A) How many wackos do you hear from in a day?E-Mail Etiquette for Public Figures
B) How do you handle said wackos?
(A) I don’t hear from that many wackos. Maybe about one a month. (That’s if you define “wacko” as “someone who rants incoherently.” If you mean “someone who disagrees with you,” then the answer is, “daily.”)
(B) If the person is obviously deranged or pretending to be, I don’t reply. Otherwise, I try to send at least a brief response.
Not everyone is happy with that degree of engagement. After reading one reader’s six-page account of his customer-service nightmare, I wrote back, “What a horror story. So sorry to hear it!” But the reader, evidently having expected me to take up his cause personally, wrote back simply, “**** you, too.” (Swear word omitted.)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.