The Oransky Journal

Interesting stuff that doesn't fit on Embargo Watch or Retraction Watch

In which I become an expert on global technology because I have an email address

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erolsThere are all sorts of ways to be recognized as an expert. Courts typically certify those who’ve published peer-reviewed literature, or who have years of experience, or who fulfill some other criteria. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t take that much.

From an email solicitation I received today:

I am calling on behalf of [redacted] an independent global research consultancy. We are conducting a survey of Opinion Leaders such as yourself to understand your views on a number of important issues related to how global technology companies are viewed and how they might better meet stakeholder expectations. You do not have to be actively involved in technology (ie : – IT/programming/Manufacture etc ) so long as you have some views on the subject such as ethically sourced materials for manufacture, energy efficiency & responsibilities to workforces.

Well, as many of my friends and family would agree, I certainly have some views on any number of subjects, so I should be OK here. I have views on proper capitalization, for example, and that would appear to be helpful in this case.

But it’s the next paragraph that really cements my status as an expert:

Because of your position and responsibilities at EROLS, you have been identified as a person whose experience and judgment are widely respected and from whom [redacted] would very much like to hear. In recognition for your valuable time and input we will be sending a report on the survey findings to all who participate upon completion of this study.

What I apparently did not know in 1998 when I signed up for an email account with Erols — now RCN — is that my “position and responsibilities” as an email account holder would make it clear that I had widely respected experience and judgment. Take that, Yahoo!

Please be assured that all of your responses will be kept confidential and never used for purposes other than research. Your answers will never be linked to your name. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete depending on your answers.

I admit to being a bit conflicted here. I actually think that my responses to these questions should only be used for purposes other than research. Entertainment, for example, or to wallpaper a storage facility no one visits.

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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