Benefits of using the preferred first.last e-mail style

I had a request recently to edit a page that contained a list of contact addresses. For the record (and generaly speaking), Heidi and I don't actually do a lot of that for sites outside of our responsibility. When the requests come in though, we usually route the e-mail on to the maintainer of the site in question.

This time though, the request came with another question to consider. Wasn't it a 'rule' at Case to use the first.last e-mail naming convention, and shouldn't their department contact list be formatted this way? If it was in fact 'a rule', they certainly wanted to comply.

Previously, as many of you know the university used the three or four character CaseId login followed by cwru.edu, and before that po.cwru.edu. In other words, Sam Davis would use sxd3@cwru.edu as their address, rather than the sam.davis@case.edu as is now recommended and widely used.

Now, let's be clear here, no one will be in trouble if they aren't adopting the new and preferred first.last at case.edu, but it makes good sense to do so. We recommend that you use this format not only for ease of use, 'look' or 'style', or even because it makes anyone more recognizable. Actually I would encourage others to use it because it serves a practical purpose; it protects the persons CaseID login from those who harvest that info from our pages. We sometimes forget about that.

So let me come right out and ask for the order... if you have not yet adopted the new firstname dot lastname at case dot edu, consider doing it. If you see your name on a Web site here at Case using the old style, let your maintainer know. It's not an *extreme* security risk, of course, but there's no reason to expose yourself to even a potential for abuse. After all, there's really no need for anyone outside the university to know what your CaseID (login) is, right?

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3 Comments »
  1. Here are the various formats I see every day. Let's imagine John F. Kennedy. jfk65@po.cwru.edu jfk65@cwru.edu jfk65@case.edu john.kennedy@case.edu Mr. Kennedy could also use: john.kennedy@cwru.edu Most of the old timers still use the @po.cwru.edu as they have had their mail program (Eudora, Outlook) configured as such and simply never bothered to change. Also, many are against the switch to the Case brand and label it an offense to the Western Reserve contribution of what we call Case today. Some of them are holding on to the @cwru.edu in a type of silent protest. The answer? Force people to change. Otherwise, it's going to be jfk65@po.cwru.edu for years and years and years and....

    Comment by dave — September 20, 2006 @3:29 pm

  2. I tend to lean towards the shorten version (bcg8@case.edu), because I am one of the unlucky ones that needed a middle initial (brian.c.gray@case.edu). I often get emails much later with the apology that "brian.gray" received my message. Sorry who ever that is. If I am telling someone my email, the shorter version makes much more sense and has less opportunity to mess up.

    Comment by Brian Gray — September 20, 2006 @4:14 pm

  3. One of the issues I've had is that I have reconfigured my e-mail a few times over the years. This causes me problems when I'm logging into a service that uses my e-mail address as the login ID. If I've had it awhile, but don't use it often I'm not sure whether to use my user id, alias or first.last with po.cwru.edu, cwru.edu or case.edu. I know that some people eschew first.last because of the lengthiness of the address. In most cases this isn't a problem, but if our Mr. Kennedy were instead named Mr. Kennedopolopusripky or some such it could be. Those with longer names may also consider setting up an alias. While my name is short I snagged "heidi" and "cool" as aliases as they are easy for people to remember. (plus coolatcase is nicely alliterative) Learn more on ITS's personal alias page.

    Comment by Heidi Cool — September 20, 2006 @4:24 pm

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