Kat and I just got back from a six-day trip to be with her family, to celebrate her father’s birthday. I returned to 1,334 messages in my personal mail account, most of them from mailing lists. But about 345 of those messages were spam. I’m reluctantly coming to the conclusion that if there’s one hanging offense on the Internet, spamming is it.
Granted, I’ve been online almost a decade and never really went to much trouble to disguise my e-mail address, a policy for which I am now paying every day of the year, as I try to clear my Inbox of crap without accidentally throwing away messages from people who legitimately want to talk to me—about CSS, about what I write here, about life in general. It’s an annoyance I really could do without, but it’s way too late now. The spam will stop when I go permanently offline, and not a day before.
The point of all this is not just to whine, although I admit it feels a little better to have vented. The point is that if you really want to talk to me, don’t give your message a subject like
Hey there :), as one correspondent did in the last six days. I very nearly trashed it out of hand, along with a few dozen urgent appeals for help from Nigerian mining widows, detailed make-money-fast schemes, offers of herbal viagra supplements, and so on. Please, I beseech you, make your subject lines descriptive in some way, and try to make them unambiguous. Otherwise, your message may find itself in the bit-bucket.