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     I responded directly to Mark, then decided the question is of some
     general significance so I'm appending it here even at the risk of
     wasting bandwidth. Signatures are important, especially so in e-mail,
     for they provide the only real clue to the relevance and importance of
     the question to  the person asking and the "authority" and
     "responsibilities" of the person answering a question. A name alone is
     still anonymous mail; a name and e-mail address only allows response
     to a total unknown. "Full signatures" certainly not always
     appropriate, but are a way to combat the anonymity of cyberspace.
 --that sounds good, may have to use it in a class.
 
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: My full signature
Author:  Medical Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> at
The-World
Date:    3/29/96 7:55 PM
 
 
Apologies for not having a full "signature" in my e-mail, but I think
name, place of employment, and e-mail address are enough.  No sense in
wasting bandwidth.
 
 
Mark Lebow
Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries
[log in to unmask]
------------------------------------------------
 
     Yes and no. From your signature as included in this message, no one
     should assume you are employed at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
     You couls just as well be a student. Even assuming you are an
     employee, are you janitor (pardon me, housekeeper or whatever
     "politically appropriate" term is currently used there) or president?
     Full signatures can be debated, and I appreciate the question of
     bandwidth, but limiting yours so severely really tells me nothing
     about you at all except a name to which I can reply.
 
     I often do NOT use my "full work signature" when responding directly to
     people who know me, or who won't care, or when responding relating to a
     question for which the additional information in my "full work signature"
     is irrelevant. But often the larger signature is useful to establish
     exactly what type of work I do, give a way for people to examine the
     quality of what I do on one specific project --the www address-- as well
     as illustrate where I am on the "technological continuum" and show I'm
     willing to put my work our for judgement, Also, "full signatures" should
     include ALL methods you consider appropriate to contact you --messages get
     passed on, and sometimes when it reaches the person who needs or who can
     provide additional information, they just may not have e-mail access or
     feel other methods of contact are more appropriate. It incidently, since
     there was room with any logical and clear listing of the address, gives a
     short quote which I hope indicates confidence in my own judgement,
     recognition of its limitations and a certain sense of humor.
 
     I do appreciate your point. My point is there's different signatures for
     different purposes. The one you showcased is, in my opinion, perfectly
     appropriate for responding to any person who knows you or who contacted
     you in the first place. It is lacking significant useful information for
     posting to a list or to a stranger. A "full signature" need not be as
     elaborate as mine, but it should at the very least clearly indicate you
     are an employee of MCW and the nature of your duties.
 
     [log in to unmask]  [minimal signature; "full signature":
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  Patrick W. Costigan, Reference Librarian     "If it's over my name,
  North Memorial Medical Library                it's my opinion -- but
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  Robbinsdale, MN 55422                         to share it."
  612-520-5678  FAX 612-520-1453     E-Mail: [log in to unmask]
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