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What would you say to 16,000 people?

A few weeks ago I heard about a little online project called The Listserve. Email mailing lists are one of the older forms of internet communication; everybody signs up to get the distribution, and when a post goes out, everybody gets it.

The idea of The Listserve is this: once the list hit 10,000 subscribers, the list moderators would pick one person per day to get to send a message to that list. A message about whatever the lucky person wants. The constraints: 400 words. No links or images. Just good old text.

I was intrigued. I signed up.

The Listserve hit 10,000 subscribers a couple of weeks ago and the messages started coming. They’ve been entertaining, but mostly on the self-helpy. encouragey, lifehackey side of things. Still, while dozens of unread emails get deleted from my inbox every day, the one from The Listserve always gets read.

Yesterday I got an unexpected email: “You’ve been selected”. I have until mid-day on Sunday to write 400 words that will be sent out to, at last check, more than 16,000 email inboxes. No pressure!

So what would you write if you could send an email to 16,000 people?


  1. Lee Adams Lee Adams

    If the list serve isn’t of a specific type I would simply speak to a single joy you have found recently. Whether it was the laughter

    • Lee Adams Lee Adams

      Argh….darn iPhone. Continuing from above. […] of one of your girls. The joy found in marrying the one who completes your world. Or maybe the simple joy found while listening to some well played b-flat blues.

  2. Not a silly rant about a magical fairy in the sky, that’s for sure. Thanks for wasting our time.

  3. Laura Laura

    Enjoyed your ListServe email, especially what you said about karma. Thanks for the advice, sending happiness and joy to you all the way from little New Zealand 🙂

  4. Warren Moore Warren Moore

    Totally agree with Zach. Your faith is a personal matter, and if you wanted to use this opportunity to actually witness to people, you could have told your personal story. Your email sounds more like a regurgitated pamphlet from a church pew than a personal testimony. From the perspective of a non-believer, you squandered this opportunity to persuade people why your faith matters in a secular society that increasingly believes it has no use for your God.

  5. Almond Almond

    i hope you find something out there worth telling people about, someday.

  6. Jeremy Jeremy

    Don’t mind the haters. You shared something that has brought profound peace and joy into your life, and their inability to relate to your experience has no bearing on the validity of your words.

    Take care, friend.

  7. Hey Chris – just wanted to thank you for your words today. Given the opportunity to share to 16k – you ought share what matters most to you. That’s what the email is all about. May God be praised.

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