Slate is pleased to announce a new feature: E-mail This Article. Just click on the words "E-mail This Article" at the top of each article. That's all there is to it.
Well, obviously, there's more to it than that. If that was all there was to it, we would have made it something like, "Give Me a Million Dollars" or "Send Milosevic to Hell" or "Have a Nice Day."
But clicking on the words E-Mail This Article is all you have to do. Slate Program Manager Andrew Shuman and his crack team of developers take it from there. Your click sets off an alarm in their lair, Shuman kicks awake his nearest dozing acolyte, and he or she will personally retype the Slate article in question and e-mail it to anyone you choose. Or so they've explained it to me. You can even e-mail it to several people at once, thanks to the miracle of carbon paper, or something. What gets e-mailed is not just the URL (Web address) and not the HTML page, which some e-mail programs can't handle, but a plain text version of the article itself.
Who should you e-mail Slate articles to? Friends, enemies, members of Congress, potential subscribers, and advertisers (thanks!) ... the possibilities are endless! One option you should not overlook is e-mailing to yourself. Why would you wish to do that? After all, Slate readers are all much too popular, successful, and psychologically secure to send themselves flowers or any such thing. You are not the sort of folks who need to artificially inflate your in-boxes, thank you very much. But consider:
- E-mailing yourself an article is a way of putting it aside to read later.
- Reading e-mail at your desk looks more like working than reading Slate's elegantly designed Web pages. (Caution: this should not be interpreted as an attempt by the Microsoft Corp. to collude with you to deprive your employer of your services. Solitaire is for that.)
- If you download your e-mail, you can read Slate articles without going online.
- You can print out the e-mail using fewer pages than printing out directly from the Web.
- If you finally think of someone else to e-mail the article to, you can do that.
Do remember that spamming is bad form, and avoid e-mailing Slate articles to people who wouldn't want to get them. Unless, of course, in your opinion the article is so insightful and brilliant that it must be forced upon the ignorant and wrongheaded. In that case, e-mail away.