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Week of October 29, 2001:
More on Automation & Polite Present

Automation works! With Mari Bontrager's help, I'm setting up contact forms so I can quickly and efficiently answer questions from my visitors. Right now, between ossweb.com and webgrammar.com, I get from five to ten questions a day that relate to writing, punctuation, spelling, or operating a small business.

And I just got my first two recommendations from the "Recommend Us" software written by Will Bontrager. It is excellent. I'm using Master RecommendPro.

Here are some of the features: I'm notified by email when the recommend form is used. I used the control panel to customize the text of the emails sent by my visitors to friends, and there's a place for their own comments. There's a checkbox for my visitors to request a copy of the mail being sent to their friends.

It's multi-lingual. It also does a rudimentary check for obscenity and possibly offensive slurs, and refuses to mail such to any but the webpage maintainer. I have complete control of the list of words/phrases that the program checks.

One of the best things: the form does not contain my email address, even in hidden fields. Great way to stop feeding spammer's email address harvesting robots!

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Polite Present: Manual of Good Manners, 1831

Excerpts from a charming, serious 2 1/2" x 4" book published in 1831 by Munroe & Francis.

IN COMPANY:

Let your countenance be moderately cheerful, neither laughing nor frowning. Laugh not, but silently smile, upon any occasion.

Stand not before superiors with your hands in your pockets; scratch not your head, wink not with your eye, but modestly look straight before you.

Walking with your superior in the house or garden, give him the right (or upper) hand and walk not too near, but a little behind him; yet not so distant as that it shall be troublesome to him to speak to you, or hard for you to hear.

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