Like the digital equivalent of an IZOD gator, email programs insert small branded tags in the “.signature” portion of the message.
Free webmail services like hotmail, yahoo, and MSN have their ads
Express yourself with MSN Messenger 6.0 — download now!
Don’t pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.
While in recent years we’ve got the device specific sigs. The first one I really noticed was
Sent from my Blackberry
and of course the superest of coolest
Sent from my iPhone
These little tags (and think of the tags on Levi’s jeans or skin tags, more than folksonomies) advertise the product (as with the Yahoo et. al examples) but they also tell you something about the person. I’ve got one of these. Beyond that, the message might be I’m cool enough to have an iPhone, or I’m lucky enough to work someplace where they buy me a Blackberry.
But they also tell you something else. I wrote this message in some situation you can’t possibly (and probably shouldn’t) imagine, when I had a few seconds to kill er um spend responding to you, away from a full keyboard where I could hit my expansive wpm and correct the embarrassing typos. Just like when we call someone on their cell phone, we may not know where we’re reaching them and therefore how the interaction will proceed, when we get an email from a mobile device, we can’t assume the normal context of use (computer, full screen, full keyboard, some time committed to the act).
And so I was tickled to get an email over the weekend that included this customized .signature
Apologies for brevity and any blunders in spelling; this was sent from my iPhone.
Nicely done. I don’t know how to change the iPhone signature, and I realized upon seeing this version that I’d just always assumed that my correspondents would know how to interpret the default. But I’m probably expecting way more empathy that anyone has time for.