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How to Use the WebMail System and Reply to Queries

by Sabrina C. Fullhart



If you have been newly welcomed to the WetWebMedia Crew, you have probably been directed here to begin familiarizing yourself with "the way we do things".  We would first like to say "Thank you!" for joining us and helping us to help other hobbyists and improve the aquarium hobby.  Your assistance is valued very highly by all of us in the Crew and beyond.  We appreciate you taking the time to embark on this adventure of learning, sharing, and growing; may this experience be a great one for you and all of us.

Logging In

By now, you should have received an email including your login information.

Our WebMail URL is: http://mail.wetwebmedia.com To login, visit the URL above, enter the login information you've been given, and our WebMail system should load on your screen.  If it doesn't, or if you have any problems opening it up, please visit the WebMail Troubleshooting page. (page/link to be added) Navigating and Using WebMail On the left-hand side of the WebMail, you should see a list of folders.  If you do not see your name listed there, please contact the person who sent you your Welcome email (likely BobF) and ask that a folder be created for you.

In the folder list, you should see some folders near the top labeled Inbox, Freshwater, Marine, Brackish, and Ponds.  Anything in these folders that has not been answered is up for grabs.  Move any questions you wish to answer into your folder before answering them; this helps to prevent sending multiple replies on one question.  To move them, you need only to check the checkbox next to the query you wish to answer and then select your name from the dropdown box below the list of questions.

Once you have answered a query, you can delete it by checking the checkbox next to it and move it by selecting  "Deleted" in the dropdown box.  However, if the email included any images, please move it into the "EmailsWithImage" folder instead of "Deleted"; this way, we can post the image with the query on the Dailies page.

Do not delete any messages in the Sent folder; these are what Bob uses for posting on the site.

Responding to An Email When you reply, try to follow the same "style" that we use. <Your replies in "angle brackets"> And remove any blank spaces, line breaks, and such.  Don't leave line breaks or blank spaces even between paragraphs; these will have to be removed ultimately, and it would be GREAT help if you could pull them out.  Please give the query a title and date if possible; the title can be humorous if you like, but should give the reader some idea of what information is contained in the message. Also, it might be worthwhile to copy/paste into Microsoft Word so you can use spell check.  

 Feel free to take any questions that you feel comfortable with.  If you find that you don't know the answer to something and you still want to answer it, you can ask any of the Crewmembers via personal email for their input - or even better, browse about on WWM and see if you can learn a bit from researching and answering the query!

Crappy Grammar?  Send 'em Back

If you get a query that is typed in ALL CAPS, or no capitalization, or particularly poor grammar/punctuation  (lowercase "I", etc.), or written in "webbish"/"netspeak" ("u" instead of "you", "b4" instead of "before", etc.), you've got two options.  Either take some time to correct the writing (I don't recommend this - you'll burn yourself out and get very bitter very quickly), or send it back.  I almost invariably opt to send these back, unless it's only a minimal amount of correction work on my part.  I usually send something like:

Thank you for contacting WetWebMedia.  We appreciate your email, but unfortunately cannot reply because it's in a format that we can't post on the site.  Please correct your grammar, punctuation, and spelling, make sure the question isn't written in ALL CAPS or no capitalization at all and send it to us again.  We aren't trying to be the "bad guys" here, but we are ALL volunteers, and we get dozens of questions every day - we just haven't got enough time to correct questions that aren't formatted properly.  Please take some time to fix your question and write back; we will greatly appreciate this respect.  Thank you.

Feel free to copy/paste that into such replies if you ever need to.

An exception to the "Crappy Grammar" rule is anything that seems to be written by somebody unfamiliar with the English language - I will always take the time to fix these as best as I can.

General Questions Crewmembers Might Ask

"Can I say good/bad things about any particular products?"

Please be honest in your replies.  For your own sake, please don't slander any companies, products, or individuals - but feel free to be open with your opinions.  If you don't much like a product, you are free to say so.  If you think a product is the greatest thing since peanut butter, again, let it out!  If your opinions conflict with another Crewmember's opinions, that's okay, too.  Also, please remember that all of your responses will be archived so folks will be able to read them a hundred years from now (well, we hope, anyway).  If you don't want your favorite LFS owner or children reading it, it might be best to keep it to yourself.  

"What about expletives?"

Please don't use expletives.  If a querier has used them, please change them into something a little less offensive.

"Is it okay to be mean?"

Well....  Kind of.  It's okay to be honest and blunt, and sometimes that means being a bit harsh.  If somebody emails you repeatedly trying to get you to say it's okay to cram a nurse shark into their 55 gallon tank, you're probably going to get a bit angry and be a little severe with the querier.  That's alright.  Try to keep your cool, but try to get your point across in a way that the querier understands.

