I’m Moving My Blog’s Email Subscriptions To MailChimp

To improve the quality of my email subscription service, I’m now using MailChimp. Those of you who have already subscribed to my daily1No more than once a day, and no email if there’s not a new post. blog updates should not notice a difference, other than getting the emails more reliably. It seems that emails might not have been sent for over a week. If you didn’t get any, you could have missed:

MailChimp provides an awesome service. They demand that emails be sent out only after double opt-in2Sign up plus confirming email. by all recipients. I believe that describes everyone already on my list. If you think you received this email by error or don’t remember signing up, please accept my apologies and feel free to click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Those of you reading this on my blog who want to subscribe, please use the handy dandy subscription button at the bottom of this post. Thanks!

“We’re Done Now. Shut Up and Go Away”

I got an email from my legislative representative — at its bottom was the notice:

Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. To contact me, please visit the contact page on my website.

Instead of clicking “reply” and typing “Thanks for your support!” he wants me to go to a web form, re-enter all my personal contact information, and type my now-out-of-context message. In other words,

We’re done now. Shut up and go away!

I’m sure my representative would disagree with my interpretation, noting he closed his email with,

I hope you will continue to send your observations and thoughts my way.

Although “words mean things” I also believe “actions speak louder than words.” In this case, erecting a high barrier to responding “shouts over” his words requesting my observations and thoughts.

I understand: he doesn’t want a bunch of spam. Certainly, his IT experts could set up an email filter that accepts emails from accounts he just emailed.

Facebook Should Not Ask For Your E-mail Password

Facebook asking for my e-mail password

Facebook wants my e-mail password. Really?! I can’t believe Facebook believes this is okay.

You should never provide your e-mail password to anyone and especially not a social media site. Your email account is your identity. Once someone has access to it, they can use your e-mail account to retrieve all your other passwords. Talk about identity theft…

Even if Facebook doesn’t store your password (as they claim), this is still a big no-no; it will make people think this is a reasonable request. It’s NOT!

What is Facebook thinking?

Making an Empty Inbox

For eight straight weeks, my inbox was empty. At least, it might as well have been; I wasn’t checking it. I was on sabbatical.

Having been back from sabbatical a few weeks, I’m watching my inbox get clogged with those difficult to answer e-mails, those large tasks, and just some plain junk.

Inbox Zero is a method of handling an inbox so that it never gets very full, in fact, it can be empty.

43 Folders has a series of posts on the concept.

Back to Work; Sabbatical is Over

Having cast off for sabbatical eight weeks ago, today was time to plug back into the docking station.

Alpha mail. Thankfully, only 500 e-mails were waiting in my inbox and most could be discarded without reading more than the subject line. After accepting a few meeting requests and placing a few phone calls to ensure the other e-mails had been handled in my absence, I was able to get my inbox down to less than ten e-mails by end of day. That’s the result of having great coverage. Thanks, guys!

Breaking rules. Waiting on my desk was a bookstore gift certificate in recognition of some work I did immediately before sabbatical. During lunch, I bought First, Break all the Rules. After all, work bought me the book; I thought I’d return the favor by getting something that just might improve my on-the-job performance. Coincidentally, this morning I completed an organizational health survey. Upon starting the book, I recognized the twelve core questions. Maybe I’m not the first to have read this book.

Wireless mouse. Going through my drawers, I discovered mouse droppings. Wait — that didn’t come out right. My top desk drawer contained shredded paper napkins and mouse poop. That’s not good; I didn’t even have food there. Not that I suspect my coworkers, but I locked my drawers before sabbatical. Fortunately, the drawer held nothing of value and now the trash can does. Welcome back! I’m tempted to try a trap.

Beat by the Street. I looked up my employer’s stock. Great — there’s a definite improvement that coincided with my departure. Don’t tell upper management…

Staying on sabbatical. As part of my sabbatical, I took a political fast. Normally a political junky, I abstained from talk radio, political blogs, and political commentary. Amazingly enough, the world continued to spin without me. I’m considering continuing the fast or at least maintaining a slim political diet. My heart will thank me, I’m sure. I’ll have more time to do the other things I enjoy. Speaking of which…

Going nowhere not so fast. After a full, fun day at work I exercised today. Just the treadmill tonight, but my board short tan’s going to look pretty funny when I swim laps again.

Yup, I’m back. Good to see you all again. :-)

Sabbatical Plans

My sabbatical starts when today ends. Wow! I still have too much to do or delegate…

I read recently about the concept of e-mail bankruptcy (thanks Josh for helping me find that link). Although it sounds tempting, I will process my e-mail inbox before sabbatical starts. Do or delegate is the plan.

My family and I will be traveling quite a bit, visiting family, friends, and interesting (and relaxing) locations. I will be taking my computer. After all, the camera’s flash card will get full and need to be emptied.

I’m also taking some books. Timothy Ferris’, The 4-Hour Workweek, seems appropriate sabbatical reading. I’m also taking Ray Kurzweil’s, The Singularity Is Near. I have some other unfinished books, but I’m also taking a sabbatical from politics, so that will limit what I take. History’s not politics, so that gives me some wiggle room. I might finish (I’ll probably have to start over) Lawrence Wright’s, The Looming Tower. We’ll see.

Blogging will be different — no politics. Maybe some travel pictures and maps. I’ll have to remember to take my GPS and see what I can do with it.

It’s going to be fun! ;-)