Friday, April 8, 2011

Urbi et Orbi (of sorts: how to send us an email)

This message is for the readers of this blog who are not memebers who write to us (we welcome such correspondence, of course). We get a good amount of email, and finally I want to address some recurring issues: basically, a few suggestions for our potential correspondents. Sorry for the fake-friendly, corporate style, but: in order to make our interaction more rewarding, please:

1. State clearly what you want and, provided your note is more than a comment on some of our entries, introduce yourself.

2. If you want to add a comment (which is entirely good and welcome), state what part of your email constitutes this comment, as well as whether you'd like your name to be mentioned. By default we will redact all personal specifics (for the sake of privacy). Of course, we may or may not post your comment (depending on how good it is), and we may edit any such correspondence before posting. In general such editing is for grammar/coherence (assuming it's worth bothering to begin with).

3. If you want to join, give at least a brief explanation as to the reasons you wish to do so.

But mostly, just write a clear and understandable note. A lot of people don't bother. Here's an example: "Hey your so right and Joe Blow does even worse I still want a reffund from them!!!!!". Well, great, except we've got no clue who Joe Blow is and what the thrilling story of your refund is. This sort of thing. Finally, if you sent us an email, give us a few days to get it. Sometimes we're busy with other things in our lives and it may take us a few days to get to your note. So don't send us a dozen "are you alive?" messages every day. Give it a few days or a week before following up. We are alive and we are quite likely to react to reasonable inquiries from reasonable people, be it a comment to add or a request to join.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day: Harriet Klausner read sixty-eight (68) books today...

That is, she posted sixty-eight (68) "reviews" today, but surely Harriet wouldn't post a review of a book she didn't read, would she? As far as I could see, all of them five and four stars. When you work intensively like that, errors are inavoidable: Harriet confused a couple of books posting wrong blurbs under wrong books. And the funniest thing of all, someone found one such review "helpful"! "Team Harrier" clicks "yes" on Klausner reviews without reading them just like Harriet "reviews" books without reading. Here's her review of The Goodbye Quilt:

And here are a couple of puzzled commenters voicing their concerns:

Slow down, Harriet! After all, you read only two books a day, remember? Not sixty-eight.