The Contact Rant

Outlook Email

Why do we do it? Why do we allow random strangers to contact us via the Internet? We’ve learned in the offline world that no stranger ever knocks our door because they want to do us a favour. So what are we expecting when we establish a presence online, and then essentially invite a bunch of grasping commercial psychopaths, bored cyber-vagrants, and certified, flat-out weirdos to get in touch?

A RECOMMENDATION

There’s a temptation, after setting up a blog, a website, or another type of web presence, to add a contact facility. It could even be said that there’s a pressure to do so. It’s just something everyone does. And online tech giants encourage the addition of a contact facility, because it means they can mine the living shit out of the personal data we provide in our communications.

But for your own sake, I suggest that you refrain. Or, if you really must add a contact facility for effect and impression, bin the password to the attached email address. That way you won’t ever have to read any of the demanding, whining, self-important, ignorant or falsely-sycophantic-angling-for-a-favour crap that the attention-desperate peoples of cyberland will send you.

Of course, that’s the idealistic dream. But because you suspect that every so often there’ll be that one, needle-in-a-haystack piece of contact you actually do want, you’re probably going to ignore my suggestion. You’re going to endure the 99% of excruciating, knackering bollocks, in the hope that the 1% is worth waiting for. Cool. That’s your choice, but here’s what you should expect…

RELATED: Serving the Self-Servers
A look at the challenge of profiting from unsolicited online contact.

WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT

Most people on the Internet simply read what they find, assimilate it, and sod off. But those are not the people whose tiresome attentions you’re going to attract to your inboxes. The individuals with whom you’ll be beset, will be 1,000% convinced that everything on the Internet is there specifically for THEM. In reality, nothing on Google is there specifically for anyone. It’s there to serve a collective purpose. But you try writing something original and putting it on the Web, without a terminally irritating cyber-pest reading the first sentence of what you said, then emailing you to ask:

  1. A range of convoluted and barely readable questions which you’ve already answered in the text they couldn’t be bothered to look at, and..
  2. Why you haven’t better catered to their specific and exact personal needs.

Some will try to correct you. But you were correct in the first place. They weren’t to know that, obviously – because they only read half a sentence – but yes, why don’t I just waste ten minutes of my life explaining what I’ve already explained, in a way that’s digestible to a pea-brained wretch with an attention span of six words.

Some will want to make suggestions. Like their weird, barely even sane ideas and desires in some way matter to you, and are going to change the course of what you set out to do. Like…

“Oh yes, you want me to alter my whole site to comply with your disturbingly strange outlook on life? Certainly! Just let me slave away at it for two solid months, for no personal gain whatsoever, and I’ll let you know when it’s done so you can criticise it and list more things that still don’t meet with your personal approval!”

Some will want to express their opinion, prefixing their emails with lines like: “As a manager…

Seriously, fuck your opinion! Just fuck off with it. I don’t care what you think about my article. I don’t care whether or not you agree with me. I don’t care that I missed something out and you think I should have put it in. I don’t care that you chair a local residents’ group, or that you’re the manager of a half-bankrupt events company. What you think does not in any way matter – especially when it is purely based on the manipulative whims of a newspaper editor, or the consensus of a latex fetish forum, or simply personal experience you’ve gained in the course of your weird life.

Indeed, some will want to outline their life story. They should note: if I wanted to read a life story, I would not select an individual whose life is so unthinkably dull that they are reduced to emailing people they don’t know, on the Internet, with critiques of blog posts.

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Access more essential reading, from the site that says it first…

Some will consider you their personal servant. I can kind of bear the rest, but this one really makes me want to call my Internet Service Provider and tell them to stick the Internet up their arse (even though they’re giving it to me for free for two years), and then track down the individual who invented the Web and torture his balls with a spoon.

I’m a writer – not an unpaid helpdesk.

I’m not on 24 hour alert, ready to drop everything and assist in the personal emergencies of all and sundry at a moment’s notice. Let me conclude with a brief message to those who think I am…

READ THE FUCKING CONTENT! THAT’S WHAT IT’S THERE FOR! And if you can’t find what you want within my content, go and read someone else’s. And if you still can’t find what you want, GO TO A SHOP AND BUY A BOOK! It’s not the responsibility of any unpaid Internet contributor to conform to your opinions, or service your whims and needs. When online providers are difficult or impossible to contact, YOU are the reason why. Talk less, listen more.

  Author: Bob Leggitt


 

COMMENTS…

Gerald Fox
Latex Fetishist

I don’t really agree with that.

Rod B Sandleman:
Manager

I feel there are some important points missing from this post. As a manager, I have a good grasp of organisation, and I think the post could have been better organised. Just my opinion.

Wayne Chavness:
Follow Me So I Can DM

I’ve got a few suggestions for this blog, and I was just wondering if there’s an email address?

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