Don’t Reply All

Don’t Reply All

Earlier this morning, the Gizmodo inbox got an email from Mobbo. Note: I have no idea what Mobbo is, apart from “actionable insights for ANY APP”, according to the Mobbo website.

Normally, this would be just another email pitch — maybe a quick glance, mark as read, move on.

Until a whole bunch of replies started coming in.

This is what happens when you send an email out to about 330 technology journalists, but forget to use the BCC field in your email client:

Don’t know what BCC is? It’s an initialisation for ‘blind carbon copy’ — the blind being the important part there, so no-one in the BCC list can see anyone else’s email address. When you’re emailing heaps of people that don’t necessarily know each other personally — perhaps with a pitch about your new “actionable insights for ANY APP” — you don’t want them to be able to respond to the entire group. It’s also a politeness thing; it’s common courtesy to keep a private email address, well, private.

That did not happen in this case.

What resulted was a rapid-fire, 22-response email thread with writers and reporters from websites like BuzzFeed and Ars Technica chiming in. Responses like “I’m so excited to finally be included in one of these” and “Imma tell my kids about this one day” and “Does anyone know a good place to get fajitas in NYC?”

This was Funny. This was A Good Time For All Involved. But also, I’m sure that for some of the 330 people carbon copied, it was kinda annoying. For the Mobbo employee that sent the email out in the first place, it was almost certainly mortifying.

To their credit, the guys from Mobbo later sent another email.

“[We] messed up. Sorry about that… My idea was to share a file with you, and your curiosity [would] do the rest. What I didn’t know — is that when you share a file with many people on Google Drive — they all get CC’d to it.

“This turned out to be a pitch from hell, sorry for making your inbox explode.”

So, there you go. Let this be a lesson to you — if you send an email to a bunch of people but don’t BCC them, chances are they’re going to have a bit of fun amongst themselves and probably not care about whatever you’re emailing about in the first place.