet, those who send you E-mail can have power over decisions you would usually make.
Interestingly, the software that makes all this possible is getting a kick forward from the USA federal government. Specifically because of privacy in health care and the financial marketplaces. And the recent Microsoft case, which put a spot light on the topic.
There are a number of companies offering online shredding systems that scramble E-mail messages, and limit access to the software key needed to decrypt them. The message can be made to "disappear" by withdrawing the key at a given time.
Today there are systems from a half a dozen companies that allow your E-mail to self-destruct at a set time, too. The disappearing act is built automatically into the program. Say at 7 days, or 30 days, or 6 months, or whatever. They can also bar you from forwarding, copying or printing any specific E-mail. No matter who it is too, what it says, or why. Strong stuff.
So, it is now your responsibility, when you know this "new" system is in place, to ask for a paper or permanent E copy - if you need it. And hope for the senders cooperation. This is how it works with the new system.
On one hand this seems extreme. The word "trust" comes to mind. How much do you "trust" the recipient? Yet, I don't think this is the issue. As this is business we're talking about. Copy-protection is needed for "business paper" just as it is for music, movies and E-books on the web. The right system is not a bad thing.
Still, as the CNN article says, "the trouble with E-mail is its persistence". Hitting delete only removes the message from the computers digital index. I know this to be true ... our company computer guru has found mail and other documents within a crashed box at our office - more than once.
Another "persistence" is mail you forward to another. Or when you pick up your office mail at your home. Each making those messages more difficult to "shred". Plus, many computers have back-up systems - to help you save what you need. They were not created with the law in mind. They have been developed for disaster recovery. All this means even this high-tech software technology is not foolproof.
No one is sure where all this is going. It will most likely "get worse" before it gets better. There will be a few cases of extremism ... until it "settles." Until the gray areas emerge and become Internet law.
As attorney Christopher Wolf says "E-mail users are better off watching what they say rather than coming up with gimmicks to avoid having records." Good advice - for all of us.
The P.S. in direct mail is a mandatory feature.
Why? Because 4 of 5 people will read the P.S. before they read much else in your letter. So, you have a P.S.
With E-mail becoming an accepted and powerful business tool (see main article in this E-zine!) including a P.S. in your E-mail could be a good thought. At least a serious consideration.
"Now Discover Your Strengths"
There are 40,000 studies on depression on file at the American Psychology Association.
And just 14 on joy.
That fact was enough for Marcus Buckingham to dive into several decades of performance and productivity data available at his Gallup Organization. Data about the rank and file workers in companies - not management - the folks in the fox holes doing the work. From 101 companies. 63 countries. 1.7 million people. What he learned he shares in his book Now Discover Your Strengths.
Maybe the title "grabs" you like it did me. The idea is to know what you are intrinsically good at - and do that. The numbers say only 20% of the workforce is working at something they are truly suited for. Why? Well, the idea in most companies is if you're smart, we'll teach you and you will learn. Buckingham calls that philosophy bunk!
The book - and a 180 question web site "test" that promises to ID your "dominant strength themes" that comes with it - is not bedtime reading. It's an action document. Visit your book store or order online ... you'll find it interesting. And maybe even beneficial.
If you've gotten this far you know I truly enjoy reading. And collecting good quotes with a business slant.
And you know the world's most famous philosopher is Anonymous. Here is one for this week;
"Your day usually goes the way the corners of your mouth turn."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.