Sunday, January 9, 2011
Take the Internet Away
I used to work at a huge newspaper. My responsibilities included sending mass emails to literally hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to receive the top headlines for the day, the latest tech news, or some kind of celebrity gossip. At the end of every one of these emails we sent, we included a contact email address that people could use to get in touch with us. Without fail, each week we'd receive several angry responses, but the only ones that troubled me were these: "To whom it may concern, I would like to receive your newspaper at home, please subscribe me, here's my mailing address and credit card number." That email with the credit card number would go to about 15 people on the general list, and one of us would forward it to circulation so they could close the gap and actually help the customer. Whenever I received one of these emails, all I could think was, "This person should not be allowed to use the internet."