No doubt, you have read the how-to's of e-mail forwarding before. If you have by now grasped the concept, then there's no need to read on. However, there are some folks who have to read this information periodically. They read such instructions and follow them for a short time. But sooner or later they fall back into their old habits and have to be reminded again. This is for those folks, not necessarily for you personally. If you have some of those friends who forward every e-mail that arrives in their inboxes, then feel free to forward a link to this article to them.
Here's the best information about 1) when and 2) how to send e-mail forwards:
As a writer, I do not really enjoy reading e-mail forwards. Oh, I'm not saying that they're trash. Most of them are quite good. But as a writer, I always wonder about the author of those wonderful tidbits of wisdom or humor. Surely every good bit of wisdom or humor being circulated on the Internet was not authored by "anonymous", and yet there are never any names attached to those forwards. Are we really sure that the writer wanted his/her work to be circulated all over the Internet for free? Are we certain that the words did not come from a copyrighted book or web site? If not, we really should not be forwarding them. That's how I feel about it, anyway, and I have written about this before: http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/507260
2) See answer #1 above.
It's really not necessary to give instructions about how to send forwards if you follow rule #1.
Okay, you're not about to stop sending e-mail forwards, right? Then here are the real instructions about how to do so.
If you must send e-mail forwards, rule #1 is to select the recipients carefully.
Never, ever, ever just hit the forward button at the top of your e-mail and send an email to your entire address book. If you're like most of us, your friends are not cookie-cutter people. Perhaps you have some friends who only eat red meat and some who only eat veggies. You might have some friends who love snow and others who abhor it. Some of your friends might love poetry, while others only read historical novels. Since your friends are all different, chances are that not every one of them will enjoy each and every cutsie e-mail that you receive. So, if you must send something you've received to your friends, be kind enough to sort through your address book to figure out which ones might actually be interested.
Always put your name in the To: location and your friends' e-mail addresses under bcc. Always.
Never, ever, ever just type all the selected names in the To: place on your e-mail. Why, you ask? First, by doing that you have just given my e-mail address to ten or twenty or forty other people whom I may not know or may not want to know. If only half of them forward the e-mail on without removing names and only half of those recipients do the same thing, and so on and so one into infinity, my e-mail address has been forwarded to hundreds, or thousands of people. Friend, that is not something I want to happen.
Instead, type your own name in the To: location. And type all the names or e-mail addresses in the bcc: location. That's not the cc: location, since that would defeat the purpose of keeping my address out of the hands of strangers. Nope, I want my e-mail address in the bcc: location if you are sending something to me and dozens of others. (That's blind copy, in case you didn't know.)
Always cut and paste the information into a new e-mail. Do not just forward the material, because those pesky >>>> symbols will follow along.
Now, you may think that hitting the forward button and erasing all the e-mail addresses at the top of the page, sending it to yourself with blind copies to your friends is enough. It's not. By hitting the forward button, you've generated those pesky line break markers, you know >>>>. If the e-mail you are forwarding has been forwarded a number of times without removing those nasty things, it likely has a bunch of them. The remedy for this is to never just forward a message. Instead, cut and paste it into a new e-mail.
That's it. These are pretty simple instructions to follow if you MUST send e-mails to all of your friends, relatives, business associates, acquaintances, and anyone who has been unlucky enough to make it into your address book. Please follow these directions, especially if you plan on sending these e-mails to me.
Oh yes, and if you are the recipient of these forwarded e-mails and wish to respond, please do not hit the "reply all" button.