I am not who you think I am…

Almost every day I get an email message from someone who’s read something on this blog, looking for more information. And almost always the correspondent appears to think that I somehow officially represent that which I write about.

I’ve received email from people who want to donate clothes to the Red Cross. I’ve received email from people who want to purchase Cora’s Restaurant franchises for Mexico. I received email from people who want to purchase Cadbury’s chocolate bars.

The messages aren’t “hey, I read on your weblog about…” messages. They are “Dear Sir, I have several containers of clothing to donate; please tell me where to send it.” Or “We have several excellent sites for our new Cora’s here in Mexico; please have your franchise agent contact us.”

I assume that these queries come from people who go to Google, type in “red cross donate” or “Cora’s franchise” or “cadbury chocolate bars” and end up here. Then they simply click on contact and send off their email, without absorbing anything else (like the big “Reinvented” at the top of the page, or the sentence “Reinvented is two people, Peter and Johnny Rukavina.” at the top of the contact page.

This isn’t a problem in my life, and I’m not complaining, for it’s as much interesting as annoying. But it does suggest something somewhat disturbing about how people read the Internet, how they evaluate sources of information, and about how context appears not to matter.

Our librarian colleagues obviously have a lot of work ahead of them.


Nils Ling's picture
Nils Ling on January 1, 2004 - 19:10 Permalink

What a coincidence! Almost every day, I receive e-mails from people who foolishly think I need a larger penis …!

Happy New Year and we’ll see yez at the Levees!

Ken's picture
Ken on January 3, 2004 - 05:38 Permalink

Take the clothes, sell the franchise, and sell Nils a penis!

Those aren’t people out of context, they are opportunities out of context!