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During my impromptu week away from blogging, an interesting conversation came up on a Yahoo group I belong to. It concerned the use of email lists, and whether or not folks should ask people to subscribe to them, or simply add anyone they feel might be interested, and let them unsubscribe if they want to.

At present, I don't have an email list myself, but if I ever decide to set one up, I'd definitely invite folks to subscribe before adding them. I understand the logic behind (say) writers adding other writers, but we get so much junk mail already. Besides, I think most folks prefer to decide for themselves whether or not they'd like to receive newsletters, updates and the like.

How about you?

What's your take on people adding names to their email lists?

Poll #1863779 Email lists

What's your take on people adding names to their email lists?

I love it when someone adds me. It saves me having to go through the hassle of signing up myself.
I don't mind is someone adds me. After all, I can always unsubscribe.
If I'm interested, I'll sign up for myself, I don't want someone else adding me without my permission.
When someone adds me to their email list without my permission, it lowers my opinion of that person.
It bugs the heck out of me when people add me to their email list without so much as a 'By your leave.'
Something else, which I'll mention in the comments.

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( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 1st, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
I would prefer that they ask me before they add me.
Sep. 1st, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Me too, Janice :)
Sep. 1st, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
I suspect this will be decidedly skewed towards the "do not want" end of the spectrum, so I'll just add this: apart from the annoyance factor, I think a move like that comes with a whiff of desperation. Like the writer doesn't trust that people will find him or his book interesting enough on their own merits, so the only way he can think to get the word out is carpet-bomb the inboxes of the multitudes.

(In fact, I would rank that right below Twitter-mania: it's nice to see that someone's followed me, but when I see that they're also following 43,961 other people, I get the feeling they won't be savoring my status updates. In both cases, the bottom line is that they're treating me like a person to be sold to - great if I'm browsing in a store, not if I'm walking down the street.)
Sep. 1st, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
'In both cases, the bottom line is that they're treating me like a person to be sold to - great if I'm browsing in a store, not if I'm walking down the street.'

Very true :)
Sep. 1st, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC)
I don't mind if someone adds me. I don't spend much time on line and I will, from time to time, miss things. I guess if I had internet access at work I would check things more often. So on LJ I am a heavy user of the "notify me when" option (I track you and about 9 other people - all writers)

That said, sometimes I don't get why we get added to other writters lists. After all shouldn't we be selling to readers and not compleatly to our peers?

On a different note - do you ever come over to the DE side of the DE Memoral bridge? We have an indi bookstore that specalizes in speculative fic and it is a cool place to have a signing.
Sep. 1st, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Hi Elizabeth,

I'm delighted to be among the folks you track :)

As for indie bookstores, I certainly plan to work on getting some multi-author 'book-launch' events when Barnum's Revenge comes out. What's the name of this particular bookstore?
(no subject) - bodgei - Sep. 2nd, 2012 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 2nd, 2012 10:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Kelly Simmons - Sep. 2nd, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 2nd, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bodgei - Sep. 2nd, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - raisinbottom - Sep. 3rd, 2012 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Its a DE thing - bodgei - Sep. 3rd, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 1st, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Frankly, unsolicited email equates with spam in my book. Odds are, a lot of people won't even open the email. Probably not a good idea to have a writer's name & spam linked like that in people's minds. I didn't read all of the following article, but it may not even be legal.

Sep. 1st, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting links! Thanks for sharing, Kat :)
Sep. 1st, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
NZ has anti-spam laws which would make this illegal if done for commercial purposes.

I don't mind being sent an email at random (as one of a bunch of people) to inform me about an event or invite me to join something, but a mailing list/regular updates etc? I'd definitely want to be opting in to something like that :-)
Sep. 1st, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
That seems to be the general consensus. Thanks for the input, Matt :)
Sep. 1st, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
I did say I'd do any signing up (#3), but I don't mind getting an email inviting me to their list when I don't have to do anything but ignore the email if I don't want to join.
Sep. 1st, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
Seems fair enough. If I knew the person, I wouldn't have a problem if they emailed me, inviting me to subscribe either :)
Sep. 1st, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't sign anyone to my list if I had one. I wouldn't want anyone to sign me up to theirs without my permission. Actually I don't like to post a lot. I'm having LIKE overload and don't know how others keep up with friends and like posts without it consuming hours of good writing time.
Sep. 2nd, 2012 10:35 am (UTC)
The internet is a marvelous tool, but it can be very distracting :)
(no subject) - isleburroughs - Sep. 3rd, 2012 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
It is a fundamental rule of the internet that you DO NOT SIGN someone else up for an email list, without their knowledge or permission. Doing so is grounds for having your internet rights revoked forcibly.

Out of respect for you Jon, I will refrain from the extremely long and nasty string of expletives I would use to refer to the kind of scum that would add someone to an email list without their permission.
Sep. 2nd, 2012 10:36 am (UTC)
I could be wrong, Ed, but I'm guessing you didn't choose the 'I don't mind is someone adds me. After all, I can always unsubscribe.' option :)
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Sep. 3rd, 2012 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
There are a few occasions where I've added someone to a mailing list instead of letting them add themselves, but they've all been pretty individualized: X told me over the phone that he wants to be in the group, but he doesn't like dealing with subscription forms, or I've got a group of people who all said "I want to be in your PBEM when you make it" and I just add them all to the PBEM mailing list after I create it. So I like that Google Groups will *let* me do that, if I want. But if you don't have explicit permission through other channels to put someone on a mailing list, I wouldn't.
Sep. 3rd, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Rowyn :)
Sep. 3rd, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
I prefer the let-them-know-it-is-there-but-let-them-decide-for-themselves philosophy. That means that they have sought out the group themselves (or seen it mentioned on your web site, or something), and have actually taken the trouble of doing so, which implies an active interest on their part.

Case in point from my angle:

I belonged to one Yahoo group. Jim Hines spent a day there, author Yahoo group Q-&-A thing. I specifically sought him out (well, he is nice people, and I would have followed anyway). Same with you, who I sort of met online, via Jim.

But the thing is, if I was not interested, I would not have sought out (some would say "stalked", though for me that would be "hobbled", as I am ambulatory with a cane), Jim's blog, through its various incarnations. I came, because he was personable, and I like his stories. I stayed, as much to find out what he's up to, as for even sitting through the LEGO stuff (hadn't done LEGOs for years, and now I'm thinking it might be nice to have a set to play around with, especially as some of it can help with architecture for stories you may have in mind). I like to hang around personable, intelligent, and fairly eloquent people.

On an unrelated note, I loathe revisions, sometimes, especially for flash fiction, because you may end up making it, not quite so flashy. :P Still, every word (or lack thereof) counts in short pieces, so...

Although I do agree that, if someone asks nicely, and has a bit of trouble with online stuff, then helping thm sign up with a group is not evil. :3

Edited at 2012-09-03 12:20 am (UTC)
Sep. 3rd, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
Thanks for the input, Elizabeth :)
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Sep. 3rd, 2012 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Sep. 4th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 4th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
I chose #3, but I agree with the idea that, if it's someone I know, I wouldn't mind being sent an email invitation to subscribe.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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