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Monday, July 19, 2004

Alas, a rant…

For those who have just joined us, you may want to read a previous entry I posted regarding how nice it feels to give away Gmail invites. For those short on time, I’ll paraphrase in 4 quick points:

1. It feels really good to receive such a gift.
2. It feels wonderful to pass that gift along.
3. Even though some people may attach some perceived value to the invites, it costs nothing to give or get a Gmail invite… you just have to have a cordial relationship with someone who already has one.
4. I applaud the folks at Google for coming up with such a win-win model for incrementally introducing and testing their new e-mail client.

That about sums it up, no? Please let me know if I’ve left anything out.

Ah yes, upon further reflection... there appears to be a need for a 5th point:

5. No good deed ever goes unpunished.

I’m still not entirely sure why I’m so angry at the dozens of e-mails and comments I’ve received from people who…

1. …have never been to my blog before.
2. …have never read a word of my writing.
3. …have zero interest in the topics that interest me or my readers.
4. …have no problem demanding (not requesting) a Gmail invite.
5. …have no shame about demanding additional Gmail invites for their friends.

However, the modus operandi of these cyber-scavengers is quite clear: First they perform a web search for ‘Gmail invites’. Then, like a pack of hyenas, they converge on the unsuspecting people who are still flushed with endorphins from the whole altruistic Gmail gift giving high.

One of the more literate and well mannered ‘requests’ so far (no I did not make this up):

“I dunno if you got any but… send me one if you do.”

[Note to Neanderthal web scavenger: Would you like to attempt to insert a specific noun… and perhaps offer up something in a polite interjection?]

Occasionally one of these cretins will attempt to pass themselves off as a longtime reader. I love that! Really. Because even a neophyte like myself knows how to search the IP log to discover [gasp] that the sum total of this person’s experience with treppenwitz is, at most, 30 seconds long.

Let me be clear:

1. Yes I have more Gmail invites.
2. Yes, of course I will gladly give one to anyone with even a passing interest in the things about which I write (even if you disagree with me!).
3. If you attempt to scam me out of a Gmail invite, I will post your e-mail address onto so many Pr0n sites and right-wing lunatic message boards that sex-offenders and the UniBomber will consider you a public danger, and you will probably get some sort of award for the sheer volume and revolting depravity of the ‘SPAM’ you'll receive.


Stop back tomorrow. By then I will (hopefully) have recovered my composure.

Posted by David Bogner on July 19, 2004 | Permalink


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You're easily excited ;) ...and I would have done just the same.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jul 19, 2004 2:34:43 PM

Yeah, I've had the same problem. I still have a few invites left and have only found people claiming to be readers hitting me up for invites. For reasons similar to your previous post, I felt annoyed that they had never bothered to make a comment or say hi, and now they'd like a Gmail invite. Shyeah, I think not.

Posted by: celestial blue | Jul 19, 2004 2:46:29 PM

Thanks for saying what many were thinking... but then, that is one reason we read blogs, right? :)

Posted by: Russell Gold | Jul 19, 2004 5:37:26 PM

So, how's that coffee withdrawal going? :-)

I'm sorry that you've been treated shabbily by some of your [putative] readers ... I hope I didn't add to your distress with my recent request?

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Jul 19, 2004 5:58:01 PM

No worries Andy... just because you were the ring leader in the 'prison uprising' here at treppenwitz! :-) Sereiously, if you still need an invite, let me know and I'll send it along. I'm down to hal decaf (half flavor!) and so far no sign of the tell-tale headache. By Tisha B'Av I should be off Caffeine.

Ms. Blue (I don't know if I know you well enough to call you Celestial), I had decided to ignore the first few nudniks who dropped out of the sky asking for invites... but when almost every request (demand) was immediately preceded by a google search referral for 'gmail invites'... my normally charming on-line persona took a powder.

And finally, Mlle A... Yes I seem to be following your [bad] example. :-)

Posted by: David | Jul 19, 2004 9:40:06 PM

I think the appropriate response to people demanding a gmail invite is to insist they write a 500 word essay explaining why you should give it to them -- and then don't read it. Then create a page within your website listing all the addresses of all these idiots and make sure the spider bots can get to it.

Want gmail? Have some spam instead.

Posted by: Chuck | Jul 20, 2004 3:14:44 AM

It really is a shame that these people are abusing you because of your generosity. And really, it was incredibly generous of you to give invites to people, to even give them to people you've never heard of before.

I’m sure that you’ll be successful in your escape from caffeine.

Posted by: Jan | Jul 20, 2004 3:30:40 AM

Chuck... You've just made me realize that what I really need here is a 'bouncer'. Interested? :-)

Jan... It shouldn't be so hard to be gracious with something I didn't earn... and it might seem a little high-and-mighty that I set any kind of requirement for receiving an invite. It's a little like some Unicef worker over in the Sudan handing out donated food and giving the natives an earful for not saying please and thank you. I just feel like no matter how nice I want to be... someone will always find a way to make me feel bad about the whole process of giving.

Posted by: David | Jul 20, 2004 6:43:48 AM

I went through a very similar experience after getting lots of invites.

First, I offered them freely.

Then people began demanding I give them one, or several even, so I posted another offer to friends and readers but even then I have continued to get requests from people I've never heard of before.

In fact, just 30 minutes ago I got an e-mail from someone telling me how much they liked my blog, then in the P.S. asked for a Gmail invite. Now the compliment is nullified by the plea for an invite.

Posted by: dan | Jul 21, 2004 6:34:06 PM

I *have* been reading this blog for a little while, and been unsure whether or not to ask for an invite, both because I'm a newcomer and because I actually already have an e-mail address I'm happy with, and a back up one for spam stuff, and do I really *need* another one? Of course not, who *needs* another e-mail address? And would I use it enough to make it worth it? Anyway, while I continue to ponder that issue,

I will just say hi and I've been enjoying your blog, and I
thought it was cool that your last name is almost the same as mine.

Posted by: Tara | Jul 24, 2004 8:41:42 PM

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