Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

05 Jun 2007, 11:01 a.m.

The Annals of Point-Missing

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Tonight I'll probably go to the New York Tech Meetup, in hope of interesting demos and good questions. I've been to several of them in the past 16 months, and attendance has stabilized at 300-500. Perhaps at first the participants all knew tech really well, but the audience has expanded past geeks to the suits who want to leverage geekdom. just started offering mailing lists for Meetup groups. So of course we've had some great reply-all cascades of disgust.

it goes through several phases: the original message, people saying "get me off this list," ... people saying "stop sending messages to the whole list," people saying "stop sending messages saying 'stop sending messages to the whole list' to the whole list," and silly nonsense and evangelizing. Quote from a middle phase of this cycle: "I realize I just sunk to the same level by mass emailing, by the way." Quote from the last phase: "i like hamburger."

Today's silly nonsense:

Hiring: Email attendants
Hello Meetup'rs:

My company is currently seeking two (2) people for hire. Both people need the same skillset which is very basic:

Skills Needed:
-- Ability to properly send and receive emails.

If you are interested, please send your reply to the mailing list letting everyone know of your qualifications for such a position. Should you reply to me directly, I will pass on your application.

The pay is great, the benefits are excellent and to think, you will be in charge of sending replies to the wrong places all day!

Thank you for your time and good replying!

-- Allen Stern
Owner, Proper Email Foundation

I read it and chuckled, then read further in the daily digest. Two replies to that message (sent of course to the whole list): "I got a error website message? Is this something someone can do partime from home?" and "I am all email all the time and therefore certainly interested."

Wow. How much can you miss the point? Could it be that they've missed it by such an incredible distance that they've wrapped around the world and come back to it again?