Email still a record after all these years and what about twitter wikis blogs oh my
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Email: Still a Record After All These Years …and what about Twitter, wikis & blogs – oh my!!!. Donna Read, CRM Florida Gulf Coast ARMA Chapter Sarasota, Florida January 19, 2010. Steps for Managing Email & Other Social Media Tools (Web 2.0).

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Email still a record after all these years and what about twitter wikis blogs oh my l.jpg

Email: Still a Record After All These Years …and what about Twitter, wikis & blogs – oh my!!!

Donna Read, CRM

Florida Gulf Coast ARMA Chapter

Sarasota, Florida

January 19, 2010

Steps for managing email other social media tools web 2 0 l.jpg
Steps for Managing Email & Other Social Media Tools (Web 2.0)

#1 Research & Homework – what’s the current situation

#2 Educate – Train – Raise Awareness

#3 Develop Email & Social Media Policy

#4 Determine best solutions for your organization

#5 Implement, Enforce & Audit

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Love - Hate Affair with Email

  • “Email is like coming home at night after a long day and finding 70 people in your kitchen.”

    John O’Donohue, Irish poet

Statistics l.jpg

  • Average employee spends 2.5 hours a day dealing with emails

  • Search on Google for “embarrassing emails” brought up 849,000 hits

  • 247 billion emails were sent each day in 2009

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More Time Spent Social Networking Than on Email

PC Magazine

March 2009

Blogs and social networking are consuming more online time than checking and writing personal email, market research firm Nielsen Online reported.

One in every 11 minutes online globally is accounted for by social network and blogging sites, the group found, or 45 billion minutes in total. That works out to a bit more than a combined 85,500 years spent on blogs and social networking sites in Dec. 2008 alone.

E mail other social media benefits drawbacks l.jpg

Save money

Saves time

No need for human intervention

Digital format for sharing & manipulation

Informal careless



No privacy

Potential for misuse

Virus carrier

Litigation target

E-mail & Other Social Media: Benefits & Drawbacks



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Step #1 – Research & Homework

  • What is the current situation?

  • Is there already email and other social media policy in place?

  • Is there a deletion process in place – what is it?

  • Where does the email live – a separate server or mixed in with all other data – inside the firewall or on the cloud?

  • What is the volume of legacy emails?

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Step #2 - Educate – Train – Raise Awareness

Email & other social media communications must be recognized as a potential record

Start with management – teach them how to recognize a record

Use statistics – headlines – litigation risks

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Where’s the Risk

  • Up to 80% of e-mail creators stated that they did not “have a clue’ as to when their e-mail qualified as an official record

  • “great inconsistency” as to what was actually classified as a record

  • Staff were “largely unaware” of the existence of organizational e-mail policies

    Rick Barry “Email Legal Status” Message posted to the Australian Archivists(aus-archivists) listserv on March 31, 1998

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Recognizing Email & Web 2.0 Records Email boxes on a listserv

  • Am I the originator of the message?

  • Is it a substantive message or just routine ‘chit-chat’?

  • If so, does the message have to do with the work of my office?

  • Is the content of the message something that I will need in future years to do my job?

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More questions to ask…. Email boxes on a listserv

  • Does the message support decisions that were made in my program area?

  • If I am the recipient, is the message “information only”?

  • Does it require me to take action?

  • Will someone need the message for operational, fiscal, or legal purposes?

  • Use the same thought processes as you do when taking action on other documents that cross your desk! BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHAT YOU KEEP!

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Step #3 - Develop Email & Email boxes on a listservWeb 2.0 Policy


Guideline 1: Email retention policies should reflect the input of functional and business units

through a team approach and should include the entire organization including any operations

outside the United States.

Guideline 2: The team should develop a current understanding of email retention policies and

practices actually in use within the entity.

Guideline 3: An entity should select features for updates and revisions of email retention policy

with the understanding that a variety of possible approaches reflecting size, complexity and

policy priorities are possible. 

Guideline 4: Any technical solutions should meet the functional requirements identified as part

of policy development and should be carefully integrated into existing systems.

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More From Sedona Guidelines Email boxes on a listserv

Framework for policy development

General Retention Considerations

Typical Retention Features1. User Mailbox Size Limitations (“Quotas”)2. Automatic Deletion of User Mailbox Contents3. Extended Storage Options4. Restrictions on Local Storage

The Importance of Litigation Holds

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Email Policy TOC Email boxes on a listserv

Funtional Overview

Roles & Responsiblities

General Information and Guidelines

Generating and Preparing Emails

Storing Emails in a document mgt system

Disposal of Emails

Definition of records along with other vocabulary

Laws and Regulations

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Definition of Email from DOC Email Policy Email boxes on a listserv

“An email message consists of any document created, transmitted, or received on an email system, including message text and any attachments, such as word-processed documents, spreadsheets, and graphics that may be transmitted with a message, or with an envelope containing no message.”

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Twitter Indiscretion Email boxes on a listserv 2009

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E-mail MUST be managed from 3 different perspectives Email boxes on a listserv

  • Legal Risk Management

  • Records Management

  • Information Technology Management

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Step #4 – Determine the best solution for your organization

Team of stakeholders – Management, RM, IT, Legal, & Budget

Map out optionsa) Manually manage e-mail & Web 2.0b) Use software to managec) Combination of both *all options involve resources $$

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Moving to a new system organization

Non-Business information that is no longer useful to you

and can be destroyed

In-progress information you have created or received that

is directly related to your current work activities. Includes

short-term reference materials or personal information

useful only to you in conducting company business

Final information directly related to your assigned work

activities or information required for the company to have

adequate records. These records are defined in the

Corporate Records Retention Schedule

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Marking Electronic Records organization

E-Mail Example – Marking Subject / File Code

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Email = Evidence Mail organization

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Email Involved in Litigation organization

  • “No matter what happens, we have to slow down Netscape’s ability to drive new protocols/stds down.” “Do we have a clear plan on what we want Apple to do to undermine Sun?”

  • Microsoft emails used by Department of Justice in antitrust litigation.

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Choosing Software organization

One size does not fit all

Nothing is plug and play

Costs continue - not a one time thing

Needs to work with other systems in your organization

Takes a lot of resources and continued IT support

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E-mail Law Suits organization

  • Wrongful Termination: Potential cost $20 million

  • Martha Stewart

  • Enron Corporation

  • Procter & Gamble Corporation

  • Department of the Interior


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“The meeting with the FDA yesterday was a tremendous success! No black box [warning]!”

Email discovered during Fen-Phen litigation of pharmaceutical executive bragging about convincing the FDA that a warning label on a bottle was unnecessary.

Settled for $3.75 billion

Are Email & other Web 2.0 transmissions a record?

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Step #5 – Implement, Enforce & Audit success! No black box [warning]!”

  • Once policy is developed & approved it must be distributed and taught

  • Policy needs to include what steps will be in place to enforce the new rules

  • Everyone in the organization needs to understand the importance of following the policy

  • Audit of the email and Web 2.0 tools will ensure that implementation is done

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Summary - 5 Steps success! No black box [warning]!”

  • #1 Research & Homework – what’s the current situation

  • #2 Educate – Train – Raise Awareness

  • #3 Develop Email & Social Media Policy

  • #4 Determine best solutions for your organization

  • #5 Implement, Enforce & Audit

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Thank you success! No black box [warning]!”

Donna Read, CRM

Senior Records Analyst

National Archives & Records Administration

WWII Poster