Thursday, November 20, 2008

OT: Communications Log

I was just responding to an email and realized that I was sending a partner over to Amy Luby at MSPSN. I thought for a minute. Do I want to send this simple question on to her and add to her work load? I do the same thing to Erick Simpson, Erick Ligman, Vlad Mazek, Harry Brelsford, Arlin Sorenson, Dave Sobel, Stuart Selbst, and a handful of other people.

Is it fair (right, just, noble) to add to their workload?

After all, I know what it's like to have an overwhelming about of email to filter.

Here's what I've done between 5 AM (first cup of coffee) and 7 AM (go for my walk) today:

[You don't have to read this. Just glance through it to get an idea.]

    - Read through the four overnight orders

    - Filed 34 emails related to clients (orders, cc's, questions, misc.)

    - Reviewed comments on 162 emails sent to autoresponder account (no replies expected)

    - Replied to one of these anyway

    - Made a note to Lana to process autoresponder contact information on a weekly basis

    - Deleted 14 junk emails from the Jobs mailbox

    - Reviewed 4 new resumes

    - Forwarded one resume to Manuel (company pres) with comments

    - Responded to request from a conference sponsor

    - Read email with product info from one of the people listed above

    - Sent thank you email to one of the people listed above

    - Replied to two requests for information about something mentioned in the Robin Robins SMB Conference Call

    - Forwarded a note to my to-do folder with comments re: product

    - Read confusing email from staff. Inquired about the email.

    - Provided info to web developer we're working with

    - Replied to humorous interchange between several of the people mentioned above

    - Forwarded a note to to-do folder with comments re: connecting with a partner when I travel to his city

    - Replied to an ongoing discussion thread with a partner regarding SMB Books products

    - Replied to three inquiries from Untangle webinar and attached file

    - Emailed salesman from _product_ to let him know I'll get back to him on Monday

    - Forwarded a note to my to-do folder with information on product posting for SMB Books and one of the people listed above

    - Sent email to Manuel re: client web site question

    - Sent email to partner about troubles connecting our schedules. Proposed new time.

    - Forwarded info to one of the people listed above re: possible bulk discount of product to user group

    - Emailed my office manager to make sure auto payments from checking account are on calendar and in QB

    - Emailed administrative assitant re: sending out product links to specific partners

    - Emailed office manager about mail pickup and deposit question

    - Replied to a partner about inquiry regarding forthcoming book (Network Migration Workbook)

    - Emailed partner who had problems downloading a product to verify that all is fixed

    - Deleted five spammy-type messages

    - Filed seven emails into policies or products folders

    - Deleted two ConnectWise notices that jobs were completed

    - Deleted one personal email

    - Reviewed and deleted two Google Alerts

    - Reviewed and deleted last night's spam report

    - Processed a (spam) request to post on the SMB Rides and Rooms yahoo group

    - Read, clicked through, and replied to five Facebook wall comments (more to come after 7:00 AM)

    - Browsed through and deleted six e-newsletters I subscribe to

    - Moderated a (spam) comment to the RFS Blog

    - Deleted a notice that a file has been downloaded by a partner

    - Read and deleted four comments from a computer business yahoo group

Note: the only thing out of the ordinary here is the Facebook activity. It's my birthday, so more folks pinged me.

Got back from my walk. Sixteen more items in the in-box. Including two from the people listed above.

So Back To The Question

When I get a request from a partner and I don't have just the right information, should I say "I don't know" or should I pass it along if I know that someone else DOES know?

Every single person in my rolodex has more work to do than they can can get done in a day (a week, a month, a year). Is it fair to pass things on to them?

After all, aren't they all (you all) going through pretty much the same thing today?

I decided that I WOULD forward the email. While I don't want to add to anyone else's workload, here's the way I see it. All those folks (listed above and others) have put themselves out there as community resources. Whatever tools or processes they need to filter this stuff, they WANT people like me to call on them as resources.

When you put yourself out there as a resource, you can expect a lot of requests. If you fulfill them well, your reward is more requests. :-)

But all these community resources are also working to make a living. And a piece of that equation is to be available for the little requests that come in over the transom.

BTW: If you send an email to me and don't get an immediate response, please be patient. Some days I get busy.


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