"Who do I tell if I have a problem or question about answering queries?"

BobF, generally.  You can ask me (Sabrina) things, too, especially if you're having technical issues.

"What if I completely, utterly, and entirely disagree with something another Crewmember said in a reply I saw on the Daily FAQs page?"

Write in to the Crew, or me, or Bob.  We'll post your opinion as well and share it with the entire Crew.  We're all adults, here; nobody will take any offense to finding out that somebody disagrees with them.  Please let your opinions be known.  This site is about the free exchange of information, after all!

"Who do I tell if I have something that I think should be added to this very page?  Yes, the one I'm reading right this very moment?"

Me.  Sabrina.  You'll probably find my email address in one of the many shared amongst the Crew.  Otherwise, failing that, check with Bob.

Cloze / Resources

Take a look at our Daily FAQs and other related sections to kinda "get a feel" for it all (links below) and feel free to ask any questions you might have.  Thank you again for your assistance with WWM! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faqsonfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm

Thank you and a request    3/23/12
You lads! Thank you for your ongoing input/responses on WWM. Am learning a great deal both content and format wise thereby. A request: Would you please write your response lines on new lines...? Do please see the dailies for examples. Makes it easier for me to read, as well as others. Again, much thanks. BobF

Mail/Junk Mail, WWM  11/29/11
Hi Bob,
On obvious spam can I just delete it rather than move it to the junk email folder?
 <I just delete all... the junk mail folder does nothing special/otherwise.

Mysterious missing query     8/30/11
Hi Crew,
This morning I put a query in my box (from Jenny) to answer later, and when I went to answer the query, it is no longer in my box. Weird, it's not in the sent, deleted, junk email, trash, or anyone else's folder.
<Bizarre. I've just looked for this as well. Not on the dailies, nor sent, nor deleted... As far as I know WOULD have be moved and deleted, OR deleted twice to be gone... Her addy is on the deleted from your last resp. to her on Fri... you could write, ask her to re-send... Oh, which brings up another poss.: Could she have "brought back" her sent email to WWM? B>
re: Mysterious missing query

Oh, which brings up
another poss.: Could she have "brought back" her sent email to WWM
Geez, didn't even know you could do that, bring back mail that you sent.
How do you accomplish this?
From a Google search:
I'll send her an email, tell her to resend, gremlins are out and about.
<Ok. B>
Mystery Query     8/30/11

I didn't see anything in the sent or deleted folder where I could pull her
email addy. Hopefully she will write back.
What the?! Now someone (else, not me) has deleted the older "deleted" files... Arrgghhh! B
re: Mystery Query
Mmmm, that is something I DO NOT do, mess with the sent, deleted, and junk mail folders.
I feel that is for you alone to deal with. That query mysteriously showed up in my inbox this morning.
<Mmm, I prefer to keep the last day or two's about... at least the last hundred increment... perhaps minus "too-large" image/graphics files to save space. BobF>
I better answer it before it disappears again.

Re Aquarium Lighting, Crew resp. f'    11/3/09
Hi Bob,
Where the heck did you find that query I answered? I never saw it in the sent folder, even tried refreshing the page.
<Was in the sent folder... More mysteries... when/where in doubt "refresh" your view I guess. B>
Re Aquarium Lighting
Yes, I refreshed it several times. I think I live on an old Indian burial ground. Lots of weird stuff going on around here also.
<More goblins in da macheen. B>
Ah, been there, done the burial ground thing. My advice is watch your boat, it is liable to sink (actual experience)!
Scott V.

Re: Help on/with WWM 5/22/09
okay I feel stupid but the IPhone didn't show me all the dang info which is why I had to ask again.? Thanks Bob. On the computer now and headed onto the website.? Oh and I'll probably mess up on the formatting so everyone please bear with me as I figure it all out again.? Bob have fun and I wish I was there with you lol.
<Hey Mac! Am asking SaraM to help guide you here... Thank you, B>
<<Ok, but if Mac is using an iphone, I will ask ScottV to help him out there... since he has one. -Sara M.>>
<Oooohhh, geez, I've never even used and iPhone... B

Re: Help on/with WWM 5/22/09
Hey Mac. Yes, the Crew mail does not format or work on the IPhone, a real pain. Anyhow, as for format, just reply in the <> style and generally just using the re line of the query is fine for a title, along with the current date.
Scott V.

