My campaign last year to see PR folk reduce the number of attachments they send out seems still to be ignored. Let’s face it, the last thing we want are huge attachments being sent to us, whether we have a dial-up connection or even a permanent
connection at work. Attachments can contain viruses and, equally annoying, is that if they are big they can clog up mailboxes and wreak havoc with other e-mails you are waiting for. The Press Association posts a simple message on its site saying: "All attachments will be ripped out as these e-mails are directed into the PA news system. Any press release copy needs to be copied and pasted into the e-mail itself." While newspapers such as The Times refer people to the maximum size e-mail they will accept. Last week I got an attachment running into 500k, which thankfully I managed to get rid of, having seen it once try to download into my mailbox. The PR in question apologised and said it is a good idea to cut and paste a press release, so why couldn’t they have done it in the first place? Let’s see some standards being set in terms of how press releases are sent by e-mail, so that in future both clients of PR firms and journalists themselves no longer find their time and money being wasted. With a paper release I don’t pay to receive it by post, but when downloading it on my computer I’m paying indirectly for it through my internet access charges.
In a bold move, free e-mail service provider Another.com has decided to charge. The company has told its 1.8 million registered users that in order to use its web-based e-mail service they will have to pay £15 a year. New users will be entitled to a trial 30- day service. The introduction of charging will be keenly watched by rival services and others who have content that has traditionally been free to view and who are now looking at ways to cover their costs of providing it.
If you are still looking for a home for your own website, then the Lycos-
owned Tripod (www.tripod.co.uk) is relaunching with the aim of making it quick and easy to have an online presence. The veteran service, that competes with Yahoo’s Geocities, will be offering free and paid-for services starting from £2.49 a month. The new Tripod free account certainly looks very good, with plenty of features, and the promise of a value for money paid-for account makes this worth looking into.
Virgin.net, the online portal and internet access service, is pulling out of being its own content provider and instead will look to others to supply site content. Virgin launched its online offering in November 1996 through a joint venture with NTL.