Friday, April 04, 2008

On open letters

Friday, April 04, 2008
Enough open letters written by bloggers are surfacing the internet these days. Letters to celebrities and politicians, letters about decisions been taken, mistakes been made, letters about what could-have-been. Letters from people with strong opinions and who probably even share a concern.

Hawkeye had an interesting article the other day on his blog where he shares his opinion on Open letters.

They Suck.

I have written one (or two) in my blog. I now feel very ashamed about it. Every open letter I read makes me cringe. Open Letters are usually defined as letters read by everyone else except the intended recipient. Mainly because the writer does not have the ‘vakku’/ is not important enough to attract the attention of the intended recipient.

I couldn’t agree more. Having seen enough open letters on the World Wide Web, I can safely assume that the people, to whom the letter is directed, seldom get to read it. These include our esteemed politicians, law makers or any authority. Open letters are more of a vent post than anything else. The satisfaction of typing ones thoughts down in a rather “in-your-face” manner more often than not, is compensation enough and no further effort is made to ensure that the open letter reaches the person it is intended to reach. At best, it receives comments from friends, fellow bloggers, stumblers and random passers who share the concern, and sometimes even generates enough publicity to uplift the blogger to than status of an “activist” but nothing more.

Open letters could also perhaps be an interesting way to generate more publicity for your blog. Apart from that it probably also boosts the writers ego. I mean, obviously, if a letter written by you generates 30 comments, most of which are a positive pat on the back, you would obviously consider your job done, even if the person the letter was directed to was sipping orange juice, completely oblivious to the fact that somewhere in some corner of the world wide web there exists a letter directed to him/her.

An open letter can only work if its the other way around. If a famous person addresses it to a group of people, like Steve Jobs’ letter to Ipod users, or Abdul Kalam’s letter to kids of high schools. For a blogger to get his point across to someone important, either the open letter has to receive a lot of media publicity or maybe he/she has to look for an alternative. Obama Girl anyone? If not that then maybe in the official forums of a company which has responsive moderators who will give a damn about your opinions. Another way might be through letters to editorials of popular dailies (for chances are they’re more popular and read by a larger diverse group than your blog).

Mirrored at



I hate open letters.And when I keep reading the same,it stinks.

[How do u know Hawkeye?Mere stumbling ?]


True, and the worst part is that people still do it.
And Hawkeye was mere stumble.

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