How do you do it?  4/27/09
Hi Bob,
Well, after answering queries for the last two months, I have a whole new level of admiration for those of you that have been doing this for years.
<Heeee! Is like teaching H.S. sci... about a third Einstein, Robin Williams and Attila the Hun!>
After two days of correcting "net speak" and explaining why it isn't a good idea to have four Hippo Tangs and a Sailfin, two Pseudochromis, a damsel, and a clown in a 55 gallon tank and why this *might* have something to do with sudden ich outbreak, I've decided to refocus my efforts from building aquarium hardware\controllers to developing a "smite" button; which will deliver small, but painful electric shocks to the original querior.
<Oooh, good idea! B>

Re: How do you do it?  4/28/09
I just responded to my 230th letter.
On one hand that seems like a lot of letters, but on the other I only do turtles --and-- I've been at this a little bit over a year and I come to find out that Neale Monks answers that many letters approximately every 36
hours. LOL
Anyway, at 230 .. I'm still running the letters through Spell Check and I still correct the grammar and edit in more consistent sentence structure for what I am HOPING is our foreign readers ... and not sad products of our own public education system.
Publik Edyookayshun! Due knot Re: lie two much on spell Czech!
Another constant .. um .... observation ... is that as we get more and more readers from what I call the mouse generation ... people to whom texting and PM'ing are native concepts ... we constantly run n2 ppl hu dont use full wrds, caps or punctuation -- and there is simply no reorienting them. For better or worse, the Internet is fostering a generation of people with the attention span of gnats -- they can't wait 5 seconds for a
page to load and they can't take the time to type full words.
My solution, for the time being, is to accept what I can't change. While I have at times admired the comments with which some of the more senior contributors have rejected a letter or two, but more and more what I do when I run into one of "THOSE" letters .... I read what they write, get the "gist" of it .. and the reword my own question.
After all, I know what's in my own mind AND I know how to answer my own questions!
Q: So where do I get the information from?
<A: Please don't end a sentence with a preposition!>
Q: OK, So where do I get the information from, you dork.
<... and the band plays on.>

Re: How do you do it?  4/28/09
> <On one hand that seems like a lot of letters, but on the other I only
> do turtles --and-- I've been at this a little bit over a year and I
> come to find out that Neale Monks answers that many letters
> approximately every 36 hours. LOL>
> Hahaha... so true! What would we do without Neale?
Hello all, 
How funny! I don't really think I answer all that many queries, especially by the time I've dumped the cichlid ones into Chuck's folder and the turtle ones into Darrel's.
To answer your question Sara, without me, you'd be answering a lot more questions about sick Bettas and mouldy goldfish. At least, that seems to be all I ever get asked about. All I really wanted to do was
help out with the brackish water and oddball fish!
Cheers, Neale

WWM spam a rama!  6/16/08 Hi Bob, Just an FYI in case your hear something - I don't think any serious damage was done, but it looks like someone (am only guessing here) may have opened a Spam message from the WWM in-box which then caused a cascade of emails to go out (an attempt to flood and overwhelm folks email servers). The impact on us it seems, was a flurry of returned "failure to deliver" notices...more than 400 in all/so far. Luckily most were captured by the Postini server which I've cleaned up, along with the few that came back to the WWM server in-box. Hope you're doing well, mate. Eric <Yeeikes! Thank you Eric... am hoping the rightfully wrathful god of spam (Bill Gates personified) doesn't rain down on our very heads! BobF>

Re: WWM spam a rama! 6/16/08 Thanks Eric... I was wondering what that was all about... Sara <<Luckily it didn't look like it kept us from receiving any queries'¦guess time will tell. I try to check our spam server at least daily (often two or three times a day), as legitimate emails often get 'trapped' as well and require review/releasing to the WWM in-box (hmm, just dawned'¦maybe you know this already). It's not unusual to see 60 or 70 queries in the 'junk' box from time to time'¦but it was surprising to find 429 in it this morning [grin]. Eric>>

Moray eel ID -- 01/06/2008 ... <<Where is/are the pix file/s? RMF>> The pictures were in the email body, not as an attachment. That is why I placed it into the "emails with pictures" folder. The email was in the html format, these are the emails, which show lots of question marks when displayed as plain text. You have to click at "html" in the grey field above the specific email in our email program to have it displayed appropriately. Cheers, Marco. <Ahh, thank you for solving this headache/mystery... I have unfortunately already deleted all.... But have learned. Much thanks, BobF>

