Readers Write

A reader asks:

For the curious and relatively new among your readers (like me), could you tell us how many emails you get each day from readers, how many you read, how you select the ones you read, how you select the ones you respond to and/or publish?  Do you like getting emails? Are you glad we write you about what we're thinking, even if you can't respond?  Is it helpful, or just burdensome?  Is there something that readers like me, who yearn for more conversation at the Dish, can do to make our emailed thoughts helpful, and not burdensome?

The volume varies with the season. At the height of the campaign, we may have been getting over a thousand emails a day. It's lighter on weekends. My current in-tray shows, LOL, 94,000 emails. That's cumulative since the latest culling. It's roughly 500 a day by my count. It is physically impossible to read them all, but I check them several times a day, respond to as many as I can and have learned over almost nine years how to scan them for helpful links or tips or arguments. Some email addresses I know by heart and also know they will contain wisdom or amusement. Others I just open at random like Christmas presents. Patrick then goes through as many as he can as well so we catch as much quality as we can.

I love the emails. It's wondrous to me how much time and effort people put into them when they know they will get no recognition - but that anonymity also brings out more honesty and passion. People write because they feel strongly about something and that comes across. It takes work - but when people say we have no comments section it isn't entirely true. We have a highly edited comments section and one that we try hard to keep cogent and critical of our own work.

And then there are times when I'm sick like the last few days when the emails of fun and cheer and encouragment really make my day. None of this is burdensome. I feel immensely lucky to have found a readership this smart and knowledgeable and wise. It's like our own private Wikipedia back here. So keep 'em coming - photos, quips, quotes and brutal take-downs.