E-mail from Brian Leiter:
I am writing to ask if you would be willing to use your blog to help establish my law school ranking site as a result for those searching my name; oddly it is not at present. You can simply cut and paste from the post here:
Thanks so much, and sorry for the bother.
That link takes you to this text:
So, dear reader with a blog, please post a link to Brian Leiter with the hyper-link to www.leiterrankings.com, for the benefit of all those souls in Cyberspace in search of my law school ranking site.
Which all reminds me: Over a year ago, I stopped promoting this blog by sending out emails when I thought I had something worthy of attention. Traffic and links soon sagged — I lost maybe a third of it. But I'm much happier.
Now that you’re no longer advertising your blog via email, I’m curious about your answers to some questions:
o How many people were on your email list? How frequently did you send out mail to your list? Did you tag your mail as “bulk”?
o How many people wanted to be on your email list? How did you know they wanted to be on your email list?
o How many people requested to be taken off your email list? Did your ISP’s abuse desk receive any complaints regarding your email?
I note that your blog employs a technique described as a “sp*m reduction measure”. Do you think that spam is a problem?
Given the nature of the post, I would send it to as many as a dozen other bloggers, either people I had corresponded with in the past, or people I thought would be interested in. On one or two rare occasions, when I had something important to say about the torture memos, I may have sent the note to as many a 40 people.
Since there wasn’t a fixed list, it was small, and hand-made, I don’t think anyone would call it spam.
Obviously, if it had been mechanical and large, that would be another story.
To answer your specific questions:
* I didn’t tag the mail as bulk, because it wasn’t bulk.
* Many of the people I was mailing were people I knew in person or by email. No one asked to be on my list. No one asked me to stop, perhaps because I didn’t do it that often.
* If my ISP ever had a complaint, they didn’t share it with me.
And yes, I do think spam is a problem. That’s why I wouldn’t do it.
Thanks for your answers.
Based on your description, it sounds to me like you used the email system in a way that it was —is— and should be designed to support. That is, you engaged in non-prearranged communication with a small-enough group of people that it’s most efficient to employ a secondary capability of a system primarily designed for non-prearranged one-to-one messaging, rather than using another system designed for broadcast or multicast. Iow, you used email in a way that most users not only want, but are willing to pay for.
Out of curiousity, what volume and frequency would you classify as “bulk”?
People have been arguing about that for years…
for the benefit of all those souls in Cyberspace in search of my law school ranking site.
It’s also for the benefit of Brian Leiter, who is understandably trying to get the obnoxious “Academic Thug” site off the first page of Google results. (I do have to wonder, however, about the “many readers” who have supposedly emailed Leiter about this issue.)