As I walk into my office one day, I see a folder – I’ve seen them before – littered across the desk. It’s covered with copies of books – 11. Would I tell the company what I’m going to review? What gets on my mind? I scan it and realise, “I don’t want to talk about politics”. So I chuck the folder at the desk and start in. And here it is, in all its glory.
This folder is full of postcards and jewellery created by the youth of England. Most of the lot are very funny, but a fair few – funny little pictures of Sue Nicholls and Kate Price, as well as unprintable, laugh-out-loud lines from Fatboy Slim and Kate Moss – seem to be the satirical touchstones that one hopes some of the young self-confessed misfits (most of whom fall into this category) will love.
This is one of the main layers of e-mail publishing – a thoughtful, seemingly meaningful communique before it’s launched to its next audience. These cards can be direct and witty in an e-mail, you might say. But they also sometimes cross the line – I must admit, I don’t like myself much when people ask me to endorse or endorse myself. It’s a bit like getting bought chocolate for my mother and she refuses to give me one for the same reason. At least I am more picky about what’s in these soulless packages of gifts. There seems to be a clear line being crossed – I want to include some love, even when I have to just jab it towards their brain, I want to be sure it’s appreciated, even if this is a gimmick for an e-mail marketing campaign. I’m not sure I completely trust my own amorous state – I might just crack on anyway.
At the same time, this sort of e-mail doesn’t seem to offer much value to the customer. “Sleeve” should not be a verb but all of these e-mails (other than the occasional bonus space) fail to really value what was created. So, at the end of the day, though it’s often the spur to pursue further personal development, it doesn’t even do my will any good.
The idea of getting political is not new – it’s actually alive and well at some of the biggest companies. So many companies – especially in the more sexist area – seem to be using this: political t-shirts, what not. I bought a T-shirt this morning from Banana Republic. It has words about women, women, women … you get the point. Why, when you’re a man, you feel you always have the right to declare the things I like. How lovely!
Overall, however, I like the idea of political e-mailing. I don’t have to look far to find other examples online and I will go on those – for many years I have been writing blogs to my Facebook group – and at my very best I enjoy interacting with people on the internet. I don’t make the choice to develop new ideas and enjoy failure all the time. I don’t trade in my position to earn a living. If I really did like them, I’d send them via Apple’s Address Book, just to see what they are writing about.
But the point of political e-mailing is that someone else goes through all your questions, and replies at last to an answer to your request. Those who are unaware of the goal may wonder why you are looking at them, but hopefully, one answer will surprise them. I am not the best listener, I may have done the wrong thing at one stage and now I am like the victim of a bad dream. I don’t want people to read my e-mails and find themselves suddenly grateful to have been invited into someone else’s so-called tent. I would never say such things to my co-workers.
But if anyone wants the opportunity to meet and see other people who are more like me, then I won’t turn them down.