Agricultural Communications, Purdue University
An electronic newsletter with communication tips and information


May 1996

REALITIES OF E-MAIL

E-mail is commonplace around Purdue Agriculture, so commonplace that we may overlook some common sense. Here are tips from the editors of "On Target" that make sense, even though some are difficult in reality.

The following tips and/or reminders showed up from Kathy J. Carrington, Administrative Assistant, Dept. of Ag and Natural Resources, University of California in Riverside.


BE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR!
Techniques to enhance your communication skills

Editor's Note: The following is the first of a four-part series condensed from Eli Lilly's monthly magazine "Focus."

Part One - How to compose effective e-mail


WHO'S BEEN VISITING YOUR WEB SITE? (PART 1)
(Whose site have you been visiting?)

Do you know who is visiting your web pages or web server? As people surf the web, they leave behind a "trail" in the web server log files. This trail may indicate which files the user viewed and how many times those files were viewed.

This trail of information can be very useful to web authors and webmasters (the people who compose and maintain the web pages and web servers). It is possible in many cases to track web visits back to an individual computer and/or user. And, with some browsers, it is also possible for web authors to determine even more about a particular individual, such as name, e-mail ID, or even spending habits if they have used the web to purchase a product or service.

In the next couple of "Who's Been Visiting Your Web Site" articles, we will look at some of the pros and cons associated with web server monitoring, and the kind of information that can be obtained from web server log files, web browsers and other sources. In addition, we also will look at additional ways sites may be monitoring and tracking web usage.

Terry McCain


GRAMMAR TRAPS: AFFECT VS. EFFECT
(Excerpted from the June, 1995 issue of "Communique" by popular request.)

"Affect" is a VERB. Most commonly, it means to influence or have an impact on something or someone.

Example: How will this article affect your writing?

"Effect" is a NOUN. Most commonly, it means a result or something brought about by a cause.

Example: I wonder if this article will have an effect on your writing.

In the field of psychology, "affect" can serve as a noun. And "effect" can be a verb, but it's an obscure usage. Thus, 99.9% of the time you'll be safe if you remember: "A" is the verb. "E" is the noun.

Hope this helps you avoid these two notorious grammar traps. And if you have a grammar trap you'd like to see discussed or know of a tip that will help the rest of us avoid a grammar trap, please let us know.


COPYRIGHT AND THE LAW

When a group of people in Floyd County, Indiana, wanted to use information from a University of Minnesota Extension publication, they turned to Roy Ballard, ANR educator in Floyd County.

The group wanted to use part of the publication to hand out at meetings. The problem was that the publication cost $4.50, and it was copyrighted by the University of Minnesota. So they asked Ballard for permission to copy part of it. What do you do in this situation? Look at the policy.

The policy of the University of Minnesota is that a copyright is just that; any copying of their publication without written permission is a violation of the copyright law.

There are some exceptions. What it comes down to is whether or not you can prove that full use of the publication is not appropriate for your audience.

If you want to copy part of a publication, they ask that you send a fax with the name of the publication, how much of the pub you intend to copy, how many copies you intend to make, who will use it, whether it's a one-time or ongoing use, and whether or not you will charge for it. If you could include a statement of why you could not use the entire publication, it might help.

To request permission to use copyrighted materials from the University of Minnesota, fax your request to Dave McAllister (copyright@mes.umn.edu), Communication and Technology Leader at (612) 625-2207.

Dave will forward the request to the specific author. The author will then offer written consent or reasons for not consenting.

While this information is specific to University of Minnesota publications, this is the standard procedure for any copyrighted material. The basic rule is: If you want to use it, check with the publisher or author.


KEEPING YOU ON TARGET

Communication Training: July 14-17

If you are interested in how to communicate about the changing face ofagriculture, the U.S. Agricultural Communicators Congress on July 14-17may be of interest. While the conference will have a lot of detailed informationabout such things as electronic publishing, it will explore the changingface of

1) consumers,

2) Washington, and

3) agriculture.

Purdue Extension educators enjoyed and learned from the AgriculturalCommunicators regional at Purdue in March. You might gain from this Julynational conference in Washington. For more information, contact Steve Cain (cain@purdue.edu) at (765) 494-8410 . Or, look up the congress information at this URL: http://athena.ecn.purdue.edu:8001/http_dir/Conference/USACC.htm.



We want to hear from you. Do you have a communication question? Do you have a comment on this issue of "On Target"? If so, please e-mail any of our writers.

It is the policy of the Department of Agricultural Communication Service of Purdue University that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action employer. These materials may be available in alternative formats.