Monday, May 12, 2008

UnsubscribeMe Storm

Today was rather interesting. For the first time in many years, I fell victim to an UnsubscribeMe Storm. First a little back story. Years ago, I was added to an email mailing list for a hair salon a friend of mine once worked at. Puddin gave me a really fun haircut and color that day. Pictures of the cut are even still online. Every 6 months or so, I get one email from the owner of the Blow Salon talking about a new fashion show they are having. No big deal. Hit delete and move on.

Well, for the first time, someone decided to hit reply-to-all with an unsubscribe message. I don't know who setup their mailing list, but they did it wrong (should have done it as an announcement only list) and the message went out to everyone on the list. Hello instant shit storm! Did I also mention that the salon happened to be closed today and it was clear the owner was off relaxing somewhere nice?

Therefore, this storm lasted longer and sent more messages than any other storm I've seen before. The best part is how aggressive many of the people got. Name calling ensued. Threats of action were tossed out. People continued to not read all the replies telling people to stop replying. More name calling. And then the jokes started and I can't say I stayed out of it, way too much fun to have.

First someone created a MySpace account using the address so of course the 'confirm your email address' message went to the list. Nice. So, I created a LinkedIn account figuring that everyone was already stuck together and there was no way out of this mess. Sadly, I wasn't able to read the confirmation emails quickly enough and someone hijacked the account before I could (they probably guessed I made the password 'unsubscribe'). Next up, I sent an email detailing in a very nice language how stupid people are (I got a lot of replies saying how funny it was). Someone else started sending Chuck Norris messages. Classics such as "Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise."

Sadly, here we are at 10pm and this epic journey seems to have ended. Luckily, one of the final emails to the list was mine: Subject: Free haircuts for everyone. Body: If you act fast and respond to the email with 'unsubscribe' in the subject, you get a free mohawk. Everyone else who can't follow the directions gets a mullet. Of course, color costs extra.

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