Re: Descriptive subject headings, titles on responses... and not changing them  11/12/07 Crew, please amend the original (if included even) titles folks/queriors send in... AND retain them, append them only IF they re-re-re-respond... I CANNOT hope to find the original postings to match if you discard the original/s... and the orig. corr. is not included... Understanzee? Wakarimas? Comprendes? Danke, BobF. >Thanks, Bob. I would love to say comprendo, but I'm not sure I do. I think Murphy's law comes into play here. That is, something along the lines of "If you explain so clearly that nobody can misunderstand, someone will." I have likely been doing something incorrectly from the get go. I've always left the person's email subject line untouched, and put the new headline (for the FAQ's) in the line above the query/response text. <Sorry for the lack of clarity, and direction. This is fine... as long as it's descriptive "enough"... What really causes trouble is folks writing back with differing subject lines or our changing the title/s> I thought it would need to be that way for exactly the reason you stated above. Have I been messing up this whole time? If so, sorry about that! If I'm supposed to change the querior's email subject line, where/how should the original be placed for reference? <Again, keeping them the same, constant is fine> Also, when a person's continual follow-up queries no longer pertain to the original subject(s), I'm guessing that it would then be okay to completely change the headline and no longer continue a string of unrelated questions? <Yes my friend> It seems that to do otherwise would make for a nightmare when trying to cache bits and parts of a string of re-re-re's into different areas of FAQ subjects. At that point, where in the reply should the original title be placed so that you can see the trail? Or, at that point, do you even need to see it? <I do... to give me a chance... better clues (along with all's names...) as to where it might go> LOL Am I driving you nuts with questions yet? I've been told more than once that my mind works differently than most folks, so I do apologize. Maybe it's the artist in me, but I tend to come at things from "odd"/multiple angles. Heeeee, or maybe I just over-think things and make them unnecessarily complicated! Thanks, -Lynn <Wonderful. BobF>

Trayless Queries and WWM Crew Support -- 03/17/07 Hello Sabrina, <<Hi, Brandon!>> Brandon here.  I just wanted to let you know that I can see the "Trayless Questions" too, and I have been able to use WebMail in three different versions of Linux, as well as OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD.  Thought that you might want to add that to the page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/crewsuptrouble.htm for us Open System users. I was using the browsers, Konqueror, and Firefox. Not sure if this helps, but I hope it does.  Brandon    <<Any bit does help.  Hopefully we can ditch this old webmail program soon....  T.R. and I are working on a solution, and I do hope he will soon have time to implement it so we can test it out.>> <I too check the trayless on a daily basis and take any marine questions out of there, have never had a problem with them on my Mac. Adam J.> <<Thanks, Adam.  My best to all,  -Sabrina>>

Queries, responses titling   1/23/07 Argh! As you go through replies today, you'll notice I did about half of them with the proper subject headings... though you can clearly tell where I was semi-distracted during responses in discussion with my significant other. D'oh! They're all new queries, so put whatever heading you feel appropriate on the ones I missed... I'll catch them in dailies, and make note of the heading you give, in case I get replies on any. Sorry, Bob! <Am grateful you did the half... many of the Crew do none...> Also, I just cruised to the WWM crew page, and noticed that you never posted the profile pic I sent before.... leading me to think it may have just not made it. Gotta love technology, sometimes I swear its got a mind of its own *grin* Anyhoo, figured I'd toss it back your way.. -JustinN <What? Please send it along again for posting please... BobF, who is sorely tempted to beg you, MichL, GrahamT to help with moving, bldg. the sites... as he is getting overwhelmed too many days...> <<Did the image arrive successfully this time? I attached it here, to the original correspondence... If not, I'll try shooting it to your pers. addr. real quick.. its a pic of me being pulled by my big buddy (who was ironically sold to us as a fox terrier/Maltese crossbreed... he's clearly very Sheppard, but my mom didn't know better... *grin*) -- fun stuff.. -JustinN>> <Did get it, thanks... Be chatting! B>

A correction (but you need not act, or reply!)    11/29/06 Top of the morning to you, Crew! <And to you Nicole> While I was waiting for some updates to download, I had a chance to read over all of the bios on the WWM page (two words: dial-up!) and I came across a note Sabrina wrote. Please know that I love Sabrina! Her replies are terrific, and her knowledge so obviously vast!  But just in case you want to know, I thought I would say that, while this bit of dialogue is smile-provoking *smiles*... When you reply, try to follow the same "style" that we use <Your replies in carrots> Mmmm, carrots.... <Tasty carrots!> And remove blank spaces and such. ...That "angle brackets" are not the same as "carets." A caret ( ^ ) is "a mark used by an editor (or your English teacher) to indicate where a word is to be (or should have been) inserted into an article or manuscript."** As for the matter of angle brackets, Wikipedia has, quite possibly, the only article on brackets that you will ever need to read. *** I hope this is not out of line. I actually hope that you will not change it, as I love the carrots! As well as the unintentional pun and banter! Additionally, I *hope* you will not post this, as it will perhaps mortify me to have the world at large know that I've so much time on my hands. Kindest regards, Nicole <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

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