Scott Hodge

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Wired Magazine Editor is NOT happy!

Nov 1, 2007
9 Comments

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, is pissed at PR people for sending him 300+ unsolicited emails every day.  So what does he do?  He blocks their emails, issues a strong reprimand and includes the culprits email addresses on his blog.  From his blog:

So fair warning: I only want two kinds of email: those from people I
know, and those from people who have taken the time to find out what
I’m interested in and composed a note meant to appeal to that (I love
those emails; indeed, that’s why my email address is public).

Everything else gets banned on first abuse. The
following is just the last month’s list of people and companies who
have been added to my Outlook blocked list. All of them have sent me
something inappropriate at some point in the past 30 days. Many of them
sent press releases; others just added me to a distribution list
without asking. If their address gets harvested by spammers by being
published here, so be it–turnabout is fair play.

There is no getting off this list. If you’re on it and have something appropriate to say to me, use a different email address.

Ok, wow.  I subscribe to Wired Magazine.  I also understand his frustration with receiving unsolicited emails.  And the truth is, I can’t imagine having to sort through 300 unsolicited emails a day.  But what would have happened if he (as the editor-in-chief of one of the top technological magazines in the world) would have turned this into a positive challenge and threw this out to his top tech writers to investigate and propose a solution to? 

This isn’t just a "Chris Anderson" problem.  In fact, a solution from Chris and Wired Magazine on this growing problem could have helped a whole lot of people.  The response seems about as lame as people sending unsolicited emails in the first place. 

But then again, I don’t get 300 unsolicited emails a day. 

What do you think? 


9 Responses to “Wired Magazine Editor is NOT happy!”

  1. Keith Jones says:

    I don’t know. I understand where the guy is coming from. I LOVE email filters, they’re the greatest. I regularly set up filters on fellow employees because life is just too short to read this stuff. Of course, I don’t actually tell them that I filter certain messages from them… that’s part of the fun.

  2. Huebner says:

    Let me think about it and send you an email…j/k
    As the editor in chief of one of the top technical magazines in the world, he is bound to get slammed by emails good and bad.
    Honestly he is the one that should have two email addresses. One for personal/work and one for public.
    Here is someone who accepted this public facing position but does not want to deal with both sides (good and bad) of the public.

  3. Justin says:

    About two months ago, I had an hour-long conversation (well, more like an interview) with Chris Anderson, and while he was often short and to the point, he seemed to be a well-rounded, nice guy.
    Sometimes it takes 300 emails to piss someone off.
    But what compels me to comment on your post, Scott, is to stand behind your challenge. It’s all to easy to just react, and events surely justify it sometimes.
    But while drawing something new on an already muddy canvas can be tough, it is often where redemption and beauty are made.
    Your post just made me wish that Chris would’ve taken the challenge, been creative with his response, and shared it with the world. Then, maybe there’d be less wasted time in the world having to delete crap from our inboxes.
    Maybe I’ll send him a note. ;-)

  4. Doug says:

    I’m in. I accept your challenge.
    I think I can get 300 people to send you one email per day.

  5. David W says:

    Ok seriously, this guy is just being a baby. Come on! 300 per day? Seriously, the editor of MAJOR magazine is only receiving 300 unwanted emails a day.
    Has he not ever heard of spam filtering? I work for a semi-large company and I am the email admin in an MS Exchange environment. Last month, we received 36 million messages into our system. 34 million were spam. His email address is public info as I’m sure it’s in the magazine and the website. If he doesn’t like it, make it unavailable or change the email address.
    Sure all spammers should be taken out and beaten but give me a break, this guys email address is out there and when you are in publishing you should expect to get Press releases and such.

  6. What’s the big deal? All you need is a little green eggs with your SPAM. Makes it go down easier.

  7. Chris Cree says:

    Scott, In my previous job I had to filter through 500-600 emails a day. Very few were spam, and fortunately only a small percentage required my direct attention.
    Your comment about choosing a different attitude towards the problem potentially producing vastly different results is incredibly profound. What if someone with the kind of resources Wired has took on this problem?
    If a good solution was found it could change how email is handled worldwide. I be they’d even make some money if their solution was a good one. Everyone would win.
    Thanks for making me think.

  8. Erik says:

    I even have Roland beat. Back in ’99-’00 timeframe I use to recieve about 1500 emails a day. Not t SPAM but because of all the distribution lists I had to be on with my job. It was crazy. Now day with this job, about 100. that is still way to many. I HATE EMAIL!!!

  9. Jamie says:

    Thats pretty harsh. I think everyone hates unsolicited email but I’m with you there is probably a better solution, although I don’t have it, Yet.

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