So Simple a Five-Year-Old Can Do It

We were brought up to be polite.  We say “thank you” and “good bye” and “you’re welcome” and observe other social niceties.  This is all well and good in person but frankly might be overkill when observed in enterprise instant messaging sessions.

Just like the oaf who has to reply to all with “Thanks” or “Great!”, many knowledge workers have trouble knowing where to stop the conversation in IM.

An ideal IM session might be no more than a few sentences, e.g.

Me:  Sorry to interrupt – do you have quick figures on February sales?

VP Finance:  Sure.  Widgets were $30 million and doodads were $10.5 million.  Need anything else?

Me:  No but thanks. NNTR.

There we have it. Short and sweet.  But what is this NNTR I hear you all cry.  NNTR is shorthand I came up with to end the frustration of the IM session that goes on forever.  It is shorthand for “no need to reply.”  Effectively, by its use, the writer is saying “Don’t feel obligated to continue as we have accomplished all we need to accomplish.”

It’s so simple a five-year-old could do it.

But does it work?  I started using NNTR about a year ago here at Basex (with a brief explanation of course) and I have found that not only are people stopping after an NNTR but they are NNTRing me as well.

Since I’ve covered all that needs to be said, let’s just say NNTR and good night.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

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