So the most awesome thing happened at GHC, I asked a question at a panel and afterwards a girl came up to me and said “I think I’ve been reading your blog”. Seriously. Made. My. Day. Then I was skimming my RSS feed and I found a comment on this post:
For the record, a friend from a company called Palantir asked me to send you a note as recently picked up a signed copy of a book I wrote. I was happy to do so. Unfortunately, it’s taken ~ 30 minutes to figure out the best way to contact you (without following you on Twitter/LinkedIn/Etc) is to post to the blog… on this particular entry… which was, relatively, a lot of work.
I get that email is often a flood of uselessness, but it is a means to make a quick connection with little overhead.
In unrelated news, come have lunch at Palantir — some of the brightest folks you’ll meet.
And then it occurred to me that the girl mentioned above had said she’d thought about emailing me, but hadn’t because I don’t read it. And people are still asking me for things – I had an email recently that said something along the lines of “I want you to do this thing, for free, unless I can find someone better”. So I’m still getting the email I don’t want. And the email I would want people aren’t sending me because they’re nice and see that I hate it. Meanwhile, I’ve clearly irritated this guy who’s written this awesome book that I’m really excited to read. And – I’m talking big game about how women in CS need role models and then deliberately making myself unavailable – seems a little hypocritical!
Hmm. Time for a rethink.
Here’s the thing – I am a miserable failure at email. And I don’t like failing at things, so I’ve opted for ignoring it instead. So I need a strategy. When I realized writing a resume didn’t work to my strengths, I hired someone to write it and they did an awesome job. So perhaps I can hire someone to integrate my inboxes and come up with a system to manage it, or get a remote PA.
However, that seems a bit melodramatic and the reality is that I need to get better at dealing with process rather than avoiding it. So here’s my plan!
- First, clearly the usability of my website is not what it should be and I’m annoyed that Dreamweaver broke my twitter widget. So I’m going to move everything over to WordPress.
- Second, I’m going to migrate all my email addresses to gmail and add filtering and this priority inbox malarky.
- Third, I’m going to reveal my email address. It’s catehuston and I use gmail. So if you’ve been thinking about emailing me but haven’t… go for it. It’s not my preferred medium – I left IBM with 33 unread and my attitude to it is not going to change overnight. But I’m really going to try and rethink this and try and suck less.
How do you deal with email? Or other stuff that you hate and avoid? I need your wisdom!