This is an e-mail lottery.
One person a day wins a chance to write to
the growing list of subscribers. It could be you.
The introductory video interviews several people, posing the question, "If you had the chance to speak to one million people, what would you say?" This is obviously a loaded question, and after some thought, responses include everything from "The Rangers are going to win the Stanley cup this year!" to "Take a nap." The project will launch when there are ten thousand subscribers, but considering it has 4479 at the time of this writing and it launched in the last 24 hours, it shouldn't take too long.
It is an intriguing idea, and it will hopefully be an opportunity to gain insight from other people from around the world. Although authors will have the chance to convey whatever sort of message they want, I hope that it will ultimately be used to express positive (or at least constructive) ideas and give people a sense of connectedness. I see it as an opportunity to bring out similarities among many people, rather than differences, and I hope subscribers are ready to open their eyes and see what other people have to offer.
Of course, seeing others struggle through the question presented in the video caused me to ponder as well. If I won the first lottery and was going to email over ten thousand people, what would I write? Would it be a simple note of encouragement? Would I tell a joke so people can start off their day with a smile? Or maybe I could urge everyone to offer five compliments that day to the people around them. These are the first few ideas I had because I could appreciate receiving that sort of thing in my inbox - something simple and uplifting. But if I do win, should I take the opportunity to do something more significant? If so, what could that be?
Another aspect of the project is that authors have the choice to make their email address known. This could lead to follow-up conversations, but will anyone be willing to expose their email address and/or identity to over ten thousand users? Hopefully there will be some sort of forum where people can interact based on the daily message. If there is not already one in the works, I would guess that a third-party forum site will be formed shortly if The Listserve is a success.
I am excited to read emails from other people, but I also wanted to take the time to think about what I would say before being influenced by others. Now, I challenge you to do the same. What would you say to one million people? Would you even want that sort of responsibility? Feel free to comment - I'd love to hear what you think!