How to Spam Friends and (adversely) Influence People

Yesterday I was expaining to someone why the 900-word press-release I had written for the launch of An Líonra Sóisialta was so long: “I didn’t have time to write a short one!”*

I wish I’d taken the time to check the file sizes though.  Just before I sent it out, I decided to add pictures.  The pictures amounted to a few hundred KB – and were probably too big in themselves – but that was nothing compared to what happened when I embedded them in a MS Word document.

The resulting email, with pictures, plus bloated Word file, amounted to 5MB!

All things considered, people were nice about it really.  Michele and Cionaodh each took the trouble to make me a PDF of my document.  Some people on broadband didn’t even notice.  Some company email servers simply didn’t allow it through.

I can’t plead ignorance: I’ve been on the receiving end of a 56kbps download from a choked mailbox often enough in the past.  I do blame stress, and lack of sleep.

If you got mail from me on Thursday, it’s because you’re a friend of mine.  You read my blogs, or I read yours, or we’ve been in touch before because we share common interests.  I sent you that mail because I thought you’d be interested in it.   If you’ve got an audience, I hoped you’d think they would be interested in it.

I figured it would just show up in your mailbox, and, with an informative subject line, you’d give it whatever level of attention your interest warranted.  Instead however, it ended up drawing unwelcome attention to itself.

If my email caused you problems on Thursday, please accept my apology.  Mea Culpa.

* I know that’s paraphrasing something I’ve heard before.  Anybody know what it is?

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3 Comments on “How to Spam Friends and (adversely) Influence People”


  1. […] Edge Case Thoughts in two languages, from the author of An tImeall « How to Spam Friends and (adversely) Influence People […]

  2. Simon McGarr Says:

    George Bernard Shaw is reputed to have written to a friend a letter starting- ‘I apologise for writing a such a long letter, I didn’t have time to write a short one’


  3. Thanks Simon – credit where it is due!


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