In 2015, Meredith Haggerty produced an episode on TinyLetter and women’s writing for her WNYC internet-culture show, TLDR. In it, Haggerty quoted the essay “The Laugh of the Medusa,” published by the French feminist scholar Hélène Cixous in 1976. “Women must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies,” Cixous argues, going on to explain that the only way women can make up for their absence from recorded history is to write themselves in now, super fast, with lots of detail and energy.
This, Haggerty argued, is what women were doing with TinyLetter, and what many of the best newsletters are doing now. In her newsletter Like This, the writer Meaghan O’Connell documented in gory and personal detail the experience of giving birth. Starting in 2014, the writer Charlotte Shane published a serialized memoir about her experiences as a sex worker in a TinyLetter called Prostitute Laundry. It was later adapted into a book, but as she was publishing the newsletter, she kept no public archive: You had to subscribe, and whatever you’d already missed was lost to the wind.
After 6 PM staff only get emails from me if they are invited in. In other words, if they have asked me a question and want an answer, then a response has been invited. But if that invitation for a response isn’t there, I delay email delivery until the next morning.
Three weeks ago I received a very flattering email from the University of Cambridge, asking me to judge the Adam Smith Prize for Economics:
How HTML helped, then hindered, the evolution of email, or why all those fancy marketing emails you get in your inbox still rely on HTML tables in 2019.
Being overwhelmed is no excuse. It’s hard to be good at your job if you’re bad at responding to people.
Remember that a short reply is kinder and more professional than none at all. If you have too much on your plate, come clean: “I don’t have the bandwidth to add this.” If it’s not your expertise, just say so: “Sorry, this isn’t in my wheelhouse.” And if you want to say no, just say “no.”
The one caveat, emails from strangers continually asking for something. These can be ignored.
I have a few general rules. You should not feel obliged to respond to strangers asking you to share their content on social media, introduce them to your more famous colleagues, spend hours advising them on something they’ve created or “jump on a call this afternoon.” If someone you barely know emails you a dozen times a month and is always asking you to do something for him, you can ignore those emails guilt-free.
They both allow us to stay in touch, but while email often attracts ire, text messaging is more popular than ever. Is the way we choose to communicate saying more than we might think?
Your weekly Q&A session where we debunk the hosting myths, show you how the donuts get made, and answer all your burning questions about web hosting or anything else you have on your mind.
Another option you didn’t include in following blogs via email is IFTTT.
Email has changed since then, but not much. Most of what’s changed in the last 45 years is email clients—the software we use to access email. They’ve clumsily bolted on new functionality onto the old email, without fixing any of the underlying protocols to support that functionality.