Slate reporter Kevin Zawacki got paid a lot of money for his contrarian article chastising those of us who put our email addresses in our signatures. Lest you think this was a mistake, his previous article was about defending skipping. No shit.
I could point to all the crises in the headlines today, including technology, and bitch about why Slate is bothering to waste its time and money on a reporter who has zero sense of priority, but that would be a waste of my time.
Tearing apart Zawacki's article will most likely take one eighth of the time he spent writing it. He starts with his personal "complaint" about email addresses in signatures and goes on to cover someone else's beef with job titles in email signatures.
But one item is a curious constant of email signatures: the sender's email address. It's an inexplicable, redundant practice. In nearly all email clients and browser-based inboxes, simply hovering the mouse over the sender's name shows the address, unless it's already displayed. Plus, you don't need to grab an email address from someone's signature to write back. You can just hit reply.
Zawacki took it one step further and actually interviewed people.
Marketing manager Megan Stalnaker of New York City indulges. "I'm branding myself," she says. But her husband Joseph, a fashion designer, is vehemently anti-. "It's redundant," he said. "I also don't like to see someone's job title. I think it's pretentious."
Wow. Yes, this article was stupid for one thing, but I'd love to meet the people who take the time to think through these mundane issues and form such strong opinions. What else do they dedicate brain cells to?
To refute Zawacki's moronic ideas:
1) Email addresses get erased when an email gets forwarded around multiple times. At least once a week, I'm chasing down a "Bob Smith" only to find out I have five options to choose from, and three of them work for the same giant company.
2) When email addresses get erased, I don't know who the people in the chain are. Are they from this company or that government agency or are they a reporter or do they work for a particular office?
3) When I email people out of the blue, a job title immediately identifies who I am and puts my request in context. Calling a job title in an email signature pretentious is pretentious.
4) Zawacki needs to do a better job trolling if he's going to get paid for it. Clearly a job with substantive office experience, that includes lengthy email chains, is not in his future.
5) Stupid quotes at the end of signatures? Now there's a legitimate complaint.
6) Zawacki's question would have been addressed in ten seconds if he'd asked Slate why Slate puts the word Slate on every single page on its website.
Total rant time: 13 minutes.