There is spam, and then there is semi-spam

Posted on 17 April 2009 in:

Part of the fun of having a blog like this one is the e-mail that occasionally pops up in my inbox from people I have never met. Some of these corresponders ask for font suggestions, have questions about my typefaces, or wonder which schools they should consider if they want to study typeface or graphic design. Unfortunately, other sorts of e-mails arrive, too. These e-mails aren’t quite things that you would want your spam filter to capture. Yet reading them can cause pain in other little ways. Here are sample of these sorts of queries…

Q: Hi! I really love your blog. I am one of the of the organizers of [insert conference or event name here]. We really aren’t interested in inviting you to come speak at our event, and honestly, we couldn’t care less if you even paid the cash to register yourself for it either. But could you please post an article about [insert conference or event name here]? We would love to use your website as a platform for our poorly written press releases. We know that you won’t receive any sort of benefit from this, except perhaps that it might let you pretend that we care about you, your opinions, your writing, or your design work!

A: Dear public-relations-person-who-has-yet-to-get-the-point-behind-web-2.0, thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately, I am only interested in writing about conferences that I am attending at this very moment, am planning to attend, or might conceivably want to attend. Occasionally, if a friend of mine or someone who I really respect is speaking at an event that I am not going to attend, or is organizing or otherwise helping it out, then I will post about it here on TypeOff, too. Press releases are so 20th century anyway; don’t we both have better things to do with our time than have this conversation?

Q: Hi! Your website is such an awesome resource. I am not a type designer, but I wrote an application that I think vaguely has something to do with fonts on the web/in print/on little wearable buttons/etc. I think that it is the best application of its kind ever thought of, and I am sure that you agree. I am too cheap to dream up an advertising budget, even though I am selling my application for mucho bucks. Since I paid you a compliment in the first part of this e-mail, would you please post a long article about my application? Then, people who visit your website might come and buy my product, and you’ll get absolutely nothing for the trouble! Moreover, the share of your readership that doesn’t like my product may naturally feel so alienated that they will stop patronizing your site… but let’s be honest; anyone who doesn’t like my product isn’t worth having around anyway, right?

A: Dear troll, how did you find my blog? I know about Google and such, but the miniscule amount of typographic material that I scribble here for my small readership cannot possibly be something that you find particularly fascinating. Even if you did, I still do not see the benefit this site might receive for plugging your product. The point of me having a blog is that I get to write about things that I find interesting or noteworthy. If your product really is the cat’s meow, it will probably get picked up by hundreds of other bloggers before I get around to finding it. And if that is the case, then my readers will probably have heard about it before I would get around to blogging about it in the first place.

Q: Yo! We’ve have about two dozen beers together over the past couple of years, and I released a typeface over at [insert name of awesome foundry here] two months ago. You still have not blogged about it. Are we not friends anymore?

A: Oh, fuck! I am very sorry :( I must have been hiding under a rock when your typeface was released. Of course I will post something about your typeface. Next time, if you give me some advance notice, I’ll do better and blog in a more time-worthy fashion.