Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Unsubscribe, damn it!

personal 2 min read

You know what I hate? Well, a lot of things - I'm an irate Scotsman, after all - 
but put that aside for a moment.

One particular thing that I hate is people who add you to their personal mailing-list 
solely on the strength of having exchanged email with you. Even just <strong>one</strong> email!
We get a lot of email regarding <a href="">our products</a>, 
our articles, and all kinds of other things. Being an old-fashioned kind of software company, we reply. 
We then sometimes start inexplicably receiving emailed personal newsletters, bulk-sent iCards with vacation 
photos, religious tracts (that's never actually happened, but it's only a matter of time), and all sorts of 
other things. It's infuriating.

Dislike of exactly that behaviour was the primary reason I included an "Emailing Policy" section within 
<a href="">our privacy policy</a>:
We will:
  • With your prior permission, notify you of updates to products which you have purchased.
  • Upon request, immediately cease to send product update emails.
We will NOT:
  • Subscribe you to general-purpose "news" or "updates" email lists.
  • Send you update information for products other than those you have purchased.
  • Subscribe you to any email list as a result of an enquiry or support request.
Now, I'm sure you're happy that the operation to remove your cat's ingrown toenail was a 
complete success - and I'm happy for you - but <strong>my inbox is my own</strong>. I take 
a hard-line policy on spam, and that's essentially what these unsolicited newsletters and the 
like are. And before you say it, I define spam as <em>any</em> unsolicited mail, whether commercial 
or not.

I can appreciate that this may upset those who have an overwhelming psychological need to 
constantly expand their circle of acquaintances (by force, if necessary), so let me make 
something clear: if you get in touch with me, and you leave an URL, I visit it. If you even 
have an email address that can be used to work out your URL, I do that. I visit the web site 
of everyone who gets in touch with me; I really do.

If I think it's interesting enough, I bookmark it, and I visit from time to time. If you have a 
blog with a feed, that's even better: I just subscribe to it in NetNewsWire, then I'll never get 
behind with your progress in <a href="">insulating your house</a>. *

Just don't, for the love of whatever god you believe in, <em>ever</em> automatically add me to your 
distribution list. If you absolutely <strong>must</strong> send me a newsletter, ASK FOR PERMISSION FIRST!

The one good thing about such people is that, in their rush to invite you into their lives, they 
freely hand out such information as their home address. If you're such a person, you'd do well to 
keep in mind that I'm the vengeful type...


<span class="footnote">* Eli has never sent me unsolicited mail. I subscribed to 
<a href="">his blog</a> after he posted a comment on mine. See?